How a one-page profile can help a baby settle into a new nursery environment and help parents to feel confident that they will be well looked after, nurtured and supported to develop.
Written by mum; Amy
Matilda is a happy, healthy eight month old baby girl. She has a five year old big sister Molly, daddy Jay and me, her mum. Matilda was born on the 4 August 2012, just four days later than expected.
I recently found a nursery for Matilda to go to once I returned back to work three days a week. Finding a suitable place to leave Matilda was hard enough, but once I’d decided on the right nursery, I then had the anxiety of how she would cope being away from her mummy when I was all she was used to. I know Matilda’s personality inside out but I have carried her for 9 months and cared for her every day since. What if she cried and the nursery staff didn’t know what to do? What if they didn’t remember her feed times? I needed to find a way of communicating with the nursery about Matilda’s likes and dislikes and how best to look after her.
I decided to create a one-page profile for Matilda and share it with the nursery. I put together photographs of her to illustrate the page and Jay and I went through all the important information that nursery would need to know. We shared the profile with her close family to capture their opinions and make sure nothing was missed. The aim was to help Matilda settle into her new and unusual surroundings and to make sure her Key Worker knew her well, to make it easier for them to bond.
Matilda’s profile went with her on her first visit to nursery. A copy was kept in her folder and one placed on the notice board where all staff could look at it. Leaving your baby at nursery for the first time can be very frightening but creating the one-page profile filled me with confidence that the team there knew how best to support her.
I had a great reaction from Matilda’s Key Worker who said it helped her to get to know Matilda quickly. She thought having all the information on one page was really useful and the bright colours and photographs made it attractive and encouraged people to look at it. The nursery Manager was pleased with the profile too and said she thought it would be useful for other parents to do something similar for their children.
Every three months Matilda will have a review. I plan to use the one-page profile to keep track of new developments. As she grows and her needs change we will add to it so it evolves with her.
I strongly believe that Matilda’s one-page profile has helped her to settle quickly into her new environment. She is happy and smiley when I drop her off in the mornings, and when I collect her at the end of the day. Matilda’s Key Worker understands her routine and characteristics well. It is rewarding to know that the profile has been useful to staff at the nursery as well as helping me to allay some of my fears.
It is never going to be easy leaving your baby with someone else, but the one-page profile has enabled me to share all the important information about Matilda in a way that is easy to digest for the people looking after her. My little baby girl is as happy and healthy as ever and I feel confident that she is being well looked after.
If you are interested in reading more about person-centred tools in pregnancy and parenting you might be interest in the blog.