What to look for when choosing a nursery

As most of you know, K started nursery at the start of February and is absolutely loving it. I thought I would be one of those mummy’s who would drop their child off for their first day and be a snivelling, snotting mess. I did leave her with a slightly heavy heart but I was more proud of her than anything and I was happy that she was starting her new adventure as I think it is something she has been craving for a while now. It made it easier to leave her knowing that she was in the right nursery for her and that she was in safe hands. We had viewed a few nurseries in the run up to K starting the one she is at now and I think it’s important to make sure you chose the most perfect one you can find to fit your child’s needs. I have outlined below what helped us choose the right nursery for K and some tips on what to look out for when making your decision.

 

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  • Make sure you visit the nursery before you send your child to it and try to view it when it’s busy. When my husband and I were looking for a nursery we both went together but found that because it was towards the end of the day (the only time my hubby could get away from work) it was really quiet, there wasn’t many staff or children around so we couldn’t get a good idea of how the nursery worked. Therefore if we found a nursery we liked the look of and it matched our criteria that we needed then I would rearrange another viewing on my own during the day when it was busier so I could get a feel of how well the nursery ran. You can visit a nursery as many times as you like until you feel satisfied that it is the right one for you.

 

  • If it is a private nursery then how much does it cost to send your child there and does this fit in with your budget? Lets face it, childcare is EXPENSIVE and different nurseries charge different prices. Also ask what is included in the price of your childcare as some provide snacks, lunch and juice plus nappies and formula if needed and some nurseries ask you to bring nappies/formula and pay extra for the child’s lunch. Make sure you are aware of what’s included before hand.

 

  • How many children does the nursery take and what ratio is it teacher to child. Most nurseries we visited worked on 4 children per adult which I think is more than enough. Make sure that the nursery isn’t over capacitating so your child has the right amount of attention and care that is needed.

 

  • Does the nursery have an Ofsted report? How well are they performing? Not all nurseries provide an Ofsted report but if they do, it’s worth looking at it as it gives you a good idea on how well the nursery is performing.

 

  • Most nurseries provide the child with a “settling in period” where they will let your child come to the nursery for a few hours (usually 3-4) for free to see if they like it. Usually a parent or guardian can stay with them to make them comfortable. If the nursery offers you a settling in period then take it. Just because you like the nursery doesn’t mean your child will. This helps them decide whether the nursery is right for them or not. If it isn’t, do not feel obligated to send your child there just because they have given you free childcare.

 

  • Ensure that the nursery has a good security system. Lots of people come and go in nurseries to collect and drop off children so make sure that the nursery has a good code of practice when letting people within the building. Some nurseries require an access code or finger print system before you can enter and others provide a password for your child. Whatever it is, make sure it is safe, secure and you feel comfortable with it.

 

  • Do they have a routine? Not always on peoples “must have” list but it was definitely on mine. I have a daughter who thrives on routine and gets worked up when she does something out of the norm so having a nursery with a structure and routine was vital for us. I quite like the idea of snack time = 9am, reading – 10am, play time – 11am, lunch – 12pm etc. It means that K knew exactly what was going to happen and felt secure rather than it being a mixed bag of stuff to do where she would come home upset and out of sorts. Like I say, it’s not on everyone’s list but worth baring in mind if you have a child like mine.

 

  • Do they have a good, secure out side space? Every child needs fresh air and a chance to explore the outdoors. Is the outside space large enough? Does it have outdoor equipment? Is it safe and secure? It’s also worth asking the nursery how often they go outside and how long for. If your child is there for 8 hours, and they only go outside once in the morning for 10-15mins it may not be enough for your child.

All these points are very individual based and every parent requires different needs for their child but I hope it has given you some ideas on what to look out for when choosing a nursery as it is such an important decision. It is your childs first adventure and I do believe that nurseries shape our children so it is vital to choose the right one. It is such an intimidating procedure. It has to be somewhere that you feel comfortable leaving your child, knowing that they are going to get the correct attention and care for them. It will also probably be the first experience of someone other than yourself or close relatives looking after your precious cargo. Take the time out to make sure you make the right decision.

I hope this helped!

I’d love to hear what was on your nursery “wish list”

XOXOXO

 

Me and Mine (February 2016)

So, I’m a day late in posting this but the picture was took yesterday. On a leap year! Happy leap year for yesterday everyone! February has been a busy month for us with K starting nursery and trying to adjust in to a routine on a Wednesday with that and illness has hit this household more than once for some of us plus having the joys of a teething baby. It’s a month that has really kept us on our toes. I’m hoping March brings us a quieter, less busy time where we can have time to relax – Something I doubt as Easter is just around the corner. I do love when February and March come, it’s a sign that Spring is well on its way. Everything seems more cheery, the weather seems to be improving slightly and everything around us seems to be “waking up” from its winter sleep. I am loving that the Daffodils are in bloom they are by far my favourite flower, they are so sunny and bright. They instantly cheer me up when I see them.

