Settling in sessions
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  1. #1
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    Default Settling in sessions

    After some advice...new baby, about to do last settling in session but last one didn't go so well (baby screamed!) and an already anxious mum is now More so. She's asking for more settling in sessions but this eats in to my plans etc but would you always offer these or how would you play it?

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    I always offer two sessions of one hour each - free of charge. I then say that more can be arranged if the parents request it but that they will be charged at my hourly rate. It might be easier in the long run for you all if you do offer extra sessions. You could be quite insistent that they are done at a time that suits you and your plans, so don't let mum insist that they are done at a certain time of day when you already have plans to be somewhere else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    I always offer two sessions of one hour each - free of charge. I then say that more can be arranged if the parents request it but that they will be charged at my hourly rate. It might be easier in the long run for you all if you do offer extra sessions. You could be quite insistent that they are done at a time that suits you and your plans, so don't let mum insist that they are done at a certain time of day when you already have plans to be somewhere else.
    Thanks maza, due to time we're doing 3 in total of which I charge for each session.
    Trouble is any further sessions will go over in to the time babies due to be with me anyway and they've paid for (does that make sense?!) so I kind of feel we may as well jump straight in and get on with it...but I don't want a screaming baby and I want parents to be happy too obviously...

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    Oh, I see what you mean. So in effect, she wants to delay the start? This sounds awful, but money would determine where I go from here then. You don't want to be out of pocket - you were expecting the baby to start at such and such a date and have budgeted for it. Would the parents be expecting some kind of refund if they do more starting sessions instead of full days (seeing as they have already paid for the full days)? I wouldn't be wanting to agree to that personally. Maybe if the mum isn't yet back at work then she could come and collect baby an hour or two earlier - that way hopefully she wouldn't mind just losing out on a couple of hours worth of money, or if you decided to compromise on cost then it wouldn't be too much for you to lose out on.

    Do you think it is genuinely an anxious mum wanting to do more of the shorter sessions for the good of her baby (perfectly plausible and reasonable) or do you think it is a mum who might be wanting to chop and change/negotiate regularly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Oh, I see what you mean. So in effect, she wants to delay the start? This sounds awful, but money would determine where I go from here then. You don't want to be out of pocket - you were expecting the baby to start at such and such a date and have budgeted for it. Would the parents be expecting some kind of refund if they do more starting sessions instead of full days (seeing as they have already paid for the full days)? I wouldn't be wanting to agree to that personally. Maybe if the mum isn't yet back at work then she could come and collect baby an hour or two earlier - that way hopefully she wouldn't mind just losing out on a couple of hours worth of money, or if you decided to compromise on cost then it wouldn't be too much for you to lose out on. Do you think it is genuinely an anxious mum wanting to do more of the shorter sessions for the good of her baby (perfectly plausible and reasonable) or do you think it is a mum who might be wanting to chop and change/negotiate regularly?
    She's not said yet she wants to delay the start date she just wants extra settling in sessions this week but I'd rather not (perhaps selfishly!) because I've other plans but perhaps I should....

    I was wondering whether to write in to the contract that it's subject to a two week settling in period or something where either party can pull out if not working...then it covers us both.

    I dont think she's trying to be awkward just is already anxious and then when the baby cried I think it's worried her even more so. I feel she's a bit unrealistic to think get baby not cry at all when with me though.

    I have payment up front so could either refund totally (don't think I should) part refund or nothing I just don't know. I don't need the money or business desperately so it's more a case of I want to do what's fair and do what's right for all of us but equally don't want a screamer on my hands and a fraught parent!

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    I am flexible with settling in- usually 2-3 sessions up to 1 hr, for no charge but only at times that suit me.
    I also say that once contract and contracted hours start that I will let parent know if baby is very distressed and they are always welcome to collect early if they wish (so puts the ball in their court- I am not sending child home but I am letting them know how baby is so they can decide what they want to do).
    Crying baby may or may not benefit from more short/settling sessions, or may be better to just get on with it... it has to fit with you though so say what you are willing to do and stick to that.

