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Old 03-17-2011, 09:38 PM
PeanutsGalore
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Default For Those Of You Who Specialize In Infants...

How do you do it, and do you have any tips?!!! I just posted about interviewing potential clients because I'm looking for two more, which would bring my total (including my own child) up to 4--the legal max for me. My son is a year old and my full-timer is about 8 months old, and I've decided to keep the group as close in age as possible.

My days right now are on a pretty good schedule. I have planned naptimes, feeding times and diaper changes, and crying is pretty limited to those times, because I have to lock one up (put in a pack n play) to tend to the other, and neither kid is happy about that, but it's for their safety and it's a very limited amount of time, so no big deal. I'm thinking that if I get the right children, the routine will go pretty much the same--it will just take longer. My biggest concern is naptime and feeding times, and how much a child will need to be held. My hope is to be able to find a baby who I can easily train to sleep, and one that will be patient with a bottle/sippy or snacks while I feed the other two. I'm not going to accept a baby under 6 months of age, so I'm thinking I shouldn't have a problem.

I went into this job with unrealistic expectations and almost quit in the first few days. Can some of you vets out there tell me if I'm being realistic in my expectations now that I'm in it for good and looking to take in more kids?
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2011, 11:21 PM
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Abigail Abigail is offline
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We have four infants we feed at once. They all get their bottle/sippy first then we have four bowls set in the table infront of them, yet still out of their reach. They're all in one table with bucket seats so they can see each other. We feed one a bite, then grab the next spoon in the next bowl and feed one bite to the next child and just go around in a circle. They know the routine and are intertained by each other. Just don't mix up the bowls/spoons so you don't share them.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:52 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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I specialize in infants, mostly those with medical issues/prematurity. Truth be told it has always just come pretty natural for me so I don't know that I put much thought into how our feeding routines go with babies. I am type A and "high energy" as my Mom calls it , so it really is effortless most days (23 years experience with infants will do that)

I follow their medication schedules and they "tell" me when they need to eat or sleep, YKWIM? I really don't have alot of crying after the first couple days because I learn their signals pretty quick. Please don't think I am being uppity, we all have strengths and reading people is just mine... They tend to get on the toddler schedule on their own by just being part of the group since birth.

The biggest hurdle is keeping them safe from injuries from older babies and toddlers, this is compounded by the fact that the only time they are allowed in a PNP is when they are sleeping. "Restraint devices" (swing, bouncy, excersaucer, high chair, etc.) are not recommended and can only be used up to 15-20 minutes at a time. Kids also cannot be separated from the group, and they must be supervised at all times (provider in the room, quick exception to run to potty within reason)...

My solution was to just take the PNP safety concept and expand it to the 35 sq ft per child regulation. I built individual "rooms" with deck railing (they can see each other, but cannot hurt each other), placed gym mats as flooring and decorated for each individual. These "rooms" surround a central "group play" area for when they are a bit more mobile. The room itself does the hard work....everything else is gravy.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:21 AM
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I only watch 3 infants and the advice of pp's is great. Also, realize that you may not get a break at first, so limit your hours. I only work 9.5 to 10 hrs/ day. They all come and go at the same time. By them arriving at the same time it is likely that they woke up at the same time and may be on similar schedules. It may also be good to give a little bit of time between enrollments.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:27 AM
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SandeeAR SandeeAR is offline
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Before I took on a new baby, I put on paper what stage my current babies were.....sitting up, army crawling, real crawler, holding a bottle, "propable in a pinch" etc. I wanted to make sure that they were far enough apart that I didn't have 3 all needing a bottle at once and it just being me.

Also, when I make their cereal, veggies etc. I place things on the counter, left to right, oldest to youngest. That helps me not mix them up.

Btw, my babies are now 16 mo, 12 mo, 8 mo. All 4 months apart. It has worked pretty good for the past year.

Last edited by SandeeAR; 03-18-2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: added ages
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:21 AM
PeanutsGalore
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Thank you all so much for your replies!

I hear you on the "keep the babies away from one another" thing! I already figured that one out the hard way. I was using a supergate in our basement which is not used for daycare, but I had to bring it upstairs so that I had separate areas for each kid.