 

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February has seen us do quite a few fun family things. I took K to her first ever cinema showing –  Hotel Transylvania 2 which was on a Saturday morning as part of the kids club. I was a bit nervous on how she was going to react as she hates dark spaces, she hates loud noises and she can’t sit still for longer than 10 minutes…but she absolutely loved it!! She was so good and sat on my knee the whole length of the film (which is quite a task for a 2 year old). It was lovely to see her giggling along to the funny bits in the film whilst she munched on her popcorn and sweets (at 10:30am!!). I was so pleased that she had so much fun and I can’t wait to take her again. We’ve also took both K and D swimming a couple of times and this weekend (that has just gone) we visited The Deep in Hull. A large aquarium. We’ve been before a few times but K was a lot younger. She really enjoyed it this time and could really appreciate it for what it was. We had an absolute blast.

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The photos this month really do make me giggle. I was supposed to take them at the weekend but we had such a busy time that we just didn’t get chance to do them. So last night saw us frantically setting the camera up in our house to take some pictures before February was over. Notice that both my children are in their PJs ready for bed! It had been an eventful teatime as it usually is, so we had to quickly clean the pair of them up and make them look semi presentable! Ah the joys of parenthood, hey!?

This month we are loving…

The lighter nights

Penguins  – K’s favourite animal of the month

Spring coming in

Daffodils

Baking buns

Family time

Hearing D use his voice more

That’s it for me this month. I’m really looking forward to March and I’m excited to see what the next month brings us.

XOXOXO

The Me and Mine Project

Unmumsy mum, laughing and summer holidays #Littleloves

Hurrah! It’s Friday! I’m usually gutted when Friday comes around as it means the end of another fast week but our house has been plagued with illness this week with K having slapped cheek and D teething. Plus, I’ve been feeling pretty run down and generally fed up too (must be the weather) so I am looking forward to the weekend and some much needed family time/RnR.

We have a nice family weekend planned this week and Mothers day comes early for me this year as I am away for a hen du next week – A really sad time for me as it’s my 1st Mothers day with D, but we were unaware that it was Mothers day when we booked the trip to Centre Parcs mid last year. So now my family are spoiling me a week early and we are doing our Mothers day this Sunday instead. That said, I will be spending the 6th March on a spa day so it’s not all bad ha!

Things I am loving this week…

Read

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I’ve just started reading the Unmumsy mum book. I’ve followed her blog for a while and was really excited when I heard she was writing a book. I love it, it is hilarious and so true to life. I feel like everyone can relate to her no matter how much of a perfect parent you think you are. She keeps it real. The book keeps me sane and makes me realise in times of doubt, that actually we are all doing a great job at parenting no matter who you are.

Heard

This week I have been hearing my son laugh more and more. It is absolutely blissful. The one thing in life that truly makes me happy is the sound of my children laughing! D is getting to that stage now where he really giggles at any little thing and it’s so lovely. I aim to hear more of it in the coming weeks.

Such a giggly little man

Such a giggly little man

Watched

I’ve been watching the new episodes of the X Files. I used to love that programme when I was younger and now Mulder and Scully are back again in a new series. I’ll be honest, some of it confused me slightly (I’m obviously tired ha!) but I’m sticking with it for now. The hubby wasn’t keen at all despite him enjoying it when he was younger so he’s leaving it for me to watch on my own. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Wore

It’s been a week of comfy casuals for me this week and outfits that I daren’t photograph due to the sheer scruffiness of them. Am I the only one who refuses to wear their “nice gear” whilst just chilling out at home? I hate it. I’d much rather wear my nice clothes when I’m out and about and people can actually see them haha. I’m a bit strange like that. So leggings and t- shirts have been my thing this week.

Made

I have been cooking some comforting stodge in the shape of spaghetti bolognaise and chilli this week. I love using my slow cooker or my crock pot as I find it easy and I can just put it on in the morning and leave it cooking. Very little effort needed on my part and I know my family are getting a good meal at the end of the day. Every one wins!

