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HELP! Going back to work tomorrow and DS not settled at all with childminder

(18 Posts)
SE22 Sun 31-May-09 13:41:48

Hello
My 10 mth old DS has spent three sessions with his childminder. He went for his third visit on Thursday last week and cried for 45 minutes, refused to eat with the other children and seemed to hang out in the hallway for most of his visit. Not good. The childminder told me that I should probably pick him up at 12.30pm on Monday as it would be too much for him to spend the entire day there. I am back at work for two days per week and I can't just up and leave at lunchtime on my first day (well I could I suppose or my husband can possibly but he also has lots of meetings). We have no one else that can pick him up.
I thought that the childminder would have ensured he would be settled before I started back at work - is this a reasonable assumption?
What do people recommend? I feel really bad about the situation. I understand that DS takes priority and would obviously drop work if necessary.

Ripeberry Sun 31-May-09 13:48:52

Settling in can take up to 4 weeks as you can come out of the contract within that time, but check yours anyway as some are less than that.
Three sessions is really not that long and around 8-12months old is when babies get anxious about being away from their primary caregiver.
Give it some more time and he will soon settle.
Does the childminder have lots of other children to care for? Maybe he is unsettled by the other children?
It is hard, even harder on the parents when children are left in any childcare, but once they get used to it then there is no looking back.
Hope he settles soon smile

KatyMac Sun 31-May-09 14:15:29

Oh dear - not much you can do now - when did you sign the contracts?

You either upset work or your son & the childminder

I'm afraid I insist on a long settling in period - one baby signed up 2weeks before start date & I insisted on visits twice a day for the first week with graduated leaving over the second week

There is a difference between the contract settling in (normally 4 weeks) which I believe to be about contractual issues/personalities etc and 'settling a baby/child in' which is as hard work for the parents as it is for the childminder

I am sorry you are in this position

SE22 Sun 31-May-09 14:16:03

Thanks Ripeberry - do you think I should follow her advice and come home early during the first four weeks or so?

thebody Sun 31-May-09 14:32:25

difficult situation for you but think you and cm should have had a lot more trial days than just 3.

I dont think leaving work early is sensible, after all you cant do that every week can you. Some children take longer than others to settle and your cms job is to recognise and deal with that. Give it time and he will soon understand that you will always come back for him.

Good luck

SE22 Sun 31-May-09 15:36:19

Thanks for the messages. They have really helped!
Agree in hindsight, longer settling in period was necessary but he seemed so happy in the first session and I didn't think the second session was too bad. Also, childminder has 15 yrs experience and recommended by two friends so I assumed she would know what was right.
Thanks again.

SE22 Sun 31-May-09 15:37:00

p.s. it has just reminded me - I've not signed a contract yet!

BradfordMum Sun 31-May-09 15:37:12

I have had parents who have been faced with their original childminder letting them down, and in one case where a local nursery we closed down, and so we haven't had ANY settling in period at all.

The children have been absolutely fine, and some kiddies seem to thrive on being thrown in at the deep end!

You may find tomorrow that the longer you leave your son there, the better he will be.

A GOOD childminder uses many strategies to cope!

Good luck.

Sally xx

atworknotworking Sun 31-May-09 16:23:56

Please do not leave your son without signing a contract. A contract is very important, without it your CM will not be insured properly, it has contact info on in case of emergency and medical info you should also be signing consent forms so that your CM can give medical help / first aid if needed etc:
have you not had a welcome pack, or seen copies of policys ect?

