Update: Suggestions on How to Soothe a Colicky Infant?

Received Friday, January 28, 2011
opinion 1 I wrote in earlier about the 10 month old I'm nannying for so if you would like to know the background please scroll down and the title is "how to soothe a colicky baby." Now this email is going to serve two purposes so please help me out with both if you can.

Update on the screaming fits: I spoke with the mother and they just had a check up and everything was fine. So now I have a feeling it's all for attention. I'm not sure if this behavior has been taught by the mother or the previous care giver but I'm having some issues with the job. I'm going to give you the lowdown on our day and hopefully someone can offer some more insight or possibly things other people have found helpful.

She has a written schedule with her naps and feeding on it. We pretty much follow it since she's been on it for awhile.
-In the morning she normally gets here around 8:45 or 9. She falls asleep for her first nap shortly after that.
-When she wakes up it's normally 11:30 so we start lunch.
-For about 2 hours after lunch I put her in her pack and play with her toys or I lay down a large blanket on the floors and I lay her toys out on that. I always switch them out everyday so that she's not playing with the same thing everyday.
-She normally has a snack and then goes back down for her 2nd nap. Sometimes it goes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2--3 hours.
-When she wakes up we have play time together. I read to her, we play with her toys, we put on music and "shake our diapers", if it's nice out we go for a walk in the stroller, and if it's warm enough out we play at the community playground.

I understand babies need attention but I'm also a firm believer in helping them develop independence and learning how to entertain themselves. The playtime in the pack and play is designed for that purpose. The issue I'm seeing is that she needs constant attention. She will play with a toy for about 5 minutes then look at me and start crying and if I don't respond the screaming fit ensues. When she realizes that I'm not going to come get her she will do a half cry, stop and look at me, and the pattern continues. Does anything think this is a learned behavior because when she does at home or the previous caregivers they immediately pick her up? If I even walk past the pack and play (with the way my living room is set up I have to walk past it to get anywhere else) she starts crying and screaming if I don't pick her up. Is this normal? Should I just continue to let her cry it out? Is there anything else I can do to help her begin to entertain herself?

The second thing I need some advice/help with is the mother. I agreed to take this job because first of all I needed it and being a military wife I understand what she's going through being alone while her husband is deployed. She's a store manager and I understand things happen. I've worked retail before and I definitely know the responsibility that goes along with being the store manager. I work 5 days a week, I work about 9 hours a day, and I get paid $150 weekly. (I know it's not nearly enough and that's becoming the problem). I've only been working for her for a month and she's late almost every single day. One day recently she text me and said "have to stay till 8:30, sorry" and she didn't show up until almost 9:30. She didn't ask if it was okay, or if I had plans, she just assumed her being late was going to be okay. She's also had to switch the schedule last minute about 3 or 4 times. I schedule my time with my husband, my errands, my appointments around the schedule she gives me at the beginning of the week.

I do not want to lose this job. We just found out I'm pregnant and we will need the extra income. I plan on working up until 7 months when I go home to my parents (my husband will be deployed and I don't want to be alone) so I definitely don't want to lose this job, but how do I go about bringing this up? Should I ask for a raise? Should I start charging a "last minute" fee for the days that she's late or when she changes the schedule the night before? I do have a contract with her but it's obviously going to have to be amended because this is getting out of hand. Any help with either situation would be extremely appreciated. Thank you all so much.


Texas Nanny said...

For the baby's attention issue, where are you while she is in the Pack N Play? Are you right next to her, or are you across the room?

I also try to foster independence in my charges and with the baby (7 month old) I often set her down and want her to play alone, but I will sit down on the floor next to her. Even if I have something to do, most things I can do on the floor by the baby. That way she knows I'm close if something happens, and I can talk to or touch her on occasion and reinforce any good habits or new skills.

Ugh said...

