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Not settling-should we take her out of nursery? Sorry, long(16 Posts)
Looking for some opinions please as we are at a bit of a loss. Our 2.3 yo DD has been going to nursery for one month, 2 mornings per week. She settled in ok(ish) but has always cried before we leave the house, on the way and up until the staff usually have to peel her off me. Things have gradually got worse and this morning was the worst ever- she tried to hide under the bed, tore her clothes off, and had a hysterical tantrum until she was sick everywhere when I was trying to wrestle her into the car seat. We went back inside and she was just clinging to me sobbing for ages. We went into nursery a bit later (she would only come in when I said Mummy would stay ) and spoke to her keyworker and the manager who were sympathetic but advised me to stick with it.
Our second baby is due in four weeks so our dilemma is whether to keep going with nursery or just take her out for now and try again when she is a bit older and the new baby is settled in.
But if we take her out now are we making a rod for our backs in the future when we try and put her back in?
Do you think some kids are just not ready for nursery at 2?
Any advice really appreciated, we really are in two minds of what is the best thing to do for her.
My son has been at nursery for about a month now too, he is 3.2 and there is no way he would have been ready any sooner. We had planned to start him at 2.5 but he just didn't show any signs of being ready so we didn't even bother sending him. Now he has been there a month, he has pretty much settled in (despite a few grumbles in the morning!) and when he did cry, it wasn't to the level you are experiencing.
I am really pleased he didn't go any sooner. Of course all children are different and it depends on siblings, friends they already have, personality etc, but if I was in your shoes I would take your little one out and start again a bit later. A few months can make a huge difference. If you don't NEED to send your child just yet, then keep them at home with you, 2.3 is still so young, and you can prepare them slowly to go later on with a few books and chats etc.
Just to add - just seen that your DS settled ok at first then had a bit of a regression - my son did too, but he got round it pretty fast (in about 2 weeks). Any longer than that and we would haev taken him out, I think, PFB as that might sound!
What days does she go? Because two mornings a week isn't that much for her to get familiar. If you've spread them out (say Tues & Fri) that's a really long time inbetween to someone who is only 2. If you have them together (say Tues, Wed) then it's even longer inbetween. It might sound ridiculous to up the amount she goes (to three mornings a week) but it is an option.
Some children just do take longer to settle though - my friend had a boy who was the same, he was fine going to nursery which he'd been going to part time since a baby (mum works part time) but took a whole term to settle in to pre-school. He is now fine.
Can you use these 4 weeks to help her settle? If it isn't absolutely necessary that she is there then I suppose you could take her out. Whether it's making a rod etc. I have no idea, in the end I'd listen to the teachers (a little) but listen to your gut parenting instinct more.
Our 2.6 year old DS is just settling in now, after 6 weeks. We had some tough goodbyes too, though not as bad as your experiences. I really do sympathise.
I think it is important to try and establish whether it is the nursery that she finds difficult or saying goodbye to you. If the former, then you've got a bigger problem on your hands, though I'd still say try and stick with it.
We noticed with DS he liked nursery once he got there but seemed to have a lot of anticipatory anxiery about going. So we had a little chat with him and explained we wanted him to go to make friends and do nice new things, but Daddy would always pick him up. We emphasised he goes for the morning, then comes back home with Daddy. He fixed on that and now says it every time- 'Daddy always picks me up, doesn't he?' We also don't do extended goodbyes, keeping it quite low-key.
That seems to have helped him a lot. It was clearly a separation anxiety, in that he didn't like having to leave us and got upset by having to say goodbye. He just needed reassurance he wasn't ever going to be left there (I suppose they don't have a good sense of time at this age, which doesn't help).So, I do think you should persevere but a reassuring talk may help.
She may not like this specific nursery
She may not be ready for nursery
Whichever taking her out now does not mean a rod for your own back at all. If she's not ready now try her again in a year.
She may be happier in a different childcare setting e.g. a childminder if there is one available.
My ds was 3yo when he did this and everyone told me he would get better/I shouldn't pander to him/he was fine when I wasn't there etc etc (he would be in tears the night before if he knew he was going the next day). So I kept him in for a year. He got progressively worse. I took him out for the next year (though faced a lot of pressure against me doing so). I was told I had made a rod for my own back, he would never settle into school etc etc.
