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Daycare - sleep and food questions
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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:33 PM
DS is due to start daycare one day per week next week. Today was an hour long orientation, which was really just a chance for him to have a play on the floor in the 0-2 room and for me to iron out details with the head carer. For reference, DS is 7 months old and it is a ver large LDC (up to 29 babies per day in the 0-2 room).
I have a few concerns about their sleep and feed routine/methods, but don't know if this is typical of LDCs? Firstly, DS has not been wrapped for sleeps since he started rolling at 4 months, and the only way we can get him to sleep for naps is holding/patting him, then putting him in the cot. He usually only sleeps for around 40 mins, 3 x a day. I don't expect the centre to hold/pat him, and they do pat the babies in the cots to get them to sleep, but they are insisting he be wrapped. Is this normal? I thought it was against SIDS guidelines to wrap them if they can roll, not to mention DS is a houdini anyway. I guess I can try and pat him in the cot (he's never been a fan of that) to try and mimic what they do, but does this sound normal? They also made a comment about not making it a habit to pick the babies up, do other centres not do this if babies are upset?
Also, DS has started solids, onto lumpy purees and the occasional finger food of toast or soft fruit. Not a huge interest in food but getting there. The centre provides all food, but said they only do purees in the 0-2 room, the kids don't get finger food unless they're in the next room up (2-3). Again does this sound right? Presumably DS will be eating the food we have (minus salt/sugar etc) by the time he's one, but won't be getting anything but mush at daycare until he's over 2. Again, does this sound normal?
I'm having doubts about this centre, not least of which because the head carer keeps saying things like "oh sorry I didn't reply to your email, I haven't even sent out the parents' weekly newsletter for the last 2 weeks as I've been so busy", and the latest menus are not on the wall, etc.
I will be working from home 2 days per week (if I want to), and I do have the option of grandparents to look after him, but I assume I'll have to be back at work in the office from June at least 2 or 3 days per week, and daycare is so hard to find in our area I wanted something lined up so I could increase his days. I received advice on here before about going with the grandparents, which I'd prefer to do, but it might be too hard to find daycare midyear DS looked so little compared to all the other kids, I know my mother guilt is coming out, but I feel I have genuine concerns too. Would love to hear your thoughts.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:38 PM
My first thought on reading your post is to find another centre.
They are disrespecting your wishes about wrapping.
They don't make a "habit" of picking up babies!?!
Purees only in the 0-2 room! Good grief.
Head carer is clearly overworked, disorganised and non-responsive.
Alarm bells would be ringing.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:43 PM
I agree with deejie, doesn't sound like they are probably the best centre.
That's alot of kids in the 0-2 room per day!
They should follow your wishes with how your son sleeps, wrapped or not.
Purees only is crazy, for babies yes I understand but the older kids closer to two always sit at little tables (or highchair depending on what meal and mess anticipated) in our daycare and have adjusted meals to their age.
Not picking up babies is not on with me, if my child was crying I would want them to pick DS up.
I would try and look around.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:45 PM
My DD started daycare at just under 6 months, so I had some of the same concerns as you.
She has been in 2 different centres (as she was wait listed for one so we changed to that one when a spot came up at the start of this year).
Both centres have similar policies in terms of putting the babies to sleep in that they dont, as a rule, cuddle or rock them to sleep. I assume this is because they cannot physically rock multiple babies to sleep at the same time! But they do pat the babies to sleep, and both centres have been willing to try anything I suggest to help get DD to sleep (eg using a pram, putting her to sleep on the toddler mats instead of in the cots etc). They both try to stick to our home routine as far as sleep times go (although DD has other plans LOL). I think its very strange that your centre insists on wrapping your DS whne you dont do that at home. I would be insisting right back that they not do that. Even if it werent a SIDS risk, its still your decision how your child is cared for!!!
Purees only for all 0-2's!!!! WTF! That is absolutely insane. We did a combo of baby led weaning and purees when DD weaned so at 6 months when she started she was having some finger foods like cheese sticks, steam vegetable etc. I told them where she was up to with foods and they went by that, within their existing menu (so if the older toddlers were having sandwhiches they got some pureed veg sent in for her, but if they older toddlers were having cut up soft fruit, they gave her some of that). Again you are the parent and you are paying for them to care for your child so I would be insisting that whatever your DS gets at home, he should be offered similar things at the centre. It is totally inappropriate to give only purees to a 2 year old!!!
