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  #1  
Old 10-12-2010, 12:53 PM
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Default New Provider Needing Help With High Needs Baby and Inflexible DCM

I have a 4mo FT DCG whose been in my care since the last week of August. Days 1-3 were fine. Days 4-current have been miserable. She is super high needs, barely naps, screeches, wails, shrill crying most of the day. Mom is insisting that she be on an every 4 hour bottle, but my gut is that she's hungry sooner and that's causing all of the above stress. Mom refuses to allow any changes to the feeding schedule. She basically said that crying is part of caring for a baby, she can't possibly need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs and that she doesn't care if she's a good napper cuz she sleeps thru the night.

Today I decided to feed her an hr earlier just to see what happened. She had been inconsolable for 20 mins when I finally gave her the bottle. Well wouldn't you know that she got all happy and played nicely for almost 2 hours! Told DCM thinking she'd be happy she had such a good day. Nope, she's pissed. She' absolutely adamant that her DD does not need to eat more than every 4 hrs. But she seems to be getting more and more upset with me that the baby is so unhappy.

This type of rigid schedule is new to me since I demand fed all 3 of my kids and all of the babies I've nannied for over the years. Can anyone give me any help, suggestions, etc? I need to keep this income coming in and would love to find a way to ease both the baby and my stress level. But if this keeps up for too much longer I'm going to lose my marbles.

TIA!
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  #2  
Old 10-13-2010, 04:07 AM
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I couldn't, in good conscience, refuse to feed a hungry child. I would feel like I was starving the poor baby! What do your regulations say about the issue? Maybe you could use that as an excuse to switch to feeding on demand?

The only other option would be to not tell the mom when exactly the baby is feeding, and that might be a little too dishonest ...
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  #3  
Old 10-13-2010, 04:16 AM
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i express to parents at interviews that i feed ON DEMAND...regardless if its every 2hrs or every hour...sometimes at certain ages they hit a spurt and need more to hold them over kwim? i cant stand parents who go 'by the book' and do the ever 2-4hr exact bottles...."sorry suzy but u have 30 more mins till u eat" "u have to scream till then" .... grrr....

do u supply formula? if so i would do as u please and dont tell her. sometimes i feel what a parent doesnt know wont hurt!

if they supply she might have a can of formula all figured out and feedings and KNOW when its time to replace LOL so then i would tell her its either feed on demand or she will have to find a replacement provider as you can not meet this childs needs or parents needs at that....

lots of luck to you!
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG&Lsmom View Post
I have a 4mo FT DCG whose been in my care since the last week of August. Days 1-3 were fine. Days 4-current have been miserable. She is super high needs, barely naps, screeches, wails, shrill crying most of the day. Mom is insisting that she be on an every 4 hour bottle, but my gut is that she's hungry sooner and that's causing all of the above stress. Mom refuses to allow any changes to the feeding schedule. She basically said that crying is part of caring for a baby, she can't possibly need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs and that she doesn't care if she's a good napper cuz she sleeps thru the night.

Today I decided to feed her an hr earlier just to see what happened. She had been inconsolable for 20 mins when I finally gave her the bottle. Well wouldn't you know that she got all happy and played nicely for almost 2 hours! Told DCM thinking she'd be happy she had such a good day. Nope, she's pissed. She' absolutely adamant that her DD does not need to eat more than every 4 hrs. But she seems to be getting more and more upset with me that the baby is so unhappy.

This type of rigid schedule is new to me since I demand fed all 3 of my kids and all of the babies I've nannied for over the years. Can anyone give me any help, suggestions, etc? I need to keep this income coming in and would love to find a way to ease both the baby and my stress level. But if this keeps up for too much longer I'm going to lose my marbles.

TIA!
I don't think a 4 month old should be on such a rigid schedule either. Of course unless you provide the formula (I assume mom brings the bottles already made up?) you would have to supply it out of your own pocket.
I would not want to be dishonest either but maybe what the mom doesn't know is for the best. It does concern me that the child is likely unhappy at home too since she's hungry! Can you do some online research to see what ther normal feeding lengths should be? I know they used to say formula-fed babies could go 4 hrs between feeds but for a 4 month old that may be too long.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:20 AM
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in my opinion, you have 3 options....

