Lessons I learnt sending my toddler to nursery!
Back in October I posted about the mummy guilt of sending Harrison to nursery one day a week. We are now 4 months down the line and the mummy guilt is finally starting to subside. She says whilst sat in costa enjoying a child free latte waiting to go and pick him up on a nursery day. It has been a really rough transition for us all as a family.
There have been tears from all of us over the last couple of months but finally two weeks ago we dropped H off with no tears! Admittedly the two weeks since he has gone back to crying but that one week was amazing. But he has come on absolutely leaps and bounds. His speech has improved, he is more confident, he is playing with other children more and more. The tears have all been worth it but we have learnt important lessons over these four months. So here are my lessons I learnt from sending my toddler to nursery.
You will know whether the nursery is the right one for you all.
Since he was born I was adamant, being the slightly hippy parent that I am, that he was going to go to a Montessori or forest nursery. We then discovered that the nearest Montessori was at least a 30minute drive away so not doable. So we went to look at the slightly closer forest nursery. I was so excited by this idea, they were a small close knit group, that spend most of their day outdoors. They own some woodlands where the kids go and play and even have their own horse that the kids are involved with grooming. My inner hippy was so excited.
We got there and hated it. Absolutely hated it. We didn’t like how few children where there, how small the whole place was. I quickly realised that for £70odd PER DAY that we didn’t want him playing in the woods which we can easily do by going behind our house. That we wanted our hard earned money going to a more defined learning (whilst still fun) environment. So we found our nursery. A member of a famous chain of nurseries and so not what I thought I wanted and we fell in love instantly. So no matter your style; whether a forest school is your dream, or would rather a more ‘school like’ set up, shop around. Because it’s so much more to do with the feel you get from the nursery. And the staff, and even the building.
Don’t be afraid to tell your children’s nursery exactly what you want or expect from them.
When he first started I had this strange sense of feeling like because they are child care trained that they were the experts and know best. I very quickly realised that actually we are the experts in our own children. We have been in and talked about different approaches from different members of staff, we have those we prefer over others. But in the end we are employing these people for a lot of money to look after our children and we are well within our rights to say I don’t want you doing something in a particular way. Don’t feel the need to be too polite to ask or even complain.
Tears at drop off don’t mean they hate nursery
Like I said before we are still struggling with getting Harrison to not cry when we leave him at nursery. But he is a sensitive boy and hates us leaving him full stop. They have assured us that after we have gone he calms quickly and doesn’t cry again for a the rest of the day! But it did take a couple of weeks for him to settle down properly but being without your parents all day somewhere new is a big deal for such little souls.
Don’t send your child into nursery in your favourite outfits.
They will always come home dirty or in their spare change of clothes. Fortunately we haven’t had any stains that haven’t come out but he comes home in his spare outfit every day! Save the nicest clothes for the days you are with them and get to enjoy seeing the tiny jumper that cost most than most of your own clothes for a fraction of the fabric!
Don’t feel guilty that your baby is at nursery. Whatever your reason for putting them in, whether it’s for their social skills/learning, because you need to work, or you just need a break. Enjoy your child free day, drink that coffee whilst it’s still hot, admire your outfit that isn’t covered in banana or snot, talk to another adult even!