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How to decide on a CM ?(15 Posts)
That's it really...
I've met 3 CMs and liked 2. Have almost decided on one of them, but I'm still not sure and I don't know why...
She's nice, has good references and has all the relevant qualifications...
do you get some kind of gut feeling when you decide?
Also, should I keep hunting or meeting 3 was enough? I didn't find many to begin with to be honest.... they were either not free or too far away...
you need to see how she is with your children. to me that would be the most important deciding factor
ZingWantsCake how would you expect a CM to behave with a baby on a first visit?
So this is what happened.... I wanted to see how she is with other kids so I dropped in one day with my 11 mo DS. She had another 2 yo with her that day and she was busy playing with him. I put DS down on the carpet and he was immediately busy with all the new toys. Quite some time went by during which I asked her a few more questions... but she made no attempt to pick DS up or talk to him....
Finally I suggested to her that she should try carrying DS to see if he goes to her. She did that and went for a quick stroll with him around the house and then brought him back...
Anything wrong with what I just described ? I just found it weird that she didn't make any attempt to try and bond with him... or was it because she knew that we hadn't made up our minds yet about her...
I've spoken to other mums who send their kids to her and they are very happy with her... they said she was a very nice person... warm... and giving out cuddles when needed...
Or maybe I'm being overprotective as DS has always been looked after by family members who spoil him no end
Oh this is just so hard to decide !!
The fact that ds was happy to go.atraight to playing and to be held and carried round the block.shows he is happy to be there. Thatd be a good sign for me.
I don't think she is bad but I would have wanted to hold your son and say hello to him.
just like I would do with anyone else (well not the holding part obv. )
I think that she ignored him a bit in your presence is not very nice.
it doesn't matter what the others say (and that includes me) but if you don't feel that she is attentive towards him that would be a no.
I wouldn't want her to fuss over him, but based on what you said she didn't care much either way. and if she had only made a fuss because she knew you'd choose her that would've made me feel uncomfortable.
She probably didn't want to overstep the mark by picking him up having only just met him. I think she saw this as an opportunity for you to ask her questions and to be focussed on exchanging information rather than for her to start 'bonding' with a child who may or may not be coming to her.
Perhaps if you're worried you could suggest a trial week or so before committing, but I wouldn't be particularly worried about her not wanting to 'try out walking around with him' the first time she met him, it takes time for us all to get to know each other and I'm sure she'll bond with him when they've spent time together. It's not like a grandparent who already has an emotional attachment to the baby via the parents.
Its like you meeting a new friend and automatically feeling a bond with their children, once you've met them a few times and got to know them and they've become familiar with you, it all settles down.
I think it is very difficult to judge when Mums visit with their babies how much I should play/cuddle/engage with them. Some might take it as being stand-offish if I don't, while others might think me pushy or presumptuous if I do, especially before any firm decision to join us has been made. I also see my role as being to do my best to stand in for the parent when they are unable to be there with their children, not when they are there. I don't think you can gauge too much from a short visit like this as she may well have been nervous or distracted by trying to think on her feet and make sure you got all the information you needed, rather than being able to focus on the children fully. I think how she is with the children who have been with her a while is probably a more meaningful indication, and how other parents find her.
11 months old is the prime time for clinginess. I wouldn't have picked up your baby either, not without your saying so.
I used to do it - and then found myself with a shrieking baby on my hands, his first visit to me ruined by bad memories of the strange woman who picked him up.
Far better to let him settle and feel comfortable first, then - and only when Mum is happy - I might try picking him up. I'd be more likely to wait until the settling in sessions, though.
tanith fair point, but not making any contact whatsoever, not even a smile and a hello from the distance is inexcusable IMO.
that's cold and uncaring and not what I would expect.
I generally ask if it's ok to hold a baby, but would be more likely to sit on the floor and play with an older child, rather than pick them up.
I hope you didn't just 'drop'in', I would not have been very welcoming as I do not allow casual callers in for security reasons. Also when I am working the children already in my care are my priority, not prospective parents....but it is slightly odd that she didn't make contact with your baby- unless she was really busy of course & you had called at a inconvenient time?
I am warm, caring and very experienced and I treat children as individuals, I would never pick up a child that didn't invite my attention in some way, and it just would not be fair to carry a child off who didn't know me or my setting. Asking her to walk around the house when she presumably had to leave her other charges unsupervised was not acceptable. It would have been better to see her alone first, she would have had time to focus on you & your child and you could have returned at a mutually convenient time when she had other children- if you really needed to see her with other children- i'm not sure why you would? If her report is good, all registration documents are in place, and she has some positive references/recommendations, she is experienced and you like her that should be enough surely? I am guessing this was your first meeting, 'bonding' takes time and does not happen by walking around for a few minutes with a baby in arms. I would expect to meet parents at least twice before making a decision, and then we would arrange 'settling in' sessions, some with mum present, some without because this is when 'bonding' takes place.
I never ever pick a baby up without giving them time to get used to me and my home.
I usually sit in the floor and chat with the parents about my CM service. And let baby sit securely on Mum's knee. Talk and give eye contact and smiles to baby.
I would then sit next to Mum and baby and ask if baby wanted to come to me.
If the child is a little older I would sit on the floor with the toys and wait to see how the child interacts with me.
I had lovely feedback from a parent recently when I used the above approach with a 6 month old baby. They felt my nature was really good and liked the way I was with him. He has been with me for 2 weeks now.
I feel it is important not to force yourself onto babies and small children as they are individuals and need to get used to you.
I am not a person who gushes at babies and small children. But they do tend to like me for some reason.
My childminder would have pretty much ignored a baby at that age while mum was there and let the baby go to her
Difference being she explained why she was doing it, it was very effective
thanks all for your replies
stomp it was a planned visit
I think I'll go for a trial period as she does have good references.... wish me luck !!
I wouldn't just pick a baby up right away either. First of all, I try and arrange all potential visits for when I don't have other children present (weekends or evenings if necessary) so that I won't be distracted when new baby comes to see me.
Second, I let the baby sit with mum/dad and keep a couple of feet away initially. It's a new place and a new person, and that's quite scary for a little baby. I do smile at the baby, to see what their reaction is, and if it's positive I will start pulling funny faces/making funny noises and maybe passing them an interesting toy or two, so they think that I am interesting.
If they don't react well, I don't push it, but talk to the parents more and move a toy to within reach of the baby, so they can still get it if they want it, but don't have to get too close to the stranger.
I don't ever take them out of sight of their parents, though I often end up with them sat on my knee, so they can still see their mum and dad.
It's worked pretty well for me so far...
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