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Nursery...illness and distress...please tell me it gets better.

(30 Posts)
PumpkinAndHoneyBunny Wed 27-Mar-13 19:04:44

Second day of daycare for dc1 whose 16 months old. It's going horribly. She's so ill and seems to have caught everything going - vommitting, cold, cough, eye infection etc.

Everytime we approach the doors she becomes hysterical and staff have old me she doesn't stop crying all day until I pick her up 9 hours later. She won't eat anything except a bottle of milk and won't nap.

I feel like the worst mother in the world and am happy and cheery to her face but crying on the inside.

Please tell me it gets better?

mermaid101 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:26:33

Pumpkin - it gets better. A lot better. I could have written your post about six months ago. My Dd was younger, but she didn't settle as well/quickly as I had anticipated. I felt terrible. Really, really terrible.

It is fine now. She seems to really like nursery. She always seems happy and engaged when I pick her up.

Please don't feel bad. I used to have to sit at work and say - out loud and several times - "DD is safe. She is looked after. She won't come to harm". It helped. A little. A colleague used to come past everyday to tell me how bad she felt when she put her DCs in nursery. I made her repeat the same story every day for weeks. Her DCs are now in their 20s and totally well adjusted. It is not the worst thing in the world. She comes home every night to you.

Massive sympathy. I know how you feel. It will pass. It will all be OK in the end. You are doing what is right for your family.

ScillyCow Wed 27-Mar-13 19:27:56

Bloody hell - she cries all day??

Is there any chance of taking her out until she is a bit older?

missorinoco Wed 27-Mar-13 19:40:38

Yes, it gets better. The illnesses went on and off for a few months with DC1 though. Everytime he got over one thing he caught another. Usually mild, but frustrating. Good immune system now though. He cried lots at the start. I almost wished they would play it down, I felt so torn. Their honesty did mean when they said he was settled I knew they weren't fobbing me off.

Good luck.

PumpkinAndHoneyBunny Wed 27-Mar-13 20:07:43

Scilly I'm pregnant with dc2 so if I leave now I'll get no maternity pay and won't be able to cope financially on just one salary. Dh leaving work is not an option either.

We can't afford a nanny and am off on mat leave in 4/5 month time so not great to find a childminder at this stage and put dd through yet more change.

Previously mil was looking after dd and that's as now fallen though

There is no other option. What upsets me is that all this crying will go to waste as we'll be taking her out once I can leave work (can't afford to have childcare once I'm not working).

Feel horrendous and have no rl support. Work are angry when I have to book holiday when she's unwell and none of my friends have children.

ScillyCow Wed 27-Mar-13 20:34:16

Gawd that must be so hard.

Is there no way you can get MIL to step up again? COuld you cut back and forgo the maternity pay so that you and DD could be at home together for a while before DC2 is born?

Seems such a shame to put her through all that (and 9 hours is a very long day too) for a few months worth of wages.

KnottedAnchorChief Wed 27-Mar-13 20:34:20

Oh pumpkin this sounds really hard for you. No advice from me I'm afraid but just wanted to say I know how you feel.

My 4yr old DS has already had 3 different childminders, a Playgroup setting that has changed buildings and will start a new nursery setting after Easter. This is all due to various changes in circumstances beyond our control and we have no family to help. DS doesn't want to go to the new nursery (I'm returning to work after maternity leave) and like you I feel that all the effort it will take to settle him will be pointless as its only 6 months until he starts school. So then another big change for him!

Dont even start me with dc 2! I have found childcare so incredibly stressful.

You are doing your very best. As you say your dd is safe and being cared for by people who know what they are doing and who are being honest with you.

Does she have one key person at nursery who she can develop a relationship with? Can you arrange regular catch ups with that person and develop a plan together for settling her? That might make you feel a little more in control at least.

Meanwhile if work are being arsey, that's really out of order and I'd be telling them so.

PumpkinAndHoneyBunny Wed 27-Mar-13 20:43:21

scilly mil refuses to have dd gain and we literally couldn't afford to pay the rent if I left now. As it stands I will be getting full pay from now til jan '14 them smp so have a real chance to save. If I left now we have no savings and one salary which means we couldn't pay rent, plus Living costs. We need my salary then mat pay o be able to afford me having any maternity time off.

I feel horrific and like I am putting her through hell.

Have say here and sobbed all evening.

PumpkinAndHoneyBunny Wed 27-Mar-13 20:47:51

Thank you knotted the nursery seems lovely but there's not one key person, lots of different workers and when I come I collect I see her walking around with her arms up to anyone calling mama mama. I feel so f*cking sh*t it's unbelievable. I would LOVE to give up work believe m but I can't it's financially not an option in anyway. We've gone over it time and again and. Just can't afford to do it. Have begged dh so any times and we've done the ATMs we can't afford it.

