Struggling
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    Hi all

    I wonder if I might be able to get some advice about a 12 month old baby that I look after.

    The little one started 5 months ago and did take about 3 weeks to settle properly. For a while he settled really well and was very happy and content with me, he's bonded with me really well.
    However this all completely changed and he has screamed constantly for the last 2 months. He wants me to hold him or be giving him 1:1 all the time, I if even look like i'm going to leave the room he screams. I can't devote any time what so ever to the other children because of how clingy he is with me, he even screams and desperately tries to get my attention if I'm changing another child's nappy! After a really bad day with him a few weeks ago I told mum that if this continued I didn't think I would be able to look after him as it was too disruptive! Mum was obviously very upset and said that it was just teething, he's not a naughty child and she didn't think it seemed fair that he would have to move on because of teething. After a meeting I apologised for blurting it out on pick-up but explained that I am finding it very difficult and it's not a nice environment a) for my children who cant relax in their own home & b) for the other minded children. I said that I wasn't going to just give up on him and that we would see how we go.

    Well as I say 2 months on and he's exactly the same and i'm finding it increasingly difficult to deal with. Making meals or being there for the other children is impossible. I can't go to the toilet and I get to the end of the day realising that I haven't even eaten anything all day. It's really getting me down! If I was looking after him full-time I would have given notice by now but he's only 3 days a week.

    I'm very honest with mum and tell her how he's been every day in the diary but she constantly says that he's teething (which i have to admit he has had a lot of teeth come through in one go). However my concern is that he will be completely hysterical and as soon as I pick him up he's smiling and chatting away....he just doesn't seem like a baby in pain to me, I would imagine if he was in pain he would still be fussy when picked up?? Also If I sit on the floor and play with him alone he's happy as larry. Mum has made comments about having to hoover with him on her hip as he hates the hoover and about him crying and shaking the baby gate if she has to shut it when cooking but says generally he has free run of the downstairs (I obviously cant do that and I don't want him attached to my hip). Should add that he's an only child. But she is adamant that his behavior is down to teething, what do you guys think?

    Not sure I can take much more : ( Thanks in advance x

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    Quote Originally Posted by mummytotwo View Post
    Hi all

    I wonder if I might be able to get some advice about a 12 month old baby that I look after.

    The little one started 5 months ago and did take about 3 weeks to settle properly. For a while he settled really well and was very happy and content with me, he's bonded with me really well.
    However this all completely changed and he has screamed constantly for the last 2 months. He wants me to hold him or be giving him 1:1 all the time, I if even look like i'm going to leave the room he screams. I can't devote any time what so ever to the other children because of how clingy he is with me, he even screams and desperately tries to get my attention if I'm changing another child's nappy! After a really bad day with him a few weeks ago I told mum that if this continued I didn't think I would be able to look after him as it was too disruptive! Mum was obviously very upset and said that it was just teething, he's not a naughty child and she didn't think it seemed fair that he would have to move on because of teething. After a meeting I apologised for blurting it out on pick-up but explained that I am finding it very difficult and it's not a nice environment a) for my children who cant relax in their own home & b) for the other minded children. I said that I wasn't going to just give up on him and that we would see how we go.

    Well as I say 2 months on and he's exactly the same and i'm finding it increasingly difficult to deal with. Making meals or being there for the other children is impossible. I can't go to the toilet and I get to the end of the day realising that I haven't even eaten anything all day. It's really getting me down! If I was looking after him full-time I would have given notice by now but he's only 3 days a week.

    I'm very honest with mum and tell her how he's been every day in the diary but she constantly says that he's teething (which i have to admit he has had a lot of teeth come through in one go). However my concern is that he will be completely hysterical and as soon as I pick him up he's smiling and chatting away....he just doesn't seem like a baby in pain to me, I would imagine if he was in pain he would still be fussy when picked up?? Also If I sit on the floor and play with him alone he's happy as larry. Mum has made comments about having to hoover with him on her hip as he hates the hoover and about him crying and shaking the baby gate if she has to shut it when cooking but says generally he has free run of the downstairs (I obviously cant do that and I don't want him attached to my hip). Should add that he's an only child. But she is adamant that his behavior is down to teething, what do you guys think?

