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Help - any tips on settling an 8 month old with childminder?

36 replies

melsam · 21/03/2002 21:56

I would be really grateful if anyone has any tips on settling an 8 month old with a childminder. My ds is normaly a really happy chap, who only cries if he's in pain, tired, humgry - all the usual. However, I currently have to leave him with a childminder who 4/5 days per week. I prepared the ground by leaving him for 1/2 days for 2 weeks & all seemed to go well - he settled great. Since I have left him for full days he has become quite distressed, he cries on & off all day & sometimes refuses to eat. He does have good days but today I collected him early as he had been crying for 1 1/2 hours.

We have tried all sorts of things - leaving familiar toys, more walks & different approaches when dropping him off. I am trying to work shorter days & taking more time off. Has anyone any new ideas??

I am getting increasingly upset, I hate the thought of him crying, I feel terribly guilty. Has anyone else had this problem?? Thanks.

OP posts:

EmmaM · 22/03/2002 08:51

Hi melsam. My ds was only 7 months old when I first started leaving him with a childminder. We had a terrible time - we practically had to peel him off of us in the morning. He usually got on OK during the day, but every morning there would be a repeat performance. I hate to say this, but you may need to find a new childminder. Our childminder actually gave us notice because our son was so miserable with her. We found a new minder and from day one ds was a different child. With the new minder we spent some time slowly introducing the two of them - we'd go and spend an hour, together, with the new minder so ds would be familiar with her and the surroundings while having the comfort of having me there too. We then did a few half days and then went straight into it. As I said before, ds was a different boy. He would willingly go to her, we wouldn't have tears etc. The whole feeling of her house was calm.

It was only after he settled so easily with his new minder that I realised his old minder was completely wrong for him. There was no routine, which he likes, she was out and about all the time, she'd have lots of different kids throughout the day, the telly would always be on and it was just manic. Our new minder in comparision had a very structured day, she'd only have 2 other children and didn't spend all day getting in and out of the car.

Don't be worried about changing childminders. I'm sure she'll be understanding. After all, you can't always expect your child to get on with everyone. If its also got to the point where it is upsetting you, then you've got to change things. It can take a while to find the right childcare for your child. I'm so pleased we found our new minder. Two years on and she's like a second mum to our ds.

If it does help at all, 7/8 months is a key age for separation anxiety. It will pass! Good luck, and I hope you get things sorted out for both of you.


Alibubbles · 22/03/2002 09:44

Melsam, I have been a childminder for 15 years. It is still early days for you and your son, but that doesn't make it any easier for you or him. I think EmmaM's advice is very good, but, if you feel this person is right for you both, your son will start to settle down soon. I know it seems very traumatic and you will wonder if you are damaging your son emotionally. Be ralaxed yourself, he will pick up on the tension and anxiety you feel about it.

Has your childminder got the time to settle him? What other age groups and number of children does she have? It is so important that when you take on a new baby that you are able to give that child one to one for a large part of the day. Your son has been used to that, he will find it hard not to the sole focus of his new carer. Has the childminder visited you in your home, I think it helps the baby to see that you accept his new carer in your home
I make sure that I can sit down with the baby on my lap, lots of cuddles, stories, singing to them, constantly talking to them, involving them in all I do, but making sure that I do put the child down several times during the morning, reassuring the child each time that I am here, they can see me etc. I keep a constant conversation going.

I have only had one child out of about 40, not settle within four weeks, (thats why the contract has a settling in period of 4 weeks on either side Ask your childminder how she feels, ask her to be honest with you, I know that it can be hard,to discuss this sort of thing with someone you hardly know, face to face, but you have to think of yourself and your son. I hope this helps.


undiscovered · 22/03/2002 12:12

Melsam, maybe you are being unfair to leave your son for that length of time. Don't you realise that it is important that you spent the majority of the week with him rather than a stranger??


EmmaM · 22/03/2002 12:59

Uh oh - troll alert I think!!

I think that is a really unfair/unasked for comment 'undiscovered'. If you have nothing constructive to write then I suggest you don't bother.


Art · 22/03/2002 13:08

I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that, but please remember that we dont all have the option of spending the day with our children. Some people have to work full time to keep the family going. I Know I feel very guilty about my baby being in a nursery, not with me, and I would love to stay at home with him, but I cant.

Melsam you have my sympathy, no great advice to give - but hope he settles soon.


undiscovered · 22/03/2002 13:42

If you are going to go back full time then why have children in the first place??
It is unfair on the child because they need to spend most of their time with their mother when they are little. Why have children then dump them on to someone else???


