Baby unhappy at nursery - what to do?(12 Posts)
My 9-month-old daughter started nursery last week. She cries and clings to me every morning when I leave her and I'm feeling very stressed that she won't be happy in nursery. In particular, she will be there 8 till 6 four days a week and I'm now concerned about the long hours.
Also, the baby group at this nursery is quite large - about 15 babies - plus they mix with the toddlers. Should I move her to a smaller nursery or remove her altogether and find a nanny or childminder?
Any advice much appreciated as am finding the whole thing very upsetting and stressful.
Firstly don't worry it's normal for any child to cry and cling when they start nursery for the first time especially a child of 9 months - with all that sepeartion anxiety going on (wonders why mat leave finished when a child is at this stage?? )
I would give it more time - what do the nursery nurses say about her day - can they take pohotos of dd enjoying herself so you know she's happy and enjoying herself.
I think the best thing would be to give her some time to get used to it if she still isn't happy after a couple of months move her.
If you can afford a Nanny then I would think that would be a better option than nursery.
I take it you have to work?
You need to check with the nursery how she is twenty minutes after you leave. If she is settled don't worry, if she doesn't settle then think of a different arrangement. I only saw one child who wouldn't settle at our nursery and I think it was because he only did one morning a week. he never got familiar with it and was always distressed but the nursery kept Mum fully informed and recommended that she find another childminder (in a nice way!).
I wouldn't worry about numbers as long as the staff ratios are correct (and they are nice of course).
I second what GoAwayMrWappy says. Check in again (covertly!) 20 minutes later.
My DD (22tmhs) has been at nursery full time since she was about 5 mths. Like you I also have to work. It is very hard and you do feel guilty, but DD loves it! She is a very social boisterous young lady and loves all the activities they do. At 8 mths it is compeltely normal for her to cry when you leave her -and this can go on for a few weeks, but she will get used to it and enjoy it!
I would maybe, if it is not very inconvenient, have a look at a nursery where the toddlers are seperate from the "non-mobile" babies. The few times DD was in an older group (teacher sick etc) she did not enjoy it too much, because toddlers run around, scream and are generally very active - this might be intimidating her.
At my nursery the children are in different classes accoridng to their age.
I hope this makes you feel better
Katy767 - Perfectly normal I would say. I started DS at nursery at 11 months old. I spreaded out the settling in sessions over 2 weeks thinking it will make life easier... Ummm... It didn't! In fact he was very tearful most of that two weeks, so much so I was actually afraid of me going to work proper on the 3rd week he was in nursery! In fact, he was tearful for quite a long time after that but only on drop-off and pick-up. For quite a few weeks, we often turned up to pick him up and he would be cuddled by one of the carers. He's 18 months now and loves nursery... In fact, some days now, I have to chase him around the nursery or the garden to get him to come home!
My DS does 4 days a week as well. Number 2 is due in 2 months and we intend to drop his days down to 3 days and not less because he is really thriving in nursery. He eats much better in nursery (though nap better at home). 15 babies/toddlers doesn't sound like a lot. My DS's nursery has 12 babies/toddlers in the baby room (under 2 years of age) and I think it's a nice number.
It's a perfectly normal reaction and it's hard going through it but it will be really worth it! We went on holiday recently and left DS in a kids' club for 2 hours everyday and though he cried a bit in the beginning, we knew he would be ok at the end (hardened by our nursery experience!) and he was... Try not to worry too much...
Oh yes, meant to say as well that a sweet little girl started nursery at 9 months old a few months back as well and DH and I would feel really bad as she was constantly crying when we dropped off or picked up DS... But now she is happy as larry, they are all the same!
Katy767, 9 months is classic separation anxiety stage, so they often cry at first whoever they're being left with. I wouldn't worry about that. But - ^and this is just my opinion^ - for me 4 days 8-6 at that age would be too much. I agree with Supercherry. Could you look at a Nanny (or nanny share, which cuts the cost)? Or a childminder? I think I read that under the age of 2 smaller care groups are supposed to be less potentially stressful. Childcare's always an emotive subject and I'm not trying to stir things up, this is just what I think
If you can afford it go for a nanny - she will be looked after in her own home, all her needs met and will build a loving relationship with her carer.
I've used a nanny in the early years, very expensive, but without a doubt I felt so comfortable leaving them each day knowing they felt secure.
Hope you feel better soon.
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