First day at Nursery

I pretty much wrote this post in my head the day before my daughter started nursery, and I couldn’t bring myself to write it yesterday which having an emotional meltdown. So I’ve decided to write it today when I’m feeling more positive about her starting nursery and going back to work.

The morning started well with us getting up just before 6, and having breakfast. I had two concerns about the morning at home before leaving the house. 1 ) How would I get myself and my daughter ready in time to leave the house at 7.30am, and 2) Would my little one need a morning nap before we left the house, as her napping schedule is first nap 1.5/2 hours after she wakes up. All went well and we managed to leave the house on time, minus the morning nap. Getting everything ready the night before is a must, her bag and my bag were packed, and the dishes done and put away. This really helped take away some of the stresses and last minute panics. I’m not sure how I’ll manage it when I need to wash and dry my hair, but we will test that on Friday.

I thought that I was absolutely fine on the way there, we arrived and it was fine, until I had to hand her over to the staff. Cue tears from me and from her, it was awful, I felt awful! I felt like an awful Mum leaving her there, I knew that she would be fine, but I think it is a Mum’s right of passage to cry on their child’s first day at nursery. I made myself feel better on arriving in London by purchasing a Pret Coffee and Croissant.

The day at work went without hitch, it is pretty difficult trying to find the part of your brain where WORK is stored. It took me a while to write a fairly simple email, but after a year off I am not surprised.

I have to leave at 5pm every day to be back in time to pick my daughter up from nursery by 6pm. I had a terrible and stressful journey home, as the trains were all delayed from London Bridge and had I waited I knew I wouldn’t make it. So I jumped on the tube, and then Overground, and then had to run to the nursery in my sandals, in the rain and only just made it in time. If you are late, you are charged!

I have never seen my daughter looking so tired……..she had only slept for 20 minutes, her eyes were red, and she looked so sad. It was awful, the image of her looking like that may stay with me for a long time. As soon as she saw me, she burst into tears, I felt awful. The care staff told me she had an ok day, but was really tired as she had only slept for 20 minutes.

On the walk home, I was really worried about the next day.

However today she’s had a much better day, sleeping for 50 minutes and eating nearly all her food. I’m feeling so much better about her being at nursery now, and I hope that she will be ok for the rest of the week. I’m sure that once she get used to new faces and friends, and a new routine she will love it!

Tomorrow is my last day of maternity leave, and I plan to make the most of it by doing some shopping and having a lovely lunch.

Claire x




  • Sarah - Mum & Mor

    Aw it must’ve been heart-wrenching to leave your little one. I found it difficult leaving my daughter with her aunt for just one day while I had a date day with my partner. Hopefully both you and daughter will settle into the routine. #TribalLove

  • TiredHappyMummy

    It does get better, I promise and I cried the other week when we took her out of the nursery she’s been in since October! It is heart wrenching and we’ve still had days where we’ve both been in years, but most days now Monkey goes off with a wave over her shoulder. Being organised the night before is key, you sound like you’ve cracked that.

  • bridiebythesea

    Aw lovely – Emma is going to nursery in September and I’m dreading it. Like you, I just don’t know how I’m going to get us ready by 7:30am without the morning nap eeek. My friend has already warned me that they don’t really nap during the day unless they are falling over from exhaustion. It sounds like it’s going so well already and well done you for getting through it, it must be so hard to see little one so upset on drop off and collecting her. Hope work is going ok too! xx #triballove

  • twotinyhands

    Awww, even though you cried and it was hard you managed it. It’ll only get easier from here. I have nothing to compare against with this but I think I’d cry too X #triballove x

  • Becky sparkly_mummy

    The first day is by far the hardest, and soon you will both relax into it. I’ve been the nursery nurse and the mummy and I can honestly say that it’s true what they say when they tell you they stopped crying as soon as you left I know it doesn’t make it any easier
    Hope you made the most of your last day of maternity

  • Manny

    I remember my little boy’s first day at nursery – he cried every time I left him for about a week or two but it gets better. Now he practically runs into the class, he can’t wait to say bye to me! 🙂

  • TeamMomLife (@TeamMomLife)

    I’m sorry it has been so hard for trying to go back to work. I just got lucky and started back part time so it was easier to adjust. It sounds like you had a pretty rough first day. And I know it is so so hard to get your brain back into working mode. I’m sure it will get a little better every day. #TribalLove

