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High needs 14 month old starting nursery

(20 Posts)
Haz1516 Wed 14-Aug-19 07:49:33

Hi,

I was hoping for some words of advice as my baby is due to start nursery over the coming week. He has always had a very full on temperament; he had terrible colic as a newborn, and then was really a very grumpy baby until around the 6.5 month mark when he started sitting up, then got a bit happier with every milestone. He is a very active toddler now, who loves to run everywhere and explore everything and is so curious and funny, but he now also has fairly epic tantrums. He is incredibly strong willed and just doesn't understand why he can't do everything he wants all the time.

He's had his settling in days at nursery and although they were ok, I just don't see how he will cope with full days. The other babies there seem so chilled, happy to explore slowly and sit and wait for food etc, whereas he is constantly on the go and has zero patience for waiting. My main worry is also sleep... I just don't see how it's going to happen. At home it has to be quiet and calm, or else he can't switch off because he's too interested in everything. At the nursery they just have a corner of the room with moses basket type things where babies are supposed to sleep. If he doesn't sleep he is so miserable and will have meltdown after meltdown over everything.

Has anyone been in a similar position and tell me it hasn't been a disaster? Will the nursery be able to do anything about the sleep situation? I feel terrible that he might be so unhappy there.

HennyPennyHorror Wed 14-Aug-19 10:45:21

He is a very active toddler now, who loves to run everywhere and explore everything and is so curious and funny, but he now also has fairly epic tantrums. He is incredibly strong willed and just doesn't understand why he can't do everything he wants all the time.

This is completely normal. He won't be the only toddler like this in the nursery.

As for comparing him to other babies at nursery...don't even go there. You've only seen a snapshot of those toddler's lives.

What you describe is not "high needs" in any way but completely normal and what any toddler is like at some point during their day.
The impatience, the running around, the difficulty sleeping, the tantrums and the strong will.

It's natural for you to worry about him though...but don't go into the experience thinking he is different in some way.

Chitarra Wed 14-Aug-19 10:50:25

Your son sounds like mine when he was that age! I wouldn't worry about him being more active than the other toddlers, but the sleeping situation would bother me. Is this the only nursery close to you? Is there anywhere that has a separate room for nap times?

If not, I'd give it a go for a couple of months. If he seems unhappy you could consider a childminder instead?

Haz1516 Wed 14-Aug-19 11:23:24

@HennyPennyHorror High needs is a quick way to describe his temperament. I know my son more than a quick snapshot description on the internet to strangers can portray, and he is harder than the average. All toddlers are different to one another, so yes in that sense I know that I have to put faith that the staff have enough experience to deal. Easier said than done I suppose.

Thanks @Chitarra. I think I'm going to ask if there's any other options for sleep arrangements. Childminder would be first choice but all local have no availability at the moment.

Rosebud1302 Wed 14-Aug-19 11:28:44

Hi OP,

My son started nursery last week. Now I will say that although we don't have the active part yet as he isn't walking, I was so so worried about sleep. With me the ONLY place he will properly sleep (and always has been) is in a really dark quiet room (except for white noise) in his own cot. He will not sleep for long if at all in the pram, car seat, carrier, at other people's house, on me, on a bed etc etc etc. So sleep was a big concern for me. However how wrong was I. He sleeps amazingly there in those low little wooden basket type things just off from the main room. With other kids around playing crying etc. And this was from day 1. All I will say to you is that the nursery staff are extremely experienced in all sorts of personalities and needs and they will do whatever they can to help your boy settle and sleep. I would advise (in hindsight) to have some faith in them and trust they can get him to sleep x

HennyPennyHorror Wed 14-Aug-19 12:01:14

Haz I know how people use "high needs" I think it's a silly expression.

"harder than average" doesn't make sense. ALL parents of toddlers think they're having a terribly tough time with them.

I don't like "high needs" because it's too close to "special needs" and ALL babies and toddlers have "high needs"

They are ALL hard work. It makes the parent claiming it sound like they're looking for some recognition that their child is tougher than others.

Skiaddicted Wed 14-Aug-19 12:04:59

You could easily be describing my 14m old and his nursery set up including sleep......he naps beautifully there! They are magic!