I'll be honest, I stopped reading at the point where you have her in a pack n play for 2 hours while she's awake. Maybe she screams because you're basically leaving her in a cage while she's awake, alone. Pack n plays are great for portable nap times and containing a crawling/toddling infant which you take a leak, but really? Two hours of her play time she sits in a 2x3 rectangle. I'd scream too if you were my caregiver.

Chinanny said...

So you think it's developmentally appropriate to make a baby play alone for 2 hours?

Not even close. Maybe nannying isn't for you if you don't want to interact with the child for 2 hours a day.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

I am curious as to whether you interact with her when she is in the P'n'P? If you leave her there for 2 hours while you do other things out of her sight, she is absolutely going to be miserable. She is in the prime separation anxiety age, and being "deserted" (in her mind) for hours is going to lead to screaming.

I agree that babies need to be able to entertain themselves independently for BRIEF periods of time, and I think you can definitely work with her to expand that time up to maybe 15 - 20 minutes 2 times a day. But if you are expecting her to self-amuse for 2 hours you are expecting FAR more than she is able to manage.

In your shoes, I would play with her for 30 - 45 minutes post-lunch, then step away for 5 - 10 minutes, staying where she can see you, talking to her occasionally, etc. Then repeat that pattern until her 2nd nap. Or do a post-lunch outing, come home, play with her a little, let her play solo a little, and then play with her again before she naps, and repeat that after nap!

If there is a specific reason you have to leave her on her own for 2 hours, I think you might need to look at how you can rearrange your schedule to do your stuff while she sleeps, and if that isn't possible, you should let her mom know you can't take care of the baby anymore, since she needs more attention and stimulation than you can currently provide.

Now, as far as mom goes, you need to talk to her frankly about the pay, the fact that you are willing to work for a small salary, and that while you know she needs flexibility you cannot work any extra hours at all without additional pay. I would write up a care contract which specifies X hours for $150/week (broken down into the number of hours allowed per day) plus $X additional for every 15 minutes overtime each day. You should also put in a policy about sick days, the expectations about what mom provides vs. what you provide, etc.

I would charge at least $2 per 15 minute segment if she is late. And that's a bargain - most daycares and family daycares charge $1 per MINUTE!

I hope you will clarify for us what happens during the 2 hours baby is in the P'n'P, because I think many people are going to believe you leave her alone with no interaction - hate to see you get blasted if that isn't the case.

HTH, and good luck!

OP HERE: said...

No I do not leave her alone for 2 hours in the pack and play. If that was read correctly I said for two hours shes in the pack and play or I lay down a large blanket on the floor.
I didn't say I left her alone in the pack and play for 2 hours. I've been a nanny for 7 years and no I don't just leave her "locked up like in a cage".
I was in a rush when writing this and I apologize if that came out wrong but like I said for 2 hours she's in the pack and play or on a large blanket.
I am always in the room with her and I interact with during both of those times. But I also back off and let her do her own thing. She will be playing by herself and I'm right there and then she just starts screaming. That is the issue I'm having. It doesn't matter if I'm right there or playing with her or if she's playing alone, the screaming seems very weird to me.

My only priority with this job is the child and I spend plenty of time playing with her. I was just looking for a possible reason for the screaming. Sorry if I didn't clarify that right away.

Now that I've explained has anyone else dealth with this situation?

*THANK YOU to Tales from the nannyhood. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer even though I didn't have the time to clarify everything. Like I said I was in a rush and I really do thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt and answering the post.

*Also thank you to Texas Nanny for answering the post as well.

OP HERE: said...

I also just wanted to point this out incase anyone missed it.

"She has a written schedule with her naps and feeding on it. We pretty much follow it since she's been on it for awhile" That was above her schedule. I was given the schedule by her mom so everything I do with her is pretty much layed out on the schedule. I just wanted to be sure everyone saw that as well so that the schedule is better understood, esp since it's coming from her mother.

Constitution said...

