Leaving DS in church nursery? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am struggling with leaving my 14 mo. old DS in the church nursery. We have been attending this church for about 2 months and, up until yesterday, DH always stayed with DS in the nursery while I attended the service. DH couldn't go yesterday, so I left DS (and DD who is almost 4 yo) for the first time. He cried A LOT when I left, but seemed happy when I came back and the workers said he only cried for a few minutes and then they were able to get him interested in playing and he was fine. I just feel bad leaving when he is screaming like that, even if he is fine soon after, but there is no way he can stay in the service. Have any other mamas had this situation?
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#2 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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I love our church nursery. In fact one of the reasons I go to the church I do is because they have a nursery! Personally I need that time alone to worship. Being able to participate in the service rejuvenates me and helps me be a better mom.
DD often cries when I leave her with sitters. I've listened from the other side of the door and she stops about 30 seconds after I leave. Separation anxiety is totally normal and healthy at this age. Now, if your ds was so upset that he was inconsolable that would be a different story.

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#3 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Yup.

Sometimes DD calms down after a few minutes, but usually she doesn't... sometimes she calms down and then freaks out if another parent comes/goes.

I mostly don't go to church any more. I spend all my time in the nursery anyway, so there's no point.

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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#4 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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My DD LOVES going to the nursery. And now that she is 2 she loves going to the preschool room as well. We keep her with us for the beginning of the service, but she keeps asking me "Go toys? I go toys?"

She only cried when I dropped her off once, and I did the same as the pp and waiting outside the door where she couldn't see me and made sure she calmed down, and she did.

Do the nursery workers have any way to notify you if your DS gets really upset? Ours has a paging system - each family is assigned a number, and if one of the kids needs a parent the number is displayed at the front of the sanctuary. It gives peace of mind that if they needed you, you would know.

Our children's pastor always tells the volunteers not to try to be heroes. If a kid gets upset, certainly try for a minute or two to distract them and calm them down, but if they just won't settle it is time to page Mama.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#5 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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Mine does that as well. He is better if DAD leaves him in the nursery rather than me. So usually he drops him off in there. Stays a minute and plays then says "by".
They have a pager system, and we get him at "the peace" and bring him to service for the last 15 minutes so he can get used to the idea on being in service.
I just tell them if he is really upset to get me.

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#6 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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My DD did that for a couple of months, and now she is totally fine being left there and even looks forward to it! She talks about the kids and the toys quite excitedly.

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#7 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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We kept DS with us the first year. At 14 months, we were just starting to try going back to our new local church. (We moved to town, 6 weeks later had a bad experience, and largely stayed away for 6+ months).

He goes through phases. I think we had times in his second year where we could drop him downstairs and return to church, and other times where he needed us to stay.

He got to the stage where he was perfectly happy downstairs on Sunday morning... but on Saturday evening at the chili supper he wanted a parent with him. (Not the normal routine.)

And I think when he started preschool was probably his most recent regression, he started fussing again. We stayed with him a few weeks, and worked our way to where I dropped him off, waited out-of-sight to listen, and he settled in just a few minutes.

Now, I don't even go in, I just drop the diaper bag inside the door, and he's fine.

The gym childcare, on the other hand, is still a work in progress. Our irregular schedule doesn't help... but their Barney DVD does

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#8 of 13 Old 07-26-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Yep, DS is 18 mo and at about 15 months we started going back to church on a regular basis. Every time I put him in the nursery he cries but shortly after I leave they say he's fine..when I return and he sees me, he cries again, so all I see is crying, but apparently he does fine. I wouldn't stress too much about it. Just let the workers know not to hesistate to page you if he doesn't calm down. I've never been paged.

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#9 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 03:46 AM
 
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I've seen it a million times and distraction is the best thing, and yes, sometimes the first couple of minutes are sad but then they start playing and do a 180 and forget all about you! People who work the nursery enjoy kids and want YOU to be able to leave them confidently. Take advantage of what the nursery offers - being able to participate in worship.

I do recommend training your LO to sit in worship with you. I am working on that now with my 15mo and we have good weeks and bad weeks (and I am by myself bc my husband is the pastor), but he definitely knows to be quiet. It's definitely slow progress but big picture, I want DS to learn to enjoy and participate in worship as he grows, just as much as I do for myself. Parenting in the Pew is a good book in that regard.

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#10 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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My daughter would cry and cry and cry in a church nursery. We ended up taking a break from attending. At 3yo, she cried once about the separation (for Sunday School), but said she wanted to go back. After that first initial time, she's always eagerly gone.
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#11 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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DS is almost 3 and has been going to our church nursery since 6 months. He loves it there, loves the ladies who work with the kids, loves the whole thing. But sometimes he cries at drop off. Initially we had an understanding that if he cried for 5 minutes they would come get me. That happened once (so I know they'll do it). I've stood outside the door PLENTY of times and he *always* calms down within 60 seconds.

I've noticed that the more consistently he goes to the nursery the easier it gets. The times when he cries are the first times back after a couple weeks off.

My suggestion: stand outside the door (out of eyesight) until DC calms down, give them the opportunity to learn how to best calm him but if it gets too rough you can step back in (and take DS with you so he learns that you will always come back to get him). I think after a few times you won't feel as nervous about leaving him and can leave him without concern. They did say he calmed down after being distracted and I'm assuming there is a system in place in case they need to come get you?

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#12 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post
I've seen it a million times and distraction is the best thing, and yes, sometimes the first couple of minutes are sad but then they start playing and do a 180 and forget all about you! People who work the nursery enjoy kids and want YOU to be able to leave them confidently. Take advantage of what the nursery offers - being able to participate in worship.

I do recommend training your LO to sit in worship with you. I am working on that now with my 15mo and we have good weeks and bad weeks (and I am by myself bc my husband is the pastor), but he definitely knows to be quiet. It's definitely slow progress but big picture, I want DS to learn to enjoy and participate in worship as he grows, just as much as I do for myself. Parenting in the Pew is a good book in that regard.
Cook, not to de-rail the thread but how do you keep your DC in worship with you? DS has gotten to the point where sometimes he wants to stay with us. We have quiet toys for him to play with but well, he's 3 and he talks, and has to go potty in the middle of the sermon, and wants to show/talk about whatever he's doing, and visit with the people around him. I'm sure you get the point. He's perfectly well behaved for being 3 BUT it's distracting to me, I feel like I have to really put my focus on him so he doesn't distract others and it prevents me from really engaging in the message.

My ideal is that he stays with us through the first half (praise & worship, children's sermon) and then goes to nursery for the last 30 minutes....but he says he wants to stay with us (and to take him out mid-sermon would result in a loud, tear filled exit) tips?

wife to DH, Mama to DS "Bug" (09/07), and DD "Sprout" (01/11). 
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#13 of 13 Old 07-27-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I would love love love for DD to stay in the nursery/ playschool room so I can sit and hear the sermon. I tried once when she was 20 months old, and she cried/ screamed for a couple minutes - I basically just ran to the washroom and came back and sat with her in there (along with the nursery worker). She was the only kid that time, so there wasn't any distraction.
I took her in there a couple more times since then to get her used to the room. One time there was another child about her age, and it was okay.

I would usually just have DD sit with me in the sanctuary, and if she got too chatty, we'd stand in the back behind the windows and listen. She likes the singing, so she is usually pretty good during the service.

I have only been to church once since DS was born 7 weeks ago, and I only took him. I'd like to be able to take them both, and have DD in the nursery during the service. (taking DH is not an option - church is not something he has ever done, unless it's a holiday or I was singing something special in choir).

So I feel your pain - not that I have any advice!
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