1. print out some info about the feeding needs and schedules of infants to share with mom, try to get her to understand, maybe even get the pediatrician involved

2. fudge it and feed the baby when you want to, not the honest road, but it is a choice.

3. tell her you can no longer accomodate her requests as you feel it goes against your philosophies, and terminate.

good luck!!
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2010, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BentleysBands View Post
i express to parents at interviews that i feed ON DEMAND...regardless if its every 2hrs or every hour...sometimes at certain ages they hit a spurt and need more to hold them over kwim? i cant stand parents who go 'by the book' and do the ever 2-4hr exact bottles...."sorry suzy but u have 30 more mins till u eat" "u have to scream till then" .... grrr....

do u supply formula? if so i would do as u please and dont tell her. sometimes i feel what a parent doesnt know wont hurt!

if they supply she might have a can of formula all figured out and feedings and KNOW when its time to replace LOL so then i would tell her its either feed on demand or she will have to find a replacement provider as you can not meet this childs needs or parents needs at that....

lots of luck to you!
I agree. It is absolutely rediculous to expect a provider to deal with a screaching baby because a parent is too stubborn to fed the infant when hungry. I have found, that breastfed babies are so much worse when it comes to feedings....they require much more often feedings.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:41 AM
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That's ridiculous - causing undue stress on baby and provider - sure mom doesn't care, she doesn't have to deal with it!!

My handbook states very clearly that infants will be fed on demand. Do you have a contract? Is that stated in there? Because if the parent signed it then she is consenting to feeding on demand no matter what she told you.

I realize you need this income, but is it worth your sanity?? Me, I'd tell mom that I only feed on demand here and if she needs a stricter schedule she'll need to find someone else to accomodate her.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2010, 05:03 AM
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No, no, no, NO!! I bet I know exactly what this woman is doing: she's most likely following the principles of some incredible morons known as Ezzo or possibly Pearl. She's most likely using the parenting book "On Becoming Babywise"--a book that advocates such things as feeding only every 4 hours. This book has been the cause of more cases of malnutrition and failure to thrive than probably any other out there. Actually, most of them probably do not cause those problems, but parents who try to follow this one rigidly cause MAJOR issues. Eventually she'll quit crying 'cause she'll have given up hope that her needs will ever be met. This makes me so, SO angry--I actually heard in one of my college courses that Ezzo, who wrote the damn book, actually came out once and said, "Don't use it, my theories were wrong, you will be causing more harm than good by trying to follow that book" and yet it's still out there, still in print, and still used by parents who believe that babies are a nuisance who are out to control you even at 4 months old or younger.

My suggestions to you are the same as melskids:
Quote:
1. print out some info about the feeding needs and schedules of infants to share with mom, try to get her to understand, maybe even get the pediatrician involved

2. fudge it and feed the baby when you want to, not the honest road, but it is a choice.

3. tell her you can no longer accomodate her requests as you feel it goes against your philosophies, and terminate.

Last edited by SilverSabre25; 10-13-2010 at 05:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:21 AM
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Thanks ladies. DCG had her 4m WCC yesterday and gained 4#9.5oz in 8w so neither mom nor pedi think it's hunger. I suggested fewer oz/bottle but feeding more often. No go. I don't feel I can lie to her and she does follow this strict rule at home. Let's baby CIO until next bottle.

Parent's supply formula. She's on expensive special formula because they claim she has reflux. I've never seen it, she's a happy spitter. But if you alternately stuff her full of formula then starve her until her next bottle of course she's going to spit up. Duh!

We do have a contract and there's a bit more that she's not following. Showing up 20 mins early now, showing up late, etc. So there's more at work here. Most important is the healthy and wellbeing of the child so I've been working that and ignoring the other stuff. But it's time for a good long talk. I need to offer up my additional 3 spots because we need the money but I've been holding off since this baby is such a handful.

She's napping at the moment so after I respond I'll have a look through our state regs and get some info. She will not appreciate it, but after a long conversation with DH (my voice of reason) I'm done with her if she won't allow for some flexibility. She won't get what she wants from anyone around and certainly not the center she was going to use.

