Settling in sessions
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  1. #1
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    Default Settling in sessions

    I know lots of you have taken on new children during the past year in lockdown - so, how have you managed settling in sessions? Are they very different to your settling in sessions pre-covid?

    I'm arranging to see a parent this weekend and she is asking about settling in sessions. She asked if she (actually she says 'we') could stay until the child is happy to wander off and play, and then leave for 10-15 minutes. I've said I can do one of the sessions in when I have no other children here, but didn't want to do my second settling in session when I have no other children here, as it will be my holiday. I don't really want her hanging around (definitely not both parents!) - I've never had that before, and with covid, I'm thinking that they shouldn't anyway!

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    Is this the same parent who is doing the attachment parenting style you asked about earlier ? I haven't done any settling sessions yet but I am interested in what others have done as I am due some new ones starting later in the year. I haven't arranged a visit with parents yet either but hopefully that will happen after Easter (family live a few doors up so I know them they just haven't been in and seen my set up yet) the other new starter is a sibling of one of my little ones who will be starting school in September.
    Pixie Dust

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    I had a 12mth old start in September. Mum and babe came for a 30 min visit one saturday mid July, and we had a quick walk through house, showed babe playroom, picked up a toy and went to play in the garden. We were then both away/i was off ill!! The week before babe was due to start, Mum dropped off, at the door and said bye, and we went to play ... Mum came back about 20 mins later. all good. Then a couple of days later, Mum dropped off again, and we did the same, and then, came to pick up about 40 mins later. ALL good. Babe then started the following week. We had people on standby in case of meltdowns etc, but babe is a superstar, and settled really well. ( 3 full days a week ) I had asked Mum for an in depth rundown of babes day so if babe started getting grumpy, i had a chance of knowing if it was a meal or sleep time! Mum also sent food/snacks/cups etc for the first couple of weeks so something has stayed the same.

    I had a couple of schoolies start - no visits, no settling! one of them knew me from school, the other didn't! just the way it worked out!

    I usually have parent and child to visit on a day that the child will be coming, and meet the children here that day. If I can, then, mum stays for 10/15 minutes and then pops out, and comes back 20/30 mins later. Then, another day, we aim to do a 'drop & run' but only for an hour max. I'm not worried about having children have a meal/snack or sleep with me, as chances are they won't, as it is all new! the thing i think is most important is that they know Mum or Dad is coming back for them, and that is achieved be it 10 minutes or 10 hours!

    I have a new lockdown babe starting in June. Mum is coming over end of April, and we'll book a couple of settling sessions - Mum is quite laid back and says LO is too .... we'll see !!!!

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    Pixie dust - yes, it is the attachment parent that I posted about earlier!

    I'm perfectly happy doing two socially distanced meetings with parents and baby in my garden. After that I would prefer the parent to just drop the child at the door and then go for up to an hour. I don't want them hanging around whilst I actually work, I'll be too self conscious. I can see I'm going to have to be strong with this parent and not let myself get talked into something. Sometimes, it is great having the excuse of the pandemic - and I don't mean to be facetious.

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    I'm planning on keeping to the 'drop and run' settling sessions! maybe having a little play with mum in the house, but then leaving WITH mum! BUT, if child has never HAD mum in the house, then they won't look for mum. ( at least, that's my thinking! )

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    I've had 2 new starters while we've been in lockdown. With both, mum and child came for the first visit when there were no other children here. I said only one parent was allowed to come, which they were happy with.

    When it came to settling in visits, I allowed the first mum to come in for 10 minutes. She stayed more than 2m away from the other children and wore a mask. It was the first time the child had ever been left with anyone and the home language isn't English, so I felt it was important for mum to come in. For an 18 month old who had never been left before and who hadn't been exposed to much English it could have been very frightening to be dropped off at the door and left. I got mum to introduce the other children in her home language and to explain what was happening. As it happened, her child was fine and settled really quickly.

    The second child had been to childcare before, although they probably wouldn't have remembered it. Mum wasn't so anxious about leaving him so we did doorstep hand overs from the beginning. That child's been running straight in since day one, so there was never a problem there.

    I would tell your mum what you are prepared to do and stick to it. She might not like it, but she needs to understand from the beginning that it's your business and she needs to trust that you know what you're doing.

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    Yes, I can see how it is a benefit for the parents to come in, definitely. I think it was the 'Can we stay until the child is happy to wander off away from us...we want her to be confident in leaving us before we leave her'. The child might not wander off at all from her parents if they are there. I was thinking gosh, this could go on for months, lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Yes, I can see how it is a benefit for the parents to come in, definitely. I think it was the 'Can we stay until the child is happy to wander off away from us...we want her to be confident in leaving us before we leave her'. The child might not wander off at all from her parents if they are there. I was thinking gosh, this could go on for months, lol!
    That's the bit I would have to say no to!

    I do explain to parents that the difficult bit for the child is usually that point when they leave. It makes no different if the parent stays for 1 minute or 1 hour. It's still the point of leaving that's difficult. If the child understands from the outset that parents aren't going to be there, it's often easier than them getting used to the parent being there, then leaving.

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