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Has being in nursery benefited your DC?

19 replies

Catz · 10/04/2008 21:07

If you work and send your child to nursery, do you think they get benefits that they couldn?t get from staying at home with you and then going to pre-school later on? (Obviously the answer might be ?a roof over their head? or ?a sane mother? but aside from those things?!)

I am currently settling DD (nearly 9mnths) into nursery, starting at 2 days and building up to 5. The nursery is pretty good and the staff are experienced and caring but the more time I spend there the more I feel that it?s not the optimum environment for her, at least whilst she?s a baby. I was thinking about giving up work for a bit anyway and this is making me more convinced that?s the right path. We go out to baby groups etc every day at the moment so she is not in the house with me all day. Also, there is a very good preschool attached to our village school that she could start from 2 so we?d have the option of that structured environment once she?s ready. I?ve mentioned this to a couple of friends with older children at nursery and they?ve been very negative about it saying that their children have got so much from being at nursery 5 days a week from an early age. They were a bit vague on what those benefits were and I didn?t want to push them on it for fear of sounding as if I was questioning their decision so I thought I?d ask on here. Do you think there would be anything my DD would lose out on if I followed that plan?

Don?t mean to in any way to suggest that being a WOHM is detrimental to children, just trying to work out what to do for the best for us.

OP posts:
Waswondering · 10/04/2008 21:15

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REIDmylips · 10/04/2008 21:19

my ds has been in nursery since he was 6 months old. I am convinced it has benefitted him (he is now 19 months) i felt very strongly as soon as he was born about sending him to nursery so that he spent time with other adults and children. He is there 3 full days a week (8am -4.30pm)

He has learnt so much being there, more than i think i could have taught him at home. Things that i probably wouldnt have thought to do at home.

I ca tell the difference in him on the 3 days he has been to nursery compared to the days he isnt there.

I would certainly recommend it - although as has already been said, i think something like this is a very personal choice.

CountTo10 · 10/04/2008 21:21

I think its what suits you. Ds1 started nursery at 5mths part time when I went back to work and took to it straight away. He's still there now and loves it. What I like was that he had an environment dedicated to children. I didn't want to use a childminder cause i thought he'd just get dragged shopping or something. He experienced lots of things by 1 that I wouldn't have done at home!! He was also a social baby and thrived on being around people. I think you have to follow your instincts. If you don't think nursery is going to suit your dd and you can do the other options then I'd go with that and see what happens. Nursery can be benficial in that they learn to be around other children, they paint etc a lot earlier. We found that ds1 talked slightly earlier than some of his friends as he was around some older children etc. Also as he's got older its been great for expending some of his never ending energy!!!! All depends on the child - it will be beneficial for some but not others.

iwouldgoouttonight · 10/04/2008 21:26

I agree with nursery enabling them to do things they might not do so much at home - lots of messy play, hours playing outside, lots of different types of toys, etc.

My DS goes to nursery 2 days a week - I'm not sure how much he got out of it when he was younger, but now he's nearly 20 months and really enjoys it, he's always talking about his friends there.

Also some developmental things - eg, DS refused to drink out of a cup at home but when he saw everyone else doing it at nursery he copied and now does it at home.

But like everyone has said, its a personal choice, I personally wouldn't like DS to go to nursery 5 days a week because I'd feel a bit like they knew him better then I did, but I am very lucky in having my mum nearby to look after him some day and obviously not everyone has that.

Milliways · 10/04/2008 21:26

I think both my kids benefitted greatly.

They got to try a much more varied diet than I had time to cook or persevere with (esp. as DH doesn't eat a variety of veg)

They did a LOT more messy play than they would at home.

Loads of friends

Verbal skills of nursery kids tend to be better (cannot rely on Mum to translate)

Reading & writing were introduced, potty training etc. They taught DD to skip!

Going to school is not a trauma.

I was lucky though, I was at home with them for first steps (DD threatened hers at nursery) and other major breakthroughs.

Nothing beats a good, happy, fulfilled SAHM, but if you can't be that then find the best childcare you can possibly afford.

Both of mine have done amazingly well in life, and I really think the contributions of home & nursery helped to lay a good foundation.

pointydog · 10/04/2008 21:36

I find it quite odd to think that nursery would 'benefit' a child. I have always seen nursery care as a necessity, not as something which would benefit my child.

So no. Nursery childcare did not benefit my children. I don't believe it disadvantaged them either.

