So yesterday Baby B had her first “stay & play” session at her nursery. I’m not due back at work until July but I want to ease us both into it very gently so she will be doing one full day a week in May, 2 full days a week in June and 3 full days a week from July.
The nursery we selected has an amazing Ofsted report (outstanding in all areas). It has wonderful outdoor play areas, a sensory room and lots of fun activities and messy play! Mr B and I both loved it when we visited to book a place during my pregnancy. In fact, I have visited twice when pregnant and twice since Baby B was born and I was really pleased that we had managed to get her a space there.
Baby B is an outgoing and inquisitive baby and loves being around new people (especially other children and babies) and I know that she will love being around other children more as she is starting to become frustrated when alone in the house with just me. I’ve therefore not really been worried about her starting nursery because I know that she will love it, the nursery looked great when we visited it and I’m also looking forward to going back to work because I love my job.
During the stay and play session yesterday, Baby B spent time with her “key person”, a lovely girl called Nikki. Baby B seemed to take to her straight away and they had a lovely time playing together with some of the other babies. Baby B was smiling, laughing and chatting and really seemed pleased to be there which was so reassuring for me. All of the staff seemed lovely and commented on how Baby B was settling in great and would love it there! I am sure that they are right!
However, I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much because there were a couple of things that I witnessed that I wasn’t particularly happy about. The first was a baby napping in a cot who woke up and stood whinging. Now obviously if Baby B did this at home I would be straight to her immediately. However this baby was left in the cot whinging for about 5 minutes before anyone went to him. The child wasn’t crying properly, he just wanted out of the cot! It breaks my heart to think that Baby B could have been that baby whinging in the cot yet realistically with a ratio of 1 staff member to 3 babies, there are going to be occasions where Baby B will have to wait for attention. Therefore am I expecting too much if I expect the staff to be able to respond to her as quickly as I can when I only have Baby B to look after?
I saw another thing that I did not like when I was watching the ‘bigger’ children playing outside. A little girl fell off her bike and got stuck. It took her allocated staff member about 30 seconds to notice what had happened and rush off to comfort her….again am I expecting too much to have thought they should have noticed and reacted more quickly? The staff to child ratios at this older age mean that it is probably unrealistic of me to expect them to notice everything!
So at the moment I’m wondering if this is just me being a normal ‘worried mummy’ who is panicking at the thought of leaving her baby with “strangers” for the first time.
I know that nursery can never replace me because it is just not possible to have 1-1 care in a nursery setting. And it can never be as devoted a caregiver to Baby B as I am. However because she is such a “people person”, I do know that it will provide her with other things that she badly needs. For example, the interaction with others that she craves and which she doesn’t get enough of at home with me. It’ll also give her lots of different fun play opportunities and messy play and hopefully prepare her for school. Therefore, perhaps I need to just “get over it” and allow my Baby to grow as a little person without mummy always there.
This mummy malarkey can be tough!!
We have another session next week which Mr B can come to, so I am looking forward to getting his second opinion on this!
In the meantime – what do you guys think? Am I expecting too much and/being unrealistic in what I should expect?! How have you and your little ones found the transition from home to nursery? Would love to hear from you!