Baby struggling at nursery(67 Posts)
I have a (as of today 😁) 1 year old boy. He is amazing and loving but a real mummy's boy. Always been quite clingy and loves his cuddles. Very wary of strangers especially being left with people he doesn't know.
This is his third week at nursery which I really know isn't long. But I feel so bad because he is really not happy he cries his eyes out when we go in the building and is hysterical when they take him off me. I try very hard to be upbeat and positive for him but it rips my heart out to see him reaching for me and crying and me leaving 😭
During the day he is very up and down. He cries a lot and is clearly unsettled (the staff tell me he is up and down I'm not just being a paranoid mummy). I have lots of mummy friends and their babies loved nursery from day 1 and I feel so guilty that my son doesn't enjoy it . He has apparently started to cry when the door to his room opens or when someone leaves the room even if they aren't interacting with him so he is clearly not happy
I am just looking for positive stories that he will be ok in time. How long did it take your sensitive souls to settle at nursery? I want him to have a good time and to not feel abandoned by me every day!!
Thanks for reading x
Is he going because you're working? Maybe you should look into a childminder? He might do better in a home based environment.
What HennyPenny said. One year old is a bit young for a nursery, mine hated it at 2 but liked 'kindergarten' at 3. Kids are individuals, what suits one doesn't suit another.
My children both went to nursery from around their first birthdays. DS barely gave me a backward glance. DS had always been much clingier, and it took her about 2 months to settle. She is 7 now, and very independent and confident.
Rachelover40 it's not universally too young...some 1 year olds are just fine in nursery. But they're all different.
What about making a picture book for him to take in with him? So pictures of you, your family and then pics of him and you together? Just so he has something to look at when he's upset? Might help. Sorry it's hard!
My ds was like this. He was so much better at a childminders, the home setting just suited him more more.
Not hugely helpful replies if nursery is your choice...
Mine went at 15months and took a full four weeks (3 days a week) to stop crying on pick up and drop off. I was so shocked the first time he just went over to their little breakfast table and sat down quietly, I almost forgot to leave! He's got a musical bear that he originally took in for nap times as a comforter (doesn't use it with us but did with grandparents), and that's been a help- both for initial settling and for separation anxiety around 18mo. Your child will get there, but some take more time than others. Good luck! Nursery is wonderful for developing them, it'll be great if you stick with it!
Thank you all for your replies!
Yes he is going because I'm working. I had never really thought about a childminder before. The staff there said to me from day 1 it will probably take a couple of months for him to settle so I think I will give it until he has been there two months. And if he still hates it I will think about taking him out. I have got photos of him playing there and the staff say he loved being in the garden. He also eats all his meals (in fact he is very eager to eat) and he naps well so can't be that unhappy allllll day right?!
The nursery is actually a converted house so it's very small aka intimate. Not many babies (I think maybe 10) and really lovely staff who look after him so well. So it actually kind of feels like a home but obviously with more staff and maybe that's the bit he is struggling with.
Bless him. It really does break my heart to see him cry so much when I go. But then I receive a notification saying he ate all his breakfast half an hour later so it can't last too long. That's what I keep telling myself anyway!! 😫
@Goostacean thank you. Yes I had always wanted him to go to nursery I'm not sure why I just liked that it might eventually help his confidence and sociability with other children and adults as he has always been sensitive around both. But now I'm thinking I made a mistake and it is too much for him! But it's only 3 weeks in there is still time. I think he might take a while. So glad your daughter improved so much!!!
@Rosebud1302 I work in a childcare setting so am pretty familiar with little ones settling and been through it myself with DD1.
How many days a week does your LB do? It's only week 3 and it all takes time, another week or so and he'll be more settled and used to the routine, daily life at nursery.
The amount of times I've said exactly the same thing to a parent about 'the door' it's the last thing he possibly saw you go through and is aware people leave the room but he doesn't understand why or where there going. He'll soon build that attachment with his Key person and feel reassured by them. Does he have any comforters he takes to nursery? 1 year olds are at that stage of separation anxiety too.
My DD1 started nursery at 10 months. Settling was horrible, crying I've never experienced myself to the extent she was hysterical on leaving and even on a few occasions when I collected too! It took a good 3 for her to settle well, even with the odd crying but she done 3 days a week which I think helped her to adjust. I know what your feeling and hearing will break your heart but he will get there. You may notice a difference in him at home too at bedtime, behaviour being more clingy etc but that's to be expected for a short while as he's confused to why your leaving him and doesn't want it to happen at home too! x
The nursery sounds lovely and as long as you're comfortable with the setting and staff, it's likely to be the right choice- children adapt, and you can work without worrying. My DS started in April, and by June sometimes didn't want to leave when I arrived in the evenings because he wanted to run around with his little friends and play with toys more! Stick with it 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Does he have a designated nursery worker to take care of him? Some nurseries do, some don’t. Children need a person to attach themselves to, if that person is changing all the time, perhaps this is not the right nursery for him.
