Hello lovelies, it has been a couple of weeks since I was last able to post anything due to my computer having a hissy fit and not playing ball, but now we are back to normal. So much has been happening which I will update you all on in the next couple of posts, but the most major of them all is my little prince starting nursery this week!
This is the moment I had been dreading for a long time. I think every mother does, but it snuck up on me before I knew it and this week my little man set off on his new adventure into the world without me.
Of course he practically ran into the new exciting surroundings wanting to explore and I know he will make lots of new friends, have many fantastic experiences and lots of fun, but it still doesn’t make it any easier.
For any working mum you really do be so hard on yourself and feel terrible that you aren’t able to be at home with them 24/7. The thought of someone else being there to cuddle them when they are sad or scared, or be there when they experience a new first of learning something or discovering a new exciting toy, literally tears at my heart strings. No-one can look after your precious little one any better than yourself, but I know there isn’t anything I can do and I have to just adapt.
When choosing childcare with so many options, it can be quite a stressful time for everyone. All I can say is, that what works for one family, will not necessarily work for another. The recommendations will come flooding in from everywhere. Your friends, family, colleagues, next door neighbour, postman, owner of the corner shop and Auntie Sandra’s hairdresser’s nieces cousin, will all have their penny’s worth of advice on who or where you should choose, but just smile gracefully and set out on the mission yourself.
Ranging from childminders in their own home, crèche’s, Day Care Nursery’s and even live in Nanny’s there are so many choices available to everyone and visiting lots of them out beforehand, will help you decide where you and your child will feel more comfortable.
I personally have chosen a Day Care Nursery on both occasions, simply because I cannot take the risk of having a childminder call up the night before or on route to them to say they have took ill and are unable to mind my baby. I don’t have anyone to fall back on all the time to take charge of my kids at short notice, so I felt that a nursery will always be staffed and therefore suits my working schedules. On the downside they will be exposed to every cough, sniffle and will more than likely pick up a few colds and viruses throughout their time there but will have built up one heck of an immune system before they start school.
But in taking that into consideration and weighing up the pros and cons, some parents will like the one on one care that a childminder can offer and if you have a backup sitter or grandparents to call on at a moment’s notice, then maybe that is a better fit for you.
With Day Care Nursery’s they are all regulated by a Health and Education Board and have lots of standards and curriculum to meet so you can guarantee they will have lots of activities, toys and learning opportunities tailored to meet the needs of your child.
With both the Nursery’s I have used, they have structure and routine’s which would rotate different activities throughout the day such as story time, songs & rhyme, indoor physical play, outdoor play, free flow activities, toys to develop fine motor skills and free play. As your child grows the Day Care Nursery will hone in on creative development and help teach your child colour recognition including lots of painting techniques and activities, monthly topics, the opportunity to play with clay, playdough, dry pasta etc. They will also have access to a wide range of toys in an outdoor area such as bikes, scooters, toy cars and most Day Care Nursery’s have a home corner where the children can dress up and have imaginative play, enacting roles such as shops, police, firefighters, doctors and nurses which is all fantastic for their imaginative and social development.
If you choose a childminder please make sure they are registered, qualified and covered by the necessary insurers and have up to date First Aid training.
My advice is to visit lots of different nursery’s and childcare providers to see how they interact with your child and other children in their care and you will get a feel for which one feels right for you. It’s not something you should rush into and in fact most nursery’s and childminders will have waiting lists so as soon as you can, you should start looking even if you are not returning to work for several months. I even had paid the deposit on a nursery whilst I was pregnant with my first baby! You do not want to be frantically trying to source Day Care a week before you are due back to work!
Whichever child care provider you choose don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t get off to a smooth start straight away. If your baby settles one day and the next is screaming and crying the minute you arrive to drop them off (which has happened to me this week with Cameron) it will take a few days of adjustment for them to get into the routine and know that Mummy or Daddy will be back to collect them.
Make sure you go through and explain the routine that your baby already has such as feeding times, sleeping patterns or a favourite toy or comforter that they like to have. With giving as much information to whoever is going to be caring for your precious baby will help them make the transition to a new environment that little bit easier.
If after several weeks your baby still does not seem to be settling then that is the time you maybe need to think about why and if that particular child care arrangement is not just right. Most childminders and Nursery’s require a month’s notice so its not the end of the world if you need to move onto somewhere else.
I shall keep you all posted on how my little man continues with his Nursery. It is very early days and I know he needs a few weeks to adjust to everything and hopefully we will be into a routine very soon.