    Not sure I can take much more : ( Thanks in advance x
    This brings back memories on such behaviour in babies...panic not....it is very normal for babies to do that and very frustrating as you say.
    Teething, lack of sleep, tiredness and many more reasons are given by parents...do not dismiss them but look beyond them


    it is to do with separation anxiety and all the signs you describe are exactly what many have experienced with their babies...crying and screaming the minute you leave the room and then pick baby up and all is fine and smiling.

    The baby will be able to understand what you say so encourage him/her to follow you... keep saying 'come here' ...'follow me'...if you are leaving the room for whatever reason encourage baby to go with you ...crawling or whichever way he uses...if necessary put baby where he can see you with some toys

    This will work in the end but may take a few days...stay strong but ...oh I do feel for you!
    Remember that parents may pick baby up immediately...ask them not to do so but kneel next to him and cuddle and do the same

    good luck and keep us posted

    This will help and reassure you
    Developmental milestones: Separation and independence - BabyCentre

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    Classic separation anxiety. It will get better, eventually. You know he's not in pain, just wants your attention. I've always had a theory that babies with the loudest cries seem to take longer to go through this stage as parents/carers can't cope with the noise! So pick them up all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripeberry View Post
    Classic separation anxiety. It will get better, eventually. You know he's not in pain, just wants your attention. I've always had a theory that babies with the loudest cries seem to take longer to go through this stage as parents/carers can't cope with the noise! So pick them up all the time.
    I agree! ... I've got one with the shrillest scream and it goes right through you! Luckily mum and I soon cottoned on to the screaming and don't pick him up ... it has got much better!

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    Thank you for your replies and your advice.

    I have been trying all of the things mentioned, constant reassurance, talking to him, staying near by as much as possible but nothing seems to be working. How long should I expect this to continue for? I'm concerned that he may never settle! I don't want to consider giving up but I can't go on like this much longer, this past two months have been the longest and most stressful of my life.

    I've really grown attached to him and would be devastated if we had to call it a day but i don't know what else to try. I physically can't walk around with him attached to my hip as he's already given me a bad back.

    Has anyone else had to give notice for a child that just won't settle?

    Thanks x

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    HI mummytotwo


    i am in the same boat as you and it is hard work adn draining. I have just taken on a ten month old baby for temporary care for three hours a day. she comes in an hour and to say i am dreading another day is an understatement.
    I only took her on as my two full timers left at the same time and my hours are drastically cut and no enquiries!

    anyway, had normal settling in etc, but mum says good bye shuts the door and she cries and i mean cries. i comfort her, she sits on my lap and she is ok for a bit then she remembers and she starts again, i distract her and round we go. then door goes for afternoon child and she starts again. i can not leave her side, if i move to get a nappy say, she is off again. i have got out familiar toys, toys from home, mum to stay for longer at drop off and play for a bit then say good bye and go, mum to make sure she is fed before coming (as fully breastfed), i am meant to give her food here, but she is so upset i cant feed her. i know this is separation anxiety, but i have never witnessed it to this extent before. mum has never left this child, and no wonder she cant study at home with her, if she is continually attached to her all day. she says that her partner cannt even have her or she becomes upset! how long do you think this should continue before it is so unfair for the child.?
    i am ranting a bit, but yesterday mum mentioned that she has an interview on friday for a full time job. I said Oh, what will happen with x, to the reply oh well, i will just change her hours! I was shocked this is meant to be temporary while she studies in the day for her exams, only meant to be for maximum five weeks care. really not sure what i am going to say after friday if she gets the job and wants full time care-even though i really need the work.i dont need the stress!

    so really just wanted to say i know how hard it is. i am going to keep going with her and hope she turns the corner! any other tips would be good though.

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    Hi

    I did reply to this yesterday but my post hasn't appeared. For some reason all of my posts get checked first??

    Anyway thanks you all for your support and advice. I have in fact been doing all of the things suggested but nothing and I mean nothing helps (except me picking him up that is). My concern is that this has already been going on for two months!......how much longer should i expect this to continue? I'm really concerned about the impact this is having on the little one to be crying and anxious ALL day!? Not to the mention the impact of everyone else.

