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Confused about what is best for 1 year old

(20 Posts)
gglndn Wed 09-Dec-15 14:43:21

I'm currently on maternity leave with my 7mo and was planning on staying at home with him rather than going back to work. We live in London and my work really isn't flexible so if I go back he would have to be in nursery full time (11 hours a day). I felt this was going to be a bit much for him at 1, so I've been planning on not returning to work and staying at home with him.

I saw the health visitor today who asked about my plans and she said that she thought nursery was the better option as he would be more situmulated and I would have to work hard to recreate that. I do question the wisdom of what the special stimulation nursery could provide is, but am now just feeling really crappy and guilty about my decision to stay home - I feel like I'm being selfish as I just don't want to be away from him for so long. To be honest he does seem happier when we are out and about and when I'm out for lunch with friends and he is getting to meet new people, but I've always felt that the emotional stability of one person is more important. Help please! Is nursery genuinely better for some children? My fear is that I have a 'good' baby and he would just be left in the corner. He is also quite bright (although I imagine all parents think this!) so I thought it would be better for him with me at home, who is interacting with him all the time, rather than at nursery when he is only getting attention when teachers are available. Help!

SweetAdeline Wed 09-Dec-15 14:50:12

I think you are right and she is wrong.

Whatdoidohelp Wed 09-Dec-15 14:52:59

The HV is correct in that you can't stimulate him al day like a nursery will but if the only way to do this is having him there 11 hours a day then Yanbu. You'll maybe see him awake for one hour a day for 5 days a week! Why bother having a kid if you do that!

museumum Wed 09-Dec-15 14:54:17

I work but I don't think I would if the only choice was 11hrs/day 5 days a week.
Your son doesn't need nursery. Find a good playgroup and maybe use school nursery sessions p/t when he's 3.

Cuppaand2biscuits Wed 09-Dec-15 14:55:27

That is absolute nonsense. You can stimulate your child in exactly the way that suits him whilst attending personally to his needs, no nursery can recreate that. You can go to a different group every day of the week. General stay and playgroup, musical group like Jo Jingles, movement group like Tumble Tots, swimming. You can visit the park and adventure and explore any where your child leads you.
In nursery he'll be looking at the same 4 walls and the same faces for moat of the time.

Cel982 Wed 09-Dec-15 14:57:24

Your HV doesn't know what she's talking about. All the evidence supports consistent one-to-one care in a home environment for the under-3s. Obviously this arrangement isn't feasible for every parent, and kids who go to nursery instead generally do fine, but you are not being neglectful by staying home with your child - the very opposite.

manana21 Wed 09-Dec-15 14:59:09

i'm really surprised your HV expressed such a strong opinion personally. I've put my DC1 in FT 10 hours a day nursery and it absolutely sucked - she was beyond exhausted when I picked her up and I hardly saw her mon-fri. I do think they get more tired at nursery so it can be nice if you can work PT but that's not an option here so I'd also SAH in your shoes. Some DC may of course love being at nursery 55 hours a week but it's not the norm ime.

Cuppaand2biscuits Wed 09-Dec-15 15:00:55

What do I do help, why can't she stimulate him all day like a nursery?
And why does he need to be stimulated all day. It's important to learn to entertain himself for short periods.

manana21 Wed 09-Dec-15 15:01:48

do you have severe PND or something that would mean your HV had particular reason to think that you wouldn't do well with being a SAH? If not, ignore it sounds really odd for her to say that. You could always try and look for a PT job more locally if you tried it and found it a struggle.

jellyjiggles Wed 09-Dec-15 15:03:27

It's rubbish! As long as you socialise with your child and get out to groups, do crafts, visit parks etc then staying at home with you where your dc will get a rounded education with home cooked food and time to sleep.

A good routine, social play groups and encouraging exploration and play is basically what a nursery offers. Being at home with mum offers all this and so much more.

ILoveMyMonkey Wed 09-Dec-15 15:12:56

She's an idiot, you've absolutely made the right decision by choosing to stay home, 55 hours a week at nursery wouldnt be good for him or you. Enjoy him and have fun as a SAHP.

NickyEds Wed 09-Dec-15 15:16:20

Your hv is talking bollocks. I think very few people would chose to have a one year old in nursery 11 hours a day. Very young children do not need constant, organised stimulation all day, in fact as a pp said it absolutely exhausts them. I think nurseries do a great job but you are absolutely not neglecting your baby by SAH.

LaurieLemons Wed 09-Dec-15 15:18:51

Don't feel guilty, whatever you do there are pros and cons.

Couldn't you look into finding part time work, then you get the best of both worlds (sort of). IMO I don't think 11 hours a day would be better for him than being at home. That's a lot of nursery! I think your health visitor sounded quite patronising. You can easily fill your day with things to do, baby groups, trips out even just for a walk and playing with them is plenty stimulating.

Snossidge Wed 09-Dec-15 15:24:38

Research has shown that in general, nursery is the least good option for children under 18 months after grandparents, nannies and childminders. Parent care (unless there is neglect etc) is best.

Nurseries can provide more in terms of a range of activities, but this isn't what infants need - they need strong attachments and positive, responsive relationships with one person.

High quality pre-school nursery has been shown to have clear benefits from the age of 2-3, but that is part time - there are no extra gains from a child attending full time vs. part time.

That's not to say that high quality nursery will do babies any harm at all, though many nurseries are not high quality - but babies do better with a responsive, loving carer not lots of stimulating activities. Normal day to day activities at home, the park, playgroup are more than enough.

gglndn Wed 09-Dec-15 15:48:37

Thanks for the super advice ladies, really reassuring. I always felt staying at home was the best - today was just a bit of a knock! Also really reassuring that research back this up.

Generally HV at my doctors are really good - this particular one is pretty patronising and I think has a bit of an 'attitude' about Mums in the area - spent quite a bit of todays meeting explaining that I should talk to my baby the way I talk to my colleagues. Firstly, have no trouble chatting away to my baby and secondly, while nice to colleagues I don't think they would appreciate the amount of love that goes lo's way!

Out of interest Snossidge, is there any research papers/ websites/ books that you think would be of interest for me to look at?

Also, manana21 - no PND at all, spent quite a lot of the meeting saying how happy I was with him!

To answer other question - might think about PT work locally and see what's available.

manana21 Wed 09-Dec-15 15:51:26

your HV is absolutely wrong then, don't give it another thought. My ghast is well and truly flabbered that she thinks 55+ hours/wk in childcare is better!

slicedfinger Wed 09-Dec-15 15:56:50

She's wrong about talking too. Sing song rhythms are important developmentally. You should use proper grammar etc but the rhythm is important for them to learn speech patterns, and the beginning and ends of words.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 09-Dec-15 16:00:32

Unless you are holed up in the house every day she's barking mad. I would agree that she has a point about socialisation and stimulation from about 2.5 onwards but that's all. 11 hours a day is a long day in a childcare setting which is not home based imo.

Snossidge Wed 09-Dec-15 16:06:49

Try this article
"The quality of different types of child care at 10 and 18 months: A comparison between types and factors related to quality"

And this was quite an important study that looked at pre-school education:

MaGratgarlik1983 Thu 07-Jan-16 18:36:38

What rot! They do often seem to talk a lot of it, often very conflictingly!

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