I take it this isn't normal then? Dd crying all day for 9 hours to the point of losing her voice? I was hoping someone woud as it would all get better within a week but looks like it just won't.

ScillyCow Wed 27-Mar-13 20:52:49

Presumably nursery must be costing a fair bit?

I am sure you've looked at it every which way and if this is the only option then that is that, isn't it. Unless you move somewhere cheaper?

I'm really sorry not to have more constructive advice sad. Keep the thread bumped and perhaps someone will come along soon with things that helped them - I am sure you can't be the only mum in this situation.

Chesterado Wed 27-Mar-13 20:54:37

It will get better! We had a rough start with dd. can you and dh use holiday strategically to start her off with half days then build up to a full day gradually? This was our fall back after a few terrible days and we got there in the end. She is now 2 and cries when she has to come home!

Puddlet Wed 27-Mar-13 20:55:54

You are doing the very best you can. It's so tough having to leave a child but keeping a roof over your family's head and having enough money to pay the bills is all part of being a good parent. But it's horrible when head and heart say different things.

Things may well get better quite quickly - perhaps you could ask the nursery if they can allocate one person to be your dds key worker? Also does she have a comforter or favourite toy that she can take with her?

Fairylea Wed 27-Mar-13 21:01:11

Maybe an unpopular view but could you not get in debt (credit cards or loan) to cover your wages or bridge the gap if you started maternity early or took unpaid leave?

I have to say it seems a crazy situation to persevere with if it's not a long term thing.

Are you going back to work after dc2? If so I'd keep dd in nursery (maybe another one) 2 afternoons a week to keep the continuity going so you don't have to resettle all over again.

I'd also look for another nursery. At her age you'd expect there to be at least one key worker.

WipsGlitter Wed 27-Mar-13 21:05:29

My kids have been in nursery from they were little so I'm pro nursery, but this isn't right. You need a key worker, your daughter should not be that upset, if the staff are saying she's crying then it must be bad.

You say it's the second day - how did the settling in go?

The illness thing - yes, it will settle down!

dozily Wed 27-Mar-13 21:06:13

Dd1 found the first month at nursery tough and I felt awful and wished I could give up work. Then something clicked and she loved it from then on.

Things will improve, they really will, but it does sound as if nursery need to change something now- 9 hours of crying is not ok. Insist on having an allocated keyworker (I assumed this was standard?) and work out ways of helping her settle in. Is there any way she can do half days for a while, or for you or Dh to stay in the room with her for a few sessions?

It's tough for you and her sad but you'll make it work somehow ((((hugs))))

KnottedAnchorChief Wed 27-Mar-13 21:06:21

If you really have no other option to take her out, and I totally understand your situation, then I would go back to the the nursery manager. You really need to feel that some positive action is happening for your own peace of mind.

I'm still thinking you should ask them about developing a plan for settling her and having one person who you can talk to day to day about how things are going. Most nurseries I've visited have one person who is assigned to each child as a key contact and who will write up their progress reports etc. Can you persist and nicely ask them to consider this? I'm quite sure your dd won't be the only child they've had who has needed a bit more time to get into the swing of nursery life so they must have strategies in place.

It will be ok though, it really will. It's just a horrible thing to go through in the short term.

delilah88 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:27:32

This may be controversial but you could opt for a real lifestyle shake-up. You don't sound like you're wild about your current work environment and the nursery thing is terrible, you shouldn't have to feel like that (either of you -- and I am a working woman so not a sahm perspective).
Would you and your DH consider really changing things up? Moving somewhere much cheaper, perhaps in the countryside, you changing jobs to something part time and local, or freelancing? These feelings aren't going to go away, and I can tell you'll want to pick the kids up from school etc. as they get older.
I think this is prompting you to change your whole lifestyle, for the better! Sometimes we have to. It could be exciting.

stella10 Thu 28-Mar-13 04:26:38

I couldn't leavIe a 17month old to be upset with strangers for 9hours no way.there must be a way around it. I've only just started leaving my 2.5yr old for 2hours but I wouldn't if she didn't enjoy it over long maternity wil you get? And will it mean the new baby going through the same so you can return to work? If you weren't earning and survived on your dp's pay would you not get tax credit help? Worth looking into as we do and we get by on one wage. Doesn't sound like your employers are too considerate of you and sounds like your dd needs you. Although is it literaly day 2 for her? I'd give it a week atleast to see if she settled but I wouldn't be able to leave her wen she's not well or she's bound to just want-need u.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Thu 28-Mar-13 08:00:53

TBH OP it really doesn't sound normal at all.

