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Pammie
07-11-2011, 04:55 PM
After 25 years, I consider myself a pro on a bunch of baby issues - but the strong will of one of my babies has me stumped.

He's 7mo 24 pounds and breastfed. He takes bottles perfectly fine-that's never been an issue. But mom allows him to breastfeed as a soother - when he's tired, frustrated, upset - on the breast he goes. That's perfectly fine if that's what she wants to do. However,

Now whenever he's at daycare and gets frustrated or upset, NOTHING will pacify him. He's determined that he wants to suck on a breast to soothe. Obviously that's not happening here - so after getting angry about it, he tries then to suck on any skin (except his own) that he can reach - my arms, another dc kid's leg - anything skin that's within his reach.

I've tried a bottle of water, bottle of formula, pacifier, holding his own hand to his mouth - that all makes him angrier. Occasionally one of the kids or I can get him distracted til he forgets about sucking, but then the whole battle starts again in a few minutes later.

He goes to sleep on his own at my house without sucking - again, that's never been an issue getting him to sleep. And obviously, this is worse for him on Mondays, after being able to suckle **at will** all weekend with mom.

I've approached this issue with mom, and although she doesn't want her baby to be so frustrated and angry, she's convinced that it's in his best interest to be able to go on her breast any time that he wants.

Suggestions? Pretty please???

CheekyChick
07-11-2011, 05:03 PM
I would ask her to come and observe him at play. When he gets frustrated or upset, let HER soothe him without offering him the breast. She may then realize how truly difficult your situation is. It's not only hard on you, it's hard on him. If she wants his days to be happy, she will need to make some changes.

PeanutsGalore
07-11-2011, 05:49 PM
After 25 years, I consider myself a pro on a bunch of baby issues - but the strong will of one of my babies has me stumped.

He's 7mo 24 pounds and breastfed. He takes bottles perfectly fine-that's never been an issue. But mom allows him to breastfeed as a soother - when he's tired, frustrated, upset - on the breast he goes. That's perfectly fine if that's what she wants to do. However,

Now whenever he's at daycare and gets frustrated or upset, NOTHING will pacify him. He's determined that he wants to suck on a breast to soothe. Obviously that's not happening here - so after getting angry about it, he tries then to suck on any skin (except his own) that he can reach - my arms, another dc kid's leg - anything skin that's within his reach.

I've tried a bottle of water, bottle of formula, pacifier, holding his own hand to his mouth - that all makes him angrier. Occasionally one of the kids or I can get him distracted til he forgets about sucking, but then the whole battle starts again in a few minutes later.

He goes to sleep on his own at my house without sucking - again, that's never been an issue getting him to sleep. And obviously, this is worse for him on Mondays, after being able to suckle **at will** all weekend with mom.

I've approached this issue with mom, and although she doesn't want her baby to be so frustrated and angry, she's convinced that it's in his best interest to be able to go on her breast any time that he wants.

Suggestions? Pretty please???

In HIS best interest? Seriously? Does she realize that he's not actually able to suckle any time he wants because she's chosen to put him in daycare? Whether it's full time or part time, that's tough on a little one who's trained to soothe on the breast. I'd have a really frank chat with her and point that out. The suggestion for her to observe is a good one as well--she doesn't even have to try to pacify him. Maybe seeing how unhappy his breast habit is making him will help it sink in that she's got to do something.

Poor baby, this isn't his fault. Tell her to try different soothing methods--walking, rocking, baby carrying, anything. Even a pacifier would be preferable to sucking on random bits of skin!

My son is a big fan of the breast and I can soothe him by walking or rocking too. The other thing that he loves is a silk (or sateen) pillowcase. Very smooth and feels great on the skin. Maybe wrap a small pillow in one of these and let him play with it? His aunt got him something called a lavendar lab that comes with a small sateen sheet attached. The kid loves it.

