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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>HELP: Advice Needed For Fussy Infant!
OwlLady 12:32 PM 12-06-2017
Hi all! Iím hoping for some advice. I have a 6-month-old infant in my care as well as a couple of other kiddos. The infant and his two and a half-year-old brother are only in my care twice a week for about 9 to 10 hours per day and I give them a great sibling discount. The thing is, the infant literally cries and screams all day long unless he is in my arms. Mom admits he is held a lot at home which I donít argue with, we all have our own methods but I fear itís affecting him when heís with me. Iím sure you all know that even we try to address certain concerns with parents, they will sometimes continue to allow certain things at home anyway. I have a very low ratio of kids and I keep it that way so that I can give all my Littles enough attention. But with the constant screaming, it is causing undue stress to the other children and my five-year-old daughter. This is causing them all to become fussier and more misbehaved than typical toddlers & their previous behaviors are much changed; which is upsetting my other families. Iíve had this infants family in my care for two years now since the older brother was born. Theyíre a great family; Iíve never had problems with payment or anything like that but I have gotten to the point where it is causing so much stress in my house when I do have him and Iím just unsure what else to do. I have spoken to his mom about it on several occasions and she chalked it up to teething or separation anxiety which is probably true because heís an infant and teething. Mind you I have five of my own children (older now) so this is not my first rodeo. I feel I have tried EVERYTHING. My question how would you all handle this? Itís been going on for a few months pretty much since Iíve started watching him. He started with me at four months old and like I explained to his mom while I love holding him and playing with him I simply cannot hold him all day long because I have other children to tend to for things like playtime, activities, diapers, meals etc. What are your thoughts reading this and how would you all handle things moving forward? Iím freaked out my neighbors must think Iím in here neglecting babies when that is farthest from the truth. My husband thinks I should let them go due to the stress it is causing. I love him and his brother so before just terminating our contract, I am reaching out for any advice. It is much appreciated. Thank you!
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boy_mom 01:14 PM 12-06-2017
I used to have a crying policy (built into my illness policy), that said after 2 hours of crying parents would be called for immediate pick up. Doesn't matter why they are crying. I felt it was unfair to the child, the other children and myself to have to listen to that all day long.

The other solution is to give mom an upcoming date in the next few weeks or in a month - let her know that if the crying hasn't improved by then, you will have to give notice. Or you can give notice now if it is really wearing you down!

I agree, most parents will do what they want at home, regardless of how it will affect their child at daycare. The flip side is that parents then have to accept that daycares will run in a way that best suits the owner. Just know that the behavior won't change unless mom has a real reason to change it (potential loss of childcare)
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storybookending 01:17 PM 12-06-2017
Put it back on mom and call for pick up when the baby cries over a certain amount of time. Tell her you will be doing this. I bet things will change quickly. They hold the baby a lot at home because itís convienent for them but negatively affecting you and the other children in your care, which they should care about as well as one of their older children is one of those affected.

Funny this is there second child. Iíve found this more common with first time parents.
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OwlLady 05:48 PM 12-06-2017
Thank you for the input so far. Any suggestions on how to word that to mom so it gets the point across but in a tactful professional way?
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Ariana 06:11 PM 12-06-2017
“Hi mom, although I am trying to support baby as much as possible his crying all day long is causing a lot of stress for the other children. I really feel that continuing to hold him all day at home is contributing to the problem as I am unable to hold him and take care of the other children. My suggestion is to stop holding him so much at home so that he becomes more independent or I will have to call for pickup if he cries continuously for more than x amount of time. I have to take the needs of the group into consideration and it is affecting everyone negatively.”
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boy_mom 06:12 PM 12-06-2017
Since it's almost the new year I would just send home your updated policies and procedures. If you have a sick or pick up policy you could add it there. Or just send it home in a letter.

"If a child is crying or in distress (for any reason) for x amount of time, I will call for immediate pick up. Children must be picked up with in 30 minutes. If I am unable to reach you, I will begin calling emergency contacts for pick up."

