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Was happy & settled - not anymore?

5 replies

mumj2 · 01/03/2005 14:03

I am at my wits end trying to figure out why my daughter hates to go to nursery everyday when just a couple of months ago she loved it.
My 2 year old - started nursery 6 months ago (after having being with a childcarer for 12 months) and she settled in so easily and could not wait to go to nursery everyday. Dropping her off everyday was easy she always kissed me goodbye and was happy for me to go - never ever a fuss. She blossomed and the staff and children in her room are brilliant.

Then around Christmas time - over a period of 3 to 4 weeks the children in her room moved up to the next room (as she was the youngest she stayed) and new children from another room moved to the room she was in. Since then the past month we have to struggle to get he in the car in the morning and once inside the nursery she tries to make her way back out and often throws herself on the fall not wanting me to go - this was easily remedied and got over by the distraction of breakfast or toys in the room. However in the past week even on the way to nursery in the car she cries and says "Mommy no nursery!" all the way there. Once we are there nothing distracts her anymore or can get her to go to any of the carers in the room for a cuddle which she used to love doing. Today for example the only thing that made her even slightly happy was me reading books to her in the nursery for about 10 mins.

To top it all off - when I ask the carers when I fetch her how she was the rest of the day - they say she was fine - no fuss, happy as ever and happily plays with everyone and has a great time. I just don't understand why she hates it then first thing in the morning. All I can think of is that she has not bonded with the children in the the room like she did when she arrived. It definitely doesn't seem to be about me leaving her to go to work - just about where I am leaving her?
Any advice or ideas of things to do. Even similar stories would help.

OP posts:
HandbagAddiction · 01/03/2005 14:28

Anyway not an identical situation but slightly similar so this might help. dd is now 17.5 months and 'fortunately' very happy at her nursery. However, she has recently moved up into a new room. Throughout the entire 'settling' in period, where they would start off in her normal room and then go to the new room for longer periods of time, she was absolutely fine, loved being in the new room with different carers and some different children and didn't want to go back to the normal room. When we completely moved however and she was dropped off into the new room every morning, she howled the place down, threw herself on the floor as if the world was going to end and was only distracted by me leaving, the carers giving her books or puzzles to play with or toast. She was also fine for the rest of the day too! So after two weeks of distressful mornings, the situation is much better, we have a 'strategy' and she has completely settled down with no more tears.

I think with small children, there is a lot to do with routine and familiarity and if something changes, however small, we can easily forget how much it might affect them and how much time they need to get used to 'new' things. If your dd was not 'fine' for the rest of the day, then I think I might try and see if there was something else that could be causing her distress - but since she appears to be enjoying it once you're gone, then it would be less of a concern for me. Even my sister often tells me that sometimes that her 3 year old still cries some mornings when she drops her off....

FairyMum · 01/03/2005 14:43

Can't be to much help other than saying that I have been through similar periods with both mine in nursery and it has passed. Sometimes my Ds1 cries hysterically when I leave him in nursery and equally hysterically when I pick him up because he doesn't want to come home. I would monitor the situation, speak to the teachers and see if you seen changes in her behaviour (sleep pattern, eating etc). It's very hard because they can tell you, so you've got my symphaties!

PrettyCandles · 01/03/2005 14:46

My ds took a few weeks to settle in to nursery when he started aged 2, but soon enough loved going and would get wriggly with excitement when he saw me getting his uniform out on nursery mornings. Then, when his new little sister was about 3m old he started getting more and more upset about nursery until he was in the sort of situation that mumj2 describes. Both nursery and I put it down to him realisng that dd was here to stay. He has always been a very articulate boy, but I coldn't find out from him what was bothering him about nursery. Then, about 6w after it all started, he told me that he didn't like ti when X bit him! I was shocked, and the following mornign mentioned it to nursery. They are very good at discipline there and at dealign wtih children with behaviour issues, and they also record all incidents. And when I reported what ds had told me, nursery confirmed that the child X had indeed gone through a difficult period and had been biting about 6w previously. They apologised for not having seen and recorded the incident. They immediately made sure that ds and X were no longer in the same room, and worked out together with me what sort of things they could do with ds to help boost his confidence.

Over the next month or so ds gradually regained his happiness at nursery. It probably helped that X left for a few months (he had had a chronic illness, which was probably why he had started biting).

I don't know whether my story can help at all, probably the upset is something to do with the transition, but maybe something else has happened. Could she not be moved up as well? Or maybe you'll just need to accept that she needs another few weeks to re-settle in the new group of children. Does it help if you bring her early so that she arrives before most of the other children? I found that that has helped my two.

mumj2 · 01/03/2005 20:42

Thanks all - nice to know it is not just me. Just a quick update - spoke to the key worker in my d's room tonight when I fetched her and we think that maybe if she sees the others that used to be her room once during the day it might help - so we are going to try that.
I am also hoping she will move to that room in the next 6 weeks but it may be longer as she is the second youingest still in her room now so may take a bit longer.
But again thanks for all your advise and stories.

OP posts:
Mandymoo · 07/04/2005 22:24

I have EXACTLY the same problem and have actually started a thread on behaviour / development posting (2 yr old very clingy). DD (2.3yrs) started nursery over a year ago and settled in really well. For 6 weeks last summer and for the last seven weeks (feels longer) she cries every single time i leave her. Nursery staff say she stops crying almost as soon as i leave and sometimes even before!! When i phone during the day they say shes happily playing and mixes in really well. When i pick her up in the evening she is so happy and contented and that is the only reason she is still there to be honest. I dread dropping her off in the morning (she only goes one day a week - tomorrow !!!!) cos i know whats coming. Its as if she feels she has to do it to make me feel guilty for going to work!!!! and it works! Someone has replied to me on my other posting and suggested that seeing as though she is happy apart from being dropped off that it may be separation anxiety which i guess makes sense. My tactic is to leave as quickly as possible becuase i know that as soon as i;ve gone she will settle down. I hate doing that as i feel i'm abandoning her but its just dragging it out otherwise. She went up to the next age room just after xmas and settled in well up til seven weeks ago. ANyway, i've gone on and not really given any advice. All i can say is that i know exactly how you feel but take some heart that your dd is happy at nursery - just not happy about being away from you. Take it as a compliment !!! Easier said than done!!!! Let me know how it goes XX

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