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To reconsider our childcare arrangements

(30 Posts)
zirca Thu 20-Jun-13 20:33:24

Currently, my baby is looked after by my parents while I work (part time). They have recently increased their pet population, and now have 2 cats and 4 dogs. The cats aren't a problem, but the dog breeds chosen haven't exactly been family pet types (think GSD, Doberman sort of thing - 2 of whom were rehomed to them as adults) and now there are so many of them, they are more of a 'pack' and less desperate to please humans all the time. There have been no signs of aggression and the dogs have not been a problem so far, but I'm getting increasingly worried about what will happen when my child starts to walk. Also, today the GSD (big heavy thing) jumped onto the sofa where the baby was, and scratched the baby on the face.

My parents don't see that there is a problem, and see today's scratch as 'one of those things'. My concern is what might have been, and that a dog that large was almost landing on the baby. Also the gps don't interact with the baby much during the day - they are busy and I obviously wouldn't expect them to do anything massively different as they're not being paid. Will that affect development e.g. speech etc? Baby is PFB so maybe I'm just over protective - am I being? We'd obviously have to pay for childcare otherwise. Is it worth it for peace of mind?

juneau Fri 21-Jun-13 10:32:14

Follow your mother's instinct. Dogs, even friendly 'family' breeds of dog, can be dangerous and act jealously around babies and it only takes one act of aggression, particularly with a small baby, for disaster to occur.

I'm concerned that your parents aren't keeping dogs and baby completely separate, as they should be. Their blase attitude is a big red flag that they don't see any potential problems here. Please sort out a nursery or CM immediately - don't wait.

sparkle12mar08 Fri 21-Jun-13 10:26:03

Bollocks to that, my child would have been out long ago. It's not the dogs that are the problem per se, either, it's your parents, sadly.

megsmouse Fri 21-Jun-13 08:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thegreylady Fri 21-Jun-13 08:37:53

My dgc spend time with a cm and have since they were 6 months old. Cm has one small terrier which is a family pet. While mindees are there the dog is kept either in a big cage in a separate room or outside in a kennel and run. Apparently he once accidentally scratched cm's ds while jumping for a treat so she keeps him away from the mindees. The exception is that if they go for a walk the dog is some times taken on a lead if cm's dd aged 11 happens to be there to hold him. In your situation I would change the arrangements.

raisah Fri 21-Jun-13 08:23:21

Get a cm or nursery to care for your child, the financial cost is worth it for your peace of mind. My cm had a dig but she has it in a large cage or in the garden away from the children as recommended by Ofsted. Your parents wouldnt pass the Ofsted/council health & safety checks if they were childminders. I think relatives looking after kids should be inspected like cms are because some relations do get away with shocking behaviour.

You are right about the pack mentality, people forget that dogs are descended from wolves so that behaviour never really goes away. Some dogs are better with children but other breeds aren't, take the scratch in the face as a warning sign.

candyandyoga Fri 21-Jun-13 07:35:12

No way. Yours parents are being very blasé and negligent. Don't take your baby there and tell them exactly why. I am shocked at their stupid attitude.

Homebird8 Fri 21-Jun-13 07:32:11

the gps don't interact with the baby much during the day

Babies need interaction. Both babies and dogs need taking care of. How part-time is your work? Do your parents have other responsibilities that take up their time?

Dackyduddles Fri 21-Jun-13 07:24:01

With the stories of maulings of children in the press usually being in a home atmosphere (grandparents to friends) and by all sizes of dogs (jack Russell to Doberman) I personally would have to use a childminder/nursery. It might be a small chance that something bad would happen but it's too late isn't it if something does.

Particularly as GPS are busy and not necessarily watching every movement of learning to walk child. It's hard enough with a cat tbh (I have two often wishing I didn't now with toddler), at least they avoid baby like plague, dogs aren't quite like that. I love dogs but they need careful looking after for their own safety don't they?

firesideskirt Thu 20-Jun-13 21:31:59

This is not a good arrangement for anyone. You need to find proper responsible childcare for your baby. How about a childminder?

