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Childminder or nursery?

10 replies

Parapluie · 18/02/2009 21:30

My 8 month old DD has recently started pre start sessions at nursery and they have been dreadful. She has had a couple now and at each one she has cried so much that she has thrown up several times each time. Every time when she has come back to me she is quivering, gulping and tearful.

The nursery nurses are lovely and they do tell me that they think she is doing well but some babies take longer to settle than others - don't know if they are being kind to me as I cried in front of them - but also said they have never met a baby who has thrown up so many times through crying.

I don't think I can do this to her though - it just seems so cruel.

I have just got in touch with a childminder who one of my friends used and who is a lovely, lovely lady. She has a space for a baby under one and is currently only minding 2 other toddlers.

It would only be for 2 days a week.

Would it be better to switch to the childminder? I was hunting for a nanny but have not had any success yet and I do know that this lady is very good. I would just like opinions as to whether she would settle faster with a childminder, whether the physically smaller number of other children would be better (cos obviously the ratio is the same)etc????

Any opinions gratefully received.

Just so you know, I have no choice other than to find childcare so taking her along later is not an option - sadly as if it was she wouldn't be going to childcare at all.

OP posts:
banjaxed · 18/02/2009 22:19

Don't know anything about pre start sessions, but we've used a childminder for DD (2) since she was 6 months and she's taken to it like a duck to water. She tends to be in with older kids most of the time but this doesn't phase her, and her language is brilliant. It depends on the childminder, but they will tend not to have 6 kids all day (most go to school/nursery during the day) so your wee one will have lots of individual attention.

onepieceofbrusselssprout · 18/02/2009 22:25

Parapluie my dd1 went to a nursery and absolutely thrived there, loved it. Our dd2 went to the same nursery and really couldn't settle.

I have just taken her out and settled her with an absolutely wonderful childminder. (2 days a week like you). The cm only has one other baby mindee. Also she has a young son who is in reception (with my dd1) and so he is at home before and after school. I really cannot describe to you how much more settled she is with the cm. The care is fantastic.

Imo some little ones do respond better and feel much more secure with just one main carer (such as a cm). I had a coffee with the cm today at pick up, and she told me how astonished she is/was that I told her there may well be problems with dd2 being really upset and wanting her dummy all the time as she did at nursery.

Btw she started at nursery age 10 months and initially settled but towards the end of last year it became increasingly obvious it wasn't the right environment. She is now 18 months and has been with cm for a few weeks.

I really do sympathise, I found it very very traumatic and upsetting. I even cried at work one day because I felt so awful about it all. Hope you find a solution soon.

onepieceofbrusselssprout · 18/02/2009 22:27

p.s. with our dd it is also the physical environment that helps her I think. The nursery had a very large "baby unit" and was quite noisy and chaotic. She now tootles between the kitchen and living room of the cm's house just like at home.

She doesn't even cry at drop off now.

Hebble · 19/02/2009 20:27

I've used a childminder for my DD for 3 days a week from when she was 6 months until last summer before she started school. She was excellent and really became part of DD's extended family. We didn't consider a nursery as we really wanted a one to one relationship for her and to be in a home environment (plus being teachers we only wanted term time care). She has thrived from the word go and not once did we leave her crying and not wanting to stay. She had other older children after school and then a younger one during the day so became very sociable. We now have another childminder for DS who is 7 months for when I go to work in two weeks time( our other one was already booked unfortunately). He had his first trial session last week and was fine although I wasn't. I know I will be upset for the first few days of leaving him but feel more confident knowing it won't take long for him to recognise the same face at the childminder and for her to get used to his routine.

Parapluie · 19/02/2009 22:03

Thanks for all of your comments everyone - I notice everyone has said choose the childminder which has helped me make a decision. We went to see her again today and she is even more lovely than we remembered (we knew her a while ago as she cared for a friend's child) and there is no doubt now that we will go for the CM.

Admittedly DD was still upset - she is extremely clingy - but I am certain that she will cope better than in a big group like at nursery. The CM told us she was shocked that the nursery let her cry until she was sick and we are planning a much, much gentler settling in period. It still won't be easy I know - but I do feel a weight has been lifted off my mind.

OP posts:
willowthewispa · 19/02/2009 22:10

A good childminder is definitely better for babies than a good nursery - if you know and like this CM it sounds like you are making the right decision

onepieceofbrusselssprout · 20/02/2009 12:52

Parapluie glad you have made your decision and feel happy with it.

My dd2 wasn't sick or anything like that in the nursery but did get very upset a lot of the time. Dh and I mentioned it to the nursery just as they were about to talk to us about it.

I was worried about broaching it with them tbh but we found that they supported our decision 100% and felt it was in her best interests.

You may be pleasantly surprised by her settling in with the cm. It was a completely different experience for us.

I work shifts so often I don't need her to be with the cm for the full 2 days, but the cm advised us that after the settling in we should take her for the full 2 days, during the first month or two at least so she really has a good chance to settle and feel secure there.

onepieceofbrusselssprout · 20/02/2009 12:53

p.s. I also meant to say that I am sure the nursery nurses were well meaning but it really didn't seem right that they were telling you she was "doing well".

MollieO · 20/02/2009 13:27

I used a CM for my ds from 10 month to 4.2 yrs. Started him at 9 mths to settle in before I went back to work. Had originally reserved a place at day nursery but ds turned out to be a prem and I wanted someone who could devote the time he needed. Absolutely the right decision.

Unlike my friends who all used day nurseries I knew who was looking after my ds every day (nurseries have key workers but problems arose when they were off sick, on holiday etc and friends didn't know until they collected at end of the day).

JimJammum · 20/02/2009 13:43

I have used a CM from when ds was 1 (just over a yr now)2 days a week. It is a "mini-nursery" as there is up to 10 kids and 5 carers but in someone's house. I chose it because I felt that the nurseries I saw, while being v good, were a little "institutionalised". I prefer ds going to be in a bedroom, having lunch in a kitchen, playing in a lounge, garden, playroom etc rather than everything being in the same room like in a nursery. He is socialising with all age ranges from babies to 4 yo, so is learning lots of social skills. I have never worried for a minute that he was in the right place, so I feel for you when you lo was not settling well. I just wanted him to be in a home-away-from-home environment, and that seems to have worked for us.

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