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anxiety for my 10month old starting nursery

(10 Posts)
lachi Thu 17-Sep-09 13:50:48

it seemed like a good idea for me to go back to work an extra day a week and he is so sociable thought he would benefit from being around other children more....but now having anxiety that he is too young and one full day p week is too long and too spaced out for his brain to cope. He has started getting separation anxiety too so he now has a total meltdown when i leave him during his settling-in periods at nursery. Am i doing the wrong thing?...will he be emotionally scarred by this....how many thousands of times will I ask myself this question during his childhood??!!
Anyone got words of wisdom??

LisaDrew Thu 17-Sep-09 14:25:21

He WILL be fine. He's at the age where he does know you are leaving (whereas if say you'd left him at 6 months he wouldnt have registered) and it's still a strange environment, but he'll adjust once he gets used to the new routine & 'm sure have lots of fun too. I left my 10 month old with a nanny (different I know) full days 4 days a week and it took her about 2 weeks to get used to it & then she was fine. Dont beat yourself up, I assure you that he will not be scarred for life & I'm sure as soon as you go he cheers up. And yes you will have 10001 guilt trips over the next few years...we all do ;)

lachi Thu 17-Sep-09 14:52:51

thanks LisaDrew that helps alot.. (smile)

NicciG Thu 17-Sep-09 15:00:16

I left my baby at 6 months and initially, as I'm freelance, the job that I took was 5 days a week, although only 2-3 were at nursery - As LD says, at 6 months they don't really register and the only one with separation anxiety was me. I was gutted to be leaving her and felt so guilty. However gradually I realised that she gained so much from being with the other children all day and doing activities which I probably wouldn't get round to doing with her.

I don't currently work 5 days but it does vary from nothing some weeks, 2 days other and some weeks I am full time. At about 1 year my baby (who is now 16 months) began to go through separation anxiety when I left her. I was surprised as I thought because she had always known the nursery and the staff, that this wouldn't happen. In fact I think it is a phase that they all go through. It lasted a couple of months and now she loves it again. Some mornings she gets a bit sad when I leave her there but once I am out the door she is fine. Other mornings she runs to her key worker for a hug. the best thing is when I go to pick her up. I get to see her enjoying herself before she notices I am there, and then I get the best hug in the world!

Gernerally, she is a bright, happy, sociable little girl. I choose to send her even when I'm not working because a. she needs the continuity and b. I really believe that she is getting a lot out of it.

Anyway, just to add that you are doing the right thing and that in the long run the time apart will be good for you and your baby

Wattinger Thu 17-Sep-09 15:18:44

Bless you Lachi, I remember feeling just like that when DS started nursery at 11 months old. He went 3 days a week and it did take months before he stopped crying when I left him. I used to wait outside and the little monkey did stop crying very soon after I left though!

My friend's DD started nursery 1 day a week at 12 months old and has now upped her sessions to 2 per week. She felt that her baby was not settling due to the 6 day gap between her nursey sessions. She now does a full day on Tues and a half day on Fri and there are a lot less tears! Might be something to discuss with nursery if your DS is taking ages to settle?

lachi Thu 17-Sep-09 19:22:07

thank you NicciG...these are the exact reasons i want to send my son to nursery...so that he gets the benefits of being around other children and doing activities i may well not get round to do amongst the daily chores. v reassuring to know other parents go through the same thoughts and emotions.

Have thought about another session spaced out in the week Wattinger...it does make sense. thanks

i am new to mumsnet and am just loving all this feedback....thank you peeps/

btw what is DS and DD??...just need to get on top of the lingo here.

lachi Thu 17-Sep-09 19:23:06

dont worry about replying i just saw the acronyms/abbreviations section and it is coming clear

cookielove Thu 17-Sep-09 19:36:43

i work in a nursery and would also advise picking up another day, as children do find it harder to settle if they only come for one day. Some children are fine with one day and others really struggle. Extra days encourage continuity, and strengthen bonds with new carers.

Can i also suggest not leaving him for long days to begin with maybe for the first day pick him up at three, then the next a bit later. When children are left for the first time you want them to pick them up when they aren't tired and ratty, so a nice short day leaving on happy note can make them more acceptable at coming again.

Oh and the first time you leave him he may be really settled and not cry much but the second time really cry, just as warning (although this may not happen at all)

ejvw Sun 20-Sep-09 21:54:45

Sorry to put a dampener on the positive posts, but I'm afraid I don't agree that we can say that he will be fine and it won't do lasting damage. There's actually quite a lot of research by child psychologists that indicates that nursery, while great for the over 3s (lots of activities and social interaction etc), is actually quite damaging for little ones because they need the one to one attention of a parent. I sympathise entirely lachi as am in very similar boat - just trying to settle my 10.5 month old DS into nursery on 3 days a week basis - so far not going well so started reading up about it. Now wish I'd done that before choosing childcare. If interested, suggest looking at book by Steve Biddulph (child psychologist) called "Raising Babies". Obviously it's not often practical or financially possible to be at home with children until they're 3, but on basis of my own instincts (which I don't think are just guilt) and the various research quoted by this book, I'm now trying to change my childcare to two much shorter days a week with a childminder instead of the three full days at nursery I was planning... Best of luck, whatever you do though.

NicciG Thu 24-Sep-09 10:47:24

I have to say that I really disagree with you ejvw. I can't claim to be an expert or to have read lots of books on nurseries but I learned very early on when DD was born that every book I read would have a completely different story. One would focus on routine as the only way to raise a contented little baby, whereas another would say that you have to feed on demand and let them find their own routine. I found that I just had to judge what was right for my baby.

I'm sure that it would be easy to find lots of articles saying that nurseries are bad and plenty more saying that they are actually good for helping your baby to socialise. I am absolutely sure that a good nursery with a few caring staff overseeing things is better than one nanny who is a bit lax - not to say that there is anything wrong with having a nanny and most are brilliant, just that I felt more comfortable knowing that there was more than one person watching.

I think most children take a little while to settle into nursery and there is definitely an age where some separation anxiety kicks in but mostly they are happy again two seconds after you walk out the door. If they aren't perhaps they need a little longer settling in time with you there, or less time between sessions so that they don't have to get used to it all over again after a long absence. Some nurseries are better than others so it might be a case of finding one you feel comfortable with. If there seems to be a real problem I wonder if it might have something to do with even projecting your own anxiety about leaving them in a nursery onto your child, which could then make them more nervous.

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