ConfusedPixie Thu 20-Jun-13 21:25:46

"Also the gps don't interact with the baby much during the day - they are busy and I obviously wouldn't expect them to do anything massively different as they're not being paid." - That would bother me because it's actually very bad for a baby to not be interacted with, they learn so much through interaction and speech before they are a year old and it's a crucial time for development that does affect them for the rest of their lives.

The dog thing would be the tip of the iceberg to me. get your child out of there pronto!

thebody Thu 20-Jun-13 21:24:57

I was a childminder for years and wouldn't dream of allowing the minders and cat in the same room without supervision.

I had to have a policy about the cat for ofsted and quite right.

You get the idea? Move move move.

shazbean Thu 20-Jun-13 21:21:58

Forgot to add, ASAP.

shazbean Thu 20-Jun-13 21:21:13

I second fabergeegg.
I've always had dogs, but had a gap when we had DD. We spent almost a year looking for the right dog for our family once we thought DD Was old enough and we could teach her to respect a pet - we would have loved a rescue dog but because you are never sure of their background we were advised by the centre to get a puppy, which we did in the end.

We have a large dog and she is great with DD, who is 5 Btw, but I would not trust her and they are supervised or separated at all times, for both their sakes.

In your situation I would make alternative arrangements.

Fairylea Thu 20-Jun-13 21:11:42


Even without the dogs you need childcare. Not just child "watching" which is what they seem to be doing, and not doing that well either!

DontmindifIdo Thu 20-Jun-13 21:10:42

YANBU - Move to paid childcare.

fabergeegg Thu 20-Jun-13 21:09:19

purpleswift I have to disagree. Some breeds tend on the whole to work better around children than other breeds.

fabergeegg Thu 20-Jun-13 21:07:09

I have kept dogs all my life (see my thread about my DD turning feral!) but I honestly think you have a big problem. What your parents are attempting to do is foolish.

My dog is only safe in situations that I'm monitoring at some level, despite being chosen for her child-friendly breed and temperament. She was also carefully protected from negative experiences around children and trained with a view to being around children. These rescue dogs don't have any of that and you're not even going to be there to watch like a hawk. You don't know what these dogs will do when your baby staggers over and makes a dive/ tries to scrunch up a handful of fur/ give a good shove with a sharp piece of lego. I don't think it was a good idea to have your parents look after the baby in the first place.

How rotten for you.

PurpleSwift Thu 20-Jun-13 21:02:38

I don't think you are being unreasonable. 4 dogs can easily get carried away and if your parents are some what laid back about it, it isn't a good combo. I do think the scratch is just one of those things, but i do understand your concerns.

I DO think you are being unreasonable to refer to them as not being ' family pet types' !? Dog breed has very little bearing on how they work within a family.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 20-Jun-13 20:49:11


They sound almost negligent.

Nanny0gg Thu 20-Jun-13 20:47:54

Even if the dogs weren't an issue (which they are; a massive one), this 'Also the gps don't interact with the baby much during the day - they are busy and I obviously wouldn't expect them to do anything massively different as they're not being paid.' would bother me.
They are looking after their GC. Presumably they either offered or agreed. So they should do something different they should look after your DC. That includes keeping the dogs away (for as long as they look after their DGC) and interacting with your baby.
Payment or not has nothing to do with it.

But if I were you, I'd look elsewhere.

WilsonFrickett Thu 20-Jun-13 20:47:46

I have no problem with dogs BUT 4 dogs is a lot and as you say I'd be worried about pack behaviour. 2 dogs who have been rehomed would definitely worry me as you have no idea about their temprement or triggers.

And of course, if they're not actually doing anything with DS then really, no, I'd change this arrangement.

RikeBider Thu 20-Jun-13 20:41:58

Find a nice childminder. If your parents are too relaxed about the baby's safety around the dogs now it will get worse when she's a toddler.

With paid childcare you can ask for things and know that the day is geared around children's activities.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 20-Jun-13 20:40:57

I'd be worried too about that many dogs, especially their breeds and backgrounds.

Looking for a nursery (or CM) would be my priority right now.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 20-Jun-13 20:39:10

I love dogs. My dog is an angel, but I'd even worry about a puppy introduced into this situation.

LunaticFringe Thu 20-Jun-13 20:38:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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