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Is it my fault DS is a demanding baby?

(27 Posts)
Gangle Thu 16-Oct-08 22:15:53

DS is 6.5 months and started with his nanny yesterday. I don't go back to work for 4 weeks but am trying to ease DS into it by leaving him with the nanny a few hours a day to begin with (it's a nanny share with one other family who are already using her FT). I am nervous about leaving DS anyway but both both times I have come to collect him he has been crying. The nanny assured me he had only cried for a few minutes before I got there but it worries me that he's not happy and feels I am abandoning him. Also, when I questioned her about how he had been, she said that he couldn't play independently for very long, wanted to be held a lot, was very difficult to get to sleep, made a fuss about taking a bottle, didn't eat much of his puree and was quite grumpy because underslept! The other baby is so easy - eats, naps, sleeps, plays with no fuss. I know what she is saying about DS is true but I just wonder what I did wrong that he is this way when the other baby is so easy. It didn't help that I mentioned to DH that I was worried and he immediately said it was my fault for holding him all the time and not letting him cry. Sorry this is so rambling, just feel so upset for DS that the nanny has labelled him as difficult and so awful that I have failed him in so way by not being able to sort out his sleep/feeding issues. He is demanding and needs a lot of attention which can be exhausting but most of the time he is a gorgeous, alert and happy baby.

Peachy Thu 16-Oct-08 22:19:34


DS4 (6.5 months) is the same- worse actually

I could recommend cranial osteopathy or i coyld post:
'she said that he couldn't play independently for very long, wanted to be held a lot, was very difficult to get to sleep'- has she ever met a baby????

babies differ, all my 4 have, that's just how it is

Hadassah Thu 16-Oct-08 22:27:13

Your baby's behaviour is normal. It is totally unrealistic to expect a 6.5mo to "play independently" - a baby that age needs to have his needs met by an adult, he can;t do it for himself yet. He hasn't got feeding issues - he is just having to adjust to a new situation, as are you. It is unrealistic to expect a 6.5mo to be self-sufficient.

maxmissie Thu 16-Oct-08 22:28:31

My dd goes to a nursery and also she isn't an overly demanding baby, but we had a similar experince we we first left her at nursery. She wasn't in a routine at all, wouldn't sleep in the day (unless in the car or pushchair), refused to eat her dinner at nursery, was clingy to the nursery nurses and was upset when we dropped her off. I was really worried, especially about her not eating but she was fine.

However within a few weeks she was having a nap at the same time as everyone else, eating her dinner and wasn't upset when we left. I know at nursery there are other children to copy but it takes time for children to settle when they are left in a different environment with new people, wherever that may be.

Even when my dd was having daytime naps at nursery she wouldn't do so at home at first but after a few months I am now able to put her down to sleep in her cot in the day!

I think you are being far too hard on yourself, I don't think that many children will play by themselves for very long at 6.5 months so I wouldn't worry too much about that. It sounds like he is upset because he is not with you all the time anymore and he has been with you pretty much all the time for all his life! It will take time for him to adjust and although it's hard to think that he might not be happy I'm sure it will get easier for him and for you as he gets used to it. It's a very sensible idea to ease him into it before you go back to work.

Hope this helps!

Habbibu Thu 16-Oct-08 22:30:01

"couldn't play independently for very long". Good lord - she must have pretty high expectations! He's only been a couple of times - it's perfectly normal, and she should have reassured you about that, for heaven's sake, not given you a litany of worries.

pudding25 Thu 16-Oct-08 22:30:09

I would be quite pissed off with the nanny for being so negative. He's a baby and is only just getting used to being left with someone else.

Hadassah Thu 16-Oct-08 22:31:42

And - regarding the comment about it being your fault for holding your baby and not "letting him cry" - this is somehow suggesting that the more the baby cries and the more he is left alone, the more he will "touchen up", at 6mo. My personal opinion is that a baby who is not picked up and is left to cry at all times at this age will probably eventually get the message that nobody is interested and stop crying, but this would be the baby giving up, not being self-sufficient because he feels secure.

LadyLaGore Thu 16-Oct-08 22:31:58

sack her
find someone who can care about your baby.
you have done NOTHING wrong in holding him lots, theres no such bloody thing as 'spoiling' a baby, they are just not that clever as to 'play' you.
you are a good mum
your baby is a good baby
she is not the right childcarer for him.

FangolinaJolly Thu 16-Oct-08 22:34:02

No !

DS was a dream baby.DD was a squalling bundle of difficulty

Get a new nanny.She sounds like an arse TBH


amonkeyscousin Thu 16-Oct-08 22:34:24

well said that woman

LadyLaGore Thu 16-Oct-08 22:41:53

which woman?

Tiramissu Thu 16-Oct-08 23:01:09

I didn't get the bit about 'playing independently'????
But apart from that i don't see any other problem. Usuall 'teething problems' whith new childcare. Probably all has to do with the fact that he hasnt slept. Which is because he was in a new enviroment. No sleep means grumpiness and not eating. He 'll probably get used to it.
Of course none is your fault.
But i have to say that it doesn't seem to me that the nanny is labelling your son as dificult. Apart from the 'doesn't play independently' , the rest sounds to me as an honest report.
I am saying this because i have been a nanny and i remember that some mums wanted to always tell them what they wanted to hear. But you have to give an honest report.
I would say to just relax and give it few more days. He'll probably settle soon

PortAndDemon Thu 16-Oct-08 23:08:48

I've done pretty much the same things with my two -- certainly as regards picking them up vs. letting them cry, etc. DS was a high needs / spirited / "difficult" baby from the start, whereas DD was far more laid back. IMO it's an innate personality difference.

