Will DD benefit from going to a nursery?(28 Posts)
I have a bit of a dilemma - not a life threatening one at all and not one that is bothering me too much but I'm thinking about it and I need some words of wisdom and want to hear of people's experience so I can make a decision. I am also aware that I'm extremely lucky to be in this situation and have a choice...
DD is 14 months old. She's great, active (nearly walking), eating well, interacts well with children and adults (I've gone to baby groups since she was 2 weeks old) and generally a content little baby (other than being v frustrated at not quite walking and her flaming teeth are doing my head, as well as hers )
We have the option of sending her to nursery. My DP works in education and he thinks she would benefit from a half day or day a week - to be away from me and learn in a different environment.
I see his point and to a degree, I agree that it might benefit her and also me as I can have a set time each week to do my work (I work from home, part time hours and fit them in around naps, evenings or if MIL helps out).
But I also feel guilty that I'd be sending her to someone else to care for, when I can do it myself.
I've also had a discussion this week with a friend who owns a nursery and she advised that it would benefit DD at this age. She advised that she could see the difference in children who have been to nursery, even just for a day, compared to those that haven't, by the time they go to pre-school. This is more or less what DP said too. With her being a summer baby (August), it is something that those in education look at in terms of progress etc.
I hope I'm making sense
So, we're in this brilliant position whereby we CAN afford to use childcare or not (I know this isn't a choice for some and I'm completely aware of that) but I just don't know what to do for the best of my DD.
LapineDeBois - in my experience (teacher), sending your child to a nursery doesn't make it school ready. School is very different. Some children who come from nursery are settling straight away in reception, others cry their hearts out for weeks on end. It all comes down to the individual child, how secure it feels, etc.
My dd went to nursery for about five months when she was 1 and it was godawful for both of us - that was when I requalified as a CM so I could stay at home - now she's 3.5 and has just started pre-school. No tears, no long settling-in period, she just shoots off every morning and loves it. So I would say that being at home will not affect how ready they are for school/pre-school. When they're ready, they're ready.
Both my DC started nursery at 6m and were up to full time by 9m through necessity. I have observed the following...
- Neither have experienced separation anxiety or major crying upon being left as they got used to it from a very early age. Those who started at about the 1yr mark seemed to consistently struggle for several weeks or even months after joining, with heartbreaking goodbyes in the morning drops.
- Both of my children have been early in nearly all their major physical and non physical developments. I am not sure this is anything to do with being at nursery as equally I have seen children at nursery who have been with my DC since they started who are at the other end of the spectrum. Most of it comes down to the child I think.
- My son is not old enough to develop friendships yet, but certainly my daughter had little friends from before the age of 2, and by the age of 2 was regularly talking about her friends when not there.
- From quite young (18m maybe) my DD definitely showed an understanding of social rules, such as waiting her turn on the slide etc, which I am pretty sure she got from nursery. Often in the park or soft play she would react quite indignantly when another child pushed past and didn't follow these rules which always made me chuckle, at an 18m looking so miffed.
- Comparing DD to non nursery going friends children, her table manners were significantly better as they instil these at nursery from a fairly young age which made trips to restaurants a dream. I guess this is possible to achieve at home, just that I didn't see it happen in reality.
So while I think there is no real need developmentally to start a child at nursery at any particular age, I do think there are benefits of starting early, certainly for some children. A lot will come down to temprement and maybe I just got lucky that both of mine have thrived in that environment.
With regards having a break yourself, I personally think that is vital for every parent (we should be defined by more than just the parent label IMO) but then I was never cut out to be a SAHM so I am biased on that one.
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