Thanks again. And I'm glad I found someplace to get some info and support.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marniewon View Post
That's ridiculous - causing undue stress on baby and provider - sure mom doesn't care, she doesn't have to deal with it!!

My handbook states very clearly that infants will be fed on demand. Do you have a contract? Is that stated in there? Because if the parent signed it then she is consenting to feeding on demand no matter what she told you.

I realize you need this income, but is it worth your sanity?? Me, I'd tell mom that I only feed on demand here and if she needs a stricter schedule she'll need to find someone else to accomodate her.
I agree about the handbook and if a parent agrees to your policies, if not then mom has a right to dictate how her child is fed.....whether we agree or not.
I also agree that not feeding a child when they are hungry is sad...I would NEVER have done that to my child either, but ladies...this is HER child. She can do as she pleases! Lying, and feeding the child when you want and then not telling the mother is so wrong on many different levels! The only ownership you have in this is whether you are willing to put up with her parenting style/rules. If not, then terminate her so she can find child care that meets her needs. Every parent is entitled to choose how they parent and just because we need the income is no excuse to just ignore her requests and do as we please! If I were a parent and thought my wishes were ignored I would be furious!!
I think your only option is to be honest with her, discuss your beliefs and what you know to be true and let her decide if she is willing to conform to on demand feeding. If not and the baby keeps driving you bonkers...tell her you can't do it any more. No amount of $ is worth your sanity. This mom will probably go through a few daycares before she either finds the error in her ways or will end up being a stay-at-home mom.
Lying about it is just another reason FCC get bad reps! Parents talk...they are our best adverstisments!!! I would NEVER use the "what she doesn't know doesn't hurt her" way of thinking!
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:04 AM
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I was wondering if you have an update for us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MG&Lsmom View Post
I have a 4mo FT DCG whose been in my care since the last week of August. Days 1-3 were fine. Days 4-current have been miserable. She is super high needs, barely naps, screeches, wails, shrill crying most of the day. Mom is insisting that she be on an every 4 hour bottle, but my gut is that she's hungry sooner and that's causing all of the above stress. Mom refuses to allow any changes to the feeding schedule. She basically said that crying is part of caring for a baby, she can't possibly need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs and that she doesn't care if she's a good napper cuz she sleeps thru the night.

Today I decided to feed her an hr earlier just to see what happened. She had been inconsolable for 20 mins when I finally gave her the bottle. Well wouldn't you know that she got all happy and played nicely for almost 2 hours! Told DCM thinking she'd be happy she had such a good day. Nope, she's pissed. She' absolutely adamant that her DD does not need to eat more than every 4 hrs. But she seems to be getting more and more upset with me that the baby is so unhappy.

This type of rigid schedule is new to me since I demand fed all 3 of my kids and all of the babies I've nannied for over the years. Can anyone give me any help, suggestions, etc? I need to keep this income coming in and would love to find a way to ease both the baby and my stress level. But if this keeps up for too much longer I'm going to lose my marbles.

TIA!
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  #12  
Old 10-13-2010, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MG&Lsmom View Post
I have a 4mo FT DCG whose been in my care since the last week of August. Days 1-3 were fine. Days 4-current have been miserable. She is super high needs, barely naps, screeches, wails, shrill crying most of the day. Mom is insisting that she be on an every 4 hour bottle, but my gut is that she's hungry sooner and that's causing all of the above stress. Mom refuses to allow any changes to the feeding schedule. She basically said that crying is part of caring for a baby, she can't possibly need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs and that she doesn't care if she's a good napper cuz she sleeps thru the night.

Today I decided to feed her an hr earlier just to see what happened. She had been inconsolable for 20 mins when I finally gave her the bottle. Well wouldn't you know that she got all happy and played nicely for almost 2 hours! Told DCM thinking she'd be happy she had such a good day. Nope, she's pissed. She' absolutely adamant that her DD does not need to eat more than every 4 hrs. But she seems to be getting more and more upset with me that the baby is so unhappy.

