In January, I talked about Isabel’s (normal) separation anxiety and how that impacted upon her start to nursery. I was worried about how she would adapt to being cared for primarily one-on-one to a) having to share a carer and b) not have free access to the boob.
She settled quicker than I anticipated and seemed to enjoy ‘Baby Room 1’. In February, they moved her up to the next room with the slightly older babies. This transition was fairly smooth, because the leader of ‘Baby Room 2’ was someone Isabel had been fixated on her since her first morning. The trouble came towards the end of this year when they began transitioning Isabel from Baby Room 2 to ‘Toddler Room’. When moving up to a new room, the nursery take the kids into the new room in advance with someone they know from their old room for an hour or so, increasing the time/frequency of the visits and gradually removing the old carers from the situation for a couple of weeks before the actual move. It’s supposed to settle the children more quickly and allow them to adapt to new carers etc.
During Isabel’s move to Toddler Room she became more clingy in the mornings, getting upset at the thought of going to nursery etc. I originally thought it was because she’d be leaving the room leader behind, but in reality once the move was complete Isabel really came out of herself at nursery. She now asks to go in, asks about nursery on Fridays (our day off), toddles off into her room leaving Karl to sort her coat and bag, etc. In hindsight I think that Isabel was that desperate to move to the new room (she’d “lost” an older friend to the bigger room a few months previous) that it was not going up that bothered her, but coming back to the old room each day!
Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all roses and unicorns. I still think about Isabel’s introduction to nursery a lot, and beat myself up over not reinforcing that I should have been called rather than her being allowed to cry for an hour (I don’t care that it was in someone’s arms – they weren’t my arms!) I can’t change the past though, so focus on what she gets out of it now. No regrets.