  • Kaye

    You poor thing! How stressful, it’s always tough when they start nursery but it does get better. A now absolutely loves it and doesn’t want to leave, haha. #fortheloveofblog

  • The Mum Project

    It’s so hard trying to juggle the baby and work and yourself. I moved my hours forward so I have to be in the office by 7:30am, luckily my partner drops my son off at nursery so I don’t have to deal with the sadness! It sounds like it will get better though, Bear didn’t sleep well for the first week or so but he finally got used to having other kids around and is now back to his normal nap schedule. : ) #fortheloveofblogging

  • thefrenchiemummy

    OMG Claire, I am currently looking for a nursery for Baba to start in January and I am dreading it!
    Already the search has been difficult; I don’t want to leave him with them Actually I wrote a post just yesterday about how to fin fthe perfect place.

    Having said that, I am happy to see that the second day was better. It’s fine really I am sure. It’s just really hard to let them go. Keep us updated with any progress, I would be very interested to see how it goes and if you have any tips for later on.

    I still have 6 months before I go back to work. You post made me realise that I must make the most of it! Thanks!

  • mumzilla

    Oh lovely, it is so hard but you will both get used to it. My OH used to do the drop off which made things easier but it was still such a wrench. You spend the day feeling like you’ve forgotten something! #fortheloveofblog

  • Baby Anon

    Your post really resonated with me. My baby started at nursery a few weeks ago and I thought I would be fine with it as I was already back at work (husband took 6 months shared parental) but I sobbed. And baby cried too the first time I picked her up – felt like such a heel.

    Now though….she loves it!!! I walk in and she’s laughing and playing and when she sees her key worker she lights up. She loves the sensory room and she’s already done some artwork. She’s having experiences there she wouldn’t get at home. And she’s making friends – she loves other babies and she is so happy.

    It will get easier, I promise. You’ll find your routine and you will see your child flourish.

    I wrote a poem about her first day which might resonate with you.

    Good luck x #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Louise

    Sending you a big virtual hug Claire – I can imagine that first day at nursery must be so hard. Glad to hear that the second day was better and I’m sure your daughter will soon settle into her new routine and enjoy being at nursery x #fortheloveofblog

  • flyingsolo7

    it is so hard, I remember it well, if it helps I think it did my two the world of good being at nursery from a young age, now at 16 & 20 they have always been sociable children, will mix with anyone, talk to anyone, make friends easily at school and other social events, they aren’t clingy and it makes life easier when you want to go out with friends etc as you can leave them easily and neither they or you have this anxiety every time. Your routine has been turned on its head and its a shock to you and baby, but children adjust so well and soon enough this will be your new normal and you will both be fine

  • Mrs Lighty

    Oh poor you, it does get easier, promise! I was told that they often burst into tears once their parent is back as they feel like they can let out their emotions then. Baby Lighty did it the first time we left him at the childminder’s but hadn’t done it since (and he’s been there for 3 months now). Baby Lighty also hardly naps and I haven’t cracked that yet. I may buy him another ‘Little Ted’ from IKEA to leave at the childminder’s as a comforter, as that’s what he has when he naps here. Hope things get easier for you xxx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • JerseyGirl

    Awe per this must have been a hard day, not helped by the trains! I’m glad she’s settling in better on day two and I’m sure you will find the transition easier as the weeks goes on. Good luck engaging the “work” brain again. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Squirmy Popple

    It’s a hard adjustment, isn’t it? The Popple has been in nursery for two weeks now and still cries and clings to me when I drop her off, and cries again when I come pick her up. She’s not eating much while she’s there, though she does take a 1 1/2-2 hour nap in the afternoon. It’s so difficult because you can’t explain to them why you have to leave, but everyone says they get used to it eventually – I certainly hope so! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • justsayingmum

    Oh, Claire, leaving your child for the first few times is undoubtedly one of the hardest things isn’t it? So hard for both of you but, as you write, the second day was easier. Just think of all that intersection she will get from such an early age and then as she grows, the little friends she will make – and think of how much of a better mummy you will be by making sure that all the time you spend with her is quality. Hope things continue to get easier and the return to work is smooth #fortheloveofBLOG