This type of rigid schedule is new to me since I demand fed all 3 of my kids and all of the babies I've nannied for over the years. Can anyone give me any help, suggestions, etc? I need to keep this income coming in and would love to find a way to ease both the baby and my stress level. But if this keeps up for too much longer I'm going to lose my marbles.

TIA!
Tell her if she wants her to eat a bottle every 4 hours (the normal is every 3 to 4 hours for formula feed and every 2 to 3 hours for breastfed) then she NEEDS to start bringing rice cereal and stage 1 jars of food she can start eating these now that she is 4 months old or up her ounces of milk if Mom says she doesnt want her having baby food at 4 months old or wanna up her ounces then tell her you will be feeding her every 3 hours and for her to come up with a new shecdule.
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:23 AM
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Oh my gosh! This poor little baby! This makes me so sad...

I would check your state guidelines... some states actually have restrictions against feeding every few hours. They say daycare providers must feed babies on demand.

Plus, when you have a child go to a daycare; you are giving up all control over their schedules. You now follow the daycare schedule, it's just a form of control the parent must give up when submitting their child to daycare. Your house, your rules, your standards. If she doesn't like it, she needs to find a nanny who will follow her rules in her own house.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:07 AM
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I would simply tell her that refusing food to an infant is neglect and that you refuse to do it. Remind her that feeding on demand is the right way to help a child self satisfy and figure out their own body and its needs. If it a money issue, where she has budgeted for only so many bottles a day that you can recommend some local programs to her, If it is some other reason to please explain it to you because it seems to you as child neglect and since you are a mandated reporter,......
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
this is HER child. She can do as she pleases! Lying, and feeding the child when you want and then not telling the mother is so wrong on many different levels! The only ownership you have in this is whether you are willing to put up with her parenting style/rules. If not, then terminate her so she can find child care that meets her needs. Every parent is entitled to choose how they parent and just because we need the income is no excuse to just ignore her requests and do as we please! If I were a parent and thought my wishes were ignored I would be furious!!

I have to disagree 100% here. What the mother is doing is WRONG and DANGEROUS. This IS a form of neglect and abuse. What is wrong is starving a hungry baby. It is MORE wrong to starve a child than it is to ignore a request by an ignorant, lazy parent. And as a DCP, she can be held legally responsible if this child became malnourished. Just bc this woman had a child does NOT make her an expert on infant nutrition.

If this were me in your shoes, I would print out the info as a another person suggested, tell the mother you will be feeding on demand, if she refuses to supply the extra formula I would buy it and give her the invoice for the extra formula. If the mother freaks out or terminates, I would call CPS because as a state mandated reporter you are duty bound to report neglect and abuse.

And make no mistake, this is starvation. An infant has no other way of telling its caregiver that it is hungry other than to cry. So if this child is crying, and being fed makes the crying stop, then the child is HUNGRY and NEEDS to be fed. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:42 AM
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I have to disagree 100% here. What the mother is doing is WRONG and DANGEROUS. This IS a form of neglect and abuse. What is wrong is starving a hungry baby. It is MORE wrong to starve a child than it is to ignore a request by an ignorant, lazy parent. And as a DCP, she can be held legally responsible if this child became malnourished. Just bc this woman had a child does NOT make her an expert on infant nutrition.

If this were me in your shoes, I would print out the info as a another person suggested, tell the mother you will be feeding on demand, if she refuses to supply the extra formula I would buy it and give her the invoice for the extra formula. If the mother freaks out or terminates, I would call CPS because as a state mandated reporter you are duty bound to report neglect and abuse.

And make no mistake, this is starvation. An infant has no other way of telling its caregiver that it is hungry other than to cry. So if this child is crying, and being fed makes the crying stop, then the child is HUNGRY and NEEDS to be fed. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
I totally agree!! THis is neglect and abuse big time!!!!
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:00 AM
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I understand that the parent wants her wishes to be honored but the parent here needs to understand that there are other children in the daycare that have needs as well and that the provider cannot focus 100% of her attention to this one child 100% of the time. Maybe at home it is easier to feed only every 4 hours because at home mom can hold, pick up, play, carry etc. the baby to pacify it during the hours in between. At daycare the baby needs tummy-time, time to play on his/her own and to self soothe. The daycare provider needs to take care of, direct, monitor, feed, change, and provide attention to the other kids in her care which she won't be able to do effectively while having to hold an infant in her arms between feedings.