    I feel like I've been trying to get him over this forever and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.......In fact I think it's getting worse : (

    Mum really doesn't want me to give up on him as she is very happy with me and believes that he is always pleased to see me (which he is, he gets very excited when he sees me at the door and can't wait for me to hold him). I just don't know what else to do.

    Karen1, I feel your pain, I too dread this lo arriving. Which is awful to say. Dont get stuck in the same situation as me because the longer this has gone on for the harder it's been to give up as I keep thinking it will change soon. Two months down the line and I'm actually losing sleep over it and feel physically ill after the days I have him : ( I love him to bits and I'm desperate for him to be happy here but i cant seen to make him happy without having him permanently attached to me. Good luck, I really hope she settles down for you x

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    Quote Originally Posted by mummytotwo View Post
    Hi

    I did reply to this yesterday but my post hasn't appeared. For some reason all of my posts get checked first??

    Anyway thanks you all for your support and advice. I have in fact been doing all of the things suggested but nothing and I mean nothing helps (except me picking him up that is). My concern is that this has already been going on for two months!......how much longer should i expect this to continue? I'm really concerned about the impact this is having on the little one to be crying and anxious ALL day!? Not to the mention the impact of everyone else.

    I feel like I've been trying to get him over this forever and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.......In fact I think it's getting worse : (

    Mum really doesn't want me to give up on him as she is very happy with me and believes that he is always pleased to see me (which he is, he gets very excited when he sees me at the door and can't wait for me to hold him). I just don't know what else to do.

    Karen1, I feel your pain, I too dread this lo arriving. Which is awful to say. Dont get stuck in the same situation as me because the longer this has gone on for the harder it's been to give up as I keep thinking it will change soon. Two months down the line and I'm actually losing sleep over it and feel physically ill after the days I have him : ( I love him to bits and I'm desperate for him to be happy here but i cant seen to make him happy without having him permanently attached to me. Good luck, I really hope she settles down for you x
    Hi Mummytotwo

    You could have written this post for me but I'm in a better position than you as i've come out the other side now.

    I won't go into detail of what happened to me as that's not going to help you much but I have experienced the same situation you are in with my last 2 babies so much so that Ive decided not to take on anymore babies in future. I know not all babies go through s/anxiety but after 2 bad experiences I have no confidence to deal with this again so I am just working with toddlers. My pay as decreased by a 1/3 but my stress levels are so much better now.

    S/anxiety can go on for a long time, nobody has a crystal ball so who knows whether he'll be better next week or whether it'll take another few months. S/anxiety is awful for everyone; it breaks your heart to see babies so distressed.

    Looking after a distressed child can cause you physical, emotional and mental distress yourself which is what you are describing.

    I may be wrong but you sound as if you've come to the end of the road with this LO; if you're not eating or sleeping properly you are eventually going to make yourself ill. You have done an amazing job getting this far but there comes a time when we have to say enough's enough.

    You have to think about yourself first - if you become ill who is going to look after your own children let alone the CM children? Whilst you are providing 1-1 care for this LO you are naturally not able to look after the other children properly as you only have one pair of hands. How would the other parents feel knowing that you can't give their child much attention as you are dealing with such a distressed LO. They are paying you too. CMinding is hard but most of the time we work a way of providing all the children we look after with the equal amount of care but that's not possible when you have 1 very distressed LO.

    Others may not agree with me but we aren't super human and there is only so much we can do as CM's before we have to say goodbye to children like this. It isn't seen as being a failure, it's seen as taking stock and putting ourselves first and the other children we look after. When children suffer so badly with s/anxiety i really do feel they would be better off at home and if thats not possible then a nanny who would have more time to help this child overcome their s/anxiety. The other children you are looking after are probably missing out whilst you have this child which isn't fair to them.

    My existing CM children missed out on too much when I had a child suffering with s/anxiety; most days they couldn't even hear me talk to them and vice versa because of the constant screaming and crying and that just didn't seem fair to me.

    i'm sorry if ive offended anyone with my thoughts but this is just my view of course. Mummytotwo please PM if you'd like to chat more.