 

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And lastly

We booked our summer holiday this week for the start of June. I am so excited and cannot wait for a full week of sunshine (hopefully) fun on the beach and time with my family making memories. It will be D’s first holiday so I am keen to document it (just like I did with K, but without the blog). Roll on the summer…

XOXOXO

Linking up with: #Littleloves

 

D – You are five months old (A letter to my son)

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My beautiful boy. Where have the last 5 months gone? It’s a question I’ll probably ask each and every month as time with you and your sister goes so fast. I love being a mummy to you both but I think being a mummy to you has taught me more about myself than what it did with your sister. I was a sea of unsurety with K but I am stronger, smarter and more confident this time round and I think it has rubbed off on you. You are such an easy going baby. We got off to a bumpy start when you were born and our idea of a happy family of 4 didn’t quite get going straight away, but you are strong, you are a fighter and you were determined you were to become a part of our family and I’m so blessed that it turned out that way. You are my hero and my survivor. We will always have a special bond because of that. Your such a happy little baby D, forever smiling and giggling. Your sister can make you smile and giggle the best. Your bond is so strong and I know you will grow up to be really close. She loves you so much, as we all do. K spends time with your grandparents on Mondays and Fridays, this has been her routine since I went back to work when she was 1 years old so Mondays and Fridays are “our time”. Just you and me. Together. I love this time. It’s my time to shower you with attention and do things just for Mummy and son. But don’t worry, you will get your grandparent time too. Just when you’re a bit older and Mummy goes back to work. But for now, I will cherish you. You moved in to your own bedroom around 2 weeks ago. We wanted to keep you in our bedroom by our side for as long as possible but my darling boy, you’ve found your voice and you aren’t afraid to use it…even if it is 3am! For that son, it was time for you to move as Mummy and Daddy needed to sleep. I felt sad by this, but excited that we are moving on to a new chapter.  You’re starting to wriggle a lot more now D. Before, when you were a tiny baby, I would lay you down and you would still be in the same spot as I left you but now you are twisting and turning and stretching over on to your right side. It wont be long before you can roll on to your tummy!

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Your teeth having been causing you some pain for the last few weeks. You’ve been dribbling a lot and you love to chew on your fist. You are not a massive fan of Calpol and refuse to open your mouth when Mummy or Daddy give it you. So for now, we have to use only teething gel. I’m pretty sure I felt one of your top side teeth cutting through the other day. We bought you Sophie La Giraffe as a Christmas present and you are currently learning to grasp and chew that. It’s really funny because K has a Sophie from when she was a baby too and now she carries hers around everywhere just so she can be like her baby brother! You sleep reasonably well for a 5 month old. We can’t really complain. You usually have a feed around midnight then again at around 4-5am. It’s a bit hit and miss at the minute whether you go back to sleep after that last bottle or whether you just shout and babble until me or daddy take you downstairs. We can’t be cross with you when we are up watching TV at 5am as you just smile away. You are so content. Weekend is our family time and we look forward to that as Daddy works all week. We try to do as many activities with you and your sister as possible. Swimming is a keen favourite of K’s and we’ve took you swimming 3 times so far. Honestly, it’s probably not your favourite past time at the minute as you find it cold and noisy but we are hoping you will soon change your mind and become a water baby just like your sister. The last 5 months have been amazing D, you’ve slotted in to our family. It’s like you’ve always been here. We are so blessed to have you. Here’s to another great month ahead!

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XOXOXO

Siblings (February 2016)

This is my first ever month of the siblings project and I am so excited to get documenting and photographing my babies lives together. Ok, slight disclaimer: I was excited to do it last month…then I forgot. Shameful, I know. As usual life just got in the way! But I decided that life could get in the way for every situation and every memory and before I know it my children will have grown and I will have nothing to look back on. That makes me very sad. So here I am!

It’s February now. I’m not sure how that happened. It feels like yesterday that K was born never mind D, and now she is 2.5yrs old and he is 21 weeks. It really is scary how fast time is going. Our lives are full of things we need to get done and things we need to tick off our list, it will be nice when life slows down a little bit. But when that will happen I’m not sure. One good thing about it being February, is that we are that little bit closer to spring time and the lighter nights. We are definitely in need of them. K is very much an outdoor girl and spends a lot of her time outside burning her energy off but with winter comes cold days and dark early nights so that stops us going out as much. Spring and summer will see us at the parks in the late afternoon rather than on the sofa watching TV. We can’t wait!

My siblings in February

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From the minute D was born, K has absolutely adored him. There was an instant bond between them that no one could break. She was so understanding when we had to leave her for a few weeks when D was poorly as a newborn. It was like she knew we had to do whatever it took to get her brother back to her as quickly as possible. For that, I will be forever proud of her for. Although D is still a young baby and can’t do very much the connection they already have is amazing. K is the one person that can make D laugh, she relishes in that fact. His face lights up the minute she walks in to the room or he can hear her voice. He is mesmerised by her. K is so loving of her little brother, always wanting to hold him, kiss him, cuddle him and play him. We just have to be careful as she can be a little bit rough with him without her knowing. But D doesn’t seem to mind one bit. She is fiercely protective of her little brother, especially around strangers but loves to show him off when people stop to look at him. She is quick to remind them that it is HER brother. I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to have my babies so close in age because now they will grow up together and continue to grow that bond. I am excited to see their love and relationship grown over the next few months.

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XOXOXO

The Me and Mine Project