Too Much Too Young: Is Nursery Stressing My Child Out?

As Donna Pattison-Reid sat in her GP’s surgery, she reeled off a list of the ways her three-year-old son Lewis’s behaviour had changed over recent weeks. There was the return of Lewis’s bedwetting, even though he’d previously been dry for six months. He’d also stopped sleeping through the night, waking up regularly and calling out to her for reassurance. During the day, the little boy was also more clingy.

“He’d started nursery a month earlier,” says Donna, 33, from Dartford, Kent. “I said to my doctor: ‘Do you think he might be suffering from stress? I suspected he was overwhelmed by the number of other children, the noise and the pace, as well as being constantly assessed. All I had to do was get out his uniform, and he’d say: ‘No go, no go.’ I realised as I explained it to my GP that it was time to take him out and she agreed.”

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