He settled into school fine, no problems. He just wasn't ready for preschool.
The one thing I really regret doing was forcing him to stay there for a whole year.
Also don't underestimate the stress of you having a baby on her - while it will benefit her to have a sibling, it will affect her to start with.
I actually think if you have the option I would take her out for now. I don't see that it would be making a rod, well, mainly because I don't believe in rods! This does sound like more than the usual separation anxiety.
Have you thought about looking at a childminder perhaps? I don't think DS would have settled as well in a nursery environment as he did with his childminder, on our first visit he just jumped right in and played, whereas on the nursery visits we did he clung to me for about half an hour before he would go and look, despite there being lots of exciting things to play with and activities etc to do. He only had settling in sessions of one two-hour and one four-hour, a week apart, and he was fine on the first day I left him. He did cry when I left but I asked CM to text me when he settled and it was always within 5 minutes.
Also, this is a bit random, but if you're having problems getting her to settle without you, really avoid any use of the technique where you threaten to leave DCs somewhere or start walking off without them etc - it's one of my bugbears, because I think it's hugely confusing for a child to be told "It's okay, I'll come back and get you in a few hours, you will have fun here by yourself!" and then on another occasion "If you don't come with us now, we will leave you here by yourself" with the implication that you're not coming back/it's a terrible thing to be left alone.
I would take her out again. In my experience some children just aren't ready at 2.
I went to nursery at 2.6 ish and apparently hated it. I just wanted my Mum! After lots of talking, with the nursery workers promising my Mum that I'd settle, she decided to take me out. When I was 3 I went to a pre-school and loved it!
It might be that your daughter isn't ready, it might be that she doesn't like that nursery, but the fact is she's not happy and if she doesn't have to be there maybe you could try again in a few months?
What's she like while she's there? Not just leaving you, after you've gone does she settle and play?
i would take her out. she is little, and she knows someething big is about to happen.
if she is unhappy going now then it will be even worse when the new baby is born and she has to deal with that AND going to nursery IMO.
you aren;t making a rod for your own back, you're listening to your child and doing what is best for her.
I think I would take her out. 4 weeks isn't long enough to get settled, and the baby coming will be a disruption to her and put her back. It would be lovely for you to have a couple of mornings childcare when the new baby comes, but I think you have left the nursery a bit late for your dd.
I wouldn't bother about the rod for your own back thing - she is little and won't remember the nursery in 6 months time. So if you feel okay about having her at home, just keep her off.
OP do you think DD is worried about the new baby? My DS1 went to playgroup 2 mornings a week at 2.5 and loved it for 3 or 4 months by which time I was about 6mth pregnant. He then started saying he didn't want to go and did the same crying in the car thing / holding my leg at the door etc etc. He couldn't explain why and there were no problems with the staff or other children as far as we could tell. I ended up staying there with him most of the time as he loved all the activities but just didn't want me to disappear! I put it down to anxiety about the baby. It really ramped up as my bump grew and we started talking about me going to hospital etc.
Unfortunately I don't have any real solutions. As I said I spent quite a lot of time 'helping' at playgroup and then managed to get to the stage where I could leave him happily for a short while by showing exactly him when I would be back on the clock - and sticking to it!
The good news is he started at nursery 5 afternoons a week at 3.3 and had no issues at all. Maybe because by that time he had a brother or maybe due to his age. It's hard to tell - but if she is getting that distressed and you can't get to the bottom of it maybe you are best to take her out for a while. I know how horrible it feels. Good luck.
Unless you need her to go for work or for your sanity then take her out. Nursery isn't compulsory!
Thank you so much to everyone for your advice. We have handed in notice at the nursery and are going to keep trying for the month but if she still is not settling we will take her out. Not ideal but she doesn't have to be there, it was more to give me a break with the newborn but we will survive!
Thanks again, really appreciate all the responses.
tbh in some ways it's easier when you're all at home when you have a newborn. admittedly you don't have as much time to rest and relax, but at least you don't have deadlines and have to be out of the house to drop off and pick up...
My dd never really settled at nursery, did instantly at Pre school. I wish now that I hadn't kept her there for a year and had taken her out. She was just under two when she started.
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