High Needs Baby Will Not Stop Crying-HELP!

Breia - posted on 04/19/2016 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Hello,
I run an in home daycare and I have been working in the childcare industry for well over a decade, so to say the least I have been exposed to all sorts of temperaments, personality styles, and challenges in childcare. However, I have recently taken a two month old baby into care and he is absolutely adorable but he will not stop crying EVER unless he is being held. I have tried all of my techniques from the basics and above such as making sure he has been changed, fed, loved and cuddled, played with, stimulated, avoided over stimulation, tried bouncy chairs, swings, vibrating chairs, his own car seat, swaddling, walks in the stroller etc. I have also talked to the parents about how they handle him at home to see 1) if they had any tried and true techniques for him and 2) to see if they were always holding him whenever he was awake because it was making his transition into care harder for him, the other kids in care, and myself.
I obviously cannot hold him all day as I have six other kids in care who also need attention, to be held on occasion, changed, potty trained, fed, etc. and I have already had other parents who drop off and pick up while he is here that have started asking questions such as "So, because of this baby is my child going to be largely ignored?". I also run a preschool program so I have things that parents absolutely expect to be done on a daily basis. Also, they are paying me to give part of my attention and love to their children as well. I have tried the cry it out method, not because I want to let him cry, but because I have to set him down to do other things with the other kids and he will not fall asleep even after hours of crying (of course I am repeatedly checking on him and meeting his basic needs and trying to re-soothe him during this time). Basically if he is awake for 8 out of the 11 hours that he is here, he is crying for 8 hours. He is not in pain as the parents have brought him to the doctor for full check ups AND the second he is picked up he stops crying...if he was in true pain simply picking him up would not stop the crying. The parents seem to have very little reaction to this other than "He's a baby, what do you expect?" But see, I know its a common misconception that children scream from infancy until three years old and then they stop...but thats not true obviously. They cry when there is a true need or something wrong. They do not just scream for hours on end for no reason. This is stressing me, him, the other parents, and the other kids out horribly. Please advise! Has anyone dealt with something like this before?!

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Liz - posted on 04/23/2016

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It sounds like this baby needs a nanny someone who can give him what he needs.
My son needed to be held, nothing else worked. Some babies just aren't built for multi-care. Make sure your tell the parents how he cried all day and I am sure they will come to that conclusion. No parent wants there baby to be crying all day.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/22/2016

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"Secondly, you proved my opinion that people on these blogs are often just looking for ways to assert their unjustified and ridiculous opinions on people's situations."

You're hilarious. You asked for suggestions/advice, and proceeded to negate and lamblast those suggestions.

It matters not one whit to me whether or not you "care" about my particular comments or not, but you're friggin hilarious! To state the above, that we're all just looking for a way to be online bullies OMG, that just made my day.

You basically came on here, wanting a horde of people to agree with whatever your longwinded post was, and not offer any real solutions or suggestions. We don't do that here, and we don't beat around the bush, either.

Take what you will away from the conversation. Take ALL advice with a grain of salt. Decide which ones you want to use/refer to, and which ones you don't, and move forward.

You got defensive the minute that we suggested that this particular family may not fit with you. Stop being defensive and hurt about a possibly truthful statement, and move forward.

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2016

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Breia I gave you an "out-of-the-box" answer, but you did not want to even consider it. Which is totally fine. But again you seem to be very defensive to any answer you get. If you want an "out-of-the-box" answer then you have to be open to that "out-of-the-box". I am by no means saying that my answer is the one and only or that you even have to try it, but if you state that is what you are looking for then I would expect you to consider it. I have done daycare for 15 years and tried many things throughout those years as each child is different and each of their needs are different. I do have ones that just cry all the time as they are use to being held 24/7 OR they are very attached to mom......as I also do care for stay-at-home moms. Honestly my kids would be the same way if I took them to a day care. I have also took care of triplets since they were 3 months old. You become creative in order to meet everyone's needs. Sometimes people have stereotypes of people that babywear calling them "new age" without even trying it....to me that is being judgmental. Most people that babywear are not "new age". Many times it is an idea they try so they are able to do two things at once or it is suggested by their doctor to help with colic or acid reflex (proven to help babies with these issues and helps reduce crying/pain). It is an "out-of-the-box" solution. I am not saying you have to do my suggestion or that it is even right for you. But if you are looking for "out-of-the-box" solutions I do expect you to consider the idea and not be defensive when you are given an "out-of-the-box" idea.

