What to Expect When Your Child Starts Nursery – My Tips for Settling into a New Routine!

My Tips for Settling into a New Routine when child baby starts nursery or kindergarten

What to Expect and How to Help Them Settle Fast

I’ve written a few posts about nursery now and I thought I’d share with you some of the things that have helped me be a bit more realistic about sending b to nursery. It can be pretty daunting at first, and combine those feelings with guilt and worries about returning to work, it can all add up to be super stressful.

When b first started nursery, there were a few things which I found stressful and things I didn’t realise. Here is a write up of my experiences and a few things I wish I’d been more realistic about!what to expect when your child starts nursery

Children get ill

I know this sounds like I am stating the obvious but when b started nursery, he seemed to have never ending coughs, colds and high temps. I’d dread my phone ringing at work in case it was the nursery again. Check your nursery’s sickness policy but I imagine most will want your child kept at home if they have a high temperature or sickness and diarrhoea! At first, it used to frustrate me each time I’d get a call saying b had a high temp. At eleven months I imagine a lot of it was teething as well. Basically be prepared to have to pick your child up or keep them off nursery for a day or two.

nursery sickness illness policy day care what to expect

Prescriptions

If your child needs to take medicine or an inhaler while at nursery, take the prescription with you. I was caught out when b needed an inhaler for his cough. I knew he needed it three times a day but without the actual prescription, the nursery didn’t know that. And they can’t rely on me just telling them that. Basically pack the original packaging – don’t chuck it out.

Immunisations

Find out what your nursery policy is around jabs. I remember taking b for the MMR and then on that morning, being told he couldn’t come in afterwards. I was really annoyed as I had a busy day at work and had to rush around trying to sort out grandparent support! Find out in advance what the policy is so you aren’t surprised!

Your child will have an accident

I’m sure someone will correct me here (!) but I imagine most kids at nursery will trip or fall at some point at nursery. It’s what kids do right. Or at least it certainly is with my experiences with b. We’ve had to sign countless accident forms in the past and in my opinion it is perfectly normal for b to have trips and falls while at nursery. It can just as easily happen in my care. If you are worried though or something sounds like it could have been avoided, speak up and talk to the nursery manager.

Biting and hitting

Your child will be bitten or hit at some point. Again, I’m no childcare expert but it seems every book and toddler-focused website will say it is fairly normal for toddlers to go through these biting and hitting stages at some point. It isn’t nice though and a couple of times we’ve picked b up and been told he was bitten or hit by another child. No one wants their children to be subjected to this at nursery but I believe it is pretty normal behaviour. Talk to the manager and the carers and understand what reinforcements are in place to encourage less of this behaviour. I really like the “kind hands” focus at Busy Bees. We started using this at home as well as it works well and is a phrase b is used to hearing from nursery.

nursery day care what to expect biting hitting what to do how to stop

Your child may well be the one biting and hitting!

Carrying on from the point above, don’t be alarmed if you pick your child up and are told that he or she is the one doing the biting and hitting. I felt completely gutted the first time I was told that b hit another child. I felt awful because I know exactly how it feels to be on the other side. We did go through a biting and hitting phase with the little man but the introduction of a sticker reward chart at home soon curbed this behaviour. We also tried to be as consistent with nursery in terms of how they name things. For example, they stress kind hands and listening ears. We started using these words and phrases at home and b soon understood that if he doesn’t have kind hands, he isn’t watching paw patrol on an evening before tea time.

Their language will change

Argh this one has only really started since b moved to pre-school but he is dropping his t’s and now his h’s! And I hate it so much lol. The other day he said helicopter and it came out something like “eli-co-er”. Brilliant. For more on what to expect when your child starts pre-school, check out this post.

One of the main things that have helped me understand the general running of the nursery and why and how things happen has been to get involved and to talk to the staff. I figured little man would be at nursery until he starts school – so a good 3-4 years. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the staff and find out more about the people who care for b four days a week. I put my name down for the nursery parent partnership group too. I know this type of involvement isn’t for everyone and at one point in my life it def wasn’t for me either! But it’s as much effort as you want it to be really. I helped out at the Christmas fair and I also pop in and run some fun food classes with pre-school. Take a look at our Mother’s day and Christmas food fun!

Did you have any unexpected surprises when your child started nursery? Did your child go through a biting or hitting phase?

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My Tips for Settling into a New Routine when child baby starts nursery or kindergarten

Linked with Big Pink Link
Linked with KCACOLS

18 comments

  1. This is a fab post, especially for those whose littles will be starting nursery soon. My girls are now both in nursery and thankfully both love it but theres definitely a few things on this list (like illness) that I wish I\’d known before my eldest started. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  2. This is a fab post, especially for those whose littles will be starting nursery soon. My girls are now both in nursery and thankfully both love it but theres definitely a few things on this list (like illness) that I wish I\’d known before my eldest started. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  3. This is a fab post, especially for those whose littles will be starting nursery soon. My girls are now both in nursery and thankfully both love it but theres definitely a few things on this list (like illness) that I wish I\’d known before my eldest started. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  4. This is a fab post, especially for those whose littles will be starting nursery soon. My girls are now both in nursery and thankfully both love it but theres definitely a few things on this list (like illness) that I wish I\’d known before my eldest started. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  5. All very good points. I was lucky my sister works in the nursery my daughter went to so I pretty much had an accurate update on everything the whole time she was there. The worst for me was the illness part but i found work were more understanding when the nursery rang and I had to leave as opposed to me just ringing in sick #bigpinklink

  6. We\’ve had all the same experiences and you\’re right, you just have to accept them and work with the staff if you have concerns. Toddlers are going to do this stuff even if you\’re with them at a playgroup. It\’s just part of their social development! #KCACOLS

  7. Totally agree. When we first started nursery he was constantly snotty for about 6 months, after that it\’s been pretty good though (touch wood). At our nursery there\’s a very frustrating policy about not allowing them back in until 48 hours after the last time they were sick. I\’ve lost many a day at work over that one! #KCACOLS

  8. This is fab – a great reminder of my eldest\’s first days, to get me in the zone for when my baby starts in a few months, sob. I remember being phoned what seemed like daily because she\’d picked up some bug or another, and me dreading telling me boss that I had to drop and run yet again. Once their immune system is up together though this eases off, thankfully! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  9. We had various issues with nursery at first. The sickness was really shocking one year but it\’s one of those things. I will say that teething never ever causes a fever, I read a really interesting post by DrMummykins about this. It was total news to me I must say but I\’ve found lots of other articles backing it up! I always thought it did and have often been fed up with Pinky being sent home when I\’ve thought it\’s just teething. You live and learn I guess. I hope you don\’t mind me passing on that little pearl of knowledge?
    #KCACOLS

    • That is really really interesting and thanks for sharing! I totally thought tweeting and fever went hand in hand too! I\’ll have to check out the Dr mummy kins post too 🙂 xx

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