Keep us posted. I'd love to see how this turns out. And good luck.

cheerfuldom
07-11-2011, 05:52 PM
I don't have any suggestions. I know some kids are bigger than others but at 24 lbs and only 7 months, it sounds like he is on the breast constantly at home. If you feel that you are really at your limit, you need to have a discussion with mom that something has to change or you will have to term. OR you can just let him CIO until he comes around, could be awhile though. Even if she sees him at play if you let parents come and observe, I seriously doubt she will change anything. That requires a lot on her part and requires her to soothe him without breast and listen to him cry.....aka a lot of work for her. I really think she will just pull him out assuming he will be happier elsewhere. Be prepared for that option if you really push the issue. He has no coping skills outside of eating (since you would think if it was just the sucking motion, he would like a paci) and its just going to take time and patience to get him over this. He basically needs to be weaned to breast for only meals, not comfort. That is really hard for some moms and kids to do but if she wants to continue on demand, she needs to do work with a provider that understands that he is just not going to be happy without mommy, period.

nannyde
07-11-2011, 06:35 PM
Are you sure he's not actually eating at breast and not just suckling. At seven months the average weight is 19 pounds. He's WAY over the 97th percentile in weight.


http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/data/set2clinical/cj41l067.pdf

A couple of things: Just because he's not using his own skin now to suck be prepared for that to happen soon. He obviously hasn't been in a position where he litterally doesn't have an option to have skin to skin from another source. He will most likely discover that the only way to have it is his own skin.

I would start holding him facing away (his back to your belly) and hold his torso from right below his waist so that he can't bend over to suck your crossed arm. Start telling him NO when he goes to suck on someone else's skin.

A firm NO and turn/pull him away from it.

It's NOT healthy for him to suck someone elses skin. It's okay to start telling him NO now. Most likely he's had the first "no" come when he's trying to flip during diaper changes. It's time for his second no.

Mom just needs to be told the truth. Tell her that he wants to suck all the time and he can't have that in group care. If he doesn't get it he will cry so he must have times in between bottles (where he can suck) where he is unhappy and crying.

When she asks how he did that day answer simply: He was not crying when he was sucking and was crying when he was not sucking. I wouldn't spend a second trying to explain what she needs to do or not do. It won't matter a single bit. She doesn't want him to cry so she allows him to suck to make sure he doesn't cry. She's not going to alter what she is doing at home just because he's in day care.

As hard as it is to accept... you are going to see fixation issues younger and younger. This generation of babies are being bombarded with SO much stimulation from birth on that they HAVE to release that stress that comes with super high input... OUT. This means that they will present with fixation behaviors at VERY VERY young infancy.

This is just another symptom of "rage" babies. It's just his version of rage. It comes with the job now... no way out of it. The WORST thing you can do is try to distract him. Distraction is petting an unstable mindset. He is much better off crying hard then spending a minute in distraction. Distraction will buy you the moment but won't address the issue which is he needs to make his own happiness without receiving high stimulation that comes with his fixation.

Unregistered
07-11-2011, 08:03 PM
And repeat "you're ok" in a gentle happy voice. Hold him away from you, yes. He is ok, he just doesn't know how else to check. Holding him facing out will let him see everything and hear your voice, keep him off of you and also let him be held.

Maybe consider an ergo?

Also - mouth on any skin but mommy's breast is yucky. And - at 7 months, he doesn't need free range access to other children anyway.

SilverSabre25
07-11-2011, 10:14 PM
And repeat "you're ok" in a gentle happy voice. Hold him away from you, yes. He is ok, he just doesn't know how else to check. Holding him facing out will let him see everything and hear your voice, keep him off of you and also let him be held.

Maybe consider an ergo?

Also - mouth on any skin but mommy's breast is yucky. And - at 7 months, he doesn't need free range access to other children anyway.

I really like this advice. You should consider registering. :)

Unregistered
07-11-2011, 11:19 PM
This must be very frustrating for all involved parties. I think you may need to consider some of the very good outcomes in this situation. As the daycare provider, you have been able to transition easily to a bottle and even sleep isn't a problem. As you say, Mondays are more difficult. Can you think of a time where a non breastfed baby has had difficulties readjusting on Mondays?

The previous poster seems to have some good suggestions about facing baby away. Reading a favorite book or singing a favorite song has helped in similar situations. It is a stage, you are a great provider, and hopefully baby will adjust soon without staying upset for so long.