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2016

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So what were you looking for? Us to agree that the day care they pay for, should let the baby cry? Every child is different, and if this one has a particular need for human contact; then what solution is there except; hold him or let him cry. In the US a certified daycare cannot have the ratio of caregiver to children that you describe. If you are trying to run an educational program with your child care, you have too many kids. I am far from angry about this, my kids are far out of daycare days. So what do I care if you have a baby who cries all day and you won't consider lowering your ratio? You asked, I gave my opinion, if that is being a bitch; so be it.

Mary - posted on 04/20/2016

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Hi Breia,
It def sounds like something is going on. My son experienced colic around that age, but by no means did he cry all day. Colic to my understanding and from my personal experience is when a baby cries for no reason for certain amounts of times and during the same time everyday. And the MOST significant aspect of colic is when they are having these crying spells they cannot be soothed. If he is crying all day and he stops when you pick him up then I would say something is going on, but it is not colic. Considering your position with your other children, I would agree that he is too much for you to care for. Its kinda sad that the parents aren't as concerned as they should be.

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Sarah - posted on 04/22/2016

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Would the earth shatter and your business collapse if you turned away a family? I feel like that is what you are fearing; turning away a client. What really is best for this baby? You cannot meet its needs, you admit that. So either baby has to change needs or you need to tell the parents you cannot handle the needs of their child based on your current staff to child ratio. That is not a bad thing, to be honest.

Breia - posted on 04/21/2016

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I am not looking for your validation so thank god for that. Every state and county within each state has different laws and regulations as to age groups and numbers. I have some kids that are part time my ages and numbers change on a daily basis. Secondly, you proved my opinion that people on these blogs are often just looking for ways to assert their unjustified and ridiculous opinions on people's situations. My county does allow up to ten kids in care with each each age group balancing each other out.
And i am not bitching, as you so eloquently put it. I am concerned for him, and the other kids in care and I was looking for an out-of-the-box thought or a someone else who may have had a unique situation such as this and ran into a unique answer to solve the problem. I was not looking for the everyday, every-mom answers because as tried and true as they can be, they were not working in my current situation. Yes, I agree I may have to let him go, but I don't know how you operate, but I often grow attached to the children and families in my care, even when they are difficult. And just putting them out as soon as there is a sign of an issue thats difficult to solve is not something I like to do. Nor do i do that easily without feeling badly for the family. Not that they could not find other care because they obviously could, even if it is a smaller daycare or a nanny. Its just not a great position for anyone in this situation to be put in.
But by all means, continue to spout your anger just because your first offer of a solution was not the one i chose. Most people cannot handle having their "awesome ideas" shot down because ego driven people can't handle any negative feedback on their thoughts.
I also agree this is a tricky situation where MAYBE there is no real good answer given my situation and my daycare's situation and, again, I may have to let him go I just do not really want to have to do that as it is my last resort because I do not give up easily on people I care about.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2016

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That's a good point, Sarah. When my boys were in a private care situation, the laws in our state indicated no more than 6 children, with only ONE under the age of 6 months.

Breia (beautiful name, btw), are you a certified caregiver?

