Having second thoughts on nursery

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JoClaphamMum
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Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby JoClaphamMum » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:27 am

Hi everyone,

I am in a bit of a situation and wondering if you could share your thoughts.

Basically, I have 2 children. Eldest is 4 and a half and has been going to nursery since the age of 1. The nursery is close to our home and has a bunch of accolades (Ofsted outstanding etc etc).

Settling in was a difficult process...it took months for my little one to get a bit used to going. It didn't help that the nursery is very strict on routine but at least at the time the room leader was very caring and did allow us to tailor the routine a little bit so that my little one could sleep when tired and have milk at the usual times.

Fast forward a few years and I am getting to the end of my second maternity leave. I thought about doing the same so put my baby's name down to start with the same nursery. However, since starting the settling in process I have had some serious second thoughts. There is absolutely no flexibility with regards to routine. My little one is 11 months. If baby doesn't sleep within the allowed window for the morning nap (which is only one hour) baby has to wait to sleep until after lunch (around 12:30) to sleep again. If baby doesn't have milk at the scheduled milk time, baby has to wait until the next scheduled milk time.

I sat there on our first day and saw babies crying so much because they were tired, rubbing their eyes but just not being able to sleep because it was not sleep time. I saw a baby pointing at a fruit on the fruit basket to the point that the baby was upset about it but being told that it wasn't possible to eat because it was not snack time.

Simply, it broke my heart. And I felt I could not leave my little baby like this. You may ask why I don't talk to management about it - that is because the structure and routine have been firmly imposed by management. It is their style. It has become worse and worse with time. I assume the staff want to be more flexible but are not allowed.

My eldest enjoys going because of all the little friends and activities. In 4 months we will be off to school so no point in changing the routine here.

But for my little one...I just can't digest it. I have been thinking seriously about getting a nanny. We have never had a nanny so I feel a bit anxious about it. Could you share your experiences with your nannies? I know some people have wonderful nannies but what if we are not that lucky!!

Has anyone had a similar experience and switched from nursery to nanny? How did it go?

I am already dreading the return to work and this is not really helping!!

Thanks so much if you got this far.

J
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Moonlightdawn
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby Moonlightdawn » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:49 pm

I can relate so much to your post. So sorry to hear about what you are going through.

Over the last few years we have been on a similar journey with child care for our two young children.

We did it the other way round. Nannies first and then nurseries.

Neither is perfect and both routes have advantages and disadvantages. We had some very capable nannies although I always felt like something significant was missing.

Our first nanny (we only had one child then) was so kind and loving but frustratingly clueless about good nutrition and diet. I ended up having to cook and prepare meals in advance which only added to my stress. Her English was also not great and we wondered what would happen if God forbid there was ever an emergency. Would she be able to communicate clearly and quickly etc.

We had another nanny who was incredibly creative and artistic but far too strict with our first child. I once caught her angrily shoving food in my first born’s mouth whilst he was crying his eyes out.

By the time we had our second child and I was returning to work, we had a new nanny (we had moved house to a different part of London). Despite glowing references, we made a terrible choice. We found out a number of things about the way she was treating our older child. We were devastated.

It was a very traumatic experience to the point that I swore that we wouldn’t use a nanny until the children were a bit older.

This is where we turned to nurseries. The main advantage for me is the constant, collective adult supervision. There’s always someone around.

I now work part-time and spend a lot more time during the week around playgrounds and libraries with my kids.

I see countless nannies glued to their phones, texting and chatting away whilst the child is just looking out in the buggy or running around at the playground.

I have witnessed nannies shopping for clothes whilst on the job with the toddler in the pram - not asleep (northcote Road).

I see nannies with headphones listening to music whilst pushing prams (child is awake).

I know there are outstanding nannies out there. But they are rare.

Have you thought about finding a more flexible nursery? I know it’s more change though.

Drop me a line if you would like to chat through.

Hope you get it sorted. Big hug to you. It’s not easy.
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NannySal
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby NannySal » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:25 am

Hi, having read moonlightdawns response I felt I needed to reply. Having been a nanny for over 25years and worked in London for around 19 of those. I can tell you there are some very good nannies out there.
The girls mentioned in the previous message don’t sound like nannies, but more like au pairs. It would seem odd to me to hire a nanny who does not speak English when I would assume English is their first language.
I wonder how the previous poster knows that the people she sees out with children are nannies? Could they not be parents/au pairs?!

Anyway I can reassure you that IF you are willing/able to pay for a proper nanny you will find a good nanny. There are still plenty of good nannies out there. Look for nannies that have good references and that have stayed in positions long term, or at least have a good reason for leaving if they only have short term jobs. Ask lots of questions at interview and go into detail about what you expect from your nanny.

An experienced nanny won’t use phones during time with the children, unless it’s an emergency or the parents are getting in touch. I know I would never of gone clothes shopping for myself with the children I looked after in tow! However I would take them shopping if the parents had asked me to go in to town to look for something!

The plus to a nanny is flexibility for both children. Once your older child starts school I assume you would need someone to collect/drop off! Not having to have your children already up, dressed and out of the door before you head to work, is always a bonus!

As for routine. That can be as structured or relaxed as you want it to be!