Are there other centres in your area? I know availability can be limited, so perhaps a meeting with the director to chat about your concerns would be worthwhile??
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:48 PM
In DD's room they try to follow the parent's wishes/baby's habits regarding sleeping as much as possible. They would not insist on wrapping a 7 month old if that child was not wrapped at home! Seriously that is weird. A 3 month old I could understand them maybe wanting to try it out to see if the baby liked it (sometimes babies like different things at home and at daycare), but a 7 month old is really odd that they're insisting.
DD was BLW (no purees, only finger food), when she started daycare at 11 months she went straight onto the 'normal' food with the other 1-2 year olds in the room - the same meal the older kids got too. ALL babies 6 months+ were given some finger foods ie fruit for morning tea, slice for afternoon tea. I'd say check out the menus but they're not up so it's hard to tell...
Not picking up babies? Yeah, gross. I mean there are instances where a parent might be working on cot-settling and the carers have to follow that...but to come out and say "we don't make a habit of picking up babies" indicates an attitude that I would not be comfortable with.
Your instincts are telling you something, you need to listen to them.
You only want 2 days a week mid year right? What about putting his name down in any other centres and taking a spot when it comes up, using grandparent care until then?
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:51 PM
They sound overworked or lazy, or both.
No way I would be happy with a an over 1 (heck, a 10 month old!) a having puree only. I think having a newborn to 2 room is nuts. They need to break it up to make it more efficient and better for the kids.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:53 PM
Your centre sounds very strange. Are you sure you have understood them correctly?
It is weird that they won't pick the baby up and are insisting on wrapping. At the LDC where DS will start attending in Feb, they do whatever the baby is used to. Wrapping, not wrapping, dummy, no dummy, patting, rocking, whatever they like. This ensures a nice transition from home to daycare.
Purees only is ridiculous. DS will be in the 6weeks-16months room and they feed whatever the baby has at home. Finger foods, purees, yoghurt (sorry EB ), bottles. DS absolutely WON'T eat purees anymore (he is nearly 14 months) so he will be having finger food only. The centre is happy to accomodate this.
As for you concerns about finding daycare midyear, I'm sure those are founded. The centre here is nearly empty in January and jam packed with a mile long waiting list in March. I have only ever heard bad things about trying to get into a centre midyea, especially one as big as yours.
HOWEVER. I would be looking for another centre as the one you have talkede about is stupid. I wouldn't send DS there. Please don't send yours there if you can help it. They sound disorganised and not very knowledgable about babies at all. I can't imagine dumping a 6 month old in the cot and not picking them up if they're upset. On that point alone I wouldn't send him there.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:54 PM
I would look around based on the fact they don't do what your baby is used to. My DS started at 8 mths old and they did whatever needed for his sleep/feed (did BLW so no purees!).
We did quite a few visits so i saw first hand that they really did do whatever each child needed.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:54 PM
I wouldn't be sending my child to a centre like that.
DD started at 6 months and they were always happy to follow DD's routine from home. They wrapped her for as long as I did at home and weaning her off it was something we did at the same time. If a baby needs to be patted or rocked to sleep they did that.
Food wise they gave her finger food once she was ready and they always adjust food to suit the child. So 1 baby might be having finger food but another the same age might only be on purees.
And they always try to pick up crying babies. Sometimes they are busy with other kids so can't do it instantly and sometimes the parent has told them they prefer the baby to self settle and not be picked up they follow those instructions but generally a crying baby gets cuddles.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:04 PM
Look for another daycare. Please.
That centre sounds so disorganised and busy that they don't actually have time to 'care' for the children.
DD started in the nursery and we needed to fill out an A4 sheet which detailed what times she slept, how we got her to sleep, if she needed any toys etc, what and when she ate and various other things about her daily schedule at home. They basically followed it as closely as possible. Her 'sleep routine' was that they fed her a bottle, cuddled her for a bit and then put her in her cot with a light up musical toy; this was no problem.
Re the food, children are again fed similar to what they would have at home. Once the children are old enough to have 'family food' they are offered that, if not the centre always have puree, pieces of fruit and sandwiches with vegemite, jam etc on offer to make sure that they eat something if they're hungry.
It makes me sad to think that they have a policy against picking them up. I know that my daughter gets heaps of cuddles at daycare and it makes me feel a lot better that she's getting some love there.