Shitemum · 10/04/2008 21:39

I decided to keep both my DDs at home till they were 2 (both have 2nd birthdays coinciding with when they will start/started nursery. DD2 is 19mo now).
Random thoughts:
I think babies and young toddlers need one-to-one care.
I'd rather have an extra year of financial hardship and look after her myself.
It's hard being a SAHM (particularly in a country with no baby groups or any networks for mums and toddlers to tap into and with no family here either) but I know that 20 years from now I'll be glad I didn't put them in nursery before they were one, which seems to be the common thing where I live (In Spain).
Studies have shown that children benefit from some hours of nursery from the age of 3 (P. Leach mentions this in her book 'Your baby and child'.) but not before.
Am trying to find a balance between going mad and doing what's best for my DDs.
DD2 goes out with a nanny twice a week for 3 hours. I think it's good for her to learn to be with other people, especially since we have no family here, and it gives me a break which I use to do paperwork . She gets to spend as long as she likes at the park with the nanny whereas I'm always in a hurry and dragging her along with me, so it's 'me time' and 'her time'.
I agree that there are lots of activities avaliable at nursery that they don't do at home. DD2 at 19mo has yet to paint tho she 'draws' every day with pens. Anyway, they have years ahead of them to do that stuff.
People I know who put their DC in nursery at 1 or younger say 'Oh, but look my little so-and-so can hold a spoon and feed himself and he's only 1 yo'. I say 'What's the hurry?'. If you can afford to keep your DC at home a little longer then I would.

Shitemum · 10/04/2008 21:48

Catching up with posts - DD1s speech and vocab was, I think, pretty advanced for her age when she started nursery at 2yo. I like to think it's because of the one-to-one attention and the fact that we read A LOT at home up to then.
Unfortunately she only spoke English (Spanish nursery in Spain)so no-one knew how clever she was...!
I also wanted to give her a good start in English, which we speak at home. At 4.7 yo her English is still better than her Spanish so I'm very glad we did it this way.

Also, there was no option of only a couple of days a week or reduced hours at this nursery, it had to be 5 days a week, 6 hours a day from the start. It's a very excellent council/county-funded nursery and I'm very happy with it but the long hours were another reason for waiting till she was two.

ReallyTired · 10/04/2008 22:29

I don't think that children get much out of nursery before the age of three years old. It also has to be a good nursery.

My son is six years old and started day nursery at three years old. He went to nursery for 18 months. His cousins started at 6 months and I don't think that they gained anything extra.

The advantages were that he had other children to play with, structured activites and it certainly helped his language and social skills. However I think a good pre school would give the same advantages as a nursery. There is no reason a child has to attend 50 hours a week to get the benefits of nursery.

The disadvantages of nursery is that children often catch lots of horrid colds or tummy upsets. There is also the risk of your child being bitten/ pinched or beaten up by other toddlers.

I think you have think about what you want to do. If you feel a nursery is the wrong sort of care for a baby then maybe you should consider a childminder. If you choose to give up work then that is OK, but make sure you truely want to give up work.

Within reason if a parent is happy then the child will be happy.

jaz2 · 11/04/2008 22:15

My DS (16mo) goes to nursery 2.5 days a week, and has done since he was 9mo. I wouldn't eant him to spend any longer in nursery - but it is a personal thing. I love the time I spend with him, and put 200% into that time, which I couldn't do if I was with him 24/7 (I just don't have the patience)!

I'll never know if he would have been better staying with me instead of going to nursery, but I do know that he is very happy there: he obviously trusts and feels loved by most of the staff members and is at ease communicating with them. He is confident with his peers and older children and is affectionate towards them (generally!). He enjoys messy play and a huge variety of toys.

I am fairly sure that his self-care skills wouldn't be as good as they are if he had stayed at home with me. There's nothing like peer pressure to help them advance: feeding himself with a spoon, eating propper quantities of a variety of lumpy food, drinking from a cup, not using a dummy etc.

Good luck with the decision. I did find the settling in period incredibly difficult - almost feeling that I was "losing him".

Twinkie1 · 11/04/2008 22:18

Both mine went to childcare when they were 2.5.

DD was fine and happy as she is very outgoing, DS was a differet story for a while but he has come on leaps and bounds and now really likes it and has lots of friends and it is so nice to for them see friends out and about in the village and them get all excited and chat to each other about nursery and their friends there.