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2016

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I gotta say if you are caring for 2 two month olds, a 6 month old and up to ten kids; you are overbooked. Give the parents notice and have them find a different place to meet their baby's needs. I am not saying you should hold him constantly, but if the parents are paying you to meet their kid's needs then you are not the right person. You are simply too busy as you pointed out " I am one person to an average of ten kids every day" that is a really high ratio of kids to worker.
As far as taking 4-6 weeks off; every couple is entitled to both maternity and paternity leave each up to 12 unpaid weeks, so you any family could in theory take 24 weeks off. Yes, it may not be all paid but if mom and dad could not manage to swing 4 weeks off for the benefit of their child (and I mean either parent) then that is really, really sad

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2016

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By the way if you have a good carrier you can wear a baby for long periods of time. Babywearing also does not mean to wear the baby all day long. It can give you a survival tool though as you can do multiple things while holding the baby. So you could do the dishes or teach preschool while holding the baby. Then put baby down when you are done with those tasks and need to tend to the other babies. If you have a good carrier you can carry for long periods of time with no pain. A good carrier disperses the weight off your shoulders and back. As I said I also do day care for many infants. I am able to push a triple stroller and babywear. The stroller is harder on my back the the one I am wearing. You can also wear multiple babies at one time....again with little to no pain.

Again back to my last post. You don't have to take my suggestion. It is something I have found to be very helpful for me when carrying for lots of little ones.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2016

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So, what do you really want here?

I can't validate anything that you say.

You either tell this young family that they need to remove their kid, or you don't and you quit bitching about how it's affecting you and your business.

Is THAT a simple enough answer for you?????

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2016

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Breia I am not sure what you are looking for. Your OP sounded like you wanted some help and suggestions. But as soon as you get a suggestion you become defensive and shoot down the suggestion. Not all suggestions will be an option for you. You pick which ones sound good and you would like to try. If you don't want any suggestion then I am not sure what you want. You get to make the choice as what you want to do. You can turn the child away saying that the fit just is not right.....nothing wrong with that and this does happen in the day care world. If you have built up your reputation then turning one child away is not going to reflect negatively. You can keep the child and continue how things are. Or you can find options to help everyone survive through the day. Or you hire another worker for your day care to help out.

Dove - posted on 04/19/2016

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I gave you a realistic answer... you have no business keeping that poor baby in your care. I've never even heard of a private daycare than can legally keep more than 2 infants at a time in the first place... or more than 6 kids w/out an aide... and I've been doing childcare for almost 23 years. You have too many kids in your care and it is NOT fair to this infant or the other children in your home. I already told you that... but you'd rather keep the business of this one family than to do what is best for everyone involved.

I'm not a 'new age' mom... and I can't even physically baby wear at all, but you'd better believe if I had an infant in your home I would remove them after one day. Period. Quite frankly though... I never left any of my kids in daycare and at 14, 14, and 8... they are all quite well adjusted.

Breia - posted on 04/19/2016

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I see your point, but with having other very tiny babies in care that need close cuddles as well, I cannot just have this baby attached to my chest all day. I have another two month old in care as well that needs some attention too in the same way. Also, I work an average of 11-13 hours a day... my back would breka in half if I carried him for the 8 hours he is awake a day while also picking up other kids and occasionally calming the other two month old down.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2016

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What in the hell was not realistic about telling you that "either you continue as you have begun, or you tell these parents to remove their child until the child is more used to a caregiver situation"????

That's pretty realistic to me. Either you DO something about it with the parents who have created the situation, or you don't. You don't want to "turn away business", yet you stand to lose MORE business by not turning that ONE away.

Seems pretty realistic, and cut and dried to me...

