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Ava's first week at nursery

This week has been tougher than I thought. Ava is adjusting to her new routine. It must be so hard for her, having been with us every single moment since she has been born. I've left her for a few hours with a family member, otherwise she has mostly been with us.

My husband and I are still working at home. The house feels empty and quiet, and yet we are still tiptoeing around as though she's at home in her cot and we are trying not to wake her. I have reflected a lot on the past year and am so grateful for the times we have had together and the special bond we have made.

The baby room is closed at Ava's nursery - it is now the 'covid room' for any child who gets symptoms. So Ava is in the toddler room which is typically for children aged up to 2 / 2 and a half. I'm not too worried about her with bigger children as she is quite tough being the youngest of 4, but she's just like her father, in that she is super grumpy if she does not get enough sleep. In this room, most children nap once a day after lunch. Ava is still on 2 naps a day, a morning nap and an afternoon nap around 2, so we are trying to work out how to manage her naps in this new room. During her settling in sessions they tried to get her to sleep around 9.30am but with the other children being awake and playing, she kept getting disturbed. I suppose in lockdown, she has been used to a quiet dark bedroom so it will take some time to adjust to a noisier environment. This week we decided to let her have a short morning nap at home and then take her in. It sounds like she has been pretty grumpy before lunch as she is still tired from not having her longer morning nap, but she has adjusted well to falling asleep the same time as the other children after lunch, which is great.

The only problem we are now facing is that Ava has become really overtired and is gradually waking earlier each day. Both my girls are early risers so I am typically up at 6am most mornings, however yesterday was an eye watering 5am and today 4.45am!!! I hope over the bank holiday weekend we can get her back to her normal wake times, especially since Lucy is back to school next week and the last thing we need is her woken up at 5am on a school day.

I remember with Lucy, out of all the phases they go through (teething, weaning, potty training, transitioning from cot to bed) the hardest was dropping naps which was usually instigated by a room change at nursery. I wonder if this will be the same with Ava... I guess time will tell.

It feels like the end of an era now Ava is full time at nursery as she is our last baby and I do feel sad that she's not at home with us and life is 'back to normal'... if you can call it that in a pandemic. I always wanted another child so Lucy had a sibling and the last few weeks have been amazing to watch them playing together. Now Ava is walking they are exploring together, enjoying going to the park and dancing to music before bath time. This is exactly what I wanted, that lovely sibling bond so as much as I am sad the baby days are over, I am looking forward to seeing what's coming next for them as sisters.


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