Starting nursery is a major milestone. Whether you're returning to work after maternity leave or your child's starting a bit later, aged 2 or 3, you'll want to be as prepared as you can be and avoid having a nervous breakdown in the process. Here are three tips from someone who's done it three times and been at nursery for approximately 133 years. By Amy Ransom
Find a nursery you LOVE. This is going to help you feel a million times better when it comes to parting with your child. If you're coming back from a nursery wondering if one of the nursery workers was stoned (true story), it's time to keep looking. I looked at 10 nurseries before I found The One. And I just knew the moment I stepped through the door. In fact, I loved it so much that some days I wished I could just stay there, instead of going off to work. Seven years on, I'm still there with baby no. 3 and I owe them a great deal for helping me raise three confident children, two of whom are now happily at school.
Babies cry when you leave them. I'm not sure if they do this to a) make us feel guilty b) because they love us so darn much or c) because they're hungry/tired/not happy with their sock choice that morning but the fact is, lots of babies cry when they're left. It's beyond excruciating for the parent but the thing you can pretty much guarantee is the moment you've closed the nursery door behind you, sobbing, they're over it and are only interested in that shiny, red ball that's just caught their eye. My third has been at nursery for a year and he STILL cries whenever I leave him. I'm obviously very jaded by this now so I just smile, pat and RUN. In other words? You'll get used to it too.
Ditch the guilt. Guilt is a mother's prerogative, you know that already. But don't give in to it and continually analyse whether you're doing the right thing. You're doing what you're doing right now and everyone's ok. Nursery is an amazing environment for your child and I personally would not have been without it. They also do tons of wild stuff you'd NEVER do at home like use sand indoors and sensory play with chocolate. WILD!