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To consider taking DD out of nursery because she's unhappy?

24 replies

canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 12:22

It's week 2.

Every time she goes in, it gets worse. Today she screamed as soon as she recognised the pre school.

She is clinging to me in floods of tears. She only goes 3 afternoons a week for 3 hours. She was actually happy when I picked her up on the first day! But has been hysterical every pick up since

She was born early and so not quite meant to be 2 yet. Has no verbal communication yet so can't tell me how she feels and doesn't seem to take in any calming reassurance

AIBU to give it until early March and if she's still so desperately unhappy, remove her until she's a bit older?

She isn't doing much playing whilst there in between being so sad and is sad and drop off too.

OP posts:
canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 12:30


OP posts:
YorkshireIndie · 16/01/2024 12:31

Bless her. What have the staff said?

BodenCardiganNot · 16/01/2024 12:32

I would take her out. Try again in a year.

Haydenn · 16/01/2024 12:33

do you need the child care at this stage? Can you stay for a little while to get her used to the environment? It might be strange environment and away from you is too many changes in one hit?

wishIwasonholiday10 · 16/01/2024 12:35

What is your feeling about the place and what do the staff say? It often takes much longer than 2 weeks to settle into nursery and 3 afternoons a week is not long for her to get used to the new environment. It took my daughter almost 2 months to fully settle and that was doing 3 full days. Of course if you don’t need nursery for childcare you could leave it a bit longer.

Literallyoutofcontrol · 16/01/2024 12:37

BodenCardiganNot · 16/01/2024 12:32

I would take her out. Try again in a year.

I agree with this I have a non verbal dd with severe asd and waiting till age 3.5 was much better for her

Ifyourfondofsanddunes · 16/01/2024 12:37

If you don't need her to be there then I'd definitely take her out and try again later in the year

canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 12:37

Thank you for replying :)

Okay so staff say she's very on and off tearful, sleepy, etc. They asked me to bring in a teddy to see if it'll help and hopefully it might comfort her a bit

I can't go and be in the environment with her because they really don't allow that sort of input (I don't even go in to collect her. We all have to wait at the gate outside

She stopped napping at home ages ago and sleeps 7-7ish. Never been an issue, great sleeper at night so just not interested in napping at home so she won't

I have noticed she is unbelievably clingy now. She won't even go to her favourite people like her dad and grandad etc. worried I will leave her

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canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 12:39

I have a son who is profoundly ASD, non verbal, hyperactive and in special school.

This has NEVER been an issue for him Grin he has never given a shit and always run off to explore

So this is all very new to me! Really unsettling because it's so different to her brother's experience

But he is a sensory seeker, hyperactive nightmare for staff and always had been since a small toddler

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mindutopia · 16/01/2024 12:46

I think this is pretty normal to be honest. Both of mine have no health issues or SEN and I'd say it took them maybe 3 months to fully settle. Being tearful at drop off is not at all uncommon and not necessarily a sign that something is 'wrong' (though obviously it can be). My youngest is now in Y1 in school (5, turning 6) and he still has a few tearful days a week at drop off. It's okay. There are plenty of others in his year or even a bit older who are the same. Sounds like she is well attached to you and is just getting used to the change, which is completely understandable.

Mrsjayy · 16/01/2024 12:51

I would maybe see the month out then take her our
will you be sending her to primary on herstart year or are you going to defer her ?

Newbie1011 · 16/01/2024 12:54

I think a lot depends on your gut feeling about the nursery and the staff. Do they seem on it, kind, nurturing, etc? Have you heard good things from other parents? It might not be the right place for her.
Alternatively - she might just be the sort of kid who needs another year - my first wants ready for nursery until age three but second was happy as Larry there from 11 months. You could always try childminders, this might be a better environment for her

canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 13:00

Mrsjayy · 16/01/2024 12:51

I would maybe see the month out then take her our
will you be sending her to primary on herstart year or are you going to defer her ?

Not sure. She is not a Summer baby even though very prem so even with premature in mind, still a winter baby

But I'd say her prematurity has put her about a year behind development wise so far. And she's the size of a 12 month old

Unfortunately there's no places in the local nurses. And most aren't even taking people on waiting lists. This is the only option beyond a childminder I did find ages ago but she had no young children as charges, just older kids

Which sort of defeats the point as I wanted her around children her age

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canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 13:01

The staff are kind but busy.

They have a ratio of 4 kids for a staff member

She is use to just me but ironically never has much of me when her brother is around due to his care needs, so she is no stranger to sharing my time

I guess it's the fact that when he's at school, she's got me there 24/7 to herself and flourished in it

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Winnipeggy · 16/01/2024 13:08

Does she need to go? I wouldn't unless she's enjoying it. I have a daughter the same age, she's not in nursery and I couldn't bear it if this was her reaction (but I admit I am an almighty wimp)...I would only take her if she was happy to go. Do what feels right for you.

