Settling in sessions generally apply to day nurseries rather than sessional care options, and is the name given to the hours that you attend with the objective of building up your child's familiarity with their new surroundings in the weeks prior to their start date.
The good news is that generally nurseries will offer these free as part of their package. You will probably be offered at least a couple of them; at Baby Room we provide a minimum of 4 and they are taken between 9am-12pm, with the aim of building up your length of stay over the 12 noon barrier as your baby gets used to being at nursery for longer.
We also offer more tailored packages for mums returning to work for 4 or 5 days over the 3 or 4 weeks prior to start date.
What Should I Bring?
For the first session you will probably be asked to bring a spare change of clothes, any comforter that a child uses, such as a favourite rabbit (soft toy here - not a real one!) and, if your child is still a baby, a box of their milk powder or breast milk (ready pumped).
If they are older, a toothbrush and toothpaste may be requested. Day nurseries usually provide all else - nappies, snacks, sippy cups and anything else they are going to need in their busy new life.
The Time Has Come
Having got all that ready and counted down the days to D-day; negotiating the inevitable last minute nappy change, you’ve finally got yourself out of the house and there on time!
But what do you find greets you when you get there?
Sadly, it’s a mountain of paperwork to complete; all the forms that Ofsted require or we think we need you to fill in before you hand your most precious little person over to us. At Baby Room, your baby will most likely play around you in the nursery room whilst you answer questions with your key worker.
The idea is to get all the legal stuff out of the way and to capture and complete any no-no's for your child – allergies, medical history, permission to take photographs and the like. If your child is under 2 years of age, you will be asked about their current daily routine.
At the end of this first session, you may be asked to leave your child with us for a short while, but this may be saved for next time, depending on time and how things are going during the session.
The Following Sessions
In the second session, the staff will ask you more about you and your child and will talk to you more about how they thought your child had fared during their first session.
They will likely go through your child's daily routine again with you and ask any questions that they have thought of after having had time to consider it. This time you can be sure that you will spend some time away from your child.
As the sessions continue, your key worker will inform you on how your child has coped with various parts of the nursery day - meals, nappy changes, getting to sleep and so on.
At Baby Room, we have a daily communications book that we write down such things as meals, drinks, toileting and activities so that you can refer to it when you get home.
By the third or fourth session, other staff in the room will have started to interact with your child, too, so they also will start to learn more about them!
And thus it goes on! At Baby Room, we believe that you should never feel in a rush to settle your child in and you are always welcome to pop back to see them.
We recently have been offering half day sessions instead of settling in ones for babies aged 7 months and so far this has been working nicely! The idea is that the settling period does not have to be so long if your baby has been attending since before separation anxiety can affect them, which is at around 8-10 months. You can always contact me using the details below to ask more about our tailored settling sessions
- Alison .
Alison is the founder of a London-based Nanny Agency and established four children's nurseries in London's Nappy Valley during the past 10 years.
To find out how you can benefit from the superb services that our nannies in London provide or to speak to a member of our friendly team about our local nurseries, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling the Nanny Agency in London on 020 7228 2811 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help you with your enquiries. Keep up to date with Baby Room by following us on our Nanny Agency Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as our Nursery Facebook and Twitter pages.