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Baby bitten at nursery by toddler(30 Posts)
My baby is 6 month old and recently started nursery.
On his trial day I was told that they mix the babies with toddlers. As I was a little concerned about toddlers biting I was assured that he would be "watched like a hawk"
On his first full day we noticed he had been bitten. I received no incident report and when I questioned the staff that evening they said they had no idea how it had happened.
I can only assume that he wasn't being supervised properly and as far as I'm concerned to leave a 6 month old baby around a toddler unsupervised is neglect. I understand that children bite and in six months time it could be my baby that's doing the biting. My concern is what the staff were doing while this was happening and how it could of been a lot worse.
As you can see from the pic that is a deep bruise and I have no doubt that my baby would of cried. I took my baby to his GP the next morning and she confirmed it was a bite by an older child. I emailed the nursery a complaint and said I would like it investigated. They have wrote back to me today to say that there was a ratio of 1 staff to 3 children that day and my baby was never alone. They are claiming that the bruise looked faded in the pic so wasn't done at nursery.
My baby is not around other children. I only have another 17 year old. He has never mixed with any other babies. It's partly my reason for him starting nursery.
I feel heartbroken that this has happened and furious that they are trying the pass the blame on to me. Can anyone give some advice as to what do do? I have reported it to ofsted and if they had apologised and returned my money I would of probably left it but as they are trying to pass the book I want to take it further. Be good to get other mums opinions on this?
Even watching all the time, it could happen just as they glance away. Toddlers can be very fast. Then, when your baby cried, they didn't know why, maybe just thought they needed a cuddle and all was sorted.
I'm surprised though, that when you pointed it out, they didn't apologise profusely. These things do happen, but denial is not the best way forward. Unless they're 100% sure it didn't happen in their care, which is unlikely.
I would withdraw him immediately. There are very good reasons why young babies and toddlers are not mixed in most nurseries.
The nursery's behaviour is disgraceful. My dc was being bitten and it wasn't spotted by the nursery, we only knew about it when he told me (he was nearly 3). Nonetheless they apologised, supervised extra-carefully, identified the child responsible and put a prevention strategy in place. Never happened again.
When was the photo taken? Young children heal very quickly - a deep bruise can fade and disappear within 48h.
My job involves visiting nurseries, lots of them (been doing this job for 5 years) I have never ever been in one that mixed babies and toddlers.
Another vote for moving to one where babies and toddlers aren't mixed!
Lovely squidgy baby though
I agree that mixing youngish babies and toddlers is not a good idea and I have never heard of this. Can't think of any advantages for the children - there is such a massive difference between a 6 month old and a 16 month old.
Every nursery I have used has been under 2 and above 2. Surely it was a bite from an under 2? I think this could easily have happened without noticing. No need for nursery to be defensive. If not happy then remove.
This would be unacceptable to me as a parent and only mitigated if the nursery had accepted the problem from the start. Yes - toddlers can be quick but it doesn't take any time to poke something in a baby's eye, put a lego brick in their mouth, or push them off a surface either.
I would be looking to move nurseries asap - nothing in your OP gives me any sense that they are adequately looking after your child.
My son's nursery has 3 different rooms for different ages. He's still in the baby room and it's 1 adult to 2. Max number in the room is 6 babies! I'd def take him out and find a different one. This one sounds awful! Your poor child, I'd have done the same as you and yes good idea reporting to ofstead!
When my daughter was about 18 months her nursery had about three other children who were going through a biting phase and she was their main target. They ended up keeping them in a separate area of the room and trying to have 1 to 1 ratio for them as much as they could, but she still got bitten (on her face and there were also finger marks where the child had grabbed her face to bite her ). Whilst I appreciated that the nursery were doing the best they could, I complained to them, and they introduced a new policy where a child would be withdrawn for a short time if they were consistently biting.
I have not heard of a nursery that mixes babies and toddlers either, although when my son was one he was in a hip spica so was moved to the toddler room as he could move pretty fast in it and they were worried he might run over a baby!
I was going to say bites at nursery happen, but the fact they didn't notice either at the time, any crying or during changes etc and then have denied it is a huge red flag.
Our nursery generally keeps babies and toddlers separate but they are together at certain times. They pick up on the tiniest of scratches or scrapes and are meticulous when it comes to incident reports (both for injuries which occur at home as well as in the setting). When I have queried about stories I've heard from my DC, they have usually been able to cast light on what happened, have followed up, increased monitoring or instigated strategies for managing.
