using a nursery for 5 month old

(129 Posts)
babydueinmarch Sun 13-Oct-13 16:17:51

Hi, my first baby is due in March. Unfortunately, due to redundancy and a big hit on our savings (but didn't want to wait to TTC due to my age) I'm not going to be able to afford a lot of time off for maternity leave and will be looking to go back to work in September when the baby will be 5 months.

I have looked around a lovely nursery (rated outstanding) and had more or less decided to put the baby there but have been open to criticism, some of it direct ("I couldn't do that!" with teeth-sucking) and some less explicit, just head-shaking and tut-tuts.

It's really upsetting and I wondered if anyone had any 'comebacks' as I know Mumsnet is good for these!

HSMMaCM Mon 14-Oct-13 20:54:42

Totally overqualified CM here and I think a good nursery/nanny/CM will be fine for a 5 month old and they should skip the whole separation anxiety that some older children go through. Good luck OP. It will all be fine.

yonisareforever Mon 14-Oct-13 20:09:56

With any setting where a vulnerable young person ie under 5 ish in this case is being looked after by a nursery or child minder, the only thing you can do to see if they are being looked after and happy, for everyone is to simply call in un announced on occasion...but enough times to check with your own eyes, is my child happy, look through the door, window, are they being engaged with, are they playing? Any CM any nursery, can if not openly abuse your child, still may ignore them!

I think everyone with children in a nursery or CM setting just once, call in, on the spur of the moment just to make sure with your own eyes everything is fine. Thats all we can do really.

Prozacbear Mon 14-Oct-13 19:44:11

Everyone has said this but I don't think the point can bé stated too much - down with the tutters!

DS went to nursery at 6 months, is now almost 2.8. They doted on him, he has friends, security and since he moved to the big room has transitioned from playtime 100percent to a more learning-type environment. He still adores and has a very very close relationship with us, and I have absolutely no worries about his transition to school.

Would I have loved more time with him? Yes. But he is an indie little person and very active with a constant need for stimulation. Nursery gives him that (or. made him that?!) And I genuinely believe for some babies can bé a really positive place rather than a second best.

janey68 Mon 14-Oct-13 19:15:43

My children were in childcare from around 12 weeks old ( as others have said it was totally the norm a few years back.) We did start with a cm, and then progressed to nursery (then the lovely cm again later for before/ after school care)
My two have many happy memories of nursery. As long as you look at your childcare options carefully and know what you want ( in our case we were very pro child- led provision) and ensure your child is secure, stimulated and content, then what's the problem?

My children are teenagers now and totally normal, secure, loving kids.

You're best off growing a thick skin because I'm afraid there are always some naysayers who will delight in darkly hinting at why they don't think you should do it... Just ignore ignore ignore! And remember the people who are secure in their own choices wont have a problem with yours

LittleBearPad Mon 14-Oct-13 19:02:17

Ps people will still make comments about nursery at nine months and all other aspects of your parenting just ignore them. You are doing the best for your child in your circumstances.

LittleBearPad Mon 14-Oct-13 19:01:00

Good news OP.

CMs vs nurseries are horses for courses but I felt as you do that nursery would be better. Other people feel the opposite.

babydueinmarch Mon 14-Oct-13 18:56:22

Moogy - I think the issue (for me) is that if you have a non verbal child and one adult, you just don't know what is happening. Very unlikely anything untoward is going on, I know, but my friend's 16 month old DD had her legs smacked by her childminder, and was told to stand in a corner and when, crying she tried to come over to the c/m was told "get back over there, no one wants to see your ugly face." sad

I don't think for a moment the childminders I saw would do that BUT - there were huge chunks of the day on the school run, limited area to play in, general apathy: I preferred the nursery. I didn't like two of the five nurseries we looked round, two were nice and one was lovely which is the one we've chosen.

Anyway - good news! - we've had a windfall (well not really!) but the mortgage company have agreed to give us 3 months 'holiday.' So I'll go back after Christmas when DC will be 9 months - I know for some that's still too young to be in full time nursery, but I feel much happier! grin

dontyouknow Mon 14-Oct-13 18:47:08

My DD went to nursery at 4 months. DS would have gone at 5 months, but due to some issues at work put back so he will be 9 months.

DD loved it and settled in so well I am almost wondering if I am doing the right thing having more time off this time!

