Putting my ds in nursery for the 1st time v soon

(12 Posts)
Ridersofthestorm Tue 24-Sep-13 11:45:43

Thank you Mrsmargo, baby and pops!
Your experiences have really helped reassure me, in fact it brought a few tears to my eyes how kind and thoughtful some people are on here to take time to send me such a detailed reply.
My ds has his lead in days booked in for next week, fingers crossed all goes well. Ill make sure I have my questions at the ready for his key support worker, I'm really keen to build a good relationship with him/her from the start.
Thanks again for all your advice, it's been really useful grin

My DD currently attends her second nursery. She has loved both of them.

They were both very flexible about settling in and were able to provide as many settling in sessions as needed until they and I were happy that she would be happy without me. I remember phoning them while she was on a short settling in session to see if she had stopped crying, she had, and they were more than happy for me to phone to check and put my mind at rest. Both nurseries have also been happy having parents in - either as part of the settling in sessions or when DD has moved up a room, so that I could see how the new room worked and for me to get to know the staff. I think that a relatively "open-door" policy is a good sign - they have nothing to hide.

The most important part of any nursery is the staff. Both of the nurseries that DD has been to have had really low staff turnover. A few members of staff left the first one, but they were either going on maternity leave or retiring. No staff have left her current one in the 6 months that she has been there. They have all either been qualified or working towards qualifications. The staff have also all been lovely - clearly engaged with DD and very fond of her. They regularly tell me about her day, and not just "we did X", but "we did X and your DD liked Y about it".

Both nurseries have kept an eye on DD's development. She has targets/next steps that they help her to reach. It isn't in a pushy way, but in a way that allows them to plan some activities around the development needs of the children and they have been happy to have our input into her targets. DD has always achieved or exceeded the milestones for her age and her speech has been quite advanced compared to some of her peers. I can't tell whether that is because of nursery, but it certainly hasn't held her back. I can certainly hear some of nursery in her - I am sure that her surprisingly good manners are from nursery. And as an only child, nursery has given her opportunities to socialise, watch other children and learn to share in a way that we couldn't offer at home. She plays really well with a whole variety of children and is quick to make friends with new children.

Ofsted outstanding grades are not given easily. While people suggest that an outstanding grade is just because of the right paperwork being in place, I am confident that it is more than that. DD's first nursery was an Ofsted "good" one. They seemed pretty hot on paperwork and filled out lots of tick boxes and charts for DD. It was a very good nursery. Her new nursery is an "Outstanding" one (and I truly believe it is outstanding). They don't obviously have as much paperwork as her last one. The main difference that I have noticed, is that the outstanding one is more clearly child focused, the children have more input into the activities chosen. They also have much better staff ratios than the minimum requirements and have quite small numbers of children in each room compared to her previous one, so it is easier for them to personalise the activities. There aren't glossy brochures and the hard sell to the parents as there was in her previous nursery. The feedback we get on DD from her current nursery doesn't seem to have any tick boxes (perhaps they don't share them or they have been phased out) instead is it narrative and clearly shows how well they know DD.

I met another mother from nursery today who has spent time in DD's room in nursery recently and she commented to me how happy DD is there.

I can't disagree strongly enough with moustachio's comment " but it boils down to them.just being supervised playing in a room, not the interaction or consistency they get from you". DD's nursery experience has been nothing like this. The staff really engage with her, she is on and off their laps, bringing them books to read, doing their hair at the pretend hair dressers, baking real cakes, playing games, singing songs. They have far more patience than I have and aren't trying to get their housework done or dinner cooked while looking after her. I am confident that DD is much better off going to nursery than being at home with me (I would be a crap SAHM).

Before you know it, your DS will be running into nursery and will forget to say goodbye to you in his hurry to get playing. Though that might feel a little sad at the time, you'll know it's a good thing too.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Sat 21-Sep-13 23:54:03

Sorry to hear about your MIL.

My DS went to nursery from 9 months until he went into reception last Sept. He loved it.

He still talks now about "my nursery". His first keyworker was so in love with him. She was about to become a grandma and once said to me "I know I shouldn't tell you this, but I said to my daughter if her baby is like MrsMargo's DS she'll be very lucky". smile

He also made some amazing friends.In fact I am sat out on the landing waiting for him and his best friend from nursery to go to sleep as it is their first sleep over at ours. As we have only just had DD his friends were more like siblings for him. Another ex-nursery friend is in his class which made Reception much easier for him and me as he knew somebody in the class.