DS has been in nursery since 6 months old. He has always had a key worker, they have always cuddled him as soon as he cries, huge detail given about his day, phone me if distressed and unable to settle.... He went through a bit of a separation anxiety phase about 2yo but always settled within 5 mins of me leaving him, other than that he adores nursery. There are little niggles, of course, but I trust them to look after DS and he is happy to be left.

If DS had cried 9 hours straight, I wouldn't have taken him back. All my friends have kids in different nurseries and ive never ever heard of a child being left to cry all day. That is NOT right. She shouldn't have to be walking round trying to find some comfort. Unless you have very good reason for trusting that particular nursery, I'd find a different one or use a childminder. 4-5 months is a long time, and your dd could still maybe go 1 day a week when you're off on mat leave to give you time with the baby and give her consistency. If she's only had 1 day at nursery she'll hopefully forget it quickly. But be prepared for difficulty wherever you place her to begin with after that unfortunate start.

Good luck. Everyone feels dreadful when first using childcare, I cried my eyes out, but this really doesn't sound good, for either of you.

KnottedAnchorChief Thu 28-Mar-13 09:51:50

Hi OP, been thinking about you this morning and hope you and dd have a better day smile

Notsoyummymummy1 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:14:12

I would definitely look into getting a child minder - they tend to be less expensive and she will get better care in a home environment. Your local children's centre may well be able to recommend one. It sounds like this nursery isn't right for her xxx

Tailtwister Thu 28-Mar-13 10:27:59

I agree, look at different nurseries or a childminder if you can. If that's not an option, I would do the following.

See if you can phase her in doing shorter hours. Can you or your DH use holidays or parental leave to do this? Maybe just half days for a couple of weeks? If you can't do this, can your MIL step up in the short term?

Both mine started nursery around about 1.5y and it was hard at first. The illness thing is a real nightmare as they catch everything going. I would expect a child to settle eventually though and the nursery should have a strategy in place for babies settling in. Ask them what they advise moving forward, as your DD is finding it hard.

Lastly, if she does stay and settle don't remove her completely during your mat leave as you'll have to go through the whole thing over again. Reduce her days, but keep her going 1 or 2 days for consistency.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Thu 28-Mar-13 10:42:01

My DD adores school but doesn't want to go if she is ill and cries all day. should settle when she doesn't get sick so often but I think if at all possible you should keep her off a bit if she is sick and send her when she feels well so she learns to enjoy it

Not easy though I know.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:45:02

This sounds awful. DD was 20 months when she started nursery - first couple of weeks she was distressed, tired and poorly. However not to the point where she was upset all day. She sobbed when I left her, and I completely understand how upsetting this is for you too. The first week in particular was so bad, I seriously wondered whether nursery was right for her.

I would second those who have suggested speaking to the nursery or looking for an alternative. When choosing mine, I went for a very small village nursery, so there are not loads of staff or children. So in the baby room, there are not more than 9 babies. She has a key worker who sees to all her needs, who assured me I could ring nursery at any time to see how she was doing. I have been in during the day for activities and do see other younger babies upset during the day for periods but the staff are doing everything they can to make sure they are okay.

Hoping it gets better for you both. It did for DD after just two weeks.

lifesobeautiful Thu 28-Mar-13 13:44:40

Is there any way you could take a few days off work until her illness has cleared up a bit? Because that's probably why she's sobbing all day. A new place - and feeling really unwell - horrible! I'd be weeping all day! I would then try it for a little bit longer. If she's still crying all day when she's better - and a week has passed - then perhaps you could consider different childcare options.

My DS (now 2.5) hated his first week of nursery (he was there two days from 18 months) - but it just got better and better. And it's been brilliant for him meeting new friends and socialising. I felt AWFUL leaving him crying at first. But it soon passed. Admittedly he didn't cry all day...but perhaps she'll stop that if she's not sick.

And please don't feel like the worst mother in the world - you're trying your best! There's nothing wrong with your little girl being looked after by someone else other than you - it's nothing to feel guilty about. It's only a recent thing in western society where the nuclear family is left alone to care for their children with no help. In many places, and in times past, you'd have huge extended families helping you! You'd be going off to work while your sister/mother/aunt helped care for your children.

So again, get her better, then try again, if it's still a nightmare, reconsider your options. Just give her lots of cuddles and loving in the mean time! Good luck.

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