It looks to me as though the parent needs a different kind of care for her infant that can provide more of a one on one type of care. If she is not willing to give up her needs to conform to the daycare's routine then I would recommend having her look for a nanny instead. This way there is only one baby to care for and the nanny can focus on and pacify the infant when it becomes fussy between the feedings.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenNJ View Post
I have to disagree 100% here. What the mother is doing is WRONG and DANGEROUS. This IS a form of neglect and abuse. What is wrong is starving a hungry baby. It is MORE wrong to starve a child than it is to ignore a request by an ignorant, lazy parent. And as a DCP, she can be held legally responsible if this child became malnourished. Just bc this woman had a child does NOT make her an expert on infant nutrition.

If this were me in your shoes, I would print out the info as a another person suggested, tell the mother you will be feeding on demand, if she refuses to supply the extra formula I would buy it and give her the invoice for the extra formula. If the mother freaks out or terminates, I would call CPS because as a state mandated reporter you are duty bound to report neglect and abuse.

And make no mistake, this is starvation. An infant has no other way of telling its caregiver that it is hungry other than to cry. So if this child is crying, and being fed makes the crying stop, then the child is HUNGRY and NEEDS to be fed. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
I don't know what laws and rules all DCP licensors have to follow in different states, but after reading all these posts, I decided to go to my answer people:
I called my county licensor and was told that no, as a DCP are NOT legally liable if a child is undernourished due to a parents written request to follow a feeding schedule. It is the parents responsiblity since they requested the feeding schedule be adhered to. The responsibility would fall on the parent. Also my county licensor said this is NOT abuse or neglect UNLESS the child is undernourished or failing to thrive. (Which no one has said if the child is thriving or under weight). As mandated reporters we are obligated to report if the child is not thriving, not report because of the parenting practices we do not agree with.
I also called Provider's Choice Food Program and they also said keeping a child on a 4 hour feeding schedule is not abuse or neglect unless the child is under nourished and failing to thrive.
Just because we are DCP's does not make us experts on infant nutrition either. My licensor suggested an easy solution to this problem is to have the mother get a statement from the child's pediatrition saying that she is thriving and growing and it is okay for her to be on a 4 hour feeding schedule. That would solve the issue of educating the mother (if necessary) as well as checking the well being of the child.
My point originally in this thread was lying to a parent is never good business practice and I would chose to communicate better with the parent rather than do something agaisnt their wishhes behind their back. If I still could not handle the crying baby (after her Dr. visit) I would terminate due to possible loss of sanity!
Lastly, I also called a local pediatrition and asked her advice. She said many parents choose to keep their infants on 4 hour feeding schedules and again, there is no cause for alarm or concern UNLESS the child is failing to thrive or is severely under weight. Most infants have Dr visits at 2, 4 and 6 months so if this were the case, the Dr. should take the opportunity to discuss feeding routines with the mom. The pediatrition also mentioned that just because a child cries right before her feeding time may not always signify hunger. Babies cry for many different reasons and just because they eagerly take a bottle when given, doesn't mean they were hungry. It is like a pacifier. It just becomes learned behavior and they take a bottle for comfort when they may not have been hungry, just wanted something else.
Sorry for the rant, but I get annoyed when people suggest lying to parents or doing things behind their backs...It is just morally, ethically and professionaly wrong to handle a situation that way.
Have the mom go to the child's Dr and get a diet statement...If child is healthy, gaining weigh and developing properly......Problem solved.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:07 PM
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For tiny babies like this I feed on demand. if the parents don't like that then they can hit the road. The baby is 4 months old not 4 years old. tell mom that you have tried it her way and it isn't working and you would like to try it your way for the next 2 weeks. My gut feeling is that everything will improve when she is fed on demand. Even my bigger kids don't go 4 hours between meals.....just saying
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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I was reading the original post and all previous posts before mine again and wanted to add that if the baby was malnourished the provider would have already said so as it would be the primary concern. Since it doesn't seem to be a serious concern I can only assume that the main problem is that the baby cries after 2 hours of being fed and is pacified only after being fed and is again okay for another 2 hours, mom won't budge about the 4 hour feeding schedule, baby keeps creeching and provider is losing her mind.

