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16 mth old unsettled at creche

Question:

I'm not sure whether this is a coincidence of factors or me just overreacting being pregnant and hormonal but DS has in the past two weeks started wanting to be up in my arms all the time, becoming aggressive if he doesn't get his way/toy that he wants and in the creche has resumed his old problem of biting.....
A few things have happened
1. I was away for five days three weeks ago but after a few days of clinginess when I came back he seemed to settle down
2. Me being pregnant (although he seems oblivious to both pregnancy and forthcoming new baby and we don't talk about it) may be causing him to act up
3. New girl in his room at the creche (although girl in charge of his room remains the same)
I had intended to leave him in the creche while I was on maternity leave and look at reducing his hours to part-time when the new baby is about 3-4 months so he could benefit from me being home too. He loved the creche and seems to need the social element of interaction with other kids and the stimulation it provides. I didn't want his world to become doubly topsy turvy with the arival of the new baby and him leaving the creche at the same time. But with my maternity leave on the horizon and the usual working mums guilt I'm now wondering whether I should take him out of the creche while I'm at home and look at a different long term solution.
I also wanted to ask what forms of discipline you use for children of 16mths? I asked at the creche what they use so we could be consistent at home to be told that he was too young and they just separate the warring kids and put the main aggressor playing with toys on their own for a few minutes.
At home I use distraction if that works, a firm "no" you're hurting mommy if he's hitting or tries to bite or you're making mommy sad if he's being wilful about throwing things and ignoring him if its a crying tantrum. But would a system like a naughty step or corner work? Is he too young? I don't think he would understand treat withdrawal at all, the time differential would mean that he wouldn't link them at all?
Sorry for rambling.....but I'm getting a bit upset by it all....
Answers:
Hi Dubm2b, I didn't read and not post as you sound upset.
I think you should just hang on in there and make no decisions about the creche for a while. This week your son is doing one thing and in a few weeks it will be another. As you say yourself there are a number of factors which could have triggered this phase off. Try not to worry too much. The creche are well used to dealing with problems - and will let you know if they can't. Your plan of reducing the hours of the creche when your on maternity leave sounds like a good one - yur son will still get the social side but get to spend some time with you and the baby.
Just wait and see what the next few weeks brings and try to take it easy.
Best Wishes, Maisie
Answers:
Hi there
Maisie's advice is excellent. I too, recently posted about DS being terribly upset going to creche all week and lo and behold he was delighted to go in yesterday and back to his normal self.
I would say at 16 months old, distraction is the best technique and you're already doing that - that's what I did with my DS until he was old enough to understand better. Other than that, as Maisie suggested, I just explain to him why the behaviour isn't acceptable - I can't understand you when you're screaming/shouting/whinging, could you tell me calmly what you want? I tell you, DS who's now three, changes tack immediately when I say this to him now!
You'll know best when on maternity leave what's right for DS. A friend of mine used to drop her oldest DS in to creche late and collect him early so he still had the routine of creche but the benefit of enjoying extra time with her and baby at home too. But be guided by your DS. If he finds it too upsetting going to creche knowing you're at home with the baby then make your decision based on what's best for him (and you too, of course!).
They do go through phases. DS still goes through "mummy only" phases and I just go with the flow but it does upset poor DH when he's told to "go away! you're not playing with us!"
I hope it will all settle down for you soon.
Look after yourself.
Lami

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