I wouldn’t give him 2 months to settle in. All that anxiety is not good for a young kid. Some children make a fuss at drop off but if he is constantly unhappy during the day, I don’t think that’s the right place for him.
@Goostacean and @Squeakybubbles26 thank you so so much I can't tell you how reassuring you've both been!!
@Squeakybubbles26 what you said about the door makes absolute sense. Yes they said it's when someone he was previously interacting with "leaves" or a someone walks in he doesn't know well. Yep 3 days a week which I almost find may be making it worse because he goes for 1 day, has 2 days off and by the time he goes back it's like he has reset back again! Do you find children going less often take longer to settle in general? And yep 100% noticed it at home too. Bedtime and naps have been a bit of a nightmare to be honest bless him as he stands up and cries the second I leave the room. Poor boy. Also doesn't want anyone to take him off me and if we go somewhere (like a friend's house) he cries when we go in because he thinks I will leave him it's very heartbreaking!!
@TanMateix sorry cross posted. Yes he does have a key person but obviously she cant be there 100% of the time all the time. Surely it must be normal in nursery for a few staff to interact with the babies? He doesn't cry all day definitely not. I've seen photos of him playing and he eats and naps well but they use the phrase up and down a lot. When I go to collect him he is normally sat having cuddles being sang to. I think he likes a lot of cuddles at the moment. From the sounds of it, it's mainly the door opening and closing upsetting him. I'm just hoping the amount of "up" increases soon and the "down" decreases! Thank you for your comment.
@Squeakybubbles26 sorry i meant to say. He has never been into teddies or anything like that. He sleeps with a muslin but that's all he will do. I have actually recently bought him a little tiny blanket. I wonder if I give them this and it smells of me whether he would hold it during the day.
Also to whoever suggested the photo album (sorry I can't see when writing!) they actually do that. I gave them photos when I started. I should see if they have done it for him thank you for the reminder.
DS was 14 months when he started, he was just like your DS till around 16 months when something just clicked and he was then really excited when he got to nursery! He’s nearly 2 now and I don’t even get a goodbye!
When my older children were in nursery we used to make sure they were dropped off by their dad the theory being that they were more used to them going away and coming back!
Is that something you could try?
It also meant I could start work earlier and I wasn’t as restricted to working in nursery hours.
Sorry just seen about your sleep too and if I’m completely honest he got in to really bad sleeping habits when he first started which I’m yet to break I was compensating my guilt of him going by letting him come in to my bed to go to sleep and I just can’t get him out now!
@tmh88 thank you that's nice to hear. Although you watch me moan when he doesn't say goodbye to me because he wants to go and play 😂
@maidenover It's a great idea but unfortunately not possible as my partner gets the train into London super early
Its not too young! Don't bash mums who have no choice but to use nursery from that age!
Mine went to nursery a 9 months and were absolutely fine from day one - but the separation anxiety / attachment is less at that age.
I’m a childminder for almost 20 years and I always tell parents that if a child hasnt settled with me by 3 or 4 weeks then maybe its not the place for them. I’ve actually never had a child leave because they didn’t settle but I’ve had a few where the first 3 weeks were tough & I thought it wasn’t working & then they settled down. I wouldn’t be waiting 2 months to be honest.
Sorry you're having to see your LO like this 😔. How many settling in sessions did he have? Is it possible to start the process over again? Take it a bit slower. At first stay with him the entire time you're there. Then leave him there for 2 mins. 3 mins. 4 mins etc. Go back in when he's upset. Reassure him you are coming back! Right now he's a bit too young to understand that you are coming back which is why he gets so upset. Some babies don't get upset because they are not worried in that moment whether their parent will return. But he is thinking about this and its making him upset. The fact that he cries when the scenery changes (someone coming in or leaving) shows that he feels really insecure in that place. He doesn't know what the norm is or what is safe and so gets upset at any little change. So I would ask your work if you can either book some annual leave or take some unpaid parental leave if you can afford this and start the settling in process in again and take it as slow as possible! Best of luck xx
My DD started at 9 months and drop off used to make her upset. Nursery thought it was because there was so much happening. In the end they popped her in her carrier and she loved it! Was close to someone and settled well.
I know it’s hard when they are upset and it makes you question yourself, but eating and sleeping are really good signs that he’s setttled!
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