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High need toddler - what to tell new nanny?(117 Posts)
Our lovely new nanny is starting in a fortnight. She is highly experienced (over 18 years nannying) and a mother herself and seems very caring and thoughtful.
I have had a previous bad experience with my son (now 20 months) not bonding properly with a very pt nanny, so am quite nervous about her starting.
I love him to bits, of course, so don't want to sound like I am criticising him, but I think others would describe him as more demanding than the average child. He was a Velcro baby and bf round the clock. Still cries a lot, wants to be picked up often, has to co sleep or he doesn't go down for either naps or at night, finds toddler groups very overwhelming. He is great in the groups we go to often, but if nanny takes him to a new one based on past experience he could easily cry unconsolably for the first ten minutes.
IME settling in will go best if I am there the first few times and start by leaving them alone for short periods of time - building up over the first 2 weeks. He has had acute separation anxiety, but is getting better.
I don't know how much of the above to share with new nanny. If I fell her what I've written here will she think I am patronising her / am a pfb nightmare?
She wants to have him alone for an hour on the first day, but from previous experience I think this won't work. DM says I should be firm and just explain why I don't think he will be happy.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.
grapes, thanks for the update - always nice tho sorry to hear about ds hearing, but hope he/you are getting the support you need/want
also good news about the naps and co sleeping - just a case of weaning him off with longer creeping aways - tho ouch at stopping sleep at just over 2 years
Thank you for the nice messages everyone.
Just remembered something else I thought might interest people worrying about cosleeping toddlers who won't nap otherwise - he gradually became fine to sleep alone which we did by just creeping away for longer and longer periods at nap time once he was asleep and now has dropped his nap altogether - we never tried to force the pace and it all worked fine. There was never a single tear
OP I've only read the thread since you bumped it, but just wanted to say that I was at some of the narrow-minded, judgy attacks you were subjected to. You obviously had perfect instincts - well done on sticking with them.
Hi OP, thanks for the update. I'm sorry to hear about your DS's hearing loss, but great that you've had it picked up/diagnosed and can now work more effectively on his anxieties etc. Also pleased to hear you got childcare sorted. I think going for someone who lives-in was a really good idea. I've done live-in jobs and you definitely bond quicker/more easily I think, particularly when the children are young and very quickly accept you as 'part of the furniture'!
The nursery I choose was really tiny under 3 there were about 10 children in a room. Preschool at it busiest had 20, but that was only for the three hours each morning earlier and later was quiet.
School also has small classes capped at 20 children.
I rarely took her to soft play as she found the noise in the type of building unbearable. We used ear defenders for firework displays.
Interestingly though making music with others derives her a huge amount of pleasure she sings in 2 choirs, plays the recorder and the clarinet and plays in an orchestra.
I have just finished reading your thread and wanted to say that I'm sorry that some people were so dismissive of your parenting initially. You have done absolutely the best for your DS and I'm sure he'll grow up to be a happy and confident little boy with a brill mum. Well done you (meant in a non-patronising way)
Thank you Victoria.
That is very interesting, Lone. I'm so glad for your dd that you worked out what the problem was and sorted it for her. Funnily enough we are starting to think the large preschool we had planned for him at 3 may not be the way ahead for DS.
I did read your thread originally, but as I was reading it was screaming Auditory Overload due to hearing issue to me. My DD had significant hearing loss and I had to find a very small quiet nursery for her because of this. Ultimately I sent her to an all girl's school because in her words boy noise hurts her ears. At 9 years old she does attend some summer camps where there is boy noise, but she does find these camps overwhelming and is much happier on a Netball week etc.
Glad you have now found out the problem. My DD is a lovely out going girl, but she can not cope with certain types of noise.
Thanks for the update I remember this thread well. it's a reminder for all parents who instinctively feel something is "different" about their child to trust their instincts, even in the face of people assuming it's their parenting style that's causing the behaviour. Well done.
Thanks cansu - I am trying to spread the word about hearing problems not always presenting in an obvious way - we thought hearing was not an issue because DS could hear so many tiny sounds. But in fact he is missing 75% plus of speech frequencies
If someone sees this and had their child checked it will be worth having posted. May also post in child health/behaviour and development.
Oh crosspost. Glad it has all worked out for you.
Why have you bumped your old thread wellovegrapes? Has something new happened?
I am the op and just wanted to post an update as I think this thread generated some interest as well as some adverse comments both about my child's future and about me!
The situation now is that my lovely DS has been diagnosed with significant hearing loss, which is now agreed to be the cause for his clinginess, anxiety and fear of loud places - all apparently very typical in children having hearing problems. His hearing loss is only in certain frequencies which was why it took a long time to pick up.