It is hard leaving them and it is understandable to feel anxious but IMHO the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Hope your DS settles quickly.

PeazlyPops Sat 21-Sep-13 23:45:17

DS went to nursery from 10 months old. He didnt like it at first, but soon settled in and he loves it now.

It has done wonders for his devopment. He started walking a couple of weeks after starting, his speech is amazing, and he does so many activities that he wouldn't get the chance to do at home.

He's 18 months old now, and is happy with all the staff, but is particularly attached to two of the workers, he talks about them a lot!

He eats so much better at nursery, naps well, he even sleeps better at night.

DuelingFanjo Sat 21-Sep-13 23:39:12

Don't judge his whole experience on the settling in and early days. The adjustment will be hard and can be fraught but it doesn't mean he is going to have an awful time.

babybouncer Sat 21-Sep-13 23:06:44

My DS has just started school, but he went to 2 nurseries (we moved area) and grew to love them both, although with the second one he was unhappy for the first couple of weeks and with the first he became very unhappy when he moved up from the baby room to the toddler room.

Things you need to remember - if your child gets upset, give a big hug, hand over and then run away very quickly. If you are upset, you will upset your child. I have often phoned ten minutes later (or had friends dropping off later who reported back) to find out that he was happy as anything.

My DS does not now believe that he was ever upset at nursery - they don't remember, they will not hate you, I promise.

The nursery workers will come to know and love your child. It won't be the one-to-one care he had before, but he will have the advantage of also getting the opportunity to make friends with his peers and have playmates any time he wants.

They get to do great fun things that are impractical at home (messy play, painting, eating with other kids etc) and they have a fantastic array of toys and activities which get rotated over time. My DS particularly loved playing with the Barbie-type dolls, which we never had at home, and they had all sorts of things, like playing with dinosaurs on a base of cornflakes, which I never would have thought of!

When you pick up your child have a conversation with the nursery staff (especially his key worker) and you will get to know them. They will tell you anecdotes about what your childhood been up to and very often you will find yourself thinking 'they really do know my child'.

Most importantly, if you don't like something, chat to the room leader, chat to the nursery manager and if you are still unhappy you can make different choices - you are not locked into this forever.

DS loved his time at nursery and now goes to before and after school club there. I've never regretted my choice even though I originally wanted a childminder - I didn't find a childminder I wanted, I found a nursery I wanted.

I was more worried about my DD starting nursery as she was a little older (close to 1) and more selective about who she liked - generally no one! I was amazed at how quickly she took to her key worker and have been very happy at how well they looked after her.

Finally, I think I read this on Mumsnet somewhere, your child will be looked after by many people who are not family - friends, teachers, peers and eventually partner/spouse - they can be wonderfully caring and understanding relationships.

I hope all goes smoothly for you.

Ridersofthestorm Sat 21-Sep-13 07:47:55

Thanks moustachio and duel, both differing opinions there I think.
Moustachio thanks for your honesty about your experiences with nursery, food for thought but not really reassuring.

The nursery manager has told us that we will discuss his development as its something they monitor and care about. But of course she could just be telling us what we want to hear since we will be paying her a fortune. I like to think there has to be an element of trust though and I won't know how my ds will get on until he's in there.

It may turn out that nursery isn't for him, then we would consider a childminder but I'm only in work part time and we thought the interaction of being with other children would be good for his social development.

The nursery have a very good programme of things they do with the children which I can discuss further with my ds team minder at the start of his induction.

What questions do you think I should ask them that might not be obvious to me now?

I really hope that my ds loves going there, we have heard so many good things from dp friends whose children went there and loved it. We just don't know how ds will find it until he starts but the induction/settling in days will hopefully identify any issues early on.

Believe me ill be worrying enough about everything, just the thought of leaving him will be so hard. Although I do appreciate the honesty, I do need reassuring as my dp is so not sentimental and quite matter of fact. Believe me I am no fool when it comes to understanding that it won't all be wonderful all of the time. Just some positive stories or experiences of nursery would be good too. I need it really just to help me think positive and not feel so guilty about leaving my ds.

