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Nursery - moving groups

(8 Posts)
ClumsyParents Tue 25-Nov-14 09:35:05

DS is 15 months old and has been attending nursery since he was 5.5 months, initially just one day a week for about three months but now around 4 days per week. He loves going to nursery and apart from a very clingy period recently (when he was permanently glued to be at home - that was fun!) he is happy to go to nursery and doesn't get upset when I leave.

He has become VERY attached to two members of staff in the baby room. This was obviously great to begin with as it meant he was happy and content at nursery.

He has been walking since 12 months and is very active and mobile. He really needs to go up to the next room. Herein lies the problem. They tried a couple of months ago to do settling in sessions in the toddler room and the first couple, where he was accompanied by one of his favourites went well, very well. Unfortunately the next one wasn't good - the member of staff, who he is attached to, left him in the toddler room for a while, this being the next stage of the settling process, and he screamed blue murder.

Since then, they have been unable to get him to go into the room without him become extremely distressed. They stopped the settling in process and decided to keep him in the baby room for a while longer as they felt although he was physically ready to move, perhaps he wasn't emotionally ready.

Since then, he has become overly attached to the two members of staff; - He cries when they leave the room and is suspicious of any new members of staff in the room. and for his own development (he's bored) and the other babies (he's trampling on them!) He is relying on the staff for entertainment because he is bored.

They've tried taking him for settling in sessions again to the toddler room but the same problem, he becomes distressed until he is taken back out, even if his favourites stay with him in the room.

His Keyworker (one of the staff members he is attached to) has suggested he might need to, in effect, be thrown in at the deep end. They think that having her and her colleague around him in the toddler room is making him worse and he may settle once he realises that he isn't going to be taken out of the room. They think it may take a week or so of him being upset but that it will be short term pain for long term gain. They think he just doesn't like change - it took him a while to settle when he first started nursery.

We've planned for me to take him in later this week and to drop him off at the toddler room (rather than his Keyworker as he has the negative association of her taking him.) However, the thought of him being so distressed all morning whilst in effect trying to force him to accept the new room is killing me.

What on earth to do?! I had an awful nights sleep last night worrying about DS being really distressed at nursery, and him being taken away from those he is attached to.

I've spoken to the Keyworker this morning and we've agreed that I'm going to collect him a bit earlier today and take him for a little visit to the toddler room to see how that goes, whether having Mummy there helps. Perhaps do the same on Wednesday, but I may not be able to get back in time as I've got a longer day. Then the plan is to possibly drop him off in that room on Thursday.

Does anyone have any advice?

I should add that the nursery are being great, they are happy to do things in whichever way I think is best for DS, but at the same time, they are the experts, not me. They aren't trying to force things but they can see that he needs to move up in the group for his own development - I can see that he needs to because of the other babies too.

Any advice for a tearful Mum??


PS sorry this is soooo long!

AllTheUserNamesAreTaken Tue 25-Nov-14 09:38:19

I should add that the Keyworker, who is also the Manager, has said they are more than happy for her or his other favourite to work in the toddler room for a few weeks until he settles, if needs be.

letsplaynice Tue 25-Nov-14 10:55:57

The option in your 2nd post would be far preferable to me. Maybe they could start by just popping into the room to get things / borrow toys, then take them back.

AllTheUserNamesAreTaken Tue 25-Nov-14 11:22:25

To me too letsplay but the problem is that he is really distressed even when the Keyworker is present with him in the toddler room. I think he has negative associations with that room now and the baby room is like a security blanket to him.

It's so hard

letsplaynice Tue 25-Nov-14 11:35:48

I'd start with a few weeks of tiny visits a couple of times a day, collecting and borrowing toys giving messages never really going in just and never being put down just collecting and leaving

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Nov-14 12:07:39

See if he can spend as much time as getting to know the staff in his new room between now and Thursday (as well as what you're intending to do) but honestly I'd just go for it. You know nothing bad will happen to him in the toddler room, he doesn't, but this putting him in, letting him get distressed, taking him out sounds like the death of a thousand cuts. Staff in the new room should be ready to give him A LOT of 1:1 attention for first few days though.

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Nov-14 12:09:16

I also think the popping in and out thing is likely to have him in a state of high stress/vigalence now he has such a bad association - he'll just be constantly on edge.

AllTheUserNamesAreTaken Tue 25-Nov-14 12:24:03

I think you're right Barbarian about the state of high stress/vigilance, he apparently starts to get stressed now as soon as they go to take him out of the baby room for a visit to the toddlers.

I guess he is also at that age now where he is able to understand, scream blue murder and they will take me back to the baby room as that is what has been happening.

Maybe he does need to just go into the room from Thursday but I wonder if it would be best for his Keyworker to work in that room until he eventually settles so at least he has her present, for reassurance and comfort even though he doesn't want to be in the room and will scream, or whether that will just prolong the agony as once he finally gets used to the room and his Keyworker, she will then leave him, so a further change.

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