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At what age is a child "ready" for Nursery?

14 replies

pgwithnumber3 · 26/08/2008 10:32

Obviously they are all different but I am thinking about putting DD2 is Nursery when she is around 18 months for 1/2 days (9am-3pm - term time only) a week. DD1 was 2.5 years and tbh, she was desperate to get in there (although I thought differently, didn't think she would ever want to leave me).

I am a SAHM and I am not doing it for an easier life. I do think it is very important for a child to interact with other children and also other adults.

Would anyone think 18 months is too young if they can stay at home with me? Albeit I will also have a newborn to look after, would DD2 not enjoy having a bit of interaction with other children her own age for a day or so?

OP posts:
pgwithnumber3 · 26/08/2008 10:33

That should read 1 to 2 days, 1/2 days looks like I mean half days.

OP posts:
Maenad · 26/08/2008 10:37

I think personally that if it's purely for their benefit, they're not ready till about 2.5. I know my DD wouldn't have been ready to get anything out of it at 18 months, and would have been miserable.

But you know your child, and if you think she would enjoy it then you are probably right. Also I think it is probably important to allow yourself a bit of time alone with your newborn, at least so you might grab a bit of sleep while your older one is at nursery. Then you will be able to give her a bit more energy when she comes home!

Spink · 26/08/2008 10:54

ds is 18 months and has just started nursery for 2 days a week, 9-3pm. He seems to love it and is making surprisingly big strides with his development (pretend play, running).
maybe this is because he is (for the next few months anyway) an only child and gets a bit bored just with mum or dad, and the same old toys at home, and the same old trips to the park etc.
Agree that it makes sense that all children are different though - trust your instincts, you know what makes your baby happy. If you start and it doesn't work out, you can always think again then...

pgwithnumber3 · 26/08/2008 10:58

Thank you Maenad and Spink. Glad to hear that Spink re development. DD1 changed her whole character for the better going to Nursery. She was SO clingy before and wouldn't speak to anyone. Within weeks she was chattering away to the ladies on the checkouts in Sainsbury's. I was .

I suppose it is a very personal thing and leaving a child is never easy, especially when you don't have to. I know some people who would have their children with them until school age, some who have put them in nursery at 6 weeks, it is not a decision other people can make for me.

I am waiting for the great Nursery DD1 went to to ring me back to see if they have any spaces for January/February/March time. They are a really popular nursery so fingers crossed.

OP posts:
Nemoandthefishes · 26/08/2008 10:59

I am a sahm and both my dds go to nursery for 2 mornings a week 8.30-12.45pm
They are 19mths and 2.8yrs and they love it.
They have been in since just before they were 1 and 2.To be very honest the main reason they go is for my mental health as I see a psychologist on a monday morning but it is probably one of the best things I have done for them as they get to do things like messy painting and water play that I dont really do at home over the winter and they now have their own little friends.

HonoriaGlossop · 26/08/2008 11:07

Agree with spink, all you can do is trust your instincts. My ds was not ready till he was 3 and even then he never LOVED pre-school. It was something we did for him to get that experience because he was going to be starting school at just turned 4. But he would have happily stayed at home.

I also don't think kids this little NEED interaction with their peers. They NEED imo a balanced life with time with mum/carers, time out in the fresh air, time meeting other people whether it's their peers, or older kids, or adults, in the shops or at playgroup....however that is not to say that some kids don't love, and get alot out of, nursery; but it's not a NEED in that way IMO.

but yes as spink says trust your instincts, see how it goes and if she loves it then great!!

pgwithnumber3 · 26/08/2008 18:37

I may put her name down for when she is a bit older and play it by ear, I would rather have the baby and let her get used to the change first. I may well wait until she is 2/2.5.

I looked at her before and thought there is no way I could leave her at the moment, she is too tiny.

She is such an easy going child (well, in comparison to DD1! that whatever I do, she will probably just adjust.

Thanks for all your advice ladies, I appreciate it.

OP posts:
Spink · 26/08/2008 19:59

hope it goes well, and good luck with your bean!

Spink · 26/08/2008 19:59

hope it goes well, and good luck with your bean!

pgwithnumber3 · 26/08/2008 20:48

Thank you Spink!

OP posts:
Highlander · 27/08/2008 09:42

2 to 2.5

mother2two · 27/08/2008 13:53

Not before 2 years old for any length of time IMO.

If you are worried about your under 2 lack of socialising, take them to a toddler group or a SureStart children's centre activity.

NKffffffffe90d249aX119f30cd85f · 20/11/2008 15:10

As others say and from my experience, they don't really start enjoying playing with other children until 21/2. I put my daughter into nursery at age 1 for two days a week. It was a miserable experience for both of us but, as she was my first child, I thought it was 'good for her'. About 2 years old she started to make friends and actually enjoy it. She then moved onto preschool which as shorter morning sessions (I work at home)and was happy. With my son, I also noticed a change at about the age of 2 1/2 where they suddenly develop the skills for socialising and enjoy being with other kids. If there's any advice I would tell a new mother it is that nannies/childminders are better for the first 2-3 years. My niece has been with the same childminder for 2 years (since she was 3 months old) and is a confident, thriving child.

arcticlemming · 20/11/2008 15:23

My DD1 went three short days from 9 months because I worked. While she didn't socialise in any real way until about 1.6, she loved going and I think she still got a lot out of watching other kids, loved the communal mealtimes etc. She's now very confident and sociable, and I think this contributed. Basically I think it depends on the child - DD2 would be a very different kettle of fish and I won't be putting her into this kind of environment until much much later.

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