Fedupandconfused0815 · 16/01/2024 13:13

I guess it depends how much it is impacting on your job. If you don't need childcare, I would pull her out. If she is non-verbal, she would probably benefit much more from more intense 1:1 input at home anyways. If you need to work, I would just ride it out. Mine has complex SN and if took a very long time for her to settle into nursery, was really really hard but it happened eventually.

Bibbitybobbitty · 16/01/2024 13:23

It can take a few weeks for any child to settle at a new childcare setting, sometimes it gets worse a week or so in as they recognise where they are going & know you're going to leave them. Sometimes it helps to go in more often initially for shorter time, I.e. 5 afternoons for 2 hours but obviously that depends if nursery has space to do this. A comfort toy/blanket/dummy should help & should get better as she bonds with her key worker.
Occasionally a setting just isn't the right one for a child, I think of not settled by March I'd be looking to move elsewhere.
If you don't need childcare for working then it's really up to you whether to just take her out & try again in a few months but it might be the same again.

steppemum · 16/01/2024 13:38

well at 2 I would not be dropping her off and leaving.
That is actually pretty crap from the nursery. She needs settling in sessions where she stays and plays with you, and then you go for the last 20 minutes etc.
Forcing a difficult drop off at age 2 is really bad for the emotional health of kids and is more likely to lead to seperation anxiety later. It should be a phased settling in.

Also, if you don't need it for childcare, then don;t send her until she is 3. The best place for an under 3 is a home setting. 1:1 with a trusted adult. We all know that for many people that isn't possible and nurseries do a great job, but if you don;t need to, and she doesn't like it, don't send her. She'll be in school soon enough.

canitvseeme · 16/01/2024 18:34

Winnipeggy · 16/01/2024 13:08

Does she need to go? I wouldn't unless she's enjoying it. I have a daughter the same age, she's not in nursery and I couldn't bear it if this was her reaction (but I admit I am an almighty wimp)...I would only take her if she was happy to go. Do what feels right for you.

She's a really easy toddler and no trouble at all.

But I need time to switch off and this is the only way for that happening because I can't after school hours

So I thought it would benefit her to see other children, a stimulating environment where I'm not drained and somewhere that has more to give after a few hours of play with me

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QuietBear · 16/01/2024 18:43

I would take her out.

She's so young and you don't need her to be there and as much as I understand it would have been great for you to have a few hours to yourself, I don't think it's the right time for your DD.

She's clearly not ready and it's not worth putting her through it if you don't have to.

BertieBotts · 16/01/2024 18:54

Two weeks is fairly early days, and on and off crying not necessarily a sign she isn't settling.

Ask the staff -

Does she play at all in between being upset?

Does she have a key worker that is focused on her that she can develop a bond with?

Does she seek any comfort from that staff member?

If the answer to all these questions is yes, that's good and it's part of the process of them settling in. My children are very similar to what you describe in temperament and settling them in has been an emotional and stressful process, but less so once I understood what to look for. It is totally normal for them to become more clingy and separation anxiety to increase during this time. Lots of reassurance will help.

Could you temporarily reduce the length of her sessions, probably to something less than an hour. Transitional objects can also help. Just keep trying different things if she doesn't have one currently. My youngest got the most comfort weirdly from a Sophie giraffe. We went through loads of them!

On the way to preschool if she's upset tell her "saying goodbye is hard, but I know you can do it. You're so brave. I'm proud of you."

When you drop her off, keep it brief and cheerful (no drawn out goodbye ritual, no lingering, it makes it worse).

When you pick her up, show interest in what she has been doing.

It does get better. But you need the staff to be supportive and trying to build trust with her, ideally with one specific staff member.

BertieBotts · 16/01/2024 19:00

If you're not getting a yes to any of the questions and the staff aren't prioritising her bond/trust with one person, it might be worth looking at other settings like a childminder.

If they are willing but she's just too upset to engage currently, it might be worth backing off for a couple of weeks, then starting over again with short sessions. If you can do one session where you come in and play in the space with her, that often helps a lot, but not all nurseries have policies allowing this. You can also do a transitional thing where you're sitting passively in the corner but the key worker is actively engaging her. Again this is policy dependent. I wouldn't do a mix though - where you sit in for part of a session. IME that's harder for them. Either stay or immediately leave.

Also you could do a social story for her, this can be very helpful even when they don't have much expressive language.

Rmn21 · 16/01/2024 19:02

I did, my non-verbal DS started nursery when he just turned 2, he didn't settle so I pulled him out. A year on, he's nearly 3 (still non-verbal suspected ASD) and has just started again, he appears to be settling much better this time.

Passingthethyme · 16/01/2024 19:05

That's a bit weird you have to stay outside, most want you to be there initially so the children can see you're comfortable there. I'd take her out or try another place

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