So, you do nothing but fed the kid brkf and lunch and put her out on a towel until late afternoon when you decide to shake your diaper. No wonder she screams at the sight of you. Just how independent is a ten month old to be? This child is lucky though as she will eventually get to leave you, your own will be stuck with you until you lose custody for neglect. You knew the pay, is this how you justify neglecting this child in the name of independence?

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

OP, thanks for clarifying that for us. I do think that varying her toys daily is good, and that having her play on a blanket is great, but I think the P'n'P might be better used as a 5 minute "holding space" if you have to use the bathroom or something. In my experience, a baby gets bored easily in a small space with no real room to move around, and boredom might be the reason she is screaming.

Yes, even when she is playing on the floor next to you and you are talking with her she might be bored!

Of course, different kids like different levels of stimulation, but this child sounds as if she might be a bit high energy, which means boredom sets in even more quickly.

The last 10 month old I cared for was happiest if we changed scenes and locations every 30 - 45 minutes. We would play in her playroom, move to the living room, go up to her bedroom, sit and "play" the family's piano, etc.

In fact, I had taught her baby signs, and at 10 months old she would sign "all done" and crawl to the door to leave when she was bored with what we were doing. She was a pretty mellow baby too, but she got tired of being in the same place, just like we adults do!

Also, her attention span was decent for a 10 month old - she would play with a toy for about 2 - 3 minutes max before moving on to something else. And when she ran out of new toys to examine, she got upset!

The only thing that held her interest for longer than a few minutes were her books - she would sit and be read to for 15 minutes or so at a time.

So, I think your charge is screaming due to needing a little more attention and a change of scene. IMO, giving plenty of attention fosters the ability to play independently, because if baby has soaked up the attention and interaction she needs, she is going to be happier, and happy content babies are often more willing to play solo for brief periods.

In your shoes, I would plan to get her out of the house 2 times a day, play with her prior to letting her play solo briefly, and try to save the P'n'P use for times she has to be contained for her own safety.

Good luck!

Ugh said...

Your justification isn't doing it for me. Why is she in a pack n play at all? Why aren't you playing with her. Your getting paid, although extremely low, to take care of this little girl. If her mother wrote on her schedule "leave her in a dark bathroom for 3 hours alone" would you do it just because the mother wrote it. I'm not sure if you're trying to back track and tell us the mother suggested she sit in a pack n play, or if you're just trying to convince yourself that its okay to keep her in one... But anyone who's been a nanny, or a mother, or has a conscience knows that it's a little sad to leave a 10 month old in a pack n play and expect she entertain herself. You do know that a lot of older toddlers want to have your full attention too right? You sound like a selfish person just trying to justify why you shouldn't have to do anything with this baby. Sorry, 10 month olds don't need your training on how to survive on their own, they need a safe, caring environment where their needs are met. Does this poor baby crawl? If not, she's not going to learn in her "cage" (yeah I said it again) and if she is, then why are you holding her back all held up in a pack n play. You sound like you're pissed off at her mother and taking it out on the baby. Babies aren't idiots, when their caregivers are cold and not bonded with them, they cry. Try making a new schedule where you are holding the baby, sitting with the baby, doing activities, dancing, practicing tummy time, looking at pictures, listening to music. She's not a puppy that you can put in a kennel and expect to play with a sock while you look in her direction every so often. You may be getting paid dirt cheap, but you signed up for that. Either be a real nanny, or give up this job so that the baby gets what she deserves.

Get back to us when you leave your own baby in a pack n play and expect it to play with itself for long periods of time. You'll be singing a different tune once you're a mom.

oh well said...

OK, this is probably going to sound stupid but here goes: have you tried talking to her, like really explaining to the baby that it upsets you when she screams, and when she does do you act as if she was trying to tell you something, and of course explain to her that you really want to help her but that she needs to find another way to do it? I find that it helps to tell things to a child , even if they are infants, they can understand a lot.

Ugh said...

Oh well - what???? She's 10 months old. You want her to explain to the baby to use different cues to get what she wants? How many infants have you worked with and used that tactic and it worked. PLEASE do share...