I think finding a more flexible nursery might be possible although I fear a lot of the nurseries are the same, especially the larger ones. They are dealing with lots of children and it’s just easier for them to keep them all on the same schedule! Although the nursery I worked in did allow a little flexibility!

I hope you find a solution that both you and your child are happy with. Good Luck with it all.
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EclipseMum
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby EclipseMum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:43 am

Completely understand where you are coming from. We did a Nanny share first time round and are doing the same again with our second for a variety of reasons but one of those was I really like my little one being able to get good rest in their routine. And it made such a difference. Cost wise (second time round) it’s not working out much more expensive than two in nursery as well!! The only amendment to this view is that my eldest went to a morning nursery at the age of 2-3 and she LOVED it and excelled in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Hope you find the right option for you and your family!
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Izomum
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby Izomum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:30 am

These decisions are so tricky aren’t they! I feel for you, having been there myself.

We switched from nursery to a nanny when I went back to work second time around (I work part time) and haven’t looked back.

Being able to leave the house later and not having to get both kids dressed and to nursery before work makes a massive difference and means we have time to have breakfast together and I’m not tearing my hair out by the time I’m at my desk. I occasionally need to stay for half an hour or an hour longer at work, or go in early, and with a nanny I get that flexibility. She’s also able to look after my girls if they have minor illnesses, rather than nurseries who will ask that you keep them at home. With two kids getting all sorts of bugs I don’t think I’d make it into work over the winter if they went to nursery! And then there’s the fact that it’s lovely my girls get to spend lots of time together, playing, at home. If they were in nursery they would be in different rooms.

My girls absolutely adore her, and so do I!
I found her through here on NVN, so you don’t have to go through expensive agencies. Facebook and Gumtree were helpful too.

You could always meet some nannies and then make a decision?

It’s daunting at first, but once you’ve met a few you’ll quickly know what you’re looking for! Good luck!
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Bevvers
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby Bevvers » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:34 am

My children are at school now, but I would say if you are unhappy with the nursery then this really isn’t an option for you. I made a similar choice and spent all my time at work worrying, and then having problems when dealing with the staff. My salvation was a childminder. If you can find a good one it can work fantastically. Good luck.
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Laura_nanny_sw
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby Laura_nanny_sw » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:48 am

Hi,
As a nanny for over 20years I feel very upset that Moonlightdawn feels it appropriate to tar every nanny with the same brush!
She had bad experiences as she didnt do her research properly and make sure that the nannies she hired were the correct fit for her family! !
A good command of English is an essential! Whether you want a foreign nanny to teach your child another language or not, they MUST be able to communicate in English well so if there is an emergency then they can alert the appropriate emergency services!
As far as being too strict, I do not condone force feeding a child at any time, but you have to make sure you choose a nanny with the same parenting and discipline styles as yourselves or it doesn't work!
I have always said in my career that I can work with any child, but I have to find the right parents to work alongside for the fit to work well!
There are many good nannies out there and I feel Moonlightdawn wants to give us all a bad name when clearly it was her choices that were wrong!

Saying that all nannies just talk on their phones and ignore the children is also completely unfair to those of us that take pride in their job and dont do that.
I have my phone to take photos of the children I care for to send to my bosses at the end of the day! Or take calls and messages from them.
I also use it to arrange playdates for the children I care for. If I need to make personal calls then I do this when the children are napping and I have some free time (after preparing food for dinner)

Please dont let one person put you off having a nanny!
The flexibility that having a nanny is most certainly worth it if you can find someone who fits your family!
Having a nanny with a school age child and a baby would be so much easier for you as whenever your child is sick you dont need to take time off, holidays are automatically covered and doctors, dentist and any other appointment is also covered!
If you find someone who can cook you also can get to eat the leftovers (well my bosses do)
I have been in my current position for almost 4years with a couple of different shares that have only come to an end due to new babies arriving!
I pride myself in raising the children I look after to the best of my abilities and aim to provide top class care!
I hope you find the right childcare for your family! Just dont let one persons horror stories put you off! !
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northcote_mum
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby northcote_mum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:34 am

Hey - just a quick comment as I just went through the process of settling my 11-month old son into nursery. He still does two naps: one between 9 and 10:15am'ish and one between 1-3pm'ish. It was key to me that the nursery can support his routine, not only naps but also when he gets his milk and when he eats. Him being well-rested makes all the difference. We chose Linden Tree on Webb's Road. They have small groups (never saw more than 3 babies under 14 months in the baby room) and they are able to support his routine. My son is settling in fairly well and the nursery staff is doing what they promised in regards to his routine. During these first days now, I am calling them a lot to check how he is doing and they willingly give me information and go check whilst I wait on the phone to assure me how he is. 
So in summary - I think there are nurseries that can support an individual baby's routine. It may just be hard to find them and to get a spot.
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JoClaphamMum
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Re: Having second thoughts on nursery

Postby JoClaphamMum » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:33 pm

Thanks so much everyone for taking time to share your thoughts with me.

We have decided to go with the nanny route and have actually found someone who seems to be a good fit. Interacted really well with the children, seemed very caring and had really good references from previous families, with whom she stayed for a very long time.

Fingers crossed it works out but I am already feeling the relief of having changed course!

Much love to you all!
Jo
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