Breia - posted on 04/19/2016

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Well yes thats kind of the point. I am holding him all the time except when i absolutely cannot because there is another two month old baby in my care and a six month old. So, I either put him down on occasion or I have all the other parents pull their kids because I am ignoring theirs for this one. Like yeah we'd all love to wear a baby all day, but he is not the only baby nor if he the only one that needs to be held up close sometimes. I can't keep all of the other kids at arms distance for this one baby to be baby wore all day.
Also the new age, super mom liberated answers of "no baby should ever cry ever, my child should never ever be set down ever! All kids should be coddled and never learn to self soothe!" is not what I am looking for here. I am one person to an average of ten kids every day. I cannot, under any circumstances, always carry one baby around and never let him cry for even a minute or two. And honestly, all the moms out here who do this are making it impossible for daycare providers (not nannies, as nannies can give only one child all the attention) but providers with multiple kids in care to properly deal with that many kids. If you train your baby that it should be held every single second of every day when it is not sleeping then you end up with a kid that cannot self soothe or cope with normal every day things like boredom, sleepiness, annoyance, social interactions etc.
I mean what if you had the kid in care that DID NOT cry a lot but another one did, would you want you child to not have much attention at all to speak of just because there is one that is crying? Either way you end up with a mom who wants their kid to have a bulk of the attention which is not realistic. Also, have you ever worn a baby carrier for 11 hours straight while picking up other kids? It is back breaking and impossible...not to mention there are providers out there who are pregnant as well dealing with this kind of thing. So, realistic answers please...not perfect world answers where all ten children in care are being held all day and carried and are being treated like the only kid in care when they are actually one in ten.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/19/2016

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Seriously, if the parents would be parents, and stop holding the kid 24/7, your problem would be solved. However, at 2 months, if the child isn't starting to learn some self soothing techniques, I'd be back at the pediatrician to find out what ails him.

As it stands, you either turn this one out, telling the parents that he is welcome back when they've gotten him a bit more used to a caregiver situation, or you continue as you have begun, have your other parents question your methods, and availability for their children, and potentially remove THEM from your business.

Breia - posted on 04/19/2016

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Well, as I mentioned, they have had him checked and brought into the doctor to see if it is pain or colic related pain. The doctor did not believe it was because he is not resembling anything that appears like pain and he always stops crying if you hold him, in literally any position...not one special position that stops pain. Babies in a lot of pain, from my experience, will not stop crying just because you hold them in literally any position. ANd if you are crying 8 hours a day it would not be just a slight pain that could be soothed by simply being held. And yes my business is doing just fine but I do not like to turn families away nor do I think it is good word of mouth for your business for people to hear that you get rid of babies that cry a lot. Not to mention, most families can't just take 4-6 weeks off of work in order to wait for their baby to grow out of crying.

Dove - posted on 04/19/2016

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If you can not hold him while he is crying I would let the parents know that they would be better off getting childcare from someone who can. It is not fair to that baby and it is not fair to the other children in your care either. They would be better finding one on one care or care from someone who can baby wear their child and still care for other children. No 2 month old should be left to cry... at all... except if a person HAS to set the child down for a minute or two. Honestly... if you had my child in your care and didn't hold him while he cried... I'd have pulled him myself the first day.

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2016

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Some might be because he is used to being held most of the time, so I think some crying it out is ok. As you can't hold 24/7 and developmentally that is also not good as he needs some floor time and other stimulants. One thing you may find helpful is to babywear. Get a good carrier (ergo, Tula, Lenny, etc.) and do the front carry (as baby gets older you can do back carry). This will make life much easier for the both of you. You can still tend to the other kids and teach preschool while carrying. Often times there are babywearing groups that you can ask questions to and try on different carriers....even rent carriers. I would suggest joining that group.

I also do day care and it is hard when you get one that wants to be held 24/7. I also have 4 kids myself with a wide range of ages. My oldest being 18 and youngest 11 months. I discovered babywearing with my youngest as we are often on the go to the older kids activities and needed an easy way to keep her warm on cool softball/baseball games and me mobile when running around. I wish I would have discovered this earlier with my younger kids.

Sarah - posted on 04/19/2016

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The only reason for this much crying is either pain, or colic. Colic; that awful mystery that affects some babies and not others and has parents tearing their hair out for options to fix the problem. Is this the couples first baby, as colic is more common in first born babies. Does he cry like this at home?
What are your options: interrupt the flow of your program for this baby? Let him cry? Ask his parents to bring him back in 4-6 weeks? You obviously have a successful program, would it be the worst if you asked them to either place him elsewhere or wait one more month to return him to your care?

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