Thursday

Hudson River Park in NY, NY

Received Thursday, May 24, 2007
I never judge but this was over the top. A baby named Jacob was in an orange Bugaboo stroller sitting 5 feet away from me in the park. This was at the Hudson River Park under the trees closer to Chambers; across from the basketball courts. The boy was screaming for 40 minutes straight as though someone poured scalding water on him. Nanny did not once get up from blanket to check on him, she was laying down with her friend. After about 40 minutes other moms approached her and she was very defensive yelling "this was her charge and this is how he goes to sleep." About 6 moms witnessed this and finally someone called the police and the nanny ran off. She yelled "Jacob shut up!" The nanny was of Caribbean descent, had a red, short sleeve top and black capris on. She was heavy with a big mole on her face and wore red patent Birkenstocks. Her jean jacket was covering the bug. The Bug stroller was orange and had a little blue mirror on an orange/red ribbon hanging from it. Poor little Jacob was in a plaid short jumper.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

What happened when the police arrived?

Anonymous said...

I'm a non-violent & ultra mellow person, but I think I would have whacked her in the face, kicked her in her nuts, amputated a limb and then said "this is how she goes to sleep" when people came to her defense. People like this are a waste of space. I hope Jacob's moms clues in. Her child is endangered, and her money is being pissed down the drain. It's unfortunate that public stonings are no longer in vogue.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a horrible nanny! Why must the baby to sleep in a parked stroller in the park? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Please update us on this story, OP!

Kelly said...

The nanny is crazy. She should get out of the childcare industry. She wouldn't survive a colic baby. Whatever happened to doing what one is being paid to do.

Anonymous said...

WOHMS and SAHMS, if your nanny is not smart enough to know that your child is better off at this age to return home for naps, then sweet Jesus, LEAVE THEM INSTRUCTIONS. Who is in charge here?

Anonymous said...

Poor little baby, what a sad and horrible story. I have an 8 month bbay and only in exceptional circumstances she takes her naps in the bug, we plan our day so that we are home for her naps, this way she is comfortably in her cot, with her music and in her sleping bag. It is really not that difficult to plan your day arround a baby's naps and feeding times - this way baby is happy and you are happy and less tired!

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything wrong with a baby napping while you are out, but its definitely not right to let it cry and to make everyone else around you suffer.

OP: what happened when the cops came?

Nanny Ninja said...

Nannies like that scare the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, it's possible that the nanny was acting on the parents' instructions. Hard to believe, but plenty of NYC posters on the Urban Baby message boards talk about using the "Cry It Out method" whereby the child must "learn" to go to sleep promptly by being left to cry until they pass out in exhaustion. I'm sure for some babies this is a fairly quick process and not much harm done, but I've seen MANY descriptions of babies like Jacob who will scream for 40 minutes, even hours and whose parents are so blindly fixated on this insane "method" (supported by at least one "sleep expert that they all quote back and forth...Weissbluth) that they don't realize what distress their child is in or truly believe that what they are doing is somehow developmentally appropriate. You see a lot of that old chestnut, "it's for his own good".

Or, this could just have been a callous and neglectful nanny. But there are many mothers who have no qualms about being just as callous and neglectful, because they read some book by a guy who probably never had to listen to a baby scream for 40 minutes.

Babies' cries are difficult to listen to for a REASON. That reason is that babies NEED comfort when distressed. It's physiologically very hard on a baby to cry, and if the only way the baby goes to sleep is by passing out after screaming...the caregiver, whether nanny or parent, is doing something wrong.

maggie said...

While the benefits of CIO are something an individual parent must decide on, I certainly would not want to be at the park, either playing with my 4 year old or sitting with my 8 month old and hear such screaming. I think my children would think something was wrong. A baby screaming for that long has to have an effect on everyone around her, so if that is the parent's idea- to have baby Jacob CIO in the middle of a NYC park, I would like to offer to foot the bill for some parenting classes for the parents of Jacob. At my expense.

Anonymous said...

Maggie - I think I love you!

Anonymous said...

Anyone remotely interested in sleep training would realize that CIO in a park is nonsensical.

I wouldn't defend this pathetic piece of trash. I think she's a lazy f*ck, that's all.

jmt said...

This is another case where I ask: what does a nanny do when the parents give her ridiculous instructions on childcare? I personally would have tried to soothe the baby regardless of any CIO instructions I got. Let them try to put the baby to sleep at night however they like.
Come to think of it, my cousin was treated like that when she was a baby and she still has issues, not to mention a gravelly voice from screaming. Her mom and dad were following the thinking of the time, but she was left to cry in the dark for hours. And it went on long enough for her to remember it as a toddler. I think at some point, wouldn't you have to chuck the experts out the window and give your baby some love and comfort? geez...

Anonymous said...

I think the natural thing to do is soothe your young. Whether you are a penguin, a giraffe or a human being. Remember when mothers would just carry their young with them and on them at all times? I really have to believe that is the right way.

Anonymous said...

Letting a child cry for 5-10 minutes is not a big deal. 40 minutes however, is defintely a problem.

Anonymous said...

jmt:
Yes, sometimes nannies are in a situation where they have to do something they don't agree with. If it is something as serious as CIO though, rather than ignore their employer's instructions and sabotaging their efforts, they should have an honest discussion.
One of my former work families considered CIO, and I told them I simply could not do it, and explained my reasoning. We agreed on a modified, gentler approach, and it worked out. Communication is key. Parents and nannies need to work together.
A Nanny

Mariana said...

There is no defending this Nanny!

I am not against CIO necessarily. Babies are smart and some will cry a good 40 minutes to get your attention and get you to put them to sleep. In that case the baby doesn't learn how to put himself/herself to sleep if you pick them up and it's bad for everyone involved.

This nanny was in a park. She was not sleep training little Jacob! If she was then she wouldn't be in the park! You don't just leave a baby to cry! First you check that they're fed, burped, not teething, changed, and so on. Then you do a bedtime routine like a book or song and then into the crib to sleep.
Not in a stroller!!! Not to mention most babies sleep train in a week! The 40 minutes crying happens maybe once!

This was a terrible thing for the nanny to do and not at all beneficial for little Jacob!! The poor baby probably just needed a diaper change or something. Argh!
Hopefully the parents see this and fire this nanny! Shame on her!

nanny ninja said...

I'm fine with CIO... within reason. Reason being 5-10 minutes depending on age and oh, the obvious of not being in the freaking park. What kind of parent would give that instruction?

Anonymous said...

who said the parents gave that instruction?

mommy said...

I think there is no excuse for this person who calls herself a nanny, and CIO and alot of other s*#t the "experts" come up with is bullcrap. However, I see nothing wrong with allowing a baby to fall asleep in a stroller, in the park. It actually seems counter-productive to me for them to learn to sleep ONLY in a specific spot at a specific time with a particular set of actions having been carried out in exactly the prescribed order. God forbid some unexpected circumstance should arise and the child is completely unable to fall asleep because something is not exactly as they are accustomed to. I think a child needs 2 things to fall asleep: they must be comfortable and they must be sleepy. That's about it.

Anonymous said...

grown ups sometimes nap in the park, combination of fresh air and being relaxed, etc.

Anonymous said...

10:31PM, they MUST NOT nap on the job, especially when their job involves taking care of children. Do you know how many children go missing from parks and playgrounds every year? Are you a napping nanny?