Not sure about comebacks - I think I might have pointed out she was at nursery with other babies, doing fun stuff all day, rather than being at home with me having to spend part of the day watching me doing the cooking and cleaning. To be honest, I don't remember many comments, so maybe I just ignored them, or glared at people if it seemed they were going to start.

If you really aren't keen on going back, have you properly checked the figures - take home pay, less nursery fees, less travel costs, less lunches out/work clothes, less the cost of takeaways for when neither of you can face cooking - if it isn't much more than SMP you might want to reconsider.

Moogy1a - both of the nurseries that DD has been in are far from behind closed doors. They have children being dropped off from 7.30-9.30, picking up at lunchtime and parents collecting 3-closing time, so parents popping in and out. Then settling in visits in the am and pm with parents in for lots of them. By virtue of the number of children there are always plenty of parents coming and going.

I understand your point about how poor behaviour can be normalised in group settings, but I really don't think this poor behaviour can be switched on and off as parents go in and out, if it has become a workplace norm. You do hear of nurseries which aren't great (occasional threads on MN being the only place I have heard of them) but I think that you are quite likely to pick this up when visiting as they really can't hide it.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 14-Oct-13 15:41:39

Our nursery has cameras.theres more chance of behaviour being pulled up by other adults.Anyway why is there all this talk of damning one or the other?i like my son going nursery a couple of days,ive always wanted him to join a nursery.people act like its a torture chamber and the kids are being friggin neglected,what is the problem?my child has no issues from meeting the ladies at nursery.Hes not been abandoned or neglected he hasnt got attachment issues.hes a happy child.Is a child that is at home 24/7 better looked after?depends on the mother doesnt it

moogy1a Mon 14-Oct-13 15:23:13

To the many comments about not knowing what goes on behind closed doors re. CM's. Do people really think CM's are any worse as people than nursery workers? CM's tend to be a lot more visible in the community at playgroups, school runs etc. and unhappy children would soon be noticed by other people.
There is also the fact that unkind behaviour is normalized when there is more than one adult. As soon as one person condones it by not immediately complaining about the way a child is treated, then that treatment of children becomes the norm. Whether it's ignoring them or abusing them in other ways.
Please try to remember that nurseries are also "behind closed doors".
I have yet to come across a single case of a registered CM abusing children, whereas there have a been a number in recent years of nursery workers abusing their charges.

MrsDeVere Mon 14-Oct-13 12:56:00

Send your baby to the nursery you have chosen.
If it doesn't work out you have the option of trying a CM (keep an open mind).

You have to go back to work, your child has to be cared for.

Don't allow others to make you feel guilty. None of those people care about your baby more than you do.

conorsrockers Mon 14-Oct-13 12:45:55

My 3DS went from 10 weeks and guess what? They are perfectly normal, loving, well rounded children.
You have to grow a thick skin to it as it will carry on until they are not babies anymore ....
I actually found that the biggest teeth suckers were just jealous as they couldn't go back to work .... and others just didn't have a clue.
"Did you mean to be so rude/judgemental?" if you are really at the end of your tether ... Otherwise smile and nod like its a secret club wink

conorsrockers Mon 14-Oct-13 12:45:42

My 3DS went from 10 weeks and guess what? They are perfectly normal, loving, well rounded children.
You have to grow a thick skin to it as it will carry on until they are not babies anymore ....
I actually found that the biggest teeth suckers were just jealous as they couldn't go back to work .... and others just didn't have a clue.
"Did you mean to be so rude/judgemental?" if you are really at the end of your tether ... Otherwise smile and nod like its a secret club wink

sugarman Mon 14-Oct-13 11:38:39

When your child is in nursery, you will begin to meet other nursery parents and you won't feel so isolated.

It is a very emotive topic but those teeth-sucking acquaintances of yours are not the parents of your baby and have no role in your child's life unless they learn how to be supportive. So don't give their opinions any weight.

Regarding the high staff turnover that can happen to some extent - having worked in nurseries before having my own DC - I think some of that can be due to the staff often being quite young. I left one nursery to move to one nearer where I lived and cut down on long tube journey, another time because I moved flat, and another time to join DP on trip abroad. So, just the stuff that can easily be going on for you in your twenties. Even if I was there for less than a year I still formed really good relationships with the babies and children. Hopefully because there are a team of nursery staff any staff changes will have less impact on the children than with childminders or nannies. However a good childminder or nanny can provide a great experience for a child too.