Ds also needed it to bring him out of himself he would never leave the house if I allowed it - something that I don't think is healthy.

fairylights · 11/04/2008 22:26

i was thinking about this very thing earlier and nearly started a thread!
I am an SAHM (and student) at the moment and often wonder if my ds is getting all the things from me that he would at nursery in terms of learning and stimulation - i try my best but having never raised a child before (!) its a bit trial and error, although every day i take him to some group or other so that he can be around other kids, and for my sanity! But i think for my ds who is really quite shy and timid, nursery would be hard work for him. We too have a lovely pre-school for over 2's near us where i hope he will go after his second birthday for a couple of mornings. I think by then he will be ready for more learning stuff.
But once i am qualified (training to be solicitor) i will hopefully have other dc and may have to work FT, not sure what i will do then!

diplodocus · 11/04/2008 22:28

My DD is extremely extrovert - I'm not. She attended nursery from 7 months 3 short days a week, and I really think this helped her to develop her social confidence in a way that maybe I couldn't.

fairylights · 11/04/2008 22:33

agree with jaz2 about self care, its very evident to me that my other friends with dc the same age as my ds and who are in nursery are much quicker to pick up things like feeding themselves etc.. i am sure seeing older kids doing things is great inspiration!
Do wish my ds had that but he will just have to do with me

sophiebbb · 11/04/2008 22:47

I think it is a really personal decision. DS1 started nursery at 9 months - I found that really hard - he was barely moving - just starting to crawl - and I felt awful leaving him there in a room full of strangers barely able to move around. I am now on maternity leave for DC2 - waiting to give birth - and therefore DS1 has finished nursery and is with me 100% for 3 days a week and with a nanny for 2 days a week (partly to help me out in late pregnancy because no parents or in-laws nearby and partly because she is 'getting' him bilingual - my DH is Italian and she is native Italian).

I have decided that when I have to go back to work after DC2 I will do so after 12 months and not 9 months as before (the difference between the two ages was immense for DS1 - he was barely crawling at 9 months and was nearly walking at 12 months). I will also not go the nursery route - partly because it is slightly cheaper for me to have the nanny than put them both into nursery - plus I get the language benefit. But this is also influenced by the fact that I didn't really see any major benefit in sending DS1 to nursery between 9 months and 16 months (when I took him out). He goes to playgroups with me now and still is not really playing 'with' other children - they simply play side by side. Plus he is not into drawing or painting yet really - apparently that happens more when they reach 18 months. So I struggle to see what they get out of nursery until they are doing that kind of thing eg socialising and playing together, drawing/painting etc. I think that happens at about 2 years old.

Slight ramble there!!

sophiebbb · 11/04/2008 22:50

PS What being with DS1 for the past 3 weeks or so has done though is make him so much less clingy to me - he is now not scared that whenever I leave the room I am leaving for the day. This has made a major difference for me and has made me think that me leaving him 4 days a week did unsettle him...

windygalestoday · 11/04/2008 22:59

I am a nursery nurse NNEB and have a varity of experience in all aspects of childcre plcements,babies wont gain much from attending nursery tbh they rent t playing together stage and just need nurturing nd caring be that with a nanny a childminder or a nursery nurse.
As a child grows older he will aquire social skills mixing with a variety of children, turn taking and being a member of a larger 'family' in addition he will pick up less desirable skills too but aside from that a good nursery will provide a rich learning exprience both physically and emotionally child that attends a 'good' nursery will become more independant and more able to read a social sitution than a child cared for in the home not that this is a skill thats needed erly on but its a valuable skill to have.
For some children nursery is definitely the best thing that could have happened to them not because their prents re lacking in any way just nursery routine suits them ,for other children nursery can be trauma and it would become apparent v uickly if the child wasnt able to settle.

the decision to send to nursery or a childminder or to stay at home rests entirely upon the childs mum/dad who clearly know their child best and of course what your finances will accomodate ...
I have 3 ds ...ds1 came with me when i worked ad hoc and enjoyed his limited time,ds2 thrived on nursery and loved pre school and nursery ds3 whose 7 has never been to nursery or school and is entirely home schooled .....(ds1 14 ds2 12 both in secondary school)

Catz · 12/04/2008 08:49

I just wanted to quickly post to say thanks for all the replies. I have the ILs are here for a couple of days so I've only time to sneak away and do a quick skim read but the different views/experiences are really helpful. Will come back and read more fully when they've gone but wanted to say thanks.

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PeterDuck · 14/04/2008 14:32

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