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settling in

10 replies

eidsvold · 28/07/2003 18:56

dd will start nursery at the end of August when I return to full time work.

We have two settling in days ( me and her) and two by herself - what should I make sure they know and what should I make sure I know??

What should I make sure I pack?!?!

Thanks for help in advance

OP posts:

Starsky · 29/07/2003 09:52

I am due to go back to work part time at the end of September and wondered in relation to this thread, what do people think is the best way of settling in? My dd will be 8 months by then and will be in nursery 8.30-4.30 3 days a week. Any advice appreciated!
Sorry eidsvold, not much help to you though!


Ness73 · 29/07/2003 10:23

Starsky, when my dd started nursery she was younger than yours - nearly 6 months - and just getting used to taking breastmilk from bottles (never got very good at it though but that's another thread) so I think making sure she settled in was probably a bigger deal for us. I took her for an hour the first day then two hours then three etc and just built up to a full day. It was all very casual though as we just played it by ear as to what she was ready for. It took us a couple of weeks to get up to a full day but, as I said, my DD was younger and there was the milk issue. She also hadn't been left with anyone besides DH or I before.

I would say allow a couple of weeks before you go back to work to start the settling in - you probably won't need it since your DD is older but it's good to give yourself the time so it's as as stress-free as possible. To be honest I found it really hard at first to leave her - I remember thinking rather melodramatically that this was the hardest time of my life!! You may not be quite so overwrought but if you are just remember it definitley gets better. My DD did take a while to settle in but she adores nursery now.

Eidsvold, pack at least a couple of changes of clothes for DD - you won't believe how messy they get! IT's actually good that they do all that messy play at nursery though - saves you the cleaning up at home. If she has any binkies/security blankets I'd pack those too. Try and label everything - my DD has come home in other people's clothes before and vice versa. Obviously you should give them a rundown of DD's personality/special traits but eating and sleeping habits are especially important. For example they would try and rock my DD to sleep when she needs to just be put down and left alone to fall asleep. Give them as much info as you can - maybe write it down before you go so you remember. You'll find they ask you lots of questions anyway - we even had to fill in a form re nap schedules etc.


BigBird · 29/07/2003 10:43

my dd settled in at 9 months. We took a week for it, 1 hour the first day up to about 3 hours by the end of the week. I stayed for a short time each day but then left. You do get chatting to the carers when you spend time there so questions will pop into your head. Agree about writing names on jackets, bags, bottles etc and also bringing spare clothes and also now a hat and suncream (labelled too). Tell them the babys likes and dislikes and any special requirements but other than that you'll get a feel for the place. It's natural that they will not want you to leave but for the most part they are fine when you're 2 mins down the road. One time I got called to come back as she was so upset (2nd day of settling) so I was glad they felt they could ring me for that. By the end of the week she was ok. By the end of a week or two attending full-time she loved it! Even now at 19 m she loves it but still can be clingy dropping her off. Good luck with it.


badjelly · 29/07/2003 11:43

When dd started nursery at 4 months we forgot to arrange her 'trial' so she just turned up the first day and was fine - she doesn't care who looks after her as long as she gets fed! We were asked to take a change of clothes, a supply of nappies and her comforter if she had one. As she has her own peg in the changing area we leave her bag there all the time so on the day she goes we only need to take her and to re-supply the nappies when they run out.

They went through a form on her first day (I guess that that should have been done before hand) which asked all the usual things you'd expect plus if you wanted anything specific - eg a certain brand of nappy cream or sunscreen etc.

Don't worry, they'll ask if there's anything they need to know that you don't tell them and with the 2 days settling in with you there they should pick up on most things anyway.

Good luck - I'm sure you'll both be fine!