Do you really think the nanny is labelling him as difficult? From what you've said I'd think she's just described factually what he's been doing, and the emotional context of "this makes him difficult" has been added by you and your DH. But you were there to hear how she said it.

Try reading The Fussy Baby Book -- I think you'll find it very reassuring (I kept a copy in our bathroom and re-read snippets constantly in DS's first year).

mabanana Thu 16-Oct-08 23:10:52

You know, I'd look for different childcare. Any childcarer who expects a SIX MONTH OLD BABY to play independently is a dangerous idiot. I know this because I've been there. If she's whinging about your child now, hit the lists of local childminders. Sorry, I know you don't want to hear this as you are about to go back to work, but it bodes ill to me.

mabanana Thu 16-Oct-08 23:11:44

I'd be looking for a childminder who is laid back and willing to hold a little baby, not whine about him.

twentynine Thu 16-Oct-08 23:14:58

'Playing independently' means 'shutting up while I read Heat Magazine' in crap nanny speak! Fire her.

She obviously doesn't like him and isn't making an effort.

Babies are all demanding - that's how they survive. But I dare say your son is no different to any other kid going through a change in his young life, he's going to be clingy, tearful etc. All you can do is ensure those who are caring for him, are actually caring and not quick to dismiss him as 'difficult'.

Tiramissu Thu 16-Oct-08 23:31:12

But did the nanny called him 'difficult'?

I thought this is the OP's word.

Tbh i would be more worry about a nanny who says every evening 'Oh he 's been fine, very happy'. I wouldn't trust her.

I seems to me that the nanny gave an honest report. There are always teething problems with new childcare.

Ebb Fri 17-Oct-08 00:11:47

I'm a nanny. My last charge was the easiest, most laid back baby you could imagine - happy, smiley, sleeping 7-7 by 8wks. My Ds is 21wks and the complete opposite in terms of being 'demanding'. He loves to be held and cuddled, feeds to sleep, likes to be constantly entertained. I have not treated him any differently to my charge but he is his own self. All babies are individual and all babies need love and attention. You cannot 'spoil' your baby with love. Having my own son has completely changed my views on childcare. As a nanny, although I adored the children I looked after, I never had that intense feeling of love that I have for my own son.

Give the nanny time and give your son time to settle. It's still early days and they both need time to get to know each other. If you're still worried after a couple of weeks go with your gut instinct but be confident in your parenting. You know your son best and what is right for him.

And for what it's worth, I'm dreading having to find a new job as, if I can't take my son with me, I worry that a childminder or nursery will lable my Ds as demanding and, be horrid to him is the wrong phrase, but I don't know - maybe they will leave him to cry longer than I would. This parenting lark is stressful! hmm

Gangle Sat 18-Oct-08 15:28:13

thanks all. Just to clarify, she didn't say he was difficult but, as others have said, just gave an honest report of what he'd been up to. She seems great - very calm, patient and attentive - but I'm worried that she will prefer the other "easy" baby and DS won't get as much love and care as he needs. Maybe he needs one to one care although we really can't afford our own nanny. Sure it's just teething troubles and they will resolve. Will have nanny at our house next week so I can observe more closely. Speaking of teething, DS's first tooth appeared yesterday which explains why he has been particularly tetchy.

Horton Sat 18-Oct-08 15:47:23

I'm frankly astonished at the idea of a 6.5 month old baby 'playing independently' for longer than about five minutes!

Horton Sat 18-Oct-08 15:47:42

Sorry, make that five seconds.

Tiramissu Sat 18-Oct-08 18:58:02

Hi Gangle,

I am glad you came back with positive words about your nanny because i think this is the way to start - unless she is terrible of course.

As for you worrying that she will prefer the other baby, let me tell you as an ex nanny that i dont think so, nannies who do nannyshare love all babies the same (assuming that she is a good nanny and proffesional) i am sure other nannies will agree with this.

But please stop blaming yourself, there is nobody to blame here.

As you sound a sensitive person and you worry about the relationship between nanny/baby , perhaps what you can do is to ask your nanny whether she is able to have a break and proper lunch (if your baby doesn't nap)
I remember when i was nannying and one of the babies was not sleeping his mother was very keen in working out ways for my break/lunch and i thought this was sweet of her.
I hope all works better next week

Tiramissu Sat 18-Oct-08 19:02:54

When i first read this thread i was a bit surprised about the 'playing independently'thing but now thinking about this maybe she meant 'i couldn't put him down for five minutes to have my lunch'

Which is reasonable if she does the normal nanny hours, it is a long day

monkeymonkeymonkey Sat 18-Oct-08 19:06:13

You are not to blame for this. Some babies are easy and some are difficult, but I dont know if you can change them!
The nanny sounds like she has unreasonable expectations.
FWIW all of my children have been like ths - wanting lots of holding and attention. Its the only way I know smile.
It didnt last for ever though, by the time they were 9 or 10 months they were a complete delight to be around, and I dont think it was because of anything I did differently.

nooOOOoonki Sat 18-Oct-08 19:34:44

Your OP sounds more about you being worried about your parenting than about the nanny.

I thought I would try and reasure you with my friend who had non-identical twins. She was absolutely admanant that she would treat them equally and she did. Pick up one first, then the next time the other one first, same routine, same attention etc.

One of them was really easy smiley, the other really demanding. Total personality nothing to how she treated them.

don't beat yourself up, you sound like a lovely mum.

Your Nanny isnt being funny about independent play, I could have left DS1 for up to an hour with select toys and got on with other things. DS2 for about 10 mins at 6 months. All are different.

Is she affectionate with him? and does she say these things in a concerned or annoyed manner?

I would prefer my minder to tell me what problems and try and iron them out rather than a blanket - not settling or alls fine.

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