I also noticed that DCM said that crying is a part of taking care of a baby. Maybe she does not understand that the baby literally cries non-stop and would probably do so for hours until she was fed again. I'm against pacies for my own children but is this an option for this DCM?

Also is this the baby's first DC that she's been to? In fact is this the first DC that DCM has taken any child of hers to? I ask because maybe she is unfamiliar with what is normal and what is not in a daycare setting. MG&Lsmom mentioned that DCM is getting upset because baby is unhappy, but DCM became upset when MG&Lsmom fed the baby too soon to make the baby happy. Could it be that DCM is expecting too much from the DC provider? A lot of people expect the highest level of childcare and expect everything of you as a daycare provider including bending over backwards simply because they are paying you for daycare services. Unfortunately that is not the case, we have our policies and know our limits and she should understand that or find someone that can adequately cater to her needs.

I also don't agree with lying to the parent about the feedings and think that open communication is best. Make it clear that you understand that crying is a part of caring for a baby however you have NEVER had a baby cry like this and that the baby is uhappy. When you are able to and the baby cries pick her up and see if it helps. If not then call DCM after 15 minutes while holding the crying baby and explain that she is crying, that you've been holding her and that you can't get her to stop. Ask HER what she wants you to do and make it clear that you can't hold the baby for the next 2 hours until feeding time because you have other kids to take care of. I stand where I stood before, if she doesn't want to budge then maybe she needs a different kind of care. Otherwise offer to have the baby cry-it-out but that you'll need her written consent that it's ok to do so, I know I wouldn't be ok with my baby crying for more than 30 minutes.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:25 PM
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Even my bigger kids don't go 4 hours between meals.....just saying
Good point, mine either. The kids are all fed here every 2 hours. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack & then supper.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Have the mom go to the child's Dr and get a diet statement...If child is healthy, gaining weigh and developing properly......Problem solved.
Problem NOT solved if the child is still wailing because he is hungry. Sure, the provider's a** would be covered in terms of liability, but problem is definitely NOT solved. I cannot imagine withholding food from a child that is wailing if the food is what calms them.

I do agree that lying to mom is NOT an option (and it doesn't sound like OP is even considering this one, fortunately).

This is a really tough situation. I think all you can do is provide information about feeding on demand, hopefully with state regs to back you up. I would not be able to not feed this baby, so I would have to terminate, which obviously might not be an option for you if you're really needing this income.
Good luck in whatever you decide...
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  #23  
Old 10-13-2010, 12:45 PM
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Problem NOT solved if the child is still wailing because he is hungry. Sure, the provider's a** would be covered in terms of liability, but problem is definitely NOT solved.
I didn't mean the whole problem.....sorry. I just meant whether it is okay or not to have a 4 mos old on such a strict schedule. Yes, there is also the problem of the excessive crying...and the provider's sanity.....I guess that part is hopfully solved by open communication with the parent so that they can find a solution together.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2010, 12:52 PM
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I didn't mean the whole problem.....sorry. I just meant whether it is okay or not to have a 4 mos old on such a strict schedule. Yes, there is also the problem of the excessive crying...and the provider's sanity.....I guess that part is hopfully solved by open communication with the parent so that they can find a solution together.
Sorry, I was feeling a little snippy...

Yes, hopefully they can come to some kind of resolution.

And just because the doctor gives a note doesn't mean that he knows the whole story. Mom may not be telling him that the baby is crying toward the end of those 4 hours and is comforted by an earlier feeding. I bet if mom included that info, doc would say, "then scrap the damn schedule!" lol
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:05 PM
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I have a 4mo FT DCG whose been in my care since the last week of August. Days 1-3 were fine. Days 4-current have been miserable. She is super high needs, barely naps, screeches, wails, shrill crying most of the day. Mom is insisting that she be on an every 4 hour bottle, but my gut is that she's hungry sooner and that's causing all of the above stress. Mom refuses to allow any changes to the feeding schedule. She basically said that crying is part of caring for a baby, she can't possibly need to eat every 2.5-3 hrs and that she doesn't care if she's a good napper cuz she sleeps thru the night.