Starsky · 30/07/2003 13:55

Thanks very much for all the comments. I guess that I am just a bit nervous about leaving her, although from reading other threads I think it will be worse for me than for her! When it was further away I thought 'I'll be fine, don't know what all the fuss is about' but now it is edging closer I can see that leaving her will be really hard. Having said that, the nursery is lovely, the staff are brilliant and I think it is the right thing to do - I just keep on having to tell myself that!


giggle · 13/08/2003 18:49

Eidsvold/Starsky: As a nursery worker i would hope your child's carers give you a few forms to fill in about what your child's routine is etc, and ideally it would be good for you to both go through it and talk about any problems as they arise.
Main things for you to know depend on how relaxed you feel about everything. I would maybe suggest asking about food, is it freshly prepared, do they add salt+sugar,are they happy to accomodate what YOU want ie no dairy,sweet things, meat etc and ask how they make sure your child didn't have those things.
Do they have a feed back form/book at the end of the session to see what your child has been up to, it would be nice if they went through it with you, not just give it to you.
Are your children taken outside and how often, it can get pretty stuffy in one room all day.
What procedures are there if your child isn't settling in sometimes happens but are they telling you if your child has been upset?
What activities they do for your child's developmental age ie) they're not giving your 8 month old 10 piece puzzles to do etc and ask about messy activities. The messier the better for their sensory development!
You may want to ask about first aiders, qualified members of staff (at LEAST 1 per room) and ratios (1-3 for under 2's) totally depends on how yu feel as to what you ask.
Things for them to know:
Sleep patterns: How,when, where and for how long does your child sleep. Though you may find your child's sleep pattern changes completely after starting nursery as there is so much more to do and noise going on around.You may find rocking them as you do may not work and they may have other suggestions. Give them a guide line and if you don't want them to sleep for three hours (yes some do, haha) ask them to wake them up or you may be awake all night. Take any comforter your child may have or if you are trying to ween them off a soother/blanket tell the girls so they know what to expect. One piece of advice though..if you are trying to do this don't take the comforter with you if you don't want them to use it!!!!
Tell them about you child's feeding habbits, likes and dislikes, how much milk they usually drink etc, though this should all be on the forms.
The nursery should be all for you and your child and what you want. Don't be afraid of asking for something, especially if your not happy. I know some nursery nurses can be a bit intimidating, especially if they have been there for years..but if you're not comfortable, there's always the supervisor or manager, depending on how your nursery is set out. A room full of 18 year olds is not a good place to put your child, look for somewhere which has a mixed age range if possible.If you haven't already found a nursery, don't always look for the big chain ones, in my experience smaller companies are a lot friendlier, but that is just my opinion.

I hope this is of some help to you both and indeed anyone else, and i hope i haven't waffled on too much..if there's anything else i would be happy to help if i can. Good Luck


Starsky · 13/08/2003 19:17

That's brilliant Giggle, thanks very much. They are mostly things that had crossed my mind at some point or another but helpful to see them collected together in a sensible, coherent way. My nursery seems really good on not giving sugary snacks, have loads of outside space which they are really keen to use and go with the routine(or not!) that you specify. They do suggest a settling in period - do you have any suggestions on how I should do this? Is it best to leave dd alone from the start or stay with her? How should I build up her hours? Any tips??


Starsky · 14/08/2003 17:47

Just wanted to resurrect my last post - any tips?


outofpractice · 14/08/2003 18:08

Starsky, based on experiences of settling ds into full-time regular nursery when he was 8 mths, and then periodically into summer holiday kids clubs, and with new babysitters, I think the aim of settling in is for you both to feel comfortable with the person and environment your child is going to face. Your child gets reassured by noticing the things that you notice, and you spent less and less time there each day, until eventually the child is smiling and relaxed about being dropped off and not really expecting you to stay. For example, with your child, look around and comment on the surroundings, and the interesting toys dd will be playing with; meet and greet the keyworker and involve dd in that process; talk about what dd is going to do that day, and repeat it back to dd; tell dd that you know she will be safe, properly looked after, have a lovely day, and you will return later; stay for a while and play and warn dd that you will not be staying all day. On the first day, don't stay away for more than say 1 hour, and gradually increase that length of time. Make sure, however, that dd does not get a message that if she cries you will be staying all day. After you have left her, if she is crying, you can hide outside the door and listen for as long as makes you comfortable. I used to ring every hour when ds first went to Nursery, they never criticised me for this, and I gradually rang less and less often. I used to ring once a day for about a year!


Starsky · 15/08/2003 09:37

Thanks for that, I was worried that staying with her for a bit would lead her to associate the nursery with me and wondered if it was best to stay only for a really short time (making sure to say goodbye etc. Or if it was best to stay for an hour with her at first so she gets used to the place with me there. From the sounds of it, it is best having her get used to the place on her own but to make sure I spend time settling her in. Thanks for the advice

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