  • josandelson

    You’ve really highlighted what it really means including the worry about the pink eyes, lack of napping and the hideous journey home. I remember the wrench even though my son only did half days. Please don’t feel pressured to reply to this if you are worn out emotionally and physically keeping work and home together. Take good care. jo x #fortheloveofblog

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks Jo for your lovely comment! I’m fine, I’m having a glass of wine. The week has got easier as it has progressed, it was horrible on her first day, and once she used to the surroundings and people hopefully she’ll be eager for me to leave 🙂 x

  • Kate Orson

    It must have been hard to see your daughter looking like that. I’m sure as she gets more connected to the people there, she’ll start feeling better and enjoying it. #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Laura

    Aww being a mummy is so very hard and sucks sometimes! But just think – you’ve done the hardest part now, so can only get better from now!

  • Angela Watling

    I remember going through the exact same thing when my daughter started nursery in January (I even blogged about it too in an attempt to feel better: I’m not sure it helped!) It does get easier though as you adjust back to being at work and as they get used to being in nursery. My daughter doesn’t sleep as consistently as she does at home but she has between 50 mins and 1.5 hours most days (there was an epic 2hr 40 min one day – not sure what happened there!) and she loves being around her little friends. Her development has really accelerated since being at nursery too because she watches the others and copies them. It is rare now that she doesn’t come running to me at pick-up with a massive smile on her face. I’m sure your LO will soon love her nursery too and that will make it a lot easier for you to leave her!

    Echo the comments about preparing the night before – I get everything, including my clothes, sorted before I turn out the light!


    • The Pramshed

      I agree with you on the developmental part of it, I’ve already started to notice changes in her, and this can only accelerate more the longer that she is there. I hope her sleep improves soon once she starts getting used to where she is. Thanks for your lovely comment and for reading 🙂 x

    • Emma

      my boy is 3 now and been at nursery a while. he loves it a lot. we’ve found a good routine now which makes the mornings less hectic. having stuff prepared def helps too doesn’t it 🙂

    • The Pramshed

      Thanks Lisa! It’s really hard, mine was unhappy to be left there at first, it has got easier as the week progressed, but I still have tears when I pick her up 🙂 x

  • Over Heaven's Hill

    Oh claire that is so hard and heart breaking. It’s just not easy working and being a parent. It will get easier but it’s always going to have its tough moments. You’re doing awesome momma never forget that #fortheloveofBlog

  • Tracey Bowden

    My daughter loved her nursery from day 1 so I didn’t really have a problem although she never used to sleep well there. It is true what they say they do get used to it. I hope she gets used to it soon as do you xx

    • The Pramshed

      Yes sleep is a little bit of a problem for us, as she’s only sleeping for about 30 – 45 minutes which isn’t long enough. I’m hoping that as she get used to being there, her sleep improves 🙂 x

  • Cat

    It does get easier, promise! My daughter loves her child minder and all the little friends she has made. So much so that even now I’ve become a full time SAHM she still goes for her 15 free hours (over two days). I don’t need her to go, but she wants to. I know she gets a lot out of being there and it gives me one on one time with my youngest. Plus I can get some blog stuff done at nap time 😉

  • thetaleofmummyhood

    Ah bless you, I can’t imagine what leaving them at nursery for the first time is like. Like you say though once your daughter gets used to it I’m sure she will absolutely love it and make so many little friends! I hope work all goes well and that you have enjoyed the last day of your maternity leave.


    • The Pramshed

      I’m sure it will be fine once we are both used to it, and in a new routine. This week has already been getting easier and easier, so I’m sure in a couple of weeks it’ll feel like normal 🙂 x

    • The Pramshed

      It was really hard on Tuesday, I couldn’t focus on work as I was thinking about whether she was eating and sleeping. It has got easier as the week went on 🙂 x

  • blabbermama

    Really feeling for you, this will be me in September. As a few people have said, it will get better, day by day. Your baby will begin to look forward to going to nursery and that will make it less stressful for you. Please let us know how you get on as time goes on! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • The Pramshed

