Tips for settling baby at nursery

Discussion in 'Baby & Toddler' started by LucyC, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. LucyC

    LucyC Well-Known Member

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    So I’m returning to work next week when my little girl will be turning 9 months. I’m going back 4 days a week. She will be with me 1 day a week, dh 1 day a week, my mum 2 days a week and nursery 1 day a week. She’s had a few settling in sessions at nursery now but they’re not going as well as I had hoped. The first session we both stayed for an hour and she had a great time. The next session I left her for 30 mins and she cried the whole time. The next session I left her for 40 mins, they said she cried on and off, but she was crying when i returned. The next session I left her for 50 mins, again they said she was crying in and off but she was crying when I got there. Today I left her for an hour, she was fine when I left her today, when I returned she was crying but she didn’t spot me straight away and I did see that she stopped crying and was playing with her key worker for about 5 minutes before she noticed me and the crying started again, they said she had been crying on and off again. Has anyone had a similar experience? Does it get better? We have another 3 settling in sessions next week but then I will be going back to work and the thought of leaving her there upset for hours is breaking my heart.
     
  2. Summerwine

    Summerwine Well-Known Member

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    My little boy cried when I collected him for the first few weeks. Apparently the emotion can be too much for them to process. If I watched him from outside the window, hed be fine until I went in, then cry as soon as he saw me.

    Our nursery encourage quick happy drop offs and not drawn out goodbyes, so I always left him at the door with a big smile and a 'Mummy see you later!' which seemed to help.

    My main observation would be that to me, it doesnt sound like you're leaving for long enough - so perhaps shes waiting for you to come back the whole time rather than getting stuck in? Could you maybe increase her 3 sessions next week to half days to give her a bit more time to settle in and get used to it, and reaffirm that you always come back?

    I hope I'm not simplifying it too much. My little ones first settling in session was 2 hours and I dropped him off and sat outside in the car and cried the whole time, so I do understand how hard it is.

    Edited to add - hes been there 6 months now and loves it. Waves me off with a smile every morning and some nights I have to scoop him up because hes too busy with his 'friends' to want go come home with me! It definitely gets easier.
     
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  3. LucyC

    LucyC Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for replying! Glad to hear your little one has settled in and loves it now. The nursery suggested hour sessions but I do think longer sessions is a good idea as she’ll eventually have to do all day! I will ask the nursery when we go back on Monday and see what they say. X
     
  4. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    We are currently going through settling into nursery. I never expected it to be easy but also not to be this hard. Our situation is that I've gone back 3 days so my boy does 2 consecutive days in nursery and a day with dad. He's 14 months now and started nursery just before he was 13 months.

    He had 3 sessions to settle in prior to starting which went brilliantly. I started him the week before I went back so he'd done two full days which again he coped really well. Once I actually went back was when the wobbles started. Drop offs became more and more stressful and he was always crying when I picked him up. Nursery were consistently telling me he was great when I wasn't there but of course that didn't stop my heart ripping in two. We had a very tough few weeks with winter bugs and disruption over Christmas but now about 6 weeks in, he's like a different boy. Yes there are a few tears at drop off but it's nothing like it was and I'm coping better too.

    Something I was told after we started running into these problems, is that it often takes longer for them to settle when they aren't at nursery much. One day a week is a long time between sessions for a 9 month old so often they take longer to settle than if they were full time. I never thought of that at the time. To me it felt like a great balance.

    Also among my friends I would say that those with girls found them to be especially clingy around 9 months whereas those of us with boys seemed to run into this around a year. It makes sense in hindsight as the boys seem to favour physical skills whereas the girls seem to favour communication/emotional. Obviously not a set rule but was definitely the case for us.

    So yes it's been tough but it really has got better in a short space of time even if it didn't feel like it when we were going through it. Be kind to yourself too. It's a huge change for the little ones but also for you.
     
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  5. LucyC

    LucyC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks moomin, I’m glad that things are starting to get easier for your little boy now.

    Someone else has just said the same thing about it being harder if they only go once a week, when we sorted childcare I thought well she will be with family 4 days a week and only have to be at nursery once a week thinking that would be better for her but it didn’t occur to me that might actually make it difficult for her.

    She is definitely going through separation anxiety at the moment too and is really interested in language and trying to communicate so I think you’re right there. I also didn’t know that separation anxiety can be a big issue at 8 months plus, they don’t tell you these things in ante natal classes!

    she is so sociable with other babies/children so we all assumed that at nursery she’d be having so much fun playing we wouldn’t be missed, I’m hopeful it will be like this eventually.

    I think I’ve read in another thread that you had difficult with your little boy and naps? My little girl is the same with naps, she fights them as hard as she can and we always have to contact nap or motion nap even now, how does your little one get on with napping at nursery?
     
  6. MoominGirl

    MoominGirl Well-Known Member

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    I thought exactly the same when we were sorting childcare as it keeps him with family for the majority of the time. I think it will be better in the long run but I really underestimated the settling in part.

    I also underestimated separation anxiety. I'd heard 9 months was rough and stupidly thought I'd got away with it. My boy has always been very sociable too and everyone kept telling me he'd love nursery. I think he will to be fair as he's already doing plenty of activities that I couldn't possibly do at home.

    My boy was always a serial cat napper. Always fought them and needed endless rocking etc. When he started nursery, they rocked him similar to what I did at home and would get the same 30-40 minutes that I would get. A few weeks in he went to one nap consistently which I know would have happened even if he hadn't started nursery. He was 13 months. Now he will nap for 1-2 hours on a mat at nursery. They just rub his back and he goes to sleep. I can get him to do the same at home. No endless holding or rocking!! He won't put himself to sleep completely independently yet but this is a massive step forward. I can also do the same at bedtime. Your little girl will get there in her own time. I wish I'd worried less about it.
     

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