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Difficulty settling just turned 1yo with childminder

(12 Posts)
JumpingJellyfish Tue 30-Nov-10 11:09:39

I've been using a lovely childminder for my 3DC since DD2 (my youngest) was 6 months old, for two mornings a week. I'm lucky that my MIL does the extra 1.5 days a week I need to fill my 20 hours of work (however, she lives a long way from us so can't do any more that the 1.5 days).

All was going well until about 2 months ago when the separation anxiety stage kicked in for DD2 (DS is at school and DD1 now at preschool so DD2 is with cm most of the morning without her siblings). Over half the time DD2 is very upset, and the cm has finally had enough (and I'm worried seeing DD2 so upset too)- cm has two other one-year-olds to mind during the same morning sessions and DD2 just wants to cling to her the whole 4 hours which I understand is really hard for her.

So cm has asked me to find another cm
Do you think it would be better for DD2 to be with a cm more hours each week so as to give her a chance to get into a routine and get to know the cm better? I am considering putting DD2 with a cm for 4 mornings or 2 full days a week, and only using MIL for 1 afternoon... DD2 has a great relationship with MIL but I need some additional childcare somehow as she can't do all the hours I need, but I really want to find a solution that would work for DD2 and allow her to settle She's a happy little thing at home, I hate seeing her so distraught at the cm's, and I'm worried it could be the same even with a different cm.

Advice please! x

Booh Tue 30-Nov-10 11:24:12

I am sorry that you are having problems with your childminder, it does sound like its not a good fit between your LO and the childminder.

Having three 1yo is hard work, but it seems a shame that the childminder isn't able to help you settle your LO and has decided to send you else where!

You need to find the right childminder, and then go from there with the days / hours.

Good luck

looneytune Tue 30-Nov-10 11:36:36

I had 4 aged 1 and under when I came back from maternity leave (10 wks, 8 months, 17 months and 19 months). My 8 month old mindee had been with me since she was 8 weeks old but the 12 weeks break from me and my new baby was hard for her for quite a while (although we stayed in touch, mainly for me to cut her nails lol). She had a whistling scream and would make my hearing go for a bit when carrying her but we kept on with it. It WAS hard work but I wouldn't have just given in, I worked with the parent and we got there (they are now 2.5, 2.11, 3.7 & 3.9 ). I would most definitely have advised doing longer hours as that would have made quite a difference imo. Having said that, I suppose she may have been full on other days and unable to do that?

If you really have to find someone else, I would definitely do more hours as that should really help. It IS a difficult stage but a good childminder will work through this with you

Good luck finding someone.

JumpingJellyfish Tue 30-Nov-10 11:47:59

Thank you ladies. If the childminder we've been using had felt up to it we were planning to increase the hours with her, but she feels she's tried hard with DD2 and it's very tricky with the other one year olds and I think DD2 has worn her down by the end of the morning, so she feels it would be better to find someone with fewer children or older children so that DD2 gets more one-to-one time.

I am going to see two childminders this week, and really hoping we may find a lady who can help DD2 settle with her, as know this age is a tricky one.

Do you think a pattern of 4 mornings is better than 2 long days? One childminder said she could accommodate either (and on the long days collect DS & DD1 etc.). I realise for DD2 predictable routines help a lot at this age.

JumpingJellyfish Tue 30-Nov-10 11:50:21

PS. looneytune hats off to you coping with the 4 so close in age- you're a braver woman than me!! I do think it's hard on DD2 and the childminder as they go nearly a week between sessions (we just do weds & thurs morns) so very hard for DD2 to get used to her properly, even though we've been with her for six months.

looneytune Tue 30-Nov-10 12:36:13

Thanks but believe me, it wasn't easy and I had many a tearful moments in the evenings when I finished after a long day (but always remained calm with them whilst they were with me) - I did have a couple of threads about it at the time as I was having a very hard time when BF ds2 as of course they didn't like it (thank god he was always a 5 minute feeder!!! grin) If I'd have found it too hard to carry on, I'd have said to the parents so actually, your childminder is thinking of everyone by saying to try another childminder, means she's not just thinking of the money