So to anyone out there who has a child who seems to be struggling please push for a hearing test, even if they can apparently hear well some of the time. It took me a while to convince the GP!
As to child care, we switched to an au pair and have had a really good experience with DS being really happy and settled with her.
I'm a cm and I have a very high needs clingy child, she has now settled well with me but it took months and she took up lots of my time, I never left her to cry and everything had to be done very very gradually with her. The only reason I persevered with this child and I was close to giving up many times, was because of her mum, she worked with me tried my suggestions. We were able to keep things consistent at home and at mine, she was brilliant to work with and it has been a really joint effort to get this little girl where she is now. I'm incredibly proud when she happily runs off and plays at toddler group or waves night night and goes for a nap. Would have seemed unbelievable a couple of months ago. I am not particularly experienced either.
I agree that before being a parent I would have been unlikely to take on a job like this. If I were nannying for you I wouldn't agree to cosleep, not because I'm opposed to it but because I think a nanny or someone outside the family has a better chance of sorting the sleep out. Neither would I leave him to cry hysterically though, and unfortunately many nannies seem to be of the opinion that crying is ok and CC or even CIO solves everything.
I wouldn't take a completely inexperienced childcarer btw - second job at least - but that's not just down to having to deal with the frying, there are a host of other things you don't need to be negotiating PLUS a high needs child. It's just that nannies who have trained more recently are more aware of the shift away from GF and her ilk. When I trained the Baby Whisperer was seen as soft/gentle parenting!
I had a clingy child, but luckily I worked part time, so was at home for her a lot. On the first day at school she went in without a backwards glance. She is more than happy to do groups and sleepovers.
What I learned was not to push her too hard into situations that didn't suit her.
I would however really recommend pick up/ put down for teaching your son to sleep. If you can sort that aspect out, the rest of it doesn't seem so daunting.
Also op I am not a special needs nanny but would be happy to work for you if I needed a job. I have 23 years experience and know that not all children are the same and you have to adapt your experience and training to fit the child.
Take no notice if zavi. I was a nanny before I had children and very judgy like Zavi.
However now I have had my own children its not as easy as you think and I am a far better calmer nanny than I am being a mum. When it is your own child it is ten times harder.
I have got two children one quiet and shy and not much of a mixer and the other one is almost too confident.
Zavi, I have reported your post as an unpleasant personal attack. You're talking out of your arse.
Oh goodness me he's 20 months old, just a baby still really. There's a huge amount of growing up to do between now and school. There's no way you can judge what kind of school child he'll be based on how he is now. FWIW OP I think it sounds like as a parent you are responding well to his needs rather than creating them by the way you parent. Yes you do need to work on him accepting being in groups etc. but it does sound like you are doing that. I don't think being all hard line on a toddler that little is going to do anything to increase his confidence. None of that really helps with your nanny situation but fingers crossed you'll find someone who suits.
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OP it's a credit to you how diplomatically you've taken some of these posts, not all if which have by any means been thoughtful or constructive.
Beamae, thank you for that really kind post.
I am very grateful to everyone who has posted here, even those who have been highly critical of my parenting and my views on parenting, because I now understand why I am struggling with childcare in a way I would never have done without MN.
When I go to my bf group many people there do extended bf, co-sleeping and would say they 'attachment parent' (I wouldn't use that label myself particularly) so to them what I do with DS is by no means odd. By the way, he is the only high need child in the group, even though most of the parents' parenting practices are very similar to mine, which would suggest him being high need has little to do with either the bf or co-sleeping, or indeed my general approach.
Generally, I don't tell other mothers I meet that we either still bf or co-sleep, so I guess I don't get to hear the mainstream view on all this.
What I've realised from this thread is that nannying a high need child is something many nannies will not want to do. Almost all of the nannies who have responded think co-sleeping for naps is mad. Many nannies here think DS is high need because I am making him like this.
Our previous two nannying arrangements have broken down very quickly and we need to think very carefully about how to go from here, so it has been very useful to understand how many nannies would view our nannying job.
Ds1 was very similar to your child. We didn't actually ever do any toddler groups as they just didn't work at all. Anyway he's now 6 and a delight.
I did learn that just ignoring the crying and whinging worked the best. He went to nursery for a couple of sessions a week from the age of about 6months and complained at them for a few hours, but I got a much needed break!
I really think you will have problems finding someone who is willing to co-sleep for naps - I also think that if should advertise for a very experienced nanny she will be able to work through the issues with you.
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