Or

Dear dcm,

As you know little johnny has been having issues with crying at daycare. Going forward, should he cry for x amount of time, for any reason, I will be calling you for an immediate pick up. He will need to be picked up with in x minutes of my calling you, or I will reach out to emergency contacts. Please be sure I have your most up to date contact information (cell phone and work numbers) as well as updated contact information for emergency contacts. Thank you for your cooperation on this issue.
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OwlLady 10:14 AM 12-09-2017
Hi everybody! Well thank you so much for all of your advice I really appreciate it. I talked more with mom about the issue at hand but I also expressed to her that her family means a lot to me and that I am happy to do anything I can to find solutions so that there is less stress on everyone including the infant. All I got a was text message yesterday morning that she decided to pull both of the children from my care and then a very generic email saying “my children’s last day will be x day” and signed her name. I try not to get too emotionally invested in this but it’s hard not to; this business is different then say a desk job (which I’m not saying cannot be meaningful) but it’s hard not to grow bonds and love for the children you take care of like your own. I just feel like I’ve always been very reliable for her. I can count on one hand maybe the times I’ve called out sick in almost 3 years, I always let them know months in advance of any time that I might take off for say a family camping trip, I give them a great discount, I let her switch her days around with me multiple times never a problem. I just feel like I’ve worked really well with them on top of that I taught the older brother his ABCs, colors, to count, etc all before he was two, amongst many other things and while I’m not necessarily wanting an award or a trophy, I am honestly hurt that she didn’t even bother to thank me or acknowledge the last two and a half years with her family. It is just really hurtful that in a position like this where there’s no paid time off, no sick pay, no vacation time, you open up your home to other these families and there’s a lot that you sacrifice for your own family to do this and some people just are so easy to treat you like a random babysitter and ignore the issue instead of trying to help find solutions. Has anyone else experienced that where you feel this in many ways is a thankless job?
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boy_mom 10:23 AM 12-09-2017
I'm sorry you are feeling this way!

And without trying to be too cynical, this is exactly why you should always be a little detached, take the paid time off and stop giving extra to families. While it's always nice to enjoy the families you work with and get along with, families will ALWAYS do what in their best interests. This is a good lesson in why you should too!

It does stink Mom felt the need to pull instead of working with you, but I gaurentee the absence of crying on monday will be such a nice relief!
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Claraskids 10:26 AM 12-09-2017
OwlLady, I am sorry that the children were pulled with little notice and no appreciation. I've been there myself, and after the dust settled was amazed at how much calmer everyone was. It is very hard not to take it personally, but remember that not every family is a good fit.
I also had a screaming baby for four months. Mom refused to help in any way. She lied to my face about baby being constantly carried and using blankets and toys in crib at home (dad flat out told me the truth). After I started calling for pickup for excessive crying, she was furious. Pulled him out the day of the second call for crying. Said it was all my fault because he never cried for anyone else. I remained very calm and replied that then it would be better if he was with someone else as my daycare obviously didn't meet his needs. Found out later she was upset that I wouldn't offer more concessions to keep him. Didn't need to as I filled his spot a week later!
I live in a small town and daycare providers talk. The little one went through two more daycares in the last year - all due to excessive crying.
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OwlLady 08:18 AM 12-18-2017
Hi there, thank you all for your perspective and for sharing your experiences. So interesting how similar they are to mine. I finally heard from DC mom a few days ago and she admitted that she shouldn't have pulled the children in the first place and apologized for poor communication on her end. She is literally begging to bring the children back and apologized profusely for pulling them to begin with stating it was the worst decision she has ever mad regarding her kids. I am hesitant because of the dramatic exit and lack of willingness on her end to work on solutions to begin with. Acting on emotions versus logic. Understandable as a parent however there were no issues for either of us all of these years until recently. I am hesitant to take back the baby because I have already seen a positive change in the other childrens behavior in the last two weeks however, I am potentially open to taking back older brother. If you were in my situation, how would you handle it? If you were to take back both, how would you handle things regarding the crying/stress issue and if you were only willing to take back the older child, how would you word it in a way that is professional and tactful? Thank you for your time!
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HappyEverAfter 08:34 AM 12-18-2017
If youíd like to have them back, Iíd do it on a trial basis at first. Iíd also insist that efforts be made to build the infants independence and Iíd keep calling if he kept crying. If the trial period goes well and you see progress, then offer to take them back officially, with the understanding that the crying issue needs to be resolved and continued efforts must be made.
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storybookending 09:22 AM 12-18-2017
Originally Posted by HappyEverAfter:
If youíd like to have them back, Iíd do it on a trial basis at first. Iíd also insist that efforts be made to build the infants independence and Iíd keep calling if he kept crying. If the trial period goes well and you see progress, then offer to take them back officially, with the understanding that the crying issue needs to be resolved and continued efforts must be made.
I agree with this advice although personally for me I wouldnít be giving any discounts for any children who only come two days a week. In fact I would be charging them a higher rate. Do you have children on an opposite schedule to make up for the loss? If not I would be looking to replace with full time children. I also think offering to take back just the older child is a bigger slap in the face than saying they cannot come back. If you do want them back you need to have a clear plan on how you will be dealing with the infants crying. After X amount of time call for pick up. Pick up must be within 30 minutes of the call.
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amberrose3dg 09:39 AM 12-18-2017
Originally Posted by OwlLady:
Hi there, thank you all for your perspective and for sharing your experiences. So interesting how similar they are to mine. I finally heard from DC mom a few days ago and she admitted that she shouldn't have pulled the children in the first place and apologized for poor communication on her end. She is literally begging to bring the children back and apologized profusely for pulling them to begin with stating it was the worst decision she has ever mad regarding her kids. I am hesitant because of the dramatic exit and lack of willingness on her end to work on solutions to begin with. Acting on emotions versus logic. Understandable as a parent however there were no issues for either of us all of these years until recently. I am hesitant to take back the baby because I have already seen a positive change in the other childrens behavior in the last two weeks however, I am potentially open to taking back older brother. If you were in my situation, how would you handle it? If you were to take back both, how would you handle things regarding the crying/stress issue and if you were only willing to take back the older child, how would you word it in a way that is professional and tactful? Thank you for your time!
I don't think i would take them back. The issue is the infant and if crying continues which it most likely will you will continue to call for pick up. Unless mom is ok with coming to get the child when these issues happen i would be looking to replacing. You will probably be in the same boat later on.
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boy_mom 10:47 AM 12-18-2017
I really wouldn't be open to taking them back. While I can understand where mom is coming from, I wouldn't be willing to take a screaming infant back especially after seeing improvements with the other kids! It's about the group and what is best for ALL the kids in care!
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Blackcat31 10:53 AM 12-18-2017
I would not take this family back.