Today I decided to feed her an hr earlier just to see what happened. She had been inconsolable for 20 mins when I finally gave her the bottle. Well wouldn't you know that she got all happy and played nicely for almost 2 hours! Told DCM thinking she'd be happy she had such a good day. Nope, she's pissed. She' absolutely adamant that her DD does not need to eat more than every 4 hrs. But she seems to be getting more and more upset with me that the baby is so unhappy.

This type of rigid schedule is new to me since I demand fed all 3 of my kids and all of the babies I've nannied for over the years. Can anyone give me any help, suggestions, etc? I need to keep this income coming in and would love to find a way to ease both the baby and my stress level. But if this keeps up for too much longer I'm going to lose my marbles.

TIA!
I checked the MA regulations and while it says that infants must be fed according to their individual feeding schedule or needs (which you might have been able to use to speak with dc mom), the regs also state that the provider has to follow the parent's orders in the preparation and feeding of special diets which this situation may fall under since the baby has reflux and is eating a special formula. I'm not sure you have much choice if the parent insists on sticking with the 4 hour schedule and you can't afford to let her go. Maybe sit down with her and in addition to addressing the early drop-offs and late pick-ups, have a heart to heart with her about how miserable the baby is and determine why she is so adament about the eating schedule. If she's been told by the pediatrician that it will help with the reflux I can understand why she may want to follow his/her instructions. If she's doing it because that's the way it's always been done in her family or she read some book that recommended 4 hour feedings only, I'd let her know you are reconsidering caring for the baby. She may be more willing to give a little.

I do feel for you, though. I had a dc mom who insisted on a very strict feeding schedule - only so much and only at certain intervals of time. The baby was absolutely miserable and I did the same thing you did -- I gave her just a little bit more one day and it made all the difference in the baby's mood. The mother wasn't happy with me and I did try to respect her wishes after that but it wasn't easy. Long story short, it eventually came out that many of the mother's family members were severely overweight and the mother had had a weight problem, too. She didn't want the baby to be overweight. From what I hear, she still is a control freak when it comes to what and how much her dd eats.

BTW, I'm from Central MA, too. If you decide you can't deal with the baby, can you post here so I can be on the look out and know not to take this family!! ;-)
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2010, 07:18 AM
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Maybe you could try giving some water between feedings to help tide the baby over (assuming that's not against this mother's strict rules, of course)?
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:41 AM
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please do not give baby water. In the first year of life it is NOT recommended. It messes with the balance of electrolites. It fills them up with empty fluid instead of brain and body nurturing calories. , it just isnt recommended unless a dr suggestes it. They get all needed fluids from BM of formula. Also do not add more water to the formula than directed. Please, find another solution...... Ive had personal experience where my sil did this and my niece was not gaining, not gaining, they TOOK her away for lack of nutrition. Her case was extreme,... but please,..... ....
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:03 AM
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Is this baby on forumula or breast milk, if breast milk, in my experience, it never satisfies a baby as long as formula does. I am dealing with it now with a 5 mo old.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:28 AM
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please do not give baby water. In the first year of life it is NOT recommended. It messes with the balance of electrolites. It fills them up with empty fluid instead of brain and body nurturing calories. , it just isnt recommended unless a dr suggestes it. They get all needed fluids from BM of formula. Also do not add more water to the formula than directed. Please, find another solution...... Ive had personal experience where my sil did this and my niece was not gaining, not gaining, they TOOK her away for lack of nutrition. Her case was extreme,... but please,..... ....
This is interesting, I'm going to have to do some reading up on this. I didn't know that a few sips of water could be so dangerous. I've had a few parents over the years give their babies water occasionally. Hopefully no harm was caused.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:26 AM
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a few sips,.. as in an ounce every so often may be ok, but an infant doesnt NEED it and too much is dangerous, especially if it is an ongoing thing, my sil did 3 scoops of formula to 9 oz water, for a period of months, and her baby wasnt gaining,.... she was trying to save money.
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This is interesting, I'm going to have to do some reading up on this. I didn't know that a few sips of water could be so dangerous. I've had a few parents over the years give their babies water occasionally. Hopefully no harm was caused.
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  #31  
Old 10-15-2010, 02:27 AM
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thats because bm is easier to digest for infants, its the perfect food, and yes ,... more often they must be fed. But is it the perfect food.

