A discussion around attachments and settling in from our Baby Room Leader

Welcome! February’s blog is a discussion around attachments and settling in. I am currently the Baby Room Leader and here at Great Wood Farm it seems that the children in our care grow so quickly and move up to the next room within a blink of an eye. It is wonderful to see children in our Rangers after school club that we have cared for from a very young age. We feel so proud to see that they have grown into such strong and creative individuals, especially when looking back some of these children as young babies or toddlers spent a long time getting used to nursery and settling into nursery life. This is so very normal, and actually a healthy process. I hope that this blog will give you an insight into attachments and settling in.

It is important for your baby or child to form secure attachments with adults that are around them. Babies and children that have multiple secure attachments in their life are more likely to have healthy relationships in the future, and be able to manage their emotions well. When you first bring your baby or child to nursery, I know that it can be heart wrenching for parents too. We understand that you have dedicated the most recent part of your life to your child and they are your whole entire world. In your child’s eyes, you are their safe place and sometimes their parents and immediate family are all they know. So, when they are left with strange new adults in a strange new place of course they will be unsure and they communicate this to us through crying.

Here at Great Wood Farm we pride ourselves on creating inviting and exciting rooms for the children to feel safe and confident to explore. Especially in the Baby Room, we love the ‘Hygge’ feel with soft tones, calm lights and activities to make the babies feel cozy and comforted. We aim to make the rooms a ‘home from home’. This all supports settling in, and will support a child in feeling safe and secure therefore allowing them to form new bonds with adults at nursery. This happens through spending time with us in the environment both inside and out, using lots of distraction with exciting activities (and lots of singing in the Baby Room!). As soon as they start to form bonds with their teachers here at nursery, they will then find courage to start and play independently. Some children will spend a longer time settling in and may cry for some time during their sessions with us. This is completely normal and a part of settling in for some. We do however have children who have formed many attachments previously in their little lives, so with that and their personality in mind they come into nursery and find it really easy to make friends with us teachers and play straight away. Even once your child is fully settled into nursery, it is very normal for them to go through phases of being a little upset at handover in the mornings. Especially after a weekend with their families, they just need to adjust to the weekday routine. Please be reassured these tears never last long and by the time they sit down at the breakfast table, we have had lots of smiles!

If a child does take time to settle in, it is best for them to come into nursery for short sessions at a time until we feel they are ready to stay for a full session. Doing this teaches them that their family do come back every time and reassures them little by little for next time. Most of the time, two or three small two hour sessions are enough for the children (and for you too!) before their ‘first day’, but we will always offer more if we feel it is needed. For the first few weeks the babies and children will be figuring out nursery life and forming those important bonds with the adults at nursery. They also get used to lots of other children being around and learn how to interact with them with our support. We have lots of staff here at Great Wood Farm, and this means your child will form attachments with multiple staff which will support their nursery experience.

Every child has a ‘Key Person’, who will be in charge of development tracking and overseeing routines and learning, supporting with next steps. An important role for the person is to also form a strong professional bond with the child and their family. This makes is easy for you to have someone to talk to about your child, their routine or development for example. Your child’s Key Person will put in lots of time and effort to make sure they know your child really well, they will ‘tune in’ to their interests and provide them with activities they know they will love, and they will share your child’s interests with the rest of their team. With time, your baby or child will form attachments to all of the caregivers at nursery and be happy to be interacted with by all of our staff. Once they have been here a little while they learn to trust all of the grown-ups in blue, making friends with our kitchen team too!

As we all know, every child is so different. We must take into account their personality, home life, previous experiences, even their mood on the day… we never know how they will feel for their first days at nursery. All we can do is support them the best we can, give them all the love and care possible and ease those big feelings. I promise that with time all of our babies and children are happy here and have great adventures with their Great Wood friends and teachers.

Thank you for reading,