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2.4 year old suddenly crying at nursery drop-off

(6 Posts)
inconceivableme Tue 20-Jan-15 09:48:33

DS has been fine at nursery since he started at just over a year old. He does 2.5 days a week.

Aside from the usual initial settling in time, he adjusted well and seemed happy there. He started in the baby room then moved to another room at about 18mths and has been in the 2-5 room since he was 2. He moved up happily and was keen to be with the older kids. He would leave without tears almost always, until just before the last Christmas break when he became very tearful and drop-off, clinging onto us. This has continued and is getting worse if anything. It's really hard leaving him. Now, most days, he'll say not long after getting up in the morning 'I don't go to nursery today?' and if it's a day that he's due to go, and I say this, he says 'no, I dont want to go!' sad
No idea why this has happened. There have been no big changes as far as I know. I thought it was caused by Christmas disruption that would soon settle once back in routine but it seems not.
Sometimes he settles v quickly after we leave but other times he takes longer and even his favourite staff or toys don't calm or distract him.
What else could be causing it and what should I be asking nursery?

UrchinMadeOfAcne Tue 20-Jan-15 09:51:11

I'm in the same boat. Except it's been going on for much longer.

It's awful isn't it. Am considering taking him out.

watching thread with interest.

Watching with interest.

Millionprammiles Tue 20-Jan-15 10:47:03

Hmmm it must be the time of year of something because our dd (2.6) has started being very clingy at drop off since just before Xmas too (after 18 mths of running in happily).

We've talked to dd and asked her if anything is wrong, she's simply said she wants mummy and daddy to stay with her. So she wants to go to nursery but wants us there with her.

Have you tried asking ds what it is he doesn't like about nursery? Have you asked the staff what he's like during the day (ie playing happily, joining in, eating/sleeping normally etc)? Does he have friends there he looks forward to seeing (that helps with dd)?

It may be a normal developmental phase as they get to an age where they realise they can influence the course of events by their behaviour then get frustrated when it doesn't always work.

Member345787 Tue 20-Jan-15 21:11:45

DS started doing this at drop off around 20 months even though he had previously really enjoyed nursery. I'm not sure we ever got to the bottom of this as he went through a period of always having a tantrum, appearing not to want to go in, and acute clingyness to now (2 years) where it is only occasional issues at drop off.

He is definitely better if there are fewer children there are drop off, and we swapped his drop off time to earlier to accommodate this.

I also tried to talk him more about nursery "it's nursery tomorrow" "Mummy and Daddy are at work today and you are going to have fun at nursery with your friends today" etc as I worried that I didn't prepare him enough for what was happening, just expected him to know it was Thursday and nursery day! I must sound like a demented parrot sometimes!!!

We also tried getting him to take in photos of things we had done/places he had been to "to tell nursery about!" I read somewhere that these kind of distractions can help with the actual handover.

Our nursery were really good, and reassured me that he was absolutely fine after a few minutes, and I often rang in after I got to work to check.

Good luck!

UrchinMadeOfAcne Tue 20-Jan-15 21:18:11

That is a great idea, the photo. I'm going to try that.

He does seem to be getting a teensy bit better, as in its not full on screaming when I leave, but he's still not happy, and he's still teary. I do go on about going to nursery the night before, and then in the morning, which hasn't worked for us. Also it's just not possible to change the drop off times

I do have hope for the photo idea though, so thank you.

Member345787 Tue 20-Jan-15 21:45:18

UrchinMadeofAcne - no problems sharing the idea, think I got it from MN! Have also heard about taking in a favourite toy/comforter etc but was worried that we would end up losing it or leaving it behind which would cause problems at home.

Photos can be printed out (and we take 100s anyway so nice that he gets to see them) and I used to let him choose which one he wanted to take in for his next nursery day. It didn't matter if he lost the photo/left it behind and his keyworker and I would make a fuss about getting it out of his backpack as he arrived to show her and talk to her about it. Bless her, she was always really willing and enthusiastic!

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