5 tips for getting through the first few weeks of nursery school.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Somehow it's now Charlie's forth week of nursery.  How I officially don't have a baby any more is beyond me!  I know everyone says it, and clichés don't really mean anything until you go through them but it seems like it was just last week that I was getting over the trauma of childbirth and figuring out how to look after a 7lb 9oz blob of hungry, pooing baby.  I still can't believe I own a child some days, I'm not sure if its just me but after 3 years, sometimes I feel like I'm still adjusting to the whole parenting thing!

There have been some ups and downs but over all, Charlie is really enjoying nursery... I think, I hope!  I'm loving the free time to do things for myself and I am generally feeling slightly more sane.  I just hope he gets used to it sooner rather than later, so I can shed the guilt (yes, I know there will always be something) and we can all feel more at home in our new stage of life!

I am far from an expert but here are some of the things that have helped ease the process of starting nursery, for all of us -

1.  Visit the nursery a lot before starting.
Often nurseries have baby and toddler groups that mums and babies can pop along to, which is what Charlie did with his Granny every week and it really helped him to feel familiar with the place.

2.  Talk about nursery.
In the weeks running up to Charlie's start date we spoke a lot about the fact that he will be starting nursery soon and is lucky enough to be able to go every day, its helped for him to understand (as much as he can about a future event!) and get excited about it so that when the day came he knew what was going on.

3.  Stock up on nursery friendly clothes and shoes.
Charlie is still learning to use the toilet but we realised he didn't have many pairs of trousers that had elasticated waists, he is in pull ups at the moment but should the fancy take him, I want him to be able to go to the loo if he wants and elasticated waists will help with this!  Same goes for velcro shoes they can take on and off themselves.  Also make sure you have lots of cheap tops and trousers that are fine to be covered in paint, play dough and glue.  Half the time I don't even know whats on his clothes so I'm always sure not to dress him in anything I care too much about.

4.  Make time for playtime, outside of nursery.
I am more than guilty of being rubbish at playtime but I always notice a positive effect on his behaviour when I make more time for focused time just for me and him, where I don't have my phone and the TV isn't on.  I have surprisingly found this more necessary over the settling in period, I thought he would be all played-out from nursery but of course, he is unsettled by the changes and actually needs more mum-time so he knows all is normal and he can feel secure.

5.  Don't rush the settling in period.
Seeing as Charlie already knew his nursery quite well, I thought he would only need a few days of us being there with him - not the case.  His whole life he has mainly been looked after by me, Ben or my mum so for him, this is the first time he doesn't have one to one adult attention.  It's pretty mind blowing stuff for him if you think about it!  Four weeks in and he is only just doing a whole session by himself, before he started I would have thought that was aaaaaages but actually I can see he enjoys nursery more, if I don't push him too far out of his comfort zone.  I'd rather it take longer and know he is truly happy there, that way I can enjoy my child free time without worrying about him or feeling guilty.

I'd love to know what your top tips are for surviving the first few weeks of nursery.  We could still do with a few thats for sure!

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