To 10 month old "please stop screaming, that will not get you what you want, instead, please use your words to tell me what frustrates you"

Really???? Reaaalllllllyyyy?

TinyDancer said...

I agree with babies not needing to be held constantly, which for their age is about as much "independence" as you're going to get. However, if she is being constantly coddled, suddenly not giving in at all isn't going to help. Don't jump right in immediately but after a min or so I think you should, that time can slowly be lengthened. As much as you think a good lesson is being taught the only message she is getting is that she isn't cared for. I also agree with other posters that she is probably bored. Try a couple walks a day, put on some music and dance together what about edible painting (jello or whipped cream?) You could also do bath time and for me simply blowing bubbles is always a hit. Try to mix it up a little, change the space and have some fun, she'll forget about crying like that before you know it!

OP HERE: said...

Ugh- I find your accusations extremely rude. I said in the original post that I got the schedule from the mother, I also said that for the 2 hours she's in the pack and play or on the floor with me. Yes she crawls. She crawls all over the house. We even "chase" each other around the house. I didn't think it was absolutely necessary to lay out our every single second. I said I was giving a basic breakdown, I didn't say I was giving a detailed account of our every second. I've been a nanny for awhile now and I have glowing references. I'm still in touch with every single family I've ever worked for.
I also think if she hated coming to my house she wouldn't smile so big in the morning when I open the door to greet them. The baby and I have a great time together except for the screaming fits. It's why I came to a site where I thought I'd get a little insight from other nannies.

The reason I'm following the schedule her mother gave me is because it's the schedule she's been on for awhile. It's the same schedule the previous caregiver followed and I'm trying to keep her on a schedule that shes familiar with.

If you have anything constructive to say without attacking me then feel free to help me out but I'm done explaining the situation to you. I didn't have time to write everything down in the first email I sent to the site and correct me if I'm wrong but I'm not the only OP to go back into the comments and explain the situation a little further, so if you have constructive advice I'm all ears.

To everyone else that answered-
I appreciate all the help I've been given. I sent this email in a few days ago and I've been trying new things with her and now that the weather has been a little nicer we get outside and take the dog for a walk or go to the community center playground. Hopefully all the things I've heard here and the new things we've been doing will help the situation. Again, thank you all so much.

OP HERE: said...

Constitution- Im not neglecting her at all and the personal attacks are getting ridiculous.

Like I said in my previous response: this was just a quick breakdown of the schedule. I did not go into extreme detail because I didn't think it was necessary but obviously it was because of the backlash. I'm sorry that I did not break down our entire day. I didn't think just giving a basic breakdown would make me a "negligent" nanny. I do not put her in a pack and play and leave her there all day, she's never alone in a room unless I'm in the kitchen getting her meals prepared or in the bathroom, and I enjoy this job. The only reason I came to this site was because of the screaming fits and how I should approach the pay situation. I like the mom, the little girl, and the job. I was concerned about the screaming because everything would be fine and then she'd just start screaming for no apparent reason. I'm glad some people looked past the basic breakdown and gave me some good help and insight, I really do appreciate it.

To everyone else that is personally attacking me, my nanny skills, and my future parenting: you don't know me and just because I gave a basic breakdown and not a full on detailed every second of the day breakdown, you all jumped to the conclusion that I'm a horrible nanny and I'm going to be a horrible mother. I hope one day when you need advice you get better than what you all gave me.

Bostonnanny said...


I want to comment on the payment issue. You are not a nanny, you are an unlicensed home daycare provider because you care for a child not related to you for pay in your home. In most states you could get in huge trouble for having a unlicensed home daycare, so be careful.

So as a home daycare provider, you should set up a new contract charging extra for picking up late and make sure the mom adjusts her schedule to yours. I would also consider becoming licensed (its actually quite easy) and possibly taking on another child similar in age for the same rate that way you have a playmate for the little girl and make extra money.

sharon said...

OP - i would like to thank you for your post to make this sight more interesting.

