Settling Made Easier
A parent’s guide
What finds you here? Is your little one about to start nursery life? Have they already
Whichever you are, maybe none of these, hopefully the ideas below will help
Although my own children are now grown up, when I first stepped inside a nursery it
was a few years before I had my own setting and so I was you. Unsure, nervous and also
already feeling mummy guilt. My eldest son picked up on my nervousness and this led
to a difficult and unsettling time for us both as he started his nursery life. I don’t
pretend to be an expert, however, now having almost 17 years experience as a nursery
owner and longer as a mother, children do pick up on how we feel. If you feel
nervous your child worries that they should too, after all you are their guider/
So here comes tip one.
However anxious you may be feeling on that first day, they must never know!
You may need to dig really deep, but your best acting skills will need to be employed.
You will need to be jolly and happy and chat on your way about how exciting this is
gong to be and how much fun they are going to have….and how boring what you are
going to be doing is while they are there.
Once you arrive at the door, here is the second, probably most difficult tip.
Handover your precious bundle and say a QUICK goodbye, tell them that you
love them and that you will be back. (1 minute maximum, I know it sounds brutal)
The staff will be ready to quickly take them and engage with them straight away to
ensure that they don’t see your face look sad or worried. Not every parent struggles
with this, but lots do, you are NOT alone. Staff will be ready to reassure you, give you
tissues or a hug if that is needed, that’s all part of the job. We will not let your child be
unhappy and remain unsettled (see our settling guarantee). We will encourage you to
call us as often as you like, at the beginning some parents call morning and afternoon
for a progress update and this is perfectly fine, we love to be able to reassure you that
they are doing well so that you can concentrate on what you’re doing while they are
having all the fun. We have some parents who continue to call each time their child is
with us, and some don’t feel the need to at all, whichever parent you are is absolutely
fine with us.
Does your child/baby have a comforter/special toy/blanket – Tip 3
If they do, try your very hardest not to forget it, I know it’s hard when you are trying
to get out of the door with all you need to remember, but for your little one this could
make all the difference. As a general parenting tip, if your baby becomes attached
to a ‘thing’ whatever it may be….buy extra’s! One you never use at all, purely for back
up, one for nursery, and probably another just in case, I know it seems crazy advice
but believe when I say that I have seen some very tired eyes after the only one of the
‘thing’ is lost!
Even though your child/baby may have settled easily into nursery life, sometimes
further down the road they become unsettled. It could be a ‘phase’ or it could be that
there are outside factors making them feel this way, such as, a house move, a new
baby, a pregnancy or illness in the family. Basically all sorts of things can cause a
perfectly settled child to become unsettled. If this happens we will work with you to
get you all through it. When this is the case we will ask you to go back to these basic
‘rules’ until the ‘phase’ goes away.
One final note….
When you come back to collect your baby/child during this settling/unsettling time,
they will cry when they see you, I am not sure why as I’m not an expert, my own
thoughts are that they are joyful tears to see you again or a kind of relief that you
came back. Either way, do not be alarmed it is absolutely normal, this I promise.