DuelingFanjo Fri 20-Sep-13 11:15:56

and contrary to the post previous to mine my son has always reached his milestones early, has great speech and was never sick from being upset. I think it helps if you can be positive about it and talk about all the great things he has done rather than fret about it. Also talk about what they will teach your son, how they play etc.

The nursery I use clearly displays what each group is learning, tells me what they have been up to that day and gets parents to do 'home work' with their children.

I personally didn't want to use a childminder as I preferred the idea that there would be several people in the childcare setting who would be keeping an eye on eachother as well as the children.

yes there have been some safeguarding issues in some nurseries but if you are happy that you have chosen a good one with good reports from Ofsted then go for it.

Again - yes... leaving them can be tough and Yes there will be days when they are upset but a good nursery would not leave a child to scream and scream in distress, they would call you if your child was making himself ill.

DuelingFanjo Fri 20-Sep-13 11:10:12

DS went to nursery at about 10 months, he now skips in happily and has lots of good attachment to several of the people there. It is so good for him in many ways and not just the fact that he gets to be around lots of other children. he is learning so much, enjoys the variety of things they do, eats a load of different stuff and gets taken out on trips (He's almost 3 now).

It IS hard at the start, you will definitely feel heavy of heart and stressed out for the first few weeks. it's like any change, you both have to get used to it and handing your child over to people you don't know is hard whenever you have to do it. Just be reassured that it will get better, you will both get used to it and you will form a relationship with his carers.

moustachio Fri 20-Sep-13 11:05:40

Im not against nursery from 3 upwards, by that age they can join in with games and tell you about problems. I was always worried about D's, they do 'activities' but before 2 they need people talking to them, that's what helps them learn.

I had DS there for 10 months and I hated dropping him off everyday. It was only when he stopped and his speech and sleep drastically improved, I realised how much hed been held back.

Of course the nursery manager will be nice. You're paying them a fortune!!

moustachio Fri 20-Sep-13 11:02:14

I think the big thing to remember is he's your ds. Several times I was told to leave ds crying as 'he'd settle soon'. Only to find out later that he'd got so upset he'd been sick everywhere! sad

In general it was fine. It was outstanding Ofsted, but that's more quality of paperwork than genuine care in my experience. Its good for them to socialise and have lots of different activities, but it boils down to them.just being supervised playing in a room, not the interaction or consistency they get from you.

He was at nursery from 8 months to 18months. He's now 2 and much happier at a childminders.it adds longer to my day as I have to drive out of the city centre but its worth it.

Ridersofthestorm Thu 19-Sep-13 11:01:09

My lovely mum in law (well my dp mum but she is as good as) fell very poorly last week and is in hospital. She was my 16mo ds carer for 3 days a week whilst I was at work. This arrangement is now no longer possible due to the nature and severity of her illness which is life changing.
So me and dp have had to find alternative childcare and we have decided to place our ds into a nursery. We had a good look round on monday and its lovely, ticks loads of boxes, its been voted outstanding by ofsted and dp has heard great things from his friends whose children have gone there. So in the next week we are hoping to sort out settling in days and then have ds start in October (both me and dp are off work until then helping with his mum and minding ds).
I just really wanted some reassurance from other parents whose children are at nursery. I know this is the best thing for us and him, but why do I feel so sick with guilt? I was so so lucky to have had his grandma to care for him and I trusted her completely. I have never left my ds with strangers before and I know he will get to know the staff and love it but honestly I am gutted. It's not about the money, my god it's expensive but we want the best for our ds it's just me being silly and fretting.
You hear all kinds on the news now about awful things happening to children and adults who are in the care of other people. I know these are isolated and rare cases and the nursery will have measures in place to avoid this sort of thing.
I also worry that my ds will hate me forever for leaving him, it breaks my heart to think he might be crying for his mum and I am not there.
The nursery manger has already reassured me this is normal and that it's mainly the parents that are upset rather than the children.
I am being completely pathetic, I had every intention of putting him into nursery for one day a week anyway when he reached a certain age, so I should be fine about this.
I think it's just the suddenness of it all, what had happened with dp mum was such a shock we literally were not expecting it at all. We are all trying to cope with what has happened and remain strong for dp mum. I feel so incredibly selfish for even feeling guilty about putting ds into nursery as dp mum is lying in hospital.
Please can some lovely parents out there just give me some reassurance, or if needed a slap to let me know everything will be alright.

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