    Love jo xx

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    I have had three little ones like this in the last two years

    Child one finished with me this week after a year and a half,,
    She was awful to settle not helped by the fact she only came once a week and sometimes not even that, and then looked after by dad, or either set of grannies the rest of the week. At two and a half she is still a highly sensitive , clingy anxious child and is very nervous in new situations so although she doesn't cling to me like she used to she is still very very hard work. In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have kept her on but mum was lovely and tried so hard to work with me. She sent her extra hours which did help, although hard work she did probably settle quicker as she wasn't re settling every week again. Worth a try?

    Child two cried non stop.. I only did about 6 weeks couldn't take it anymore. The fact that mum kept changing her hours and I didn't feel it fit that well probably helped the decision, mum was gutted although she knew Lo wasn't settled but she lifted her out immediately .. Thought no point continuing if distressed and I agreed so no money but immediate quiet!

    Child three didn't eat didn't sleep. Mum breastfed to sleep and on demand and although she said she was gonna cut back daytime so he was used to it, she didn't and poor lo spent all day expecting it! Luckily mum changed hours and I couldn't accommodate !

    But I have just had a Lo start who is a dream baby.. 12 months, started maybe a week or two before the separation anxiety would have set in so we haven't had that problem but she is just a very chilled little one, doesn't cry unless hungry or tired and goes with the flow. Potters off to play alone! such a relief but also I know now it wasn't me, and that not all babies are like that. I suppose my area is relatively busy but my advice is if you can't change things within a few weeks or gradually see it improving it just isn't worth it.,, as you said yourself the other little ones are missing out and you are making yourself Ill.
    Although you are dreading it ,
    Give notice if you feel you can / want to..
    Immediate relief will be had.
    The fact he was ok before separation anxiety may mean he will settle again, but will he always be anxious? It's very hard to divide your time evenly which we are so good at when one is like this and he may be better off with a nursery where staff can take it in turns to hold him, or in a more one to one setting ..
    Poor mite he isn't happy

    To the other poster with the temp baby I would let mum have her interview, it's gonna be a while before she finds out which buys you time to see if lo settles or not. The fact you can't mind him shouldn't put her off, (sounds like she really appreciates you though and really wants you to!) if she wants or needs to work part time I am sure she would Still go for interview anyway so nothing to gain by telling her now .. And if it comes up, just tell her you have decided not to fill all your days/ have had another enquiry/ have a current parent wanting the hours and you are really sorry., give her numbers of other minders if you can and breathe!

    Good luck guys I know it's a horrible situation xx

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    hi I had one like this and after three months I gave notice just could not stand the non stop screaming all day four days a week anymore. Total stressed me out and was starting to affect my own children x

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    HI

    Just thought I would update on my temp child today.

    arrived adn mum said very tired and needs a sleep. I sat on sofa with her, very quiet and she went to sleep-phew and able to get her down for 45 minutes. yeah! not ideal, but i know she wont go straight into cot or even buggy. will tackle this later.
    i couldnt get her to eat and she got upset so i left it.
    i sat next to her and played, and talked to her as i normally do. though she wouldnt let me get up or move, and everytime i shifted she would look and lip would wobble and came over to sit on my lap. after a nappy change, when i had to get up to get a nappy (still within sight) she then would not leave my lap, but we had over an hour of quiet play today. so hopefully things are improving. So out of three hours a good day i think, hopefully a corner has turned.

    On collection, mum arrived and sat on sofa and breastfed her! lol. she just said i will feed her now, i said shall i get bottle, turned around and boob out- how embarrassed was I, and then she proceeded to ask that in two weeks time i have her for 6 hours one day! I didnt confirm, just said let me know times and i will check. plus she talked about the interview again and making this permanent. if she will settle then this will replace one of my full timers and really need this. fingers crossed for tomorrow, settling and interview.

    hope things are improving for you too mummytotwo

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    Oh I feel for you too!

    As said by Joanne(?) others may not agree as we all deal with things differently. I too had a very clingy child, it didn't get better for us and after 3 months I'd had enough, but so too had my dh and ds, not to mention the other cm children.

