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First settling in session at nursery

I cannot believe we are already here. Ava is one. I am going back to work this month and Ava is starting nursery full time.

Her first settling in session was today. I have been feeling ridiculously anxious about this for the past 2 weeks. I haven't slept well and can feel so much tension in my body.

Ava has been such hard work for the last 4 months with her separation anxiety. She is starting to get used to other people but whenever I am around, she will often reach out for me if anyone else tries to hold her. I really didn't expect her to settle for someone new in an unknown surrounding.

I met with her keyworker in the garden of the nursery last week, both wearing masks, answering lots of questions about Ava while she explored the garden area. She seemed very happy to try out all the new toys. But of course I was there, so I assume she felt safe.

I had agreed with her keyworker, Katie, that I would bring her Tuesday morning for 2 hours and hand her over and leave as quickly as I could.

I thought this would be best for Ava, but also for me. I know I feel so attached to her too after the year we have had. I have barely left her side for the first year of her life. I was ok taking Lucy to nursery, but something felt different this time.

It got to 10am today, I woke Ava from her nap, told her she was off to nursery and she would have lots of fun and we headed there. (I'm sure she didn't have a clue what I was saying)

I handed her over quickly as planned and walked away. I turned back to notice there was no change in her facial expression and she seemed OK. Such a relief.

Obviously this was only for a split second so I decided to leave it half an hour before calling to check in, just in case she needed consoling then Katie would have the time to do that.

When I rang they said there had been no tears, she was absolutely fine but staying with an adult while she was taking everything in. I couldn't believe it. The relief was massive. I was so happy for her that she wasn't screaming or upset.

It was strange being at home without her there. Both my husband and I commented on how we were being quiet around the house as though she was sleeping and not at nursery. I think it will take a while to sink in that she is not in the house. I did feel like I missed her even though it had not been very long.

When I collected her at midday she was as calm as can be. The girls said she had been fine the entire time and commented to each other on how well she was settling in. She warmed up to them and played nicely in the garden. She kept cuddling her keyworker and even gave her a kiss.

Such lovely feedback from her first settling in session. I am genuinely shocked but in a good way. I really hope this helps her with her clinginess at home and that she will learn to be more secure. The next session they will try to give her a nap at the nursery so fingers crossed that goes ok too. Really happy with how well she has coped.


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