Catherder, do your infants really sit quietly while you change or feed another infant? I could see that working with newborns, but mine are 12 months and 8 months. I thought the whining because they weren't getting full attention was normal! We do okay during feedings as long as each kid has their own pile of finger food and a bottle, but diaper changes are a pita. I'm not challenging you, I just need to figure out if I should tweak my process before I add more kids to the mix. If there's a way to avoid crying, I 'll do it!
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeanutsGalore View Post
Catherder, do your infants really sit quietly while you change or feed another infant? I could see that working with newborns, but mine are 12 months and 8 months. I thought the whining because they weren't getting full attention was normal! We do okay during feedings as long as each kid has their own pile of finger food and a bottle, but diaper changes are a pita. I'm not challenging you, I just need to figure out if I should tweak my process before I add more kids to the mix. If there's a way to avoid crying, I 'll do it!
Actually they do.. Right now I have three at 12 months, one at 4 months and two at 24 months. They have all been here since six weeks of age.

I had Moms give their morning bottles staggered like 6:00am, 6:30am and 7:00am since I open at 8:00am. I just followed the approx. every 2-4 hours schedule (depending on how many ounces they were up to/age based) adjusting for changes in kids behaviors. It went very smoothly since all of my DCM were committed to making it go that way....

When they started the spoon feeding I placed them in small bean bag chairs in the floor in a circle. I handed them all a biter biscuit or frozen slice of banana in mesh to chew on between bites. Bottles followed the same schedule as above, they just held their own in the bean bag chairs, no bottles in bed.

My diaper changing table and cubbies (also a desk and refrigerator)are gated off so kids cannot get in. I generally place everyone in their own play area (with a stackable bin of toys they each have a personal preference for) before I start the changing cycle. They are just accustomed to it and know that story time/art time/feeding time/naptime/workout time/circle time seems to follow so are watching me to see what is coming.

My program is more play based and independent. I am in view at almost all times (ex. potty breaks, taking diapers out), am constantly wiping, washing or folding something, let them play independently, and am not involved in their free-play so they really are pretty laid back here. I just don't have that anxious crying if they don't have my complete attention.

Like I said some is just pure luck, I guess... I have had difficult kids (mostly toddlers around 3 years. THAT is my challenging age) in the past that required "critical planning" but for the most part the flow is just calm.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:08 PM
PeanutsGalore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
Actually they do.. Right now I have three at 12 months, one at 4 months and two at 24 months. They have all been here since six weeks of age.

I had Moms give their morning bottles staggered like 6:00am, 6:30am and 7:00am since I open at 8:00am. I just followed the approx. every 2-4 hours schedule (depending on how many ounces they were up to/age based) adjusting for changes in kids behaviors. It went very smoothly since all of my DCM were committed to making it go that way....

When they started the spoon feeding I placed them in small bean bag chairs in the floor in a circle. I handed them all a biter biscuit or frozen slice of banana in mesh to chew on between bites. Bottles followed the same schedule as above, they just held their own in the bean bag chairs, no bottles in bed.

My diaper changing table and cubbies (also a desk and refrigerator)are gated off so kids cannot get in. I generally place everyone in their own play area (with a stackable bin of toys they each have a personal preference for) before I start the changing cycle. They are just accustomed to it and know that story time/art time/feeding time/naptime/workout time/circle time seems to follow so are watching me to see what is coming.

My program is more play based and independent. I am in view at almost all times (ex. potty breaks, taking diapers out), am constantly wiping, washing or folding something, let them play independently, and am not involved in their free-play so they really are pretty laid back here. I just don't have that anxious crying if they don't have my complete attention.

Like I said some is just pure luck, I guess... I have had difficult kids (mostly toddlers around 3 years. THAT is my challenging age) in the past that required "critical planning" but for the most part the flow is just calm.
Well now, that is something else. I am in view of my little ones pretty much all the time, unless I have to use the bathroom while they aren't napping, which is infrequent. Well more than in view--I'm interacting with them most of the day; reading, talking, singing, anything to keep them amused. They free play, but for short periods of time. It's exhausting...my living room, kitchen and dining room are all one big room, basically, so they can always see me. Some days, I can step into the kitchen to snag a bottle from the fridge and warm up some formula, and all is right with the world. Other days--there is screaming like a horror film star is in my house. We're talking a distance of 5 feet here, if even, so I'm not sure what is going on other than temperament, but I'll take a closer look at it. My instinct tells me it's temperament since if I hold the youngest while I make a bottle, she stops screaming. It might help if I make her bottles a bit before feeding time rolls around. I'll try that next week.

Feedings go kind of the same here--as long as each of them have something to nosh on in between bites, like cheerios or teething biscuits, then I can get through a jar of food in relative peace. I suppose it won't be much different with 3 or 4 over 2.

Here's hoping some of that luck and "high energy" rub off on me!
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