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    I always do a month settling in period so as you say anyone can terminate if not happy with no notice required. I find sometimes it can take that long for things to settle, all depends on the child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    I am flexible with settling in- usually 2-3 sessions up to 1 hr, for no charge but only at times that suit me. I also say that once contract and contracted hours start that I will let parent know if baby is very distressed and they are always welcome to collect early if they wish (so puts the ball in their court- I am not sending child home but I am letting them know how baby is so they can decide what they want to do). Crying baby may or may not benefit from more short/settling sessions, or may be better to just get on with it... it has to fit with you though so say what you are willing to do and stick to that.
    Have you ever had to call parents to say baby is not settling? What have parents done?

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    I feel any more settling in sessions just delay the inevitable that at some point baby needs to spend a full day with me...I think calling parents and letting them know is probably best way forward....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Have you ever had to call parents to say baby is not settling? What have parents done?
    I have had mum pick up early (like an hour early) when baby has been really screaming and is unlikely to settle down and eat their dinner.
    By saying to parent that you'll let them know if baby is really getting very distressed it helps the parent as they then know you won't just let baby scream all day without phoning them. They might not be able to get out of work to pick up anyway, but at least it makes them feel empowered by being able to make that decision themselves. Of course, some parents would rather not know- so it is always a case of discussing with parent how you want to handle that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moggy View Post
    I have had mum pick up early (like an hour early) when baby has been really screaming and is unlikely to settle down and eat their dinner. By saying to parent that you'll let them know if baby is really getting very distressed it helps the parent as they then know you won't just let baby scream all day without phoning them. They might not be able to get out of work to pick up anyway, but at least it makes them feel empowered by being able to make that decision themselves. Of course, some parents would rather not know- so it is always a case of discussing with parent how you want to handle that.
    Thanks moggy, I guess that's all I can realistically do...

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    Hmm so last settling in session didn't go well either. Well normal from my point of view but they left baby for ten minutes but heard them crying from the road so came back immediately! I can't help think they are waaay over reacting, news flash - babies cry! I'd rather not proceed with the contract as they seem too OTT to me but not sure how to play it whilst remaining professional, any advice?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Hmm so last settling in session didn't go well either. Well normal from my point of view but they left baby for ten minutes but heard them crying from the road so came back immediately! I can't help think they are waaay over reacting, news flash - babies cry! I'd rather not proceed with the contract as they seem too OTT to me but not sure how to play it whilst remaining professional, any advice?!
    Oh dear. Is the mum going back to work soon? Is it imperative that she finds childcare?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Oh dear. Is the mum going back to work soon? Is it imperative that she finds childcare?
    She's already gone back some days, I think family is covering other days at the moment...

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    I'd be having a chat- explaining it is normal for baby to cry, it is a good sign- it means baby has a good attachment to mum and that by spending time with me baby will form that new bond with me and crying will reduce. Explain how I won't leave baby to cry, how I will use a sling (maybe?) or keep baby close by and help baby settle (comfort toy, something from mum/home etc). Explain how this is a normal stage and it will pass and that we'll talk everyday about how it is going, how I'll be completely honest about how baby is, that I'd call if baby is too distressed etc. I'd set a date to review the situation- do you have an initial 'settling in' part of the contract where either parties can give immediate notice? I usually review at the end of that time (about 4 weeks in).

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    I always tell parents that those settling in sessions are actually as much for the parents as for the child. With a small baby then yes going into full days may be fine , but mum isnt ready for that yet. Sounds like this mum will need some tlc and lots and lots of reassurance - extra settling in sessions are a start , but lots of photos of a smiley baby sent during those early days , your calm and professional demeanor , all help too.

  19. #17
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    Thanks everyone, I've offered up some extra settling in sessions and they're going to take the plunge in leaving baby with me with family on standby if baby doesn't settle after 30 mins! Not long but if that's what they want...
    Wish me luck!!! :-) x

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Thanks everyone, I've offered up some extra settling in sessions and they're going to take the plunge in leaving baby with me with family on standby if baby doesn't settle after 30 mins! Not long but if that's what they want...
    Wish me luck!!! :-) x
    Let us know how you get on!

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    So another session not gone well. Baby refused bottle from me (not sure how you get round this one?!!). Cried when put down for nap...normal in my eyes but parents didn't want her left to cry.
    I don't know whether to terminate things now or just out in contract that it's subject to a 2 week/4 week review.

  22. #20
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    It's early days, so as you say it is normal. Is she rocked to sleep at home? How long did she cry for before she fell asleep - did she even fall asleep?

    Does she take a bottle at home - ie, is she properly weaned from breastfeeding?

 

 
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