    I tried everything I could think of, worked with the parents however, one parent didn't want to do things differently and wanted me to give the child the attention he wanted, other parent completely agreed with me. I had a meeting with the parents and one decided to give notice (other had no choice but to agree) I didn't want to be the one who gave the notice, I wanted it to be their decision.

    I think over time things may have eased a little but I found this child very demanding in all areas and that was in his character. I was exhausted and dreaded the two days he came. I did feel bad for the child but at the same time the longer it went on the worse it would have been if we'd carried on for another month even. I have over 20 years experience in all areas of childcare and I felt like a failure! But I knew I had made the right decision and I wouldn't feel worried about doing it again. Like many cm's I work very hard but I'm not superwoman (as someone said) I'm good at what I do and the children are very happy in my care, but there will be times where it isn't right and something needs to change for you, your family, cm children and the child in question. I've found when it works. it works very well but you're not a failure if it doesn't. I took a decrease in pay and we struggled a little but it was still the right decision, a huge relief, do what you feel is right for you.
    FF

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    Must add to my post, although I wanted it to be their decision, I was ready to give notice and would've done if they hadn't
    FF

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    Many Cms will have had the experience of caring for a baby with separation anxiety....it is, as many have agreed, a normal phase in their child development.
    We know that it lasts for a short time and needs 'consistency' between CM and parent and the baby will settle and form a bond which will alleviate the anxiety and eventually settle very well.

    For some CMs the strategy they use works ...for others it takes a bit longer and there will be a reason for that so reviewing the strategy would probably help
    One thing to look out for is that, while the CM will be consistent the parents may continue to pick up the baby the minute it cries at home giving mixed messages

    I am unsure whether all babies who go through this phase should be given notice?
    if we did then these poor children would do the rounds in many settings...that would be worse for them and the parents as well? mothers have to work so suggesting the baby stays at home with a nanny would be an alternative but not all can afford nannies

    I also believe that CMs have been successful in these circumstances...personally I did go through this but it lasted a short time and baby came out of it without any problems...the barriers I had to overcome was 'mixed messages' but eventually we all got it right .

    Cms are all different and use different strategies...if really concerned ring a Health Visitor for general advice they are there for that too.

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    I've got a mindee a little similar. When she first started she was very unsettled and I had exactly the same experience - I would sit on the floor with her and even if if reached for a toy she would get anxious, and want to be back on my knee. It took time and perseverance but we have a lovely bond and she is very happy here. But I have noticed that when she is teething she reverts back to this behaviour. If your little one has had many teeth come through it is likely that it is teeth and he just needs more attention at this time. Hopefully it won't be for much longer and then he will go back to being how he was before. If not make sure you work closely with Mum to be consistent and go from there. Good luck :-)

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    Mummytotwo how are things?

    I thought id cracked it friday, then had weekend and back to crying today. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be better, and the shovk of returning after the weekend has gone.

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    I have just made it over the hill with my screamer. Baby needs to learn he is safe with you and create a healthy attachment. What worked for me was carrying him in a sling pretty much none stop for a month and then gradually encouraged him to leave the safety of the sling to play..... We are not 3 months in and no more screaming constantly. He doesn't even cry when mum leaves now :-)

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    Well mum of my unsettled LO has decided not to send today as child clingy to her. To be honest I'm getting a bit annoyed, and don't think even if she asks me to have her perm I will. Next week when she has her exams it is going to be worse, when I have her full days. She needs the constant drip drip of seeing and being with me. Dreading tomorrow now as know it will be worse again! Aargh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen1 View Post
    Well mum of my unsettled LO has decided not to send today as child clingy to her. To be honest I'm getting a bit annoyed, and don't think even if she asks me to have her perm I will. Next week when she has her exams it is going to be worse, when I have her full days. She needs the constant drip drip of seeing and being with me. Dreading tomorrow now as know it will be worse again! Aargh.

    What is making you annoyed? From the mums point of view I can see her point and would do the same. If the child is being very very clingy personally I think it would be unfair to leave child in a care setting unless absolutely necessary.

    How long have you had the child now? It will get better :hug:

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    Have your tried feeding the baby its milk with a cup or with a syringe if it wont accept the bottle? I found once I had managed to get my mindee to accept milk in my care things improved a lot quicker.

 

 
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