      Oh hun you will be fine. Honestly my week has got better as it progressed, the first day was horrible to leave her, but each day got easier as she was eating and sleeping more there. I also am lucky to be able to track how she’s eating and sleeping throughout the day which is reassuring, as our nursery complete a sheet that we download. I’m not sure if other’s do, but I’m sure there must be something similar. I hope it goes well for you x

      • blabbermama

        That’s so handy to keep track of your daughter in nursery. No doubt if ours don’t do that I’ll be ringing to check in and make sure all is going ok. He’s having a few taster sessions and full days before I go to work just to make sure he’s ok so fingers crossed. I’m glad it’s getting better for you! x

  • Emma

    aww this reminds me of when b started nursery and I had a few days and half days to myself before work! b was shattered too – it really takes it out of them being on the go ALL day. even now at 3 years old b is tired when he gets home. on a plus he sleeps well most of the time! good luck going bacl to work Claire xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • wendy

    Aww I bet it was so hard leaving her for that first day, you got through it though and I am sure in time you will both get used to the new set up. I feel so unbelievably lucky that I get to stay at home with my boy and he goes to play school morning a week and that’s because he wants to. I have so much respect for you working mamas xx #forhteloveofblog

  • babyledblog

    It’s so hard the first few times you leave them. But my little boy loves nursery now! Sure some days he still has a little cry. But I know it only lasts a few minutes before he is happily eating toast and playing. There are so many good bits to nursery. Just don’t be too hard on yourself Mama. #fortheloveofblog

  • Complyorcry

    Whaa! It’s so hard isn’t it! I totally feel your pain, but soon you will picking her up and asking if she wants to go home and she will say no! There is no winning! #forthoveofBLOG

  • thebritishmaple

    I promise it gets better. My big little guy had a hard time settling in because he only goes two days a week but seeing the excitement on his face on daycare days more than makes up for it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Petite Library

    I’ve not been in that situation yet, but I’m sure the adjustment will get better for everyone, be strong, you’re wonderful and wishing you a happy weekend together! #fortheloveofBLOG

  • The Adventures of Beta Mummy

    Oh bless you, that must have been so hard! Both my kids went/go to a childminder, which seemed less scary (for me) than nursery, for some reason. You’re in a transition period at the moment but within a very short time she’ll have settled right in and you’ll soon be feeling sad that she doesn’t seem remotely fussed when you leave…! 😉

  • powerporter

    Aww sweety I remember that time so well. And it really does get easier. My little girl is so confident now after starting nursery at 9 months old and came on leaps and bounds from the day she started. As parents we have to do what is best for our little broods #fortheloveofBLOG

  • letyourlightshinemummy

    It’s so difficult, she will soon settle in, and you will find your routine. I was like this when BB started preschool, and come Sept we will have the big school routine eeek. Absolutely we can cry, you suddenly realise they are getting more grown up. xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • prettyinplaydough

    The first few times that I dropped off Little R I would drive around the corner and sob for the five hours she was there. Now, I cannot wait to drop her off so I can either go to work or do exciting things like have my eyebrows done, my nails done and even the weekly shop! It will all be okay 🙂 #fortheloveofBlog

  • mindfulmummy

    Oooo that sounds a very hard pick-up – poor you and her but I’m sure it will get better very quickly (as it sounds like it already has). I really hope this first week back goes well. You’ll all soon get into the swing of things I’m sure. #fortheloveofBLOG x

  • Double the Monkey Business

    It is so incredibly hard when they first start, I hope it gets easier and your first week back is ok xxx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Siena Says

    Aw I remember it well G was only 4 months old as I was ill whilst pregnant and had to start my mat leave early. The early days are hard, but they soon settle in as you are already beginning to see. What was even harder for me was her last day before leaving to go to primary school, I cried my eyes out!!!

    Hope all is going well xxx


  • Suburban Mum

    Oh I remember this day for me so so well – it was soooo hard to leave my little one back then. Good to hear that she had a better second day. A new routine for you both will take time to adjust. I am sure she will be fine in no time! Sorry my comment is so late! This is for last weeks #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  • Kiri

    Aw I’m pleased the second day went a bit better. It does take them a little while to settle in. My little one used to cry at drop off for the first few weeks but she was always fine within minutes of me leaving. Now she loves going to nursery and runs in with a big smile on her face and gives everyone a hug. Good luck being back at work – it can take a while for us to adjust too!

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