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Distress at Day Nursery

(5 Posts)
wicks Fri 18-Sep-09 11:04:23

I just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts about our current dilemma. Any advice appreciated...

My son (3 next month) attends day care nursery for 2 full days a week. I work 3 days a week (my parents come down to London to have him on the other day that I work). We have generally been really happy with the nursery - no complaints about them at all.

The only problem is that my son cries every morning that he goes there. It veers between the slightly clingy to the absolutely distraught (which is what he's been in the last few weeks). He's been going since 11 months old - but seems to be getting more upset recently.

When I pick him up he seems really happy (and I spy on him a bit first - so it's not just that he's happy to be picked up!) and the girls who look after him say that he only cries for 5 or 10 mins at most and that he's generally happy all day. It's just really worrying us that he is so worked up about it. The first thing that he says every morning is "no nursery" - almost as a question, and gets upset when we tell him that it is a nursery day.

The question is - do I keep him there or move him. As I say, I'm otherwise completely happy with the nursery and so am loathe to just uproot him if it's actually that he'd have the same objection to any nursery!

One option at the moment is to put him into pre-school nursery (which is something I'm considering anyway as he's getting to that "age"). The most likely option being the nursery at the local primary school. It would be from January 2010 (ie the term after he turns 3) 5 days a week - 2 and a half hours a day (either morning or afternoon sessions). My initial reservation about that was a purely practical one in that I'd have to arrange additional childcare on the 3 days I work from 11.30 onwards if he attends morning sessions, or for both before and after nursery if he went to the afternoon sessions.

Issue slightly complicated by the fact that I'm now pregnant with no. 2 - due in March. On the one hand it would mean that I wouldn't need to necessarily arrange that extra childcare (apart from maybe the first couple of months as I'd still be at work in January) as I'd be on maternity leave BUT in many ways, the fact that I'm going to be at home makes me more inclined to keep him in daycare - as with a new baby to look after, I think it would be easier to have my son in childcare for 3 full days (we'd probably increase it from 2 to 3 next year as we couldnt expect my parents to come down to London whlst I'm on maternity leave) rather than a couple of hours each day. I'm just thinking in terms of needing to rest when the baby rests, spending quality time with the baby, and generally being able to venture out and about. I feel slightly selfish in this, as I'm not sure whether this is just that it would be easier for me, rather than DS.

Sooo - keep him in daycare (despite him being so upset), maybe increasing it to 3 days a week or moving him to preschool (where he still might be upset!), when he'd only be in childcare for 2 1/2 hours a day? If he did stay where he is, then one advantage of me being on maternity leave would be that I could pick him up much earlier - eg 4.30, rather than rushing madly from work to get there at 6pm as is currently the case.

If you have got this far through my rambling email then I applaud you! Any thoughts much appreciated! Thank you

redskyatnight Fri 18-Sep-09 11:54:23

I know of several children who scream the place down when left at nursery only to be completely fine while they are there. if this is the case I think you just have to live with this. DD tends to do a Monday morning limpet impression (again she is fine once the staff have unprised her from me).

however, you mention that it is getting worse recently and I wonder if he is worrying about the new baby? DD's friend's mum is pregnant and her friend is getting noticeably more upset/clingy/displaying bad behaviour as the pregnancy progresses. Maybe he doesn't want to leave you because he's worried about what might happen to you when he's not there?

Personally I would not move him unless you or he are otherwise unhappy with the nursery (which it sounds like he's not). I'd say his life will be changing enough soon without adding another change to it. The pre-school sounds like a good option but as he's not yet 3, possibly consider moving him there next September when he will have a fully year before starting school (and be hopefully meeting other children he will be at school with). If you want to cut his hours in childcare while you are on maternity leave could you do half days or cut down to (say) 2 days a week?

wicks Fri 18-Sep-09 13:22:01

Thanks Redskyatnight. I think you are right - it might just be one of those things that we just live with. I'm going in to see the deputy manager to see if there is anything we can do to make it easier for him. I think I will try to leave work early today and go and spy on him to see how he's doing.

It has got worse recently, but I don't think it's to do with the new baby - he doesn't know yet. I'm only 13 weeks pregnant and we probably aren't going to tell him till the 20 week scan if we can leave it till then. I meant to say this in my original post, as yes, if he did know, I think it would definitely be a factor.

Unfortunately the term after his 3rd b'day is the only entry point into this particular school pre-school.

He already does 2 days a week at nursery - I'm not inclined to reduce it, in fact - I think I will leave it at that or maybe increase it to 3 days, if I do leave him where he is. That's a really good point that things are going to change enough for him early next year anyway, without changing his childcare arrangements too! Definitely a factor to consider. Thanks for your wise words.

tryingherbest Sat 19-Sep-09 22:46:32

my ds started to hate his private nursery around this time - only there 2.5 days per week but didn't want to go.

Wasn't crying or clingy but something was up and it went on and on. Happy with the nursery but we changed him to the preschool - he's just started - he told me that he was bored at the old place and wanted to make new friends - which he has and seems much happier being with a much bigger group of kids who basically just get the run of the preschool and do what they want when they want.

Could it be that he's getting bored?

wicks Wed 23-Sep-09 09:54:08

That's an interesting suggestion "tryingherbest". I don't get the sense from him that he's bored but I'll definitely bear that in mind!

Am still no closer to making a decision and am going round in circles about it!

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