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DS2 (10mo) not settling at nursery - help!

(8 Posts)
runnervt Wed 23-Sep-09 18:04:13

He's had about 9 visits and he just cries and is quite upset the whole time sad. He's only got another couple of visits until I'm back at work. The longest I've left him is about 1.5 hours. The staff say he's getting a bit better because he's thinking about playing with toys but still crying.

Any advice? He's going to be there two days a week from 6th Oct.

runnervt Wed 23-Sep-09 20:38:31


runnervt Thu 24-Sep-09 09:00:09

I'm thinking of doing half days for the first week but I'm concerned that will just involve him crying for 4 hours.

angel1976 Thu 24-Sep-09 10:34:25

10 months old is classic separation anxiety age. My advice is to keep at it. It does take time for them to get used to their carers and nursery settings. My DS started nursery at 11 months. We did settling in for 2 weeks and he pretty much was in tears most of the time. After I started work full-time and he was in nursery all day, he was quite tearful and had to be cuddled and have one-on-one most days and he would cry when he sees me. It was hard! But he is now 19 months old and loves nursery. When I go pick him up, he runs over to give me a cuddle and then runs off to play. I have difficulty convincing him to come home most days (have to bundle him screaming and crying into the car hmm)! If you have faith in the nursery, then I would keep at it. In my experience, it is better to just leave him (if the staff are happy to deal with him and call you if they feel he is getting too upset) than stay with him for a little while as that lures them into a false sense of security and they get even more upset when you do leave. Have little routine - tell your DS you love him and you will be back later to pick him up and give him a kiss and leave... Good luck! It was very hard but I am so glad we persevered.

runnervt Thu 24-Sep-09 13:42:46

angel1976 Thanks for that. I guess I will just have to do it and he will get used to it. We must have been visiting for 6 weeks now and haven't really made any progress.

angel1976 Thu 24-Sep-09 14:24:12

Are you with him during the time he is in there? I only asked because I wanted a two-week settling in period (as opposed to most nurseries that only do one week) because I thought that would ease the transition for DS. In fact, I think it did the opposite. It was only when I was forced to leave him there (had to go to work!) for longer periods without me there that he seemed to make progress in settling in. I know it seems hard but he is little and he won't remember.

We went on holiday recently for 2 weeks and we left DS in the kids' club for two hours a day. This time we were fairly strict with ourselves. We spent some time with him in the kids' club on the first day to make sure we and DS were happy with his carers and surroundings. After that, we just left him every morning with a kiss, a goodbye and the promise to come back. He cried on and off for the first week but was happy by the second week. Good luck!

runnervt Thu 24-Sep-09 21:46:37

The 9ish visits he's had have been spread over 5 weeks and recently I've been leaving him for an hour or so. I think it will take leaving him for a fair length of time before he'll make any progress but I don't think I can bring myself to do that until I have to (i.e. when I'm back at work). I'm starting to really dread my first few days at work.

Thanks for your thoughts angel1976

angel1976 Thu 24-Sep-09 22:14:43

runnervt - I get where you are coming from... My friend started her two DDs in the nursery attached to her work at around the same time. They had a very strict settling in schedule for the week before they start full-time. It looked something like this:

Day 1 - Parent stay with child for an hour in nursery
Day 2 - Parent to stay with child for an hour and to leave child for an hour (while they stay in other room)
Day 3 - Child to do half day while parent goes off somewhere nearby where they are contactable and able to collect child if child is very upset
Day 4 - Child to stay for half day with lunch
Day 5 - First full day

In a way, I think that's harsher but it does work a lot better in settling your child faster. Before DS started nursery, lots of people already said to me it would be easier to settled DS if he did 4 full days a week as opposed to 2 days a week spread out... And it's very true! Take care, you do what you are comfortable with!

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