Maryann1975 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:43:23

And to those that think childminders don't follow any sort of regulations, they are inspected by ofsted the same as a nursery would be. They follow the same EYFS as nurseries and have to do training before they are allowed to become registered. Childminded children generally have more experiences of real life, due to being out and about with their carer (shops, library, bus trips, toddler groups, park, feeding the ducks) rather than being in the same nursery room and garden all day.

gordyslovesheep Mon 14-Oct-13 10:42:36

All three of mine had the same key worker from baby room to school, same staff still there from when my first child attended 11 years ago. All nurseries are different.

Op its you child and if you are happy stuff what other people may finger wag about x

Maryann1975 Mon 14-Oct-13 10:39:34

My experience of nurseries is a high staff turnover, staff not staying in rooms for long enough for children to form good bonds with them and owners of nurseries only caring about their profit margins. Having worked in several in the town where I live and in other parts of the country, I vowed never to send my children to a nursery.
But, if you are happy with your choice, you have to go with it. Their are so many descions to make as a parent, you can not possibly follow everyone's advice and these people would probably judge you just as much if you were on benefits for the rest of your life.

thonah Mon 14-Oct-13 09:10:34

It'll be fine. A lot of people take a year mat leave now, but 10 years ago it was quite usual to be going back to work 5-6 months after birth. Having settled DS in to nursery at 6 months and DD at 11 months, it's a lot less traumatic at the younger age! All DS cared about was that he got fed when he was hungry! DD was much more attached to me by 11 months. make your decision and stick to it! Ignore everyone else.

gordyslovesheep Mon 14-Oct-13 09:06:11

Please note op there are plenty of studies that dispute biddulphs views and he is not very pro women x

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:03:04

shewhowines mine were bf too, but they were bottle refusers with everyone. At nursery if they took 4oz of expressed milk, that was a good day - however, they would happily drink water from sippy cups. Then they tanked up on the real deal at home - my supply just adjusted, it wasn't a problem (except for having amazing 5pm boobage grin)

pointyfangs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:00:36

I used nursery with both of mine from just shy of 6 months - again, because that was what maternity leave was back then. It was fine. DD2 had the same key worker from 5 months to when she left at 4.5. DD1 had to change nursery at 17 months, but it ended up being an improvement and again, she had the same keyworker from start to finish. They were loved, cuddled and taught and they still greet their former keyworkers in the street 5 years later.

shewhowines Mon 14-Oct-13 08:55:57

My dd was in nursery from 4 months.

She was breast fed but was used to happily taking a bottle from others.

At nursery she refused to drink milk at all. They tried different people feeding her, different bottles and different formula. Nothing worked. She went from 8am to 5pm with no milk at all. It was heartbreaking. I had to stop working. Maybe that was just my dd but how many other babies experience stress but still feed?

I don't know what the answer is. I chose nursery for the same reasons you did. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors at a cm. At least at nursery there are more people around and it's unlikely that they would all be complicit in any mistreatment.

Summergarden Mon 14-Oct-13 08:55:21

In answer to someone who asked about research to show that childminders generally offer more suitable care than a nursery for babies, try reading Steve Biddulphs book Raising Babies-Should under 3s go to Nursery?

He (a child psychologist IIRC) refers to lots of worldwide studies to answer the question.

It's a very emotive issue, and knowing I had to return to work when baby would be 8 months old I did lots of research to help make the right decision for our family. Its true that there are a lot of not very good childminders out there (have met quite a few doing school pickups as I'm a primary teacher). However, if you are lucky enough to find a good one, they are worth their weight in gold. Ours was recommended by several other teacher friends at the school where I work who had used her in the past. Yes of course childminders are regulated by the same rigorous standards as nurseries (and rightly so). Ours is Ofsted rated outstanding and follows the EYFS same as a nursery. But honestly, I don't really care about that. For me, the main thing is that my dd now aged 21 months is in a homely environment, with same, stable carer who has formed a close attachment with my dd. According to Steve Biddulph, that's the main thing.

However I do think nurseries are brilliant for older children, lots of fun activities and chance to build up social skills, when my dd is 2 and a half or so I may well send her there.

It's for every parent to make their own choices in the end, I wouldn't judge anyone else for whatever they decide to do, we all have to pay bills at the end of the day. The majority of people who work in child are of any form surely do it because they love children and want to do a good job of it.

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