Is it a mistake to take my son out of nursery? - NCT


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Is it a mistake to take my son out of nursery?

Charliemarl31 profile image
10 Replies

My 2.5 year old son has had 5 settling in sessions at nursery. The first two , they took him off me in the parent room, he went hysterical and threw up everywhere. The next 3 I went into the room with him for a bit but each time they've brought him back they say he's cried none stop. They say he has anxiety.Every day regardless if he's going or not , he says nursery next time multiple times throughout the day and this morning he woke up screaming nursery next time.

I feel like pulling him out and trying again when he's 3 but everyone says that's the wrong decision.. Has anyone had any similar experiences or started their child at 3 and been fine? Thank you!

10 Replies
Lydialego123 profile image

I’m sorry to hear this, sounds like quite a strong reaction from your little boy, not easy for you or him.

What have the nursery suggested you do? As they have normally seen it all and can give you some insight on things to try or whether putting off may just delay the same issue you are having now.

My little boy has gone to nursery since 13 months (now 2.5 years) 3 days and drop off has been really hard at times, it has come in phases as well as the initial settling period since then too. But they have always assured me he is fine 5-10 mins later as it’s normally been linked to separation anxiety for him. We have always talked about nursery a lot at home to try and help and I try to be quick at drop off as me sticking around didn’t help.

Best of luck xx

Charliemarl31 profile image
Charliemarl31 in reply to Lydialego123

Thanks for your reply. The nursery staff are lovely and have asked what activities he likes , toys, etc to try and make him feel at home there. They said it takes time and he's not the worst they've seen. I have tried sticking around a bit more at drop offs but you're right I dont think it helps, I think I'll try leaving quicker and see how he handles that Xx

Seb9 profile image

How is he going to other situations? Does he settle for Grandparents or baby sitters? It might just not be the right setting for your son, I know some places deal with handovers differently and approaches can really make a difference. At our pre-school each child has their key worker and the key worker will always work with you at handover to get little one settled and they're very loving and caring to them.

They also do gradual introductions so you can leave for a little bit and then go longer and longer so little one builds up confidence that you're coming back. Pop to the shop, pop to the loo etc.

I wouldn't like the fact they've told you he's got anxiety, I would find that a really negative way to respond to him being upset.

I wouldn't maybe give up, but maybe find a setting that your son finds suits him more.

Good luck, hope it gets better for him and you soon x

Charliemarl31 profile image
Charliemarl31 in reply to Seb9

Thanks for your reply. He settles fine for both sets of grandparents and he's a very confident and loud little boy at his football and playgroup classes but of course I am there when he goes to them. I may give it another month and see how he goes and if not try a different setting. Thank you! Xx

LaurajaneF profile image

So stressful for you both! I sent my girl to a childminder intentionally instead of a nursery (at 14 months) as she is more of the anxious type I wanted a smaller home environment with small number of kids … trust your gut you know best . Don’t listen to others I reckon. My girl is just starting a couple of afternoons nursery now as she has seemed ready and keen. Good luck x

Claireeeeeeeeeeeee profile image

I know this is a controversial answer but if you dont have to send them to nursery I wouldn't and I would try again in a bit. He is telling you really loudly and clearly he isn't ready or that this setting doesn't work for him. There is nothing natural about leaving him with strangers in a place he doesn't know. If you need him to go to nursery, and many of us do. Then maybe a more gradual introduction were you stay the first time, or multiple till he feel safe. He gets to know the staff and the space with you his support and comfort, then you leave for longer and longer periods. I always thought you needed to force the separation because that's what society says. Actually a lot of evidence now shows that children who choose when to be separated from their primary care giver go on to be much more independent children and I have seen this with my own. Only you know the right answer but trust your gut, not what everyone says is normal. I wish I has learnt that earlier.

RachSee profile image

I feel like te nursery need to be helping you more here. As in, go with him for an hour a few times and play with him there, gradually build up leaving him 5/10 mins at a time. They will have seen strong reactions from kids before and must have something in place surely?

It’s so hard seeing them so upset, but nursery is so good for them, and you! I’d maybe stick it out a wee bit longer…tell him stories about fun stuff they do in nursery, find some YouTube videos to help, I’m sure there will be videos to help ease nursery worries in kids…remind him of the toys they have there and the snacks he gets. I don’t know, I just think there must be a way around it.

Best of luck whatever you do xx

Twiglet2 profile image

weve had our little boy at nursery since 11 months and he is now 21 months (1 full day at first and now 2 days) and still cries some mornings but is always settled within 5 mins of me leaving. When he first started due to covid I had to just drop him at the door crying so I don’t know really what happens next but he did settle. Now he is more aware of what’s going on and the quicker I leave the better apparently. I don’t usually say we are going to nursery just that we are going in the car (which he likes) and then when we get there he used to cry when he seen where he was but there’s a big clock in the church next to the nursery (he likes those) so I straight away start talking about that and then the stars on the nursery window (another fave) and say let’s go in and see the stars.

When we go in he takes his wee lunch bag out his bigger bag (he loves food) and we hang up his jacket and bag and he walks in the room (I stay at the door if I can) holding his lunch bag excited for a snack and to put it away in the fridge and gives it to the ladies who work there and with all this he hasn’t really realised that it’s drop off time and I’m about to say goodbye so the girls find something he is excited about at nursery (the lights, a truck etc) and then I quickly leave at the door to the actual room with just a tiny wave. The majority of the time he still cries a little bit some days he doesn’t now and he has been getting quicker and quicker at settling (the send a pic to their portal straight away). It took us time to build up the calm and the fun it used to be years and tantrums and it was a bit trial and error and doesn’t work every time but maybe something in there might work for you too?

It’s blooming hard to leave him upset but nursery has been the best thing for him (his speech and abilities have came on brilliantly when he was a bit behind before he’s now well ahead!). You will know best though what to do but I don’t know if waiting until 3 will just delay the inevitable or make him think if he cries enough he won’t need to go? Like I said they are all different though and maybe time and understanding level would help xx

Andia1 profile image

I started my daughter at 2, and the first nursery she was in she wasn't settling well so I took her out and went to different one. Where they knew about her not settling previously and I had few sessions I stayed with my LO together. And then slowly she got better. But I need to say there was huge difference between two nurseries. Even though she was still settling in second one they were more caring and understanding. So maybe is the people your son doesn't like? My daughter didn't want any male around her in nursery so I had to specifically look where are only females caring for them, and it made a huge difference. Now she's fine with everyone but it takes time and we as parents should try and make this as easy as possible.

Heldabarber profile image

I appreciate your feeling of guilt that you leave him in a place that bothers him, and it is natural that you think of taking him out and bringing him in later, but about my experience from my two children at different ages, so the problem may be that he went to her at a slightly late age, so he felt that he was outside his safe zone. This is not a mistake, but the meaning of my words is that it will take some time to adapt, and you can also highlight the advantages of the place.

This is the other side of the matter. You have to make sure that the environment there is positive and nothing really disturbing is going on and that it is all about coping.

I was in the same situation as you, and I benefited greatly from this article in evaluating the place where I deposited my son for more than h hours a day, and I benefited a lot, and I hope that it will help you like me

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