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DS still gets upset dropped off at nursery - any tips?

(9 Posts)
bethdivine Wed 02-Sep-09 09:32:27

DS is 2.5, has been going to nursery for 18months now, and still gets upset being dropped off there. He was going 3 days a week when I was at work, and every day was so horrible leaving him behind screaming. I did the same thing every day, kiss goodbye, mummy will pick you up later, love you etc. but tried not to prolong it too much. He eventually started to settle and not get upset a couple of months before I started mat leave (so a year after he'd been going there).

Since being on mat leave with DD, we've dropped him down to one day a week, - it was going to be 2 days, but he got so traumatised that it wasn't worth it for any of us. Now DH drops him off on his way to work, but the mornings getting ready at home aren't great as DS says constantly, no nursery DS stay at home with mummy and DD, takes forever to get ready and still breaks his heart when DH drops him off. Last week, he was upset all morning, generally he settles within 5-30mins. I've done him his own special little photo book to take in, with pics of him having fun with us all, I've given him a special teddy and blanket off mummy, which he sometimes insists on taking in, and am at my wits end with what to do now.

Has anybody overcome this, or, if you work as a CM or in a nursery, what would your advice be to parents in this situation? We've kept him in whilst I'm off so he's familiar with the children and staff when I return to work next year, also so that he gets interaction with other children and a bit of "me time" for himself - the staff reassure me he has fun when he's there and I've seen when I pick him up he's enjoying himself.

We've wondered if we should pull him out now, look around at other nurseries and see about starting him somewhere else from fresh next spring before I return to work, when he'll be 3, so that bit older, or wonder if this would be even worse? I can start him at play group for a couple of mornings a week now, which is at the primary school just round the corner, which I wondered might also help? - I should say, he's quite a sociable little boy, so isn't shy around children when he's used to them.

TIA for any suggestions.

notevenamousie Wed 02-Sep-09 10:23:40

I think it's so hard to know what's the best for YOUR child because they are sll so different. But, that aside, I will tell u what worked for us. DD is 2.9. She has been in full time childcare since 13m because I am a single parent so I have to work so we can eat and be warm in the winter, etc.

I took her into work with me. She know where mummy goes. I occasionally have to do ward rounds at the weekend, unpaid, outside my hours. Fine, by the two year old has to come too. She met poorly ladies, ladies with new babies, ladies with babies in my tummy (I do obs and gynae as a career).

Every morning we have a chat about what DD will be doing at nursery - singing, eating, painting, playing, sleeping - in the same tone of absolute necessity as what mummy will be doing at work - looking after poorly ladies and making sure their babies are ok. Then we get up, dresses, pick up our bags, go to nursery, where dd declares,"It's ok, Mummy always comes back from work to get me" (she says it during the day, too.)

She cries a bit, "I NEED my cuggle and my kiss" then she finds that memory... mummy always comes back. It's been tough to get to this point - if I could afford to be SAHM I would be - but I feel confident in my girl.. Which means I get to work feeling of about me, too.

Long answer. Are short weeks tougher? Would a short day more often help? What do I know - I am only just getting there for me!

bethdivine Wed 02-Sep-09 10:40:06

thanks for this, it kind of reinforces what we're trying to do, we do talk about daddy's job, what he does in work, then what DS will do in nursery that day, and when mummy will pick him up - straight after afternoon tea, so he understands that much, but sometimes he refuses to talk about nursery even, but I will start linking it in with what DH does in the day and maybe take him in there (we're both NHS too, so that might help to make the link with helping people), thanks.

we've dropped him to a 3/4 day, but have been wondering about 2x half days instead, - have held back as the problem is dropping him off - once he's there he's fine, so has settled by lunchtime, but maybe he needs a couple of days so it's more familiar again and 2 shorter days might make him think it's not so bad as he goes home quickly to mummy, yes, maybe worth a try, thanks for the reply.

Totally with you on the SAHM front, would do same if we could, but DH's wages only cover mortgage and bills at the moment, so i need to work to feed us etc. thank goodness for tax family credit, childcare vouchers & nhs mat pay being so generous! grin

notevenamousie Wed 02-Sep-09 11:19:55

beth - I am glad our experience should help, its' not easy. We literally talk about our plans for the day from wake up to sleep - she needs that reinforcement of what's going on, and she likes equally well planned weekends - see X, go to the park, tEsco, watch Peppa Pig before tea - or whatever. It has taken months. I didn't ask I just went in as extra at the weekend and saw "my" patients, if aprop with dd (nice safe happy C/S) or left her with the nursing staff if not (difficult hysterectomy).

CAT me if talking would help.

bethdivine Wed 02-Sep-09 13:03:32

thanks, I think you've hit the nail on the head there, DS needs routine in his life and I guess it's not been so structured since DD arrived. - I'm not brilliant at being very structured, but need to get to a stage where there's enough of a pattern that he feels secure with it. Me and DH have decided we need to have more structure ourselves, so that it falls over into everything we do (and might just help our relationship at the same time!) and DS knows what to expect when.

notevenamousie Wed 02-Sep-09 18:06:12

Don't beat yourself up about lack of routine though beth, especially if you've a littler one to look after, and feed, etc (and a DH - there's just me and dd, so our life is more straightforward!) - tbh I don't think it's routine that helps dd so much just knowing what's going to happen ie. me telling her in advance and giving loads of warning - but maybe I just have a very chatty little one.

Sorry about all the typos.

I think my little one just is emotional - I am really really happy with her current nursery but there is still a little cry and a "cuggle" in the morning. Tonight she said to me "I stop crying at nursery mummy because I'm a big girl". Which reinforces that I am more worried than she is. Are you happy with the nursery? If you aren't then I agree with your plan to look around and start somewhere new. But if you are happy, maybe it's not the nursery, but just the way your DS feels at the moment, and will also pass.

hocuspontas Wed 02-Sep-09 18:20:50

He obviously wants to be at home with mummy and the baby!

Gut feeling - keep him at home. Pick a new nursery for him and dd to start together next year. He'll be the big brother then and it will be a different experience.

nurseryvoice Thu 03-Sep-09 16:55:31

Is there an option for him to attend 2 x short sessions eg 2. 5 hours? this will give you a break but wont be so traumatic for him.

we dread children who only attend one day a week its like they start the nursery again every week
Another tip, we had a a child who cried every morning, I suggested he came in a different door entrance, didnt cry!!!!

bethdivine Fri 04-Sep-09 22:03:46

thanks hocuspontas - my gut instinct when i started mat leave was to pull him out, I just wanted him at home with me (altho' not to the point where I show him this, I talk about it positively with him!) and I feel that I've faffed about for 5months now, could have saved loads of heartache and money in the meantime. Now though, I feel he needs the interaction with other children his own age and as he's made friends there I wonder if it's easier to keep him in rather than trying to get us all to toddler groups and stressing myself working things round DD's feeds. I wish I'd pulled him out as soon as I finished work!
nurseryvoice, yes I've considered 2 half days - at first it didn't seem worth it as he's ok once he's settled back in, so I thought there was no need to have two mornings where he gets upset, but it's the opposite isn't it in that if he goes twice a week, he'll probably settle more, plus will know mummy is coming soon. they do only have the one entrance though grin

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