Mom treated didn't take your concerns seriously, reacted badly when you wanted to discuss the issue.

That shows a serious lack of maturity. What happens the next time you need to discuss something with her?

She's begging now because she is realizing the grass is NOT greener on the other side. This was a good lesson for her.

...and for you. Don't do business with people that can't respect you, your policies and/or your concern for THEIR child.

I'd tell her sorry but you just can't work with someone that isn't willing to work WITH you
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OwlLady 11:29 AM 12-18-2017
Thank you for all of these perspectives. I have a gut feeling I should not take the family back at all. They were coming to my home in the middle of the week just two days and so it was hindering me from filling any full time spots because who needs child care for just Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays? The more I think about things, it is not worth it to deal with this issue for two days I was already giving at a discount. And I feel the same way, what if it happens again or the other childrens behavior reverts when I just got them back on track? Kids are kids but the last few months has been really rough on them and I feel like now its so much more calm in the house. How would you all word it to DCM in a way that is still sensitive and tactful and so she doesnt go around bad mouthing me? I guess that could happen anyway if I turn her away but I just think this would be best to move forward and fill those spots with full time care. I do and will miss the kids terribly but I feel like she should have thought about that before just pulling them without any thought to it. I will look forward to some advice on how to word things. Thank you!
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boy_mom 11:50 AM 12-18-2017
Originally Posted by OwlLady:
Thank you for all of these perspectives. I have a gut feeling I should not take the family back at all. They were coming to my home in the middle of the week just two days and so it was hindering me from filling any full time spots because who needs child care for just Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays? The more I think about things, it is not worth it to deal with this issue for two days I was already giving at a discount. And I feel the same way, what if it happens again or the other childrens behavior reverts when I just got them back on track? Kids are kids but the last few months has been really rough on them and I feel like now its so much more calm in the house. How would you all word it to DCM in a way that is still sensitive and tactful and so she doesnt go around bad mouthing me? I guess that could happen anyway if I turn her away but I just think this would be best to move forward and fill those spots with full time care. I do and will miss the kids terribly but I feel like she should have thought about that before just pulling them without any thought to it. I will look forward to some advice on how to word things. Thank you!
Hi DCM,

I'm sorry to hear You haven't found other care arrangements. Unfortunately, the spaces are no longer available.

All the best,
A relieved provider
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Snowmom 12:02 PM 12-18-2017
No, I wouldn't take them back.

She can be as sorry as she wants but it was no mistake. She meant to pull or she wouldn't have done it at all. She'll do it again just as bold and brash as she did the first time.

Wish her well and move on to the next.
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rosieteddy 12:03 PM 12-18-2017
I would write a text.DearDCM, Sorry for your change of heart.I miss the children.I think its best for all concerned you find other care.I will not be offering parttime or sibling discounts going forward.Baby would probably benefit from a nanny.He seems to need more one on one time.Being part time is hard he never adjusts to group care.Good luck and thankyou Provider. I had to term a family and though I missed the non crier the whole group improved when they left.
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knoxmomof2 04:59 PM 12-18-2017
I read your post and the responses.

In regards to being disappointed at her lack of appreciation for you : I felt the same way at first when I started. I've learned from my own experiences and this board that they will do what is best for them without one thought to our well being. As my DH (who has a long work history in Customer Service) once told me : "They are your customers, they don't owe you anything above payment". It sucks, but it's really the truth. Once you get that mindset, you're less disappointed when things happen. They don't see things from our perspective and they certainly don't invest themselves nearly as deeply as we do. As someone else said though - it will benefit you to keep a distance emotionally. You can still be a great provider, just keep the mindset that these children won't be in your care forever. They could leave next week and they may stay for years but you don't know for sure.

I'm regards to taking them back - no. You don't need the stress of the crying infant and it's not in anyone's best interest to get on this ride again... She has shown you what she will do when you set boundaries and she'll do it again. Also, they're part time and you've given them a discount. Fill the spots with more profitable kids.
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Tags:advice, crying, fussy, infant - crying, stressful days
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