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How long did your LO take to settle into nursery?

10 replies

idag · 09/08/2011 21:29

My 2.3 DD started settling in at her nursery last week, with a view to starting this Thursday. The last few visits have been very emotional with staff literally peeling her out of my arms while she crys and screams for mummy, after which I fight back tears until I can go and cry in the staff loo ( I think all the nursery staff think I am a constant blubbering wreck) and then feel horrible and guilty and upset for the whole period. Have other people had this experience? I know I am extra emotional at the mo due to being 7 months pregnant but I have this nagging feeling that I am doing the wrong thing. She stops crying as soon as I leave (I have seen this for myself) and she is only going to do 2 mornings a week but I am not sure I can do this and wondered how long it took for your little ones to settle? I dread dropping her off and feel awful whenever I think about her being lost and confused.

OP posts:
kateyfer · 11/08/2011 09:07

At 2.3 your DD is old enough to understand that mummy leaves her when she goes to nursery, and obviously that is upsetting. At the same time, as she stops crying the moment you have left, you can be safe in the knowledge that she isn?t upset at being in nursery, just at you not being there with her!

I had the same reactions when I first settled in my DD at nursery (she was 1yo at the time) and it is natural for you to feel guilty and think you are doing the wrong thing, but actually, you are doing the right thing! I know it might not seem like it at the moment when you are both so upset by it, but think of the advantages she has by being in nursery ? socialising with other children; playing with toys/activities that she might not get the opportunity to play with at home; eating (possibly) a greater variety of food than she might get at home; educational benefits of being in a pre-school environment with staff trained to bring out the best in her and her development; to say nothing about a few hours for you a couple of times a week to be baby free (at least until no.2 comes along! Wink)

It will be better for both of you in the long run, so try to not show your DD that it is upsetting you, and try to go OTT with the ?what fun you are going to have today? comments, and she?ll soon stop the crying when you drop her off.

Best of luck!

PacificDogwood · 11/08/2011 09:14

I persevered with DS3 for 6 weeks when he was 2.5 (the age his older brothers had started nursery) - it was an unmitigated disaster. He clung and screamed at drop-off, then just sat on one of the nursery worker's lap for 2 hours and waited for me to come back. He did not play or participate in any activity. We threw in the towel...

He went back just after his 3rd birthday and never looked back Grin.

I think, like with many things, they are ready, when they are ready. Yes, give it a good go, but if she fails to settle after a few weeks, she might just need a bit longer.
OTOH, if your DD calms down as soon as you leave and then enjoys herself, the problem is possibly more with you struggling to 'let go' or being sensitive to her distress?

My DS4 17 months always cries when I drop him off at the CM's 3 days/wk and as soon as I am half way down the garden path I can hear that he has stopped Smile.

BranchingOut · 12/08/2011 15:13

Marking my place, as I am just trying to settle in my 23m old son.

It is hard and I too have got no further away than the staff loo...

Have you had any progress?

idag · 15/08/2011 20:47

Hi all

thanks for your messages. Things are still not going great, she starts crying before we leave the house and all the way there but stops as soon as one of the girls takes her and is then ok all morning. Hope things are getting better for you Branching Out?


OP posts:
BranchingOut · 15/08/2011 22:09

It is hard....It does seem to be particularly tricky to settle in an older child. But then again, I keep telling myself that he has had the benefit of 1-1 care at home since he was a baby, so I wouldn't have had it any other way.

He was left for about half an hour today, which is actually progress. Small rays of light in the clouds!

silkenladder · 12/09/2011 11:51

Hi idag and BranchingOut. How are your dc doing now?

My 2.3 year old dd is now on her third week and seems to be finding it progressively more difficult. Would love to hear something along the lines of "it gets much easier after a few weeks"!

spaghettina · 12/09/2011 16:32

marking my place too - had first try at nursery with 17mo today, just an hour but she wouldn't let go of my hand the whole time and ended up wanting to be in my arms rather than hoping it gets easier too!

idag · 14/09/2011 21:06

Hi all

Following some serious thinking and good advice, we handed in DD's notice on Sept 2nd and haven't been back since. Oue second baby is due in 2 weeks and we intend to try again with nursery some time in the New Year. Sorry to not have any words of reassurance silkenladder and spaghettina but we just found it didn't get better, it got progressively worse and like someone said on another thread, some under 3's just are not suited to nursery and it isn't worth the misery. I know some families have no choice though and i am not judging anyone but I can see how much happier and secure my little one is now .

Good luck xx

OP posts:
spaghettina · 16/09/2011 23:38

Hi, sorry to hear it didn't work out idag, but sounds like you (all) don't need any extra stress if your second baby is due in 2 weeks. Good luck with trying again in the New Year.

I'm happy to say since the first day things have got much better and in fact the nursery are very happy with DD, on days 4 and 5 I left her alone for nearly 1.5 hours (days 2 and 3, just 10 and 20 minutes), and she seems fine- no crying, except she sometimes calls out for me but then gets distracted by staff encouraging her to play. She's happy when we arrive there in the mornings, etc. I've heard that there's often a regression after a few days, so am fully prepared for the worst, but on the whole it's been fine.
good luck to everyone else!

silkenladder · 17/09/2011 07:12

Good news, spaghettina.

DD also seems to have settled over the past week. She cried all morning on Monday, but by Friday I was abe to leave her there without her crying at all. She did get a bit upset at home berforehand, though. People have warned me that Monday morning may be harder again, but the nursery seem to have worked out how to distract her effectively.

Thanks for your honest reply, idag. I had read your other thread, but didn't notice it was the same poster Blush. It does sound like your dd had an unusually hard time settling, but hopefully it will be a lot better when she's a bit older. Good luck with the birth!

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