Haz1516 Wed 14-Aug-19 12:29:54

Thanks @Rosebud1302 and @skiaddicted. I really just wanted reassurance that it might all be ok from others in a similar position.

@HennyPennyHorror All I can tell you is what I know of my son, nobody else here knows him so I don't want any kind of "recognition", just support and reassurance.

Rosebud1302 Wed 14-Aug-19 15:30:33

It may well be absolutely fine. You won't know until you've tried. They are honestly magicians and I'm sure they have in the past dealt with similar. Try your best not to let this get to you and worry a lot about it. What will be will be. Good luck smile x

CottonSock Wed 14-Aug-19 15:34:29

This is what nurseries deal with every day. It will be fine

PixieLumos Wed 14-Aug-19 15:38:29

When you said ‘high needs’ I thought you meant he had a medical condition or something. He sounds like a pretty average toddler to me - I’m sure he’ll be fine, but you know him best so if you were that concerned about him needing a calm and quiet environment why didn’t you look into a childminder who can provide a calmer home environment rather than a noisy nursery?

giggleshizz Wed 14-Aug-19 15:40:18

Dd started nursery at 18 months. Always had trouble napping and never in a million years did I think she'd nap in a room full of other children but she did.

Try not to worry too much - the staff are used to all sorts of different children and temperaments (I say this as someone who's child has frequently been called that "lovely" term spirited).

cheeserolls Wed 14-Aug-19 15:43:34

You really can't compare how they sleep at home (re set up etc) with nursery. They somehow do wonders to get them to sleep.

I remember being most surprised by this when my eldest went to nursery.
Babies all laid on matts in a row and slept.

They really are experts and it's worth letting them get on with it though it's very easy to say and hard to do when your child is young and starting off at nursery.

Sandsnake Wed 14-Aug-19 16:27:52

I know what you’re getting at, OP. You have described how my son was exactly!

He went to nursery at 12 months and he took a while to settle, certainly longer than average. But he did get there in the end. I was similarly worried about sleep but it happened, somehow. Nurseries seem to have some sort of magic! Good luck with it, I remember how daunting it was.

PazRaz10 Wed 14-Aug-19 16:30:06

Your worries are all valid, and very similar to many others in your position - sending your child to nursery is a big step.
But, having put two through nursery (very strong willed daughter and feisty son, both went at 11 months) I can tell you that the nursery workers are bloody miracle workers!! My daughter would never sleep at home without milk and us sitting with her until she was asleep - at nursery, no problem and within a few months moved to sleeping with the others on mats on the floor!
He will learn through repetition to follow instructions and they love to copy the other children. He'll be sitting quietly when required before you know it, and in the mean time the staff will know a hundred ways to persuade him along the way!
Be prepared that his behaviour at home may get worse for a while, it's like they contain it and release when they get home - and they get very tired!

peachgreen Wed 14-Aug-19 16:32:21

Peer pressure works magic in toddlers - very quickly they learn to do what everyone else is doing. He'll be fine, I promise.

Ornery Wed 14-Aug-19 16:38:52

Oh I thought you meant actual needs. He sounds well within the bounds of normal for toddlerhood, certainly nothing the staff haven’t seen many times before. He’ll be fine, and hopefully will learn from his peers and you’ll find him easier to deal with at home as well. Persevere. smile
High and special needs kids also can do really well at nursery with everything in place for them and a good inclusion officer. That’s not what’s happening here though.
Sending a child to nursery is a big change. You will both survive.

MindyStClaire Wed 14-Aug-19 16:49:39

DD went at 9 months. Had never gone to sleep without being rocked or fed. First day they put her in the cot and... She slept. Just like that.

The tantrums won't even register. DD's nursery euphemistically tell me she's "finding her voice" grin. He'll quickly get into the swing of things and know to sit quietly for his dinner etc.

Haz1516 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:05:02

Thanks all for the advice all it's appreciated. It's nice to know others have felt the same.

@pixielumos actually if you read back, I had stated childminder was first choice but none local have availability currently. Yes I was 'that concerned'.

PixieLumos Wed 14-Aug-19 17:18:08

I apologise OP I missed that! But as said before he doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary and if his settling in sessions we fine I wouldn’t worry. I hope it all goes well.

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