Marina · 22/03/2002 14:03

Melsam, sorry to hear you are having such an upsetting time. I can't really add much to what EmmaM, Alibubbles and others have said. My son never settled well with his first childminder and it caused huge tension and unhappiness in our household. But, he settled very quickly at the nursery I found for him instead - so you should always consider the possibility of switching child-care provision, it could make all the difference. Most first-time mums I knew who worked outside the home did not get their childcare "right" for them and their babies first time round, no matter how carefully they planned it in advance.
Good luck, lots of us on here know just what you're going through and are thinking of you.


WideWebWitch · 22/03/2002 14:10

Don't rise to unhelpful comments anyone!

Melsam, don't have much advice other than please try not to feel guilty. I know it's easier said than done but you are very unlikely to damage your child by working. There are various studies that support this, will see if I can find some for you. (Don't want to turn this into a working mothers vs SAHM's debate though!)

I think Alibubles advice about talking to the childminder is good.


WideWebWitch · 22/03/2002 14:18 has a few reports, albeit American. Also The Daycare Trust website looks like it has some good tips.


Rhubarb · 22/03/2002 14:27

Undiscovered, you may be very lucky to have the choice to stay at home with your children like I have. I feel very grateful for that! Some people, like my sister, would love to have that choice, but because of her husband's poor health and time in hospital, she has to work full-time to support the family. She hates this, she feels guilty and just wants to be with her kids. They hate her going to work, but what does she do? The bills need paying, food needs to be on the table, and the debts run up when her husband was in hospital need to be paid.

Don't criticise until you know the full story.


Tillysmummy · 22/03/2002 14:33

Criticising isn't really the thing to do is it ? After all each of us is different Undiscovered.
I have to work part time to enable us to pay our mortgage and my husband is succesfull but doesn't earn enough yet to support us singlehandedly - I would love to stay at home with DD all the time but actually think it is good for her to be with other people - that is my mother and her nanny. Mum has her two days and my nanny one day. She loves it and is perfectly happy and enjoys being with other people as well as with me. I am also enjoying the variety of working a bit. You don't have to be tied to your children to be a good mother.


Tillysmummy · 22/03/2002 14:34

Sorry Wickedwaterwitch, couldn't resist


undiscovered · 22/03/2002 14:35

Rhubarb, I'm sorry, I appologise. It's just that I've got friends that have got small children, work full time, earn loads of money and therefore go on holiday 3 times a year and have fancy clothes, houses and cars. I think they should comprimise, work part time and just have one car and one holiday a year and spend more time with their babies.


Enid · 22/03/2002 14:36

I don't work (well, very occasionally, freelance) and I STILL send my dd to a childminder!! So go on, beat me with that big stick undiscovered!


undiscovered · 22/03/2002 14:38

Tillysmummy, I too work part time 3 days a week. I agree it is good for children to have their independance even at an early age. What I am saying is that it is important, if pos, to spend more time in the week looking after your children, when they are small, than anyone else. I have my D and M 4 days a week and they go to nursery 3 days.


Rozzy · 22/03/2002 14:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

undiscovered · 22/03/2002 14:40

Rozzy, if you have to resort to name calling then maybe that is because I have got a point????


Rozzy · 22/03/2002 14:44

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

undiscovered · 22/03/2002 14:46

Rozzy, Sorry if I'm not untitled to my own opinions. What exactly have I said that has got your back up???


Rhubarb · 22/03/2002 14:47

C'mon now, people are entitled to their opinions. Undiscovered is not being nasty to anyone, just stating her views. You may not agree with them, but name-calling is not on and is what lead to all that trouble last time. Just chill out!


undiscovered · 22/03/2002 14:52

Thank you Rhubarb. Just because I've got strong opinions I don't see what I should be critised for it.
We can only form opinions from our past experiences and everyones experiences are different.


Tillysmummy · 22/03/2002 14:54

That is absolutely right. We should all respect each others views and choices even if they aren't the same as our own


Rhubarb · 22/03/2002 14:54

Maybe you should preview your messages first and make sure they don't sound too harsh or preachy as this can get people's back up. Welcome to the board by the way!


Tillysmummy · 22/03/2002 14:56

Thanks for the tip. Don't want to sound preachy or harsh And the welcome.


Rhubarb · 22/03/2002 14:57

Undiscovered - just read your contribution to the Demi Moore thread, do you think that was particularly helpful? If you want to be accepted, please steer clear of making snide remarks to people!

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