The little one started nursery a few months ago, and my God it was a rollercoaster of emotions. Thankfully we are through the worst of it, emotions have started to settle and the routines are established. But it was tough, for both me and him.
Tears and more tears
There were tears, so many tears. They started as soon as I parked outside nursery, they continued and got more heart wrenching as I had to hand him over to one of the ever patient nursery workers. I would ring an hour after drop off, invariably the sobbing had stopped but he would still be clinging to one of the ladies or would still have outbursts of tears. It really was a shit way to start my working day, not even hot cups of tea and chocolate biscuits got rid of the feelings of guilt.
Then, at the end of the day I would be so excited to see his little face again. Little did I know that for the first couple of weeks of nursery he would sob when he saw me. The emotional release of me coming back came out as tears and clinging to me. We would come home for cuddles and boob but I was already dreading the next day and the emotions that would start again.
It was completely knackering and I questioned daily whether I was doing the right thing. Then it got better. One day he just didn’t cry and it was amazing!
Things we did to help:
- I never stayed at nursery with him. Settling in was done alone and I would try to be super quick at drop off as lingering didn’t help at all.
- We sang songs on the journey. I tried to make the journey to nursery fun, this was for both of us as it stopped tensions rising.
- Routine, routine, routine. We made sure the mornings followed the same pattern, including getting his nursery bag ready. I wanted to mentally prepare him for going to nursery.
- My plans. I didn’t put mascara on before drop off, as I struggled not to cry. I also let myself have 5 minutes in the car just to calm down and prepare myself for going into the office.
- Connect with the nursery staff. I talked lots to the nursery, told them what he loved, ways to engage him e.g. trains and cars. Having regular conversations with them definitely made me feel happier and more confident that he was beginning to settle. I knew the tears were reducing when I wasn’t there.
Some days he still has a bit of a wobble but I think he has done so well (as have I).
Have you got any good tips for settling into nursery?