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    I've been running a day care out of my home for almost a year now. I've really enjoyed doing it and my daughter is enjoying the company. It's really allowed me to see how compassionate she is and how much of a social butterfly she is I decided that I only watched to watch 3 children on top of my own so that I can offer them the same attachment parenting that my daughter gets. The children are ages (including my own) 4, 2, 1 1/2, and a 1 yr old. However I'm really struggling with the 1 yr old and I'm hoping other mom's out their may have some idea's on how I can solve the problem.

    First I'll give you an overview on how the child (I'll refer to him as O) is doing. O does not walk or crawl. I've been working hard with him by doing 15 min of tummy time in the morning and in the afternoon. He really hates this an I suspect wasn't encouraged to do this at home, because he had a bald spot & flat head when I started taking care of him. In the last 2 weeks he has started bum scooting. He has no pincher graps and relies on his racking grasp at present. He can't hold his own bottle in sitting up position, but through encouragement as started holding his own bottle laying down (I'd say within the last month). He's also just started to babble (also within the last month).

    The problem I'm having is the screaming. He arrives at my house around 7:30 am. I give him breakfast when he first arrives and not long after breakfast he starts screaming. I feel like I'm a first time mom who doesn't know what to do. I keep going over the same list. I check his bum, I offer him food, I offer him a bottle, I offer him his pacifier (all of which he smacks away in anger) I try to play with him, I get the other kids to play with him. I've tried putting him in carriers to pace with him (which only makes the screaming harder). I've tried putting him down for a nap, I've switch him to new toys. My wonderfull DD will bring him her favorite toys to "help him be happy". When I talked to the parents they say, well maybe it's his teeth. Well send Orajel the next time, and it doesn't help this little guy. My whole day is trying to stop the screaming so he can have a nice day playing. But no matter what I do O is not content. At first when I started caring for him I thought, "maybe he's making strange" or "once he starts moving he'll be more content". But it's been 4 months and he probably screams 7 hrs out of the 9 he's here. His mom also has started working even longer hours (sometimes 12 hrs a day now he's at my house).
    I'm finding that now (in the last 2 weeks or so) i'm becoming less interactive with O because the other children need my attention too. My daughter asked me the other day why don't i want to colour with her and O's sister. I finally decided that their are other children in my care that need my attention too. I put O in a safe place with some fun toys and coloured with the other children while i kept calling to O saying it's Ok and passing him a new toy every now and then. He screamed through the entire process and started banging his head on the floor but I don't know what to do. I can't spend all day ignoring the other children I need to make their lunches and it's only me here. I'm noticing now my daughter doesn't even ask why he's crying and all the other kids have started to tune him out as well. I suspect he behaves this way at home too because the sister has never asked "why is he crying so much here and not at home" and I would think at 4 she would be able to make this connection. Does anyone have any idea how i can help this little guy be happy here?! I"ve tried everything i can think of! Feel free to ask quesitons if something i've posted here doesn't make sense I"m tyring to do this while he's down for his 20 min nap

  • #2
    What does his mother say? I assume you've addressed it with her.

    Hopefully I don't word this wrong and it's not taken wrongly. But, your description makes this sound like a pretty severe case. I think it's very abnormal for a child to cry like this, especially this long after being acclimated to a new environment.

    Does he continue screaming and being generally unhappy when you are not holding him?

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    • #3
      Wow, that sounds really difficult!

      My kids have both been at an at-home daycare, and their daycare provider has "fired" a couple of babies around the same age who did the same thing you are describing. She told their parents that she is personally not ok with leaving a baby un-attended to cry, but could not realistically meet the needs of their child along with the other children. I would hate to be that parent, but I think I would also appreciate someone telling me that they are not ok with constant screaming being my child's "normal". I know that both of those babies went on to other daycares where they ended up thriving. Sometimes, you just don't have the chemistry with a child, and that's ok.

      The other thing that comes to mind for a constantly screaming child is food allergies. Does he show any other signs of a food allergy - skin rash or anything like that? I'm definitely not an expert on this one, but if it were my child, I would definitely be looking into it.

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      • #4
        WOW!!! A pat on the back to you for trying for so long, but I think APJennifer may be right. Its not fair to the other kids to be ignored and its not fair to him to sit and cry. You may just have to tell his parents its not working out and why.