I personally would have thought 4 shorter days would be better for your DD as I guess she still has a reasonably long nap, maybe in the afternoon? Afternoons at this age for me involved approx. 2 hour nap (depending on child) after lunch then school run followed by making dinner and eating it. So afternoons aren't the same quality time as mornings which is why 4 mornings a week would be better imo. That's just my opinion though

Off to make a cuppa (got a lucky day off until school pickup grin) but be back later x

JumpingJellyfish Tue 30-Nov-10 13:10:41

I'm erring towards the 4 mornings option much as I'd love a few more mornings with her myself though as that's the only time she'd have me to herself without her siblings there.

At the moment DD2 still naps in the late morning so I do get all her awake time in the afternoon- handy as school pick up here is at 1.55pm and then we have the usual running about with various activities all afternoon, or food shop etc. However I think as she sometimes sleeps up to 2 hours in the morning she doesn't get as much awake time with the childminder to get to know her more. I think she will shift her nap back a bit but it's hard as DD1 finishes preschool at noon so not much time to fit decent naps in between then and when I collect her around 1.30.

The last few times my childminder's had DD2 she got into such a state that she only napped for half an hour, just wouldn't settle at all

minderjinx Tue 30-Nov-10 13:23:56

In my experience, the more hours they do, the quicker they settle. If your Cm can accommodate it, I'd suggest starting with longer/more days then gradually reduce to what you want to stick at.

looneytune Tue 30-Nov-10 13:28:58

Oh, if she's having a longer nap then I'd go with 2 full days to be honest. She needs more awake time with childminder imo. It depends on what the afternoon routine of the childminder is and whether your dd is likely to be able to handle it.

LesbianMummy1 Tue 30-Nov-10 22:38:52

Just wanted to add I have two mindees under 1 at moment and a 13 month old. New mindee is 9 months and started on 1st of November. She was very tearful and like your dd wanted to be held all day. For the first week I tried to go with it as best I could but she did have to be put down and left to cry for short periods. I spoke to her parents at the end of week one and said I didn't want her to be tearful all day but I could not continue the way it was as she screamed even if I moved my arm. We agreed that short periods of time where she was not picked up was the way forward. I explained to her parents it was important we all worked the same way including her dad who does full childcare one day a week but due to family commitments his dd has been out of country for a long time so dd is very mum dependent. We persevered and ensured we all communicated about what was happening and how and within two weeks she was a lot more settled. This is now week five and although we still have some tears they are not all day and she has now adapted well. Her parents also comment on how much easier they have found it at home.

To cut my story short with patience and perseverance you will hopefully get there. Good luck hope you find new cm who can take dd2 on.

belindarose Tue 30-Nov-10 23:24:47

Really hope you find the right person. My CM has been willing to carry DD in a sling to help her through a particularly cuddly phase and it really helped them to bond with each other. DD's been going 2 days a week for three months now (15 mo) and is very settled. Good luck.

JumpingJellyfish Tue 30-Nov-10 23:42:54

Thanks all. Seeing a potential new cm on Thurs, who's been recommended by other mums at school. I do think the problem is compounded by DD2 having been looked after my 3 different people- me, my MIL and the cm- and each of us have different "styles" of mothering. As DD2 is my third she hasn't been carried as much as my older 2 were, just because it's not been possible, and she's often plonked down to crawl about and annoy play with her siblings, which she's very happy to do at home- but I have used a sling in the past and do occassionaly put her in our backpack thing if she's really clingy and I need to cook etc. MIL would also carry her a lot, so I do think we've perhaps made a rod for our own backs and made life harder in this respect for a cm if they can't carry her as much, especially when she doesn't have her siblings there for their company.

Fingers crossed we'll find the right pattern for DD2 to settle and most importantly a cm she can take to. It's heart breaking knowing that she cries some days almost the full morning session with our existing cm- I would perhaps expect that at most over the first couple of weeks but not after six months She so rarely cries at home.

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