I would be seriously considering changing nurseries.
I would be so angry at how they responded to this. I surely don't think they could have missed this as your baby would have cried significantly- and I'd be angriest of all ar their lack of honesty and even if they did miss it (which I doubt) they should have acknowledged if happened there especially when you said It had to have been. Well done not letting it go as they behaved badly imo
Very surprised by the many comments saying to remove and that babies and toddlers must never be mixed. I had a baby and toddler mixed at home just fine with my own children and all of my children have mixed with toddlers at nursery when they've been under 2. My current child loves going and spending time with the older children and in the main they're very tolerant and caring towards her. Toddlers need to learn and can't do so without opportunities. This toddler has bitten and needs to be dealt with but it doesn't necessarily mean they can't be trusted at all with babies.
My child is in a nursery where all ages mix at certain times of day. It works really well and it's one of the reasons we chose that nursery.
She's been deliberately hurt by another child once. They didn't tell us which child but I think I know who it might have been and if I'm right that child is in her age group anyway, so not mixing age groups wouldn't have prevented it happening. There was obviously a member of staff in the room at the time but they didn't see it happen - happened to be looking the other way at the time so they just heard my DD start to cry and saw a bruise. So they watched their CCTV footage to find out what had happened and where then able to deal with the child who'd hurt her appropriately.
They always tell us about anything that's happened - like if she's tripped and hurt herself. We get an accident form. There has been just one time where they forgot to tell us. I found a bruise on her when we got home, emailed them immediately, and got a profuse email apology within an hour, plus a face-to-face apology the next time we took her to nursery. Obv. it wasn't great they forgot but I was impressed with how they apologised so quickly and we all make mistakes.
Doesn't sound great that your nursery tried to pass the blame to you!
Though I would be annoyed by their denial of the incident and would pursue this. If they continued to deny it that would trigger a serious consideration to take my child out simply as trust would have broken down
A nursery I worked in had 4 rooms. The had 0-18 months, 18 months - 2 years, 2 years - 3 years and 3 years - 4 years. The only time they were potentially mixed was last thing at night when there may only be a couple of children and the ratio would be 1:3. I've never know a nursery mix toddlers and babies. The fact that your baby has been bitten isn't necessarily the problem (unfortunately it can happen) but the fact they didn't witness it/notice the aftermath and the fact they aren't taking on board what you are saying is the problem.
Also, they expect me to tell them about any accidents that happen at home. So if they see a bruise or scratch then they know it was there before she arrived at nursery. They're v meticulous about it.
Ex nursery nurse here I probably wouldn't of chosen a nursery with babies and toddlers mixed, but I supppse it's something that you have to learn. It doesn't sound like an amazing nursery, but with a big but as you do have an older child you must know these things can happen at nurseries playgroups the park etc.
At no park or playgroup would a 6mo get bitten by a toddler. That's way out of line. I would go to a nursery where they aren't mixed.
Oh my goodness your poor baby I'd withdraw him immediately and make sure Ofsted take this further. I've never known of a nursery where babies and toddlers are mixed. it's a recipe for disaster. Hope you get some answers OP
Bites happen but I would not have my DC at a nursery where babies and toddlers were mixed. At DD's old nursery they had rooms for babies under 1, 1-2, 2-3 and two preschool classes.
She got bitten once in the 1-2 class and the nursery couldn't have been more understanding. They told us that they had an issue with one child in the room who was going through a biting stage (they obviously couldn't tell us who the child was and we didn't ask anyway, it wasn't important) but they were working with the child and the child's parents on strategies to prevent biting. It was all recorded in an incident book, we signed a piece of paper to confirm we were happy with how they'd dealt with it.
That's how nurseries should deal with incidents, not lying to cover their tracks.
I think if it was me I'd consider looking for a new nursery. Incidents like this will happen - as HSMMaCM said, toddlers are quick and it's possible they comforted your child without knowing why they were crying. But the complete denial/lack of action to prevent future incidents would definitely worry me.
I think nursery care is not for you
It's not 1-1 and each child cannot be watched like a hawk all the time
Children bite each other, it's a normal stage of development which must children go through
There is nothing wrong with mixing ages, the best nurseries do it and all childminders do
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