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Helping your child to settle in at nursery


It can be tricky when you first have to leave your little one; be that in a nursery, with a childminder or even with a relative. At Llanover Day Nursery, we’re mindful of the fact that this is a big adjustment for both children and parents. We’re very experienced in helping children to settle in to life at nursery, and helping parents get used to dropping off their little ones too! Our team have come up with a few tips for parents, to help the transition go nice and smoothly for everyone.


Know that your child will get upset, but they will come round quickly


You may be nervous that your little one will cry, even scream and throw a tantrum, when you leave. Anyone that works in childcare will be used to this situation. We’d like to reassure you that even if they shed tears as you leave, your child will soon be playing happily. Distracted and busy with all of the other children to play with, the new toys and exciting activities, they won’t feel sad for too long. Don’t just take our word for it. All good nurseries or childcare professionals will be happy to speak to you at any time of the day while your child is with them, to let you know how they are getting on.


Prepare yourself for the fact that your child may be upset when you leave. Try not to let them see that you are upset too, that might make the situation worse.


Say Goodbye


Some parents ask to wait until their child is playing and then sneak quietly out the door. In our experience, this isn’t a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, your child is unlikely to go off and start playing while you are still there, particularly if they are a bit upset. If you start playing with them, they will find it all the harder to understand when you eventually have to leave. Secondly, if you leave without telling your child, they get a nastier shock when they realise you are gone. It’s best to say a quick, loving goodbye and reassure your child that you will be back to pick them up later on. Even if they are not quite able to understand this, they will soon begin to recognise the pattern.  


Give them some warning!


It’s a good idea to tell your child where they are going, remind them the night before and in the morning as you travel to nursery. They will be prepared for what is coming next, and calmer as a result. You can do this with any age group, even a little baby as gradually they will associate your words with a familiar place. Children like the comfort and safety of familiar surroundings, and in a short while nursery will become a home-from-home for them.


The importance of routines!


All nurseries will take into account your child’s needs, and the routine they are used to as much as possible. Until your child is 2, your nursery will follow that routine closely and it’s important to keep them up to date with any changes (e.g. when your child has dropped a nap or a feed at home). As they get older, they will gently begin to follow the nursery routines. For instance, at Llanover Day Nursery children in our Butterfly Room all have a nap together after lunch. To help your child, you could think about adapting your routine at home so that their minds and bodies adjust to doing the same things at the same time, e.g. eating lunch or having a nap at roughly the same time each day.


Home Comforts


All nurseries will have different policies on comfort toys, so it’s a good idea to check with your nursery before you start. At Llanover Day Nursery, we recognise that cuddly comfort toys, blankets or dummies can be a great reassurance for young children and we’re happy for them to use them. As they get older, we work with parents to gradually reduce their child’s reliance on their comfort object, by using them just at nap time for instance.


Try some settling in sessions


This can be especially useful if your little one is going to be starting nursery full time, or for full days. Build up slowly from a couple of hours on the first morning to the full day. Try not to leave too long between sessions; coming to nursery regularly will help them to get used to it much more quickly. At Llanover Day Nursery, we are flexible in the number of settling in sessions a parent would like their child to have and we work with parents to help them decide when their child is ready to start their full sessions with us.


Stay positive!


Talking positively about nursery, telling your little one about all of the exciting things they’re going to do that day, praising the lovely art work they bring home for you, can all make a big difference to how your child feels about nursery. Children are so perceptive, and if you seem unhappy about something, they will be too.


Reassure yourself!


As a parent, there are lots of things you can do to reassure yourself about your child’s nursery experience. Speaking to nursery staff and other parents who use the nursery can be a big help. Phone the nursery to check on your little one as much as you need to, we will always be happy to speak to you. Before you collect your child, try to have a quick peak at them while they can’t see you. Chances are they will be busy exploring, playing, learning, socialising, singing, painting... the list is endless, and they can tell you all about it when they get home.


"Inspiring young minds"

01873 880772


Llanover Day Nursery, quality childcare in Abergavenny and Pontypool, nursery Abergavenny
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