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        • #5
          I did discuss the crying with the mom a few weeks ago. her response was "try to meet is needs (such as clean diaper, full belly, and some attention) but if you have to put him down that's fine". She says he doesn't scream like this at home. She's even heard it coming to the door to pick him up and he stops the instant he see's her. Her reply is "I see he's had a bad day for you, hopefully he'll be better tommorrow". Her assumtion is that he just misses her and he'll get over it. She has to work to pay the bills. Somedays are better than others. I find if i can get him out of the house he's happier. I really hate the raining days. Today was a raining day. So far he's screamed for 3 1/2 hours this morning. I feel so bad but i eventually sat him down and played with the other kids the whole time he scream i just kept saying "your ok". I'm hopeful that it's just seperation anxiety and it will pass. I want to quite but the mom already begged me to keep babysiting him saying there are no other babysitters around here that she trusts.

          However we are trying to concieve right now and I do get VERY sick during my pregnancies (horribly sick with the 1st one and 95% chance of being as sick or worse with my second pregancy) so I'm hoping just to "keep my sanity and patience" just a little while longer

          I was just wondering if anyone else had similar problems and if anyone had any suggestions on how to help this little guy. Any suggestions on how I can keep my cool? I find it's starting to frustrate me a great deal.

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          • #6
            my first time

            hey there, first i would like to say goos for you! it's really not easy what your going through and i wish i had an easy sollution. i take care of a friends baby boy every once in a while, she didn't go my waays in raising him... he didn'r breastfeed he wasn't carried in a sling and deffently no co sleeping. when i watch him with my son, i find it very frustrating because i can see that most of his anxiety or frustration comes from a strong sensitivity and an unability to ajust. if he's a tiny bit hugry he goes over board and starts yelling and crying, if he a bit tierd/hot/cold and so forth. at times i have a hole bunch of patience,i hug him,carry him,sing to him but at times when i feel i'm getting to the point were i'm impatient or upset, i put him where he's safe and leave for a couple of minutes so that i can catch my brath and remind mysealf that i'm doing everything in my power and i do really love this boy. he's 9 months old he does suffer from allergies and is lactose intolerant so you should check those options. make sure the room has enough fresh air.and again you should be proud of yourself for trying so hard, i know for a fact that most daycares would have left him crying alone.... witch is absolutly horrible.

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            • #7
              I'm not sure I have anything useful to say, and I was in two minds as to whether I should respond, but reading this has really upset me. Both my boys went to daycare at around this age, and I know how heartbreaking it can be as a parent to walk away when your baby is screaming. But I was always reassured that they were fine and happy within minutes of me leaving (and this did seem to be the case whenever I called or collected them). The thought of them screaming for hours a day for months on end is too dreadful to imagine. From the other side, it must be so awful for you to have responsibility for someone else's child and not be able to satisfy them. I know that, perhaps selfishly, I could not handle that at all. Not to mention the impact that it must be having on the other children. But I do see that perhaps it could be even worse for him if the mum has to work and he could then end up with someone she doesn't trust and who won't try as hard as you. It seems like a no win situation.

              I'm sure you've tried all these, but some things that come to mind are: if he likes being outside but doesn't like being held in a carrier - what about a pushchair? Pushing around the house if its raining?! Does he respond to music? or TV? (I know - but these are extreme circumstances and if it works...). If he's not walking or crawling yet could this be a source of frustration? What about a baby walker? Or even one of those bouncy things that goes in the doorway? Something to give him a bit of mobility and independence. Lack of speech/ communication could also be a big source of frustration. What about baby signing? Could the mum pop back more/at all during the day? For lunch or something? If it really is that he is missing her and he's not like this at home, perhaps there is some way to soften the transition. Could she bring him a little earlier and spends more time with him in the house in the morning and/or evening to reassure him that it is OK for him to be there? Could you spend some time with him at their house maybe at the weekend? Can she call and speak to him on the phone? Or what about pictures / videos of her - or recordings of her voice? Blankets/ bedding etc from home as a comforter? A favourite book that mum reads to him every day that you could use as comfort? Is there anyone else who he is OK being left with - dad / grandparents maybe? that could visit or spend some time during the day? Could there be anything about your house itself that is bothering him? Do you have pets? They could be scary, or he could be allergic to the hair. Too hot/too cold / pictures / colours/noises that bother him? Does having his sister around help at all? Or make it worse? Can you include him in activities with the other children - at one he should be able to hold a crayon to do some colouring, or put his hands in paint, or mush playdough/cookie mix or splash water? Or on the other hand, is it very noisy with all the other kids?

              Anyway, I'm sure you've thought of and tried all of that plus many more, and please don't take any of this the wrong way - but as I said, this really affected me and I couldn't just read and run. I really hope you find some way to make this better for all of you soon.

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