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Is this baby on forumula or breast milk, if breast milk, in my experience, it never satisfies a baby as long as formula does. I am dealing with it now with a 5 mo old.
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  #32  
Old 10-15-2010, 04:51 AM
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Parents can't give you permission or insist that you do the wrong thing.

Parents need to understand that once their child is out in society that society has a stake in the outcome of the child becuase the care of that child affects the child, the adults caring for that child, and the other children in care.

Parents who want sole control over this type of care need to either do it themselves or hire a sole person to care for the child and not have the child out into society. That would be a Nanny.

I do not allow this at all in my day care. I make ALL the feeding decisions. The parent must bring a formula I approve (USDA food program approved) and must bring a can for each week and keep a spare can on hand here. That includes the expensive formula.

The parents are to bring three bottles to leave here that I wash and store. I decide the feeding schedule and the amount. I ask the parents what they do at their home but I do NOT make any promises that I will follow their ways at my house.

I don't ask the parents when and how much I feed... I tell them when and how much I fed. If they don't agree with that they must leave. I know within a few days of caring for the baby exactly what he/she needs. I can tell by their behavior and cries what they need. I don't need anyone to micro manage that.

When the baby is in my care he/she is my responsibility and I have to consider my thirty years of experience in caring for many children in comparison to the parents four months of caring for one child. If my gut was telling me the child is undefed while she is with ME then the parent MUST accept that and allow me to do what I feel is right.

I have a sneaking suspicion that what is really going on here is that the formula is expensive and Mom wants to keep the usage down in day care so she can have more of it for the time when she is home. She knows the baby is fussing after just a few hours at her house and wants the formula for when the baby is on her clock. I would bet many dollars that she is NOT going four hours between feedings at home because she can't deal with the hunger crying either.

I'm also wondering if she is not getting WIC and the cans that WIC is giving for free aren't enough to cover both home and day care so she's trying to conserve so she doesn't have to buy it???

I agree with PP not to lie about usage. That will get you nowhere.

If this were my dcp I would offer to purchase an additional can of formula and feed the child the third bottle or the extra ounces out of my can. I think OP would find very quickly that the Mom would be all about the free bottle a day and the conversations would stop. For me, it would be me putting my money where my mouth is and saying that I will foot the bill ... that's how strongly I feel... even if it was a thirty dollar can of formula.

I would do this for one month and document the usage. At the end of the month I think you would find that the Mom wasn't complaining about the amounts. Then I would tell her that I need X amount of formula and a spare can and that I will continue what I have done in the last month and up the amounts as I see fit.

If she starts back into trying to tell you what to do with it once it's back on her dime then you will know it really isn't about the baby... it's about her money.

I could be wrong because as pp said there are child care theories out there to hold off feedings and some parents will suscribe to them. I won't work with parents who have these rigid feeding ideas because in my heart and in my experience I know that babies of this age need to be free fed.... with and without reflux. Reflux changes the manner of feeding and the activity before and after feeding but it doesn't change the time span on a four month old from every 2.5-3 hours to every 4 hours. 4 hours is TOO LONG for a four month old to wait between bottles during awake times. period.

In 31 years of having babies I have NEVER had a four month old go four hours in between feedings and I've had a crap ton of reflux babies. No can do... not even with parents wanting it.

I learned many years ago that I offer what I offer and the parents who have the opportunity to bring their child to me must have respect for my experience and education. They have to allow me and trust me to do what I think is right. I'm all for discussions of what they are doing and managing introduction of new foods into a child's diet... I'm all for co-ordination on stuff like that but I will NOT hold off a newborn babies bottles when my heart and experience is telling me otherwise. I will not allow parents to tell me to do the wrong thing and expect I do it.

They do it the way I think is right or they scoot on down the road to the provider who will feel their way is right. In order to stay here their "parental decision" needs to be that "I" decide. That's the only decision that works for me.
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