I think keeping mom in the loop with how things are going is great. I wouldn't try to alienate her though by continuing to try to change her mind about how she deals with him at home. It sounds like she has made her point of view clear on the subject. Unless this is a deal breaker for you and you are willing to risk her looking for a new provider.

If baby is developmentally on track I wouldn't worry much about the 24 pounds. We all know this is at the top of the chart, but someone has to be there. It is very difficult to overfeed a breastfed baby. Even at 7 months it is a perfect food for the baby. Is baby willing to try other foods as well? Many breastfed babies will get very round the first 6 months then slim down quicker than their formula fed peers as they get closer to a year or just past their first birthday.

Sorry, I don't think their is a quick fix, but hopefully things will work themselves out!

:) Emily

Kaddidle Care
07-12-2011, 04:38 AM
I almost hate to bring this one up but...

He may be teething. :ouch:

Running away and hiding now....

http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t267/Sig-I-Tis/Emoticons/shycouch.gif

I agree with the previous poster about not worrying too much about the weight to a point. Both of my BF boys were 20lbs. @ 5 months. They are both tall and skinny kids now.

But allowing him to nurse for soothing purposes is setting him up for a life of eating to soothe himself and we all know where that's going. I'd try different Binkies - although you don't want him to get hooked on them either. But really... he may be out of sorts due to teething - he's at that age. If he IS teething, he'll be giving Mama a chomp any day now which will start the weaning process. :ouch:

nannyde
07-12-2011, 04:45 AM
If baby is developmentally on track I wouldn't worry much about the 24 pounds. We all know this is at the top of the chart, but someone has to be there. It is very difficult to overfeed a breastfed baby.Emily

I dunno bout dat.

He's not at the top of the chart. The top of the chart would be about 24 pounds. He's two pounds more than that and that is HUGE for a young infant of this age.

Hopefully he's extremely long too and nearing his eighth month... otherwise you have a real possibility that he is overfed.

Pammie
07-12-2011, 05:39 AM
Thanks for all of your suggestions and advice!

Yes - he does top-the-charts with his weight. He is exclusively breast fed at this point (expressed breast milk at daycare) - so any issues with his weight are between the parents and their pediatrician. IMO

I agree that he can't be sucking on anyone's skin besides his own or moms. I won't let him suck on my arms, or face, or neck - so I do hold him most of the time as nanny suggested - his back to my chest, with my arm around his waist so that he can't get his mouth on me. The other children get freaked-out when he gets his mouth on them - so they're all learning to keep their distance.

We've tried numerous pacifiers - which he's refused - as well as his security blankie that doesn't help when he just wants to suck.

I have been resorting to CIO when he gets so angry that he can't suck. He's just not catching on - or calming any more quickly, no matter how often I repeat the CIO. I agree that distracting is only a temporary fix:(

I appreciate the advice of having mom visit/observe. I believe that she trusts me when I tell her how angry he gets when he can't suck - he's been in the middle of a screaming tantrum for that reason when she's walked in several times - her response is to pick him up and let him suck on her arm or chin or neck to calm him - while promising him that he'll be able to breast feed as soon as they get home. So I really don't believe at this point that having her spend time here in observation is going to change anything. I do think I need to keep telling her matter-of-factly that this behavior occurs several times through out the day...each and every day.

I'm just concerned with the amount of rage this 7mo has over this issue - otherwise he can be a wonderfully, happy, delightful little guy!!

Thanks again for the advice!!!!!!!!!!!

AnneCordelia
07-12-2011, 06:29 AM
All 4 of my babies were breastfed and 24+lbs at 6 months. Definitely the 110% but still healthy and within the 'range' of normal. My ped always says that more important than the weight itself is that milestones are still hit, and the growth curve is consistent. My older 3 children are now sitting at the 110% for height and the 80% for weight...long and thin. My baby is still gloriously fat at 10mos and 26lbs. :)

How long has this baby been in care? It's sad that his mother can't see that her behaviour is contributing to his discomfort.

nannyde
07-12-2011, 07:20 AM
Thanks for all of your suggestions and advice!