Our daycare is full to capacity in every room, but somehow they still have time to put up a menu every day and put out a newsletter weekly, as well as displaying photos and comments from every day up on a board in the rooms. I would definitely look for somewhere else OP. Hope that you find somewhere fantstic!
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:08 PM
It sounds like you already know you aren't happy with this set up. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but this is our experience of our LDC Centre.
My DD is in a smaller centre than yours sounds, about 14 children in the 0-2 room, about 75 children all up. They have large toddler and preschool rooms and obviously not ll children are there everyday.
We bring our DD's sleeping bag and comfort toy in with her everyday, she sleeps in that. The educators don't try to change the routine we do at home, but i respect the fact that in a different envirnment, our DD may occasionally need a little more support to sleep than she does at home. I have seen them rocking cots and patting, but haven't ever seen them rocking babies, i guess thats a pretty hard way to settle lots of babies. They wanted to know what we did at home and were happy to settle her as close to that as possible.
They serve purees for babies under one and soft finger foods for the over 1's. If your child is safely eating finger food before they are one, they are happy to do the same at day care.
Cuddles are a big part of our DD's day, she's usually handed over to an educators arms and they are always down on the ground with kids crawling over them or holding children. It's a big part of settling a child into daycare, trust building and letting them feel safe in a strange enviroment.
We get a newsletter and our account emailed to us every Monday. Our issues and questions are dealt with the same day, we've never been made to feel that the manager or other staff don't have enough time for us.
Despite the large group of children in the 0-2 room at your LDC centre, they still have the same staff:child ratios and should be able to provide the same level of care as other centres. I don't get that more kids should = less one on one care.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:26 PM
Thank you so much for your input everyone.
The not picking up the babies comment had me confused – I wasn’t sure she meant only holding them for naps (I can understand they may not be able to do this with that many kids), or at all. But they also said that once the babies turn 1, they sleep on stretchers with the 2-3 year olds. DS will still be in a cot, surely he will be too little for that?
They said I should write down his routine, when he has food/milk etc, and that they try to stick to that. But when she asked if I had the form and I said no, she said “oh just write it down on a piece of paper.”
I said he hasn’t been wrapped for months, and likes to sleep with his feet and hands sticking out of the cot (so cute, my niece did the same thing). I also said that he has started using his fingers to self soothe when he goes to bed at night, and sometimes when he’s going to sleep for naps, and that he never has a dummy. She frowned at that and said “no dummy? Oh that’s not good” or something along those lines. And then said “oh well if he uses one hand to suck on we’ll just wrap him with that hand out.” And said they don’t use sleeping bags at all as a worker from DOCS did a review of the centre and told them they shouldn’t. We haven’t used them either (as I figured DS would get annoyed not having his feet/legs free) but I know a lot of people do. And we may have to in winter as he will kick the blankets off.
The food thing got me the most. They won’t introduce food to him that he hasn’t had before (in case of a reaction), they have either a really fine puree or lumpy mash depending on the child’s development, and she did say the older kids feed themselves with a spoon and that the carers feed the little ones. But when I mentioned that DS can be a messy eater, will often stick his hands in his mouth and then in his hair etc, the head carer said “oh don’t worry I’m a messy feeder as well, it always goes everywhere!” I didn’t think that was funny at all. Surely she’s had more practice than me?
And I’m so glad the puree thing is weird to you all as well, they did say “oh maybe we can give him some toast, but not the crust.” I had to point out that I had started him on the crust as it was easier for him to manage! Very weird. I’ve been doing a combo of BLW and purees, only because he is breastfeeding every 2 hours during the day and I was hoping getting some purees into him might fill him up a bit between feeds. I even tried him on a bit of formula the other day, I don’t really want to wean him, just as a backup in case I can’t express enough or he is extra hungry at daycare and I’m not there. He didn’t mind the formula, but I don’t trust that they won’t just give him that as it’s easier than any milk I might give them
I’ve always found great advice on here, and this is no different. Something definitely doesn’t sit right – I think I will try to find another centre between now and June and get help from my mum and inlaws. I’m not 100% sure of what work expect of me by June, but they are so desperate to have me in any capacity now to say I can work from home that I should be able to get some flexibility. And there are some avenues, that I haven’t explored yet, like family daycare, and some mums in my mother’s group are interested in doing baby swaps for a day or two while getting care sorted.
I’m very disappointed, but I’m very glad to have some consensus on here. Thank you all again.
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