If your DS is starting tomorrow I would contact CM today, pop round to get forms completed I am shock that this hasn't been done quite frankly.

starcatcher Sun 31-May-09 16:42:01

Have you thought of leaving something personal that your son is familiar with when dropping him off, this is a link with you and home and may re-assure your DS that you are returning for him, but dont make it a cuddly that your son will latch onto and want to carry around all day, just something youve forgotten, scarf, glove etc. Childminders cannot ensure a child will be settled before the parent returns to work, it sounds as if your settling in period was far to short, was this your choice?? did your C/M not advise you that it could take time, I totally agree with Ripeberry it can take upto 4 weeks to settle in, it depends on the individual child, each child is unique and reacts to change in different ways, thats what makes him an individual, and dont worry if he displays any regression in his development, this is to be expected, (he may go back to thumb sucking, become clingy etc but if you work with your C/M he will soon get over it).
I always encourage parents to work with me for at least 4 weeks to settle their child in prior to starting full time and they returning to work, it gives us chance to get to know each other and build up a working relationship, we are after all sharing the care of your child, and we will, like you, want what is best for him/her. I also, always encourage parents to discuss their concerns, worries with me, if I dont know I cant help. Have you discussed your worries and concerns with your C/M?.
Give your son time to settle, trust your childminder and work with her to see him and you through this emotional period. You sound very caring and a lovely mum, I'm assuming you are a first time parent and maybe deep down you are feeling a little guilty at leaving your son, but you dont have to be, it is difficult to leave your child with some-one else but your C/M is there to support you through, just hang in there once he gets used to the routine, you will be amazed how confident he has become and how relaxed you will be, you may even choose to work more hours.

SE22 Sun 31-May-09 18:24:53

Starcatcher thank you - your message has hit the nail on the head and actually I am now crying as it sums it all up. He is regressing and being very clingy and wanting to breast feed during the day. I know that is just a phase but it is tough.
My childminder told me when to bring him round for the settling in period so yes I relied on her as she has buckets of experience. I am slightly questioning her judgment because of it.
Thanks for the advice re. the personal object. I was going to take his teddy but will give him familiar books and a CD of songs we listen to.
Thanks again everyone, tomorrow isn't feeling nearly as daunting.

slowreadingprogress Sun 31-May-09 18:58:10

is there any possibility that your husband could drop your son off at the childminders? Even if it means re-organising his hours somewhat, IME this would be well worth considering. My ds and children of friends have all fared a helluva lot better when seperating from dad rather than mum.

A good friend's child cried EVERY time she left him at nursery; on the days when it was her husband's turn to drop off - not a tear.

I think going back is very hard and could be made alot easier on you if you are waving your boys off from home rather than it being 'mummy is leaving me here'.

Just a thought. Good luck. Don't feel guilty - be strong!

Scarfmaker Sun 31-May-09 20:14:08

Was your childminder able to fit in more settling in days? Maybe she couldn't and thought your baby was settled but he then regressed. It happens sometimes that a child starts, is ok for weeks, maybe months and then can't settle still. I don't think you should question the childminder's judgment as she isn't to know this is going to happen.

I may have a 10 month old starting in two weeks time as Mum has just been offered a job she needs to start then. She literally phoned on Thursday, came round on Friday and has to let me know. The settlin-in time will be very short as I have to juggle my other mindees days but we will get through it in the end I hope!

CarGirl Sun 31-May-09 20:23:03

I would recommend seeing if he can go most days for a week or two, even if it's just for an hour so. He's the classic age for seperation anxiety. It may help decrease the overall setting in time.

Hope it all goes well.

SE22 Sun 31-May-09 22:47:33

Slowreadingprogress - thanks for the idea - husband is dropping him off as I knew would be far too painful otherwise and I would never get to work. Phew.
CarGirl - my mum suggested that so I will ask.
Thank you again!

JenniPenni Mon 01-Jun-09 07:48:50

I pretty much agree with starcatcher re everything. I personally have longer settling in sessions. Kids are kids, they are little individuals.. and all respond differently to change - some settle immediately, some take a little while to settle then are fine, some seem to settle then a couple of weeks in seem to take a step back.

Best thing is to have FULL and OPEN communication with your CM about everything.

If you are stressed/concerned your child will snese it too, so best chat on the phone out of earshot of LO.

I hope he settles soon!!!

HSMM Wed 03-Jun-09 07:49:02

Ask your CM if she can reassure you with a few text messages throughout the day? It will almost certainly be harder for you than it is for him.

JenniPenni Wed 03-Jun-09 08:12:04

I text and send photos from my iphone to mums.... just to show what we are doing sometimes - the mums love it. A text/pic is always a good idea.

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