Yes - he does top-the-charts with his weight. He is exclusively breast fed at this point (expressed breast milk at daycare) - so any issues with his weight are between the parents and their pediatrician. IMO

I agree that he can't be sucking on anyone's skin besides his own or moms. I won't let him suck on my arms, or face, or neck - so I do hold him most of the time as nanny suggested - his back to my chest, with my arm around his waist so that he can't get his mouth on me. The other children get freaked-out when he gets his mouth on them - so they're all learning to keep their distance.

We've tried numerous pacifiers - which he's refused - as well as his security blankie that doesn't help when he just wants to suck.

I have been resorting to CIO when he gets so angry that he can't suck. He's just not catching on - or calming any more quickly, no matter how often I repeat the CIO. I agree that distracting is only a temporary fix:(

I appreciate the advice of having mom visit/observe. I believe that she trusts me when I tell her how angry he gets when he can't suck - he's been in the middle of a screaming tantrum for that reason when she's walked in several times - her response is to pick him up and let him suck on her arm or chin or neck to calm him - while promising him that he'll be able to breast feed as soon as they get home. So I really don't believe at this point that having her spend time here in observation is going to change anything. I do think I need to keep telling her matter-of-factly that this behavior occurs several times through out the day...each and every day.

I'm just concerned with the amount of rage this 7mo has over this issue - otherwise he can be a wonderfully, happy, delightful little guy!!

Thanks again for the advice!!!!!!!!!!!

Having her observe isn't going to change anything. She's going to let him suck on her during the observation. Not letting him do that is going to change both of their energy and it will get ugly within a few minutes.

You have a chance that this Mom really likes the uniqueness of his obsession. She's most likely read baby books on breastfeeding and talked to bf moms and feels that this is a sign that he is super uber attached to her and the act of the sucking is fabulous for him, their relationship together, and will most likely land him in some range of giftedness as he gets older.

She most likely hasn't given a thought to how he will cope when there isn't a sucking source. She probably just assumed that once he is in care and the adult knows he needs to suck their neck or hands... that of course the adult would allow it. She hasn't thought thru how the adult might feel having a baby that doesn't belong to them sucking on their neck. She hasn't thought thru how a young child would feel having an infant suck on their leg.

She needs to think about if she would be willing to have any one of the dck's come and suck her neck and if it would be okay if one of the three year olds came and sucked on her child's skin. Would that be okay by her if ANOTHER kid needed the two of them to suck on in order to not cry or would she prefer that the child just go ahead and cry and skip having her and her son be sucked on?

It's hard to really come to terms with the lack of knowledge this generation has about even BASIC infant and child care. They are sold a bill of goods telling them they are their child's expert from birth on when most by far know NOTHING of even basic growth and development and discipline of children. They pay money to be told they know their baby best and they know what's best for their baby.

Then they have:
a breast fed baby can't be overfed
your baby should free feed
your baby should have their OWN scheudle
you can't spoil a baby
holdem, walkem, rockem

So when you add their belief in their own expertise and the bad advise that is out there that they latch onto because they dig the "my child" in it... then they enter the public and you end up with rage babies with a bunch of weird fixation issues that the parents think are awesome and unique.

cheerfuldom
07-12-2011, 07:59 AM
I agree and like my post said, OP you need to deal with this on your own. It is a rare mom these days that has the imagination to understand that what is allowed at home is not always appropriate in group care. I feel bad for this kid.

PeanutsGalore
07-12-2011, 11:08 AM
Having her observe isn't going to change anything. She's going to let him suck on her during the observation. Not letting him do that is going to change both of their energy and it will get ugly within a few minutes.

You have a chance that this Mom really likes the uniqueness of his obsession. She's most likely read baby books on breastfeeding and talked to bf moms and feels that this is a sign that he is super uber attached to her and the act of the sucking is fabulous for him, their relationship together, and will most likely land him in some range of giftedness as he gets older.

She most likely hasn't given a thought to how he will cope when there isn't a sucking source. She probably just assumed that once he is in care and the adult knows he needs to suck their neck or hands... that of course the adult would allow it. She hasn't thought thru how the adult might feel having a baby that doesn't belong to them sucking on their neck. She hasn't thought thru how a young child would feel having an infant suck on their leg.

She needs to think about if she would be willing to have any one of the dck's come and suck her neck and if it would be okay if one of the three year olds came and sucked on her child's skin. Would that be okay by her if ANOTHER kid needed the two of them to suck on in order to not cry or would she prefer that the child just go ahead and cry and skip having her and her son be sucked on?

It's hard to really come to terms with the lack of knowledge this generation has about even BASIC infant and child care. They are sold a bill of goods telling them they are their child's expert from birth on when most by far know NOTHING of even basic growth and development and discipline of children. They pay money to be told they know their baby best and they know what's best for their baby.

Then they have:
a breast fed baby can't be overfed
your baby should free feed
your baby should have their OWN scheudle
you can't spoil a baby
holdem, walkem, rockem

So when you add their belief in their own expertise and the bad advise that is out there that they latch onto because they dig the "my child" in it... then they enter the public and you end up with rage babies with a bunch of weird fixation issues that the parents think are awesome and unique.

I don't want to hijack this post, but it seems like the op might be done with this topic, so...

NannyDe, I wonder what your counterpoints are to the advice that is, in general, given to new parents today, and since you were specific with the bolded bulletpoints above, I'm really curious what you DO under these circumstances rather than what your philosophy is.

cheerfuldom
07-12-2011, 11:30 AM
And I'd like to know what other "weird fixations" you find common in children these days. That sounds interesting. I have one little one that rocks a lot (like sitting on the floor alone and doing this) and knocks her head lightly on the side of the pack n play to get herself to sleep. Is that a weird fixation? I was really getting worried about the amount of time she was doing this and then she all of a sudden stopped recently, yay!

nannyde
07-12-2011, 05:20 PM
I don't want to hijack this post, but it seems like the op might be done with this topic, so...

NannyDe, I wonder what your counterpoints are to the advice that is, in general, given to new parents today, and since you were specific with the bolded bulletpoints above, I'm really curious what you DO under these circumstances rather than what your philosophy is.

Babies CAN be on a schedule.

They can eat and sleep on a schedule.

You can overfeed your baby.... breast or formula

Just because you have a child doesn't mean you are an expert in the kid. Realize that you have to learn how to care for the child. If the explanation means it is easy then they are prolly selling you something. "you know your baby best and you know what's best for your baby" sells but it doesn't help you in the middle of the night when you are walking the floor with your baby.

It's okay for babies to cry. That's what they do. It doesn't always mean there is something wrong. Most of infant crying is not something wrong or something that needs to be fixed. Learning to parent means learning to tell the difference between crying that expends energy and crying that means a need needs to be met.

You CAN spoil a baby. Spoiling is overstimulating them.

Babies need DEEP sleep. If they are catnapping they are NOT getting good sleep. You CAN'T fool mother nature... not with your words or your thoughts that your child is the exception. No matter what... your kid needs sleep... and a lot of it in order to grow properly and develop. If you want them to be gifted give them the gift of sleep.

Kids are more alike than they are different.

Don't adultize your kids emotions and behaviors.

That there kind of stuff...

Do you want something specific? These are some of the current myths "I" believe are tripping up todays parent.

nannyde
07-12-2011, 06:07 PM
And I'd like to know what other "weird fixations" you find common in children these days. That sounds interesting. I have one little one that rocks a lot (like sitting on the floor alone and doing this) and knocks her head lightly on the side of the pack n play to get herself to sleep. Is that a weird fixation? I was really getting worried about the amount of time she was doing this and then she all of a sudden stopped recently, yay!

I was thinking of the counselling I've done just in the last year for fixation issues or just unhealthy extreme behaviors:

Rage babies is number one by FAR.... then

off the top of my head... from working with the centers and counselling in home providers:

fingerwalking addicts
cloth sucking addicts (kids sucking so much during sleep that they are saturating pillow, loveys, sleeves of shirts)
picking (fingernail picking, lip picking, scab picking, mesh picking)
head banging
scratching and clawing at whoever is in reach
masturbating/rubbing
formula/milk refusal.. wanting only baby food for young infants... six months and up (this one is becoming really common)
motion addiction
hair twirling or hair massaging
jolly jumper bouncing/foot kicking (i've had one of these and it was a LONG LONG LONG detox ;)

oh and "suckling" :ouch:

I'm not a pacifier fan so to "me" the pacis are a problem............ but that's just MY opinion.

cheerfuldom
07-12-2011, 07:15 PM
oh my word! my little one that was rocking/head banging now sucks on her clothes and bibs. She is almost 2 but has to wear a bib all the time for constant drooling. She does have low muscle tone and is in physical therapy for that and I guess that drooling is common for that issue (or that is what I was told). Anyway, I guess she just replaced her fixation with another. The only thing I know to do is to tell her no, do you have any other suggestions?

I was told that picking is a sign of anxiety in children. I did this A LOT as a child and grew up in a abusive situation so that makes sense. Do you think all these fixations come for anxiety issues? i had one youngster that did the scratching/clawing and she only made it here 2 days....it was BAD and there were other issues. Then I had another who was here for about 18months and she did the rubbing unless I would stop her. I mentioned her in another thread and she is one that was adopted at 9 months old and who knows what happened to her as a baby.

PeanutsGalore
07-12-2011, 07:24 PM
Babies CAN be on a schedule.

They can eat and sleep on a schedule.

You can overfeed your baby.... breast or formula

Just because you have a child doesn't mean you are an expert in the kid. Realize that you have to learn how to care for the child. If the explanation means it is easy then they are prolly selling you something. "you know your baby best and you know what's best for your baby" sells but it doesn't help you in the middle of the night when you are walking the floor with your baby.

It's okay for babies to cry. That's what they do. It doesn't always mean there is something wrong. Most of infant crying is not something wrong or something that needs to be fixed. Learning to parent means learning to tell the difference between crying that expends energy and crying that means a need needs to be met.

You CAN spoil a baby. Spoiling is overstimulating them.

Babies need DEEP sleep. If they are catnapping they are NOT getting good sleep. You CAN'T fool mother nature... not with your words or your thoughts that your child is the exception. No matter what... your kid needs sleep... and a lot of it in order to grow properly and develop. If you want them to be gifted give them the gift of sleep.

Kids are more alike than they are different.

Don't adultize your kids emotions and behaviors.

That there kind of stuff...

Do you want something specific? These are some of the current myths "I" believe are tripping up todays parent.

Specific? Yes! What you said is very helpful, though. I'm truly trying to learn. I think I'm a terrific mom (patting myself on the back right now!), and a pretty good daycare provider, but I know I have a lot more to learn.

The specific "how-to's" on basic child-rearing would be helpful, with the overall goal of those how-to's to help not just parents, but daycare providers. I think the biggest practical issues for inexperienced in-home daycare providers are crying and napping for the littles, and then as they get older, the inappropriate behaviors start to pop up, like biting, hitting or such. I'd really love to know how long a veteran would let a baby cry, because there seems to be a lot of it going on around my house! I'm not hardwired to listen to a child cry and my instinct is to stop it at whatever cost, and no, I'm not talking about violence, so please don't report me to "don't shake a baby dot com"; I'm talking about reacting to every little whimper to the point where you spoil the kid. Right now, I'm dealing with my sweet little db who came back from vacation (and spending lots of time with mom, dad and grandparents) with a new hatred of naptime, and a new mastery of the tearless angry baby cry. I let him fuss the entire nap yesterday and today, but it sometimes feels like I'm reinforcing a bad habit, because I'll go to get him while he's screaming once naptime is over, at which point, he's perfectly happy.

And then there are the rage babies, and the babies like the one in the original post, who just have formed bad habits because the behavior benefits the parents, not them. How do you deal with them? Is there a way, other than terminating the contract?

So yes, specifics on the hot topics for daycare providers would be awesome. Throw it into a blog or a blog series; I'll read it. :)