There are commentators on this blog who have anger issues and take it out on the OPs

As you can see - others have very good advice to give - ignore the former and concentrate on the latter !

OP HERE: said...

Boston Nanny-
Thank you for letting me know.
I do have a contract with her, I just need to re-negotiate.
I don't always watch her in my home so I'm not sure if I need to become a licensed day care provider.
I do appreciate the heads up. I have always been a live in and this is something new. I started out trying to earn the extra money and also help out a fellow military wife but I think the lines between professional and friendly have been crossed one to many times.

I definitely did not expect the backlash. I was in such a rush after work to write that and then get to my errands before it was too late and I just wish instead of accusations they could have asked me to elaborate. I don't think I'll be asking for anymore advice on this site. There were other ways they could have commented or responded but the immediate accusations and hurtful things have just assured me I don't need to come to a site like this.

Thank you all for any helpful advice I received on this subject.
To the others- next time instead of jumping to accusations and hurtful things you should actually try to help out.

Nanny B said...

Is there a library around? I take the toddlers I nanny...but we went when they were babies as well...those programs are free and we always going.

I think 10 months is pretty little to be expected to hang out on her own...Maybe she is bored? Even if I am folding laundry I talk to the babies, tell them what I am doing, and interact with them...I would never expect them to play independently that young and would never ignore them or tell them crying isn't going to get them anything. That seems very harsh for a baby who is not even 1 yet.

The money issue-$150 does not get this family unlimited services. It should cover a set amount of hours and then I would charge an extra amount for hours on top of it. And I think its fine to say no, you cant work later if you have something to do, especially if you aren't getting paid.

NannyinNC said...

Wow ok. So let me get this straight because she puts the baby in a pack and play or lets her play on the floor on a blanket she's a bad nanny and she's going to be a horrible parent who gets her children taken away??
Can we all agree that some of these comments have gone above and beyond inappropriate.
I'm sorry OP for some of the things that have been said to you.

For all the nannies (or fakes) who are acting "holier than thou" don't act like you haven't put a child in a pack and play, a crib, their bedroom, or whatever just to get a few minutes to yourself. Especially if your with the child all day with no break. I don't care how great of a nanny you are, how hard you work, how much you get, sometimes everyone needs a few minutes to themselves.
Did anyone stop to think that while the child is in the pack and play or playing on the blanket that she's eating her lunch? So quick to judge her and through out insults and even after she explained further the insults continued, sounds like a bunch of drama seekers.

I'm with boston nanny. You should look into getting licensed just in case. I also agree with Tales from the nannyhood and tiny dancer. They had great suggestions on how you can start changing up the routine.

If you are doing all you can and the child continues to scream for no reason maybe you should ask the mother if this is something she dose at home as well and if so, what is going on at home when she has the screaming fits.

sharon said...

OP - we need reasonable people like yourself on this blog - do not give up - check back with info about how the good advice may work

i go on several blogs - and it's a nationwide issue - most blogs have the commentators who do not aquit themselves and their upbringing well

seriously - blogs like this need OPs like you - hope to "speak" with you again!

another nanny said...

I agree with everyone else that the baby is bored. 2 hours is a really long time for a baby to "play with toys" regardless of if someone is right there with her or not. I like the suggestion someone made to teach her some signs, so that she can communicate in a way other than screaming.
Also as others have said, you need to amend your contract to include overtime pay. $150 is for a certain # of hours...not as long as she wants. Go with a fee that feels fair to you, and then enforce it. Meanwhile, if she's late, just go on about your normal activities (making dinner, etc) and don't just wait around for her...that will only make you resentful.

bostonnanny said...

I also wouldn't worry about the mom letting you go because she is getting a steal. no other daycare or person would put up with her tardiness and honestly she should be bending over backwards to make you happy.

and if by any chance she does i'm pretty positive you could find another family for the same rate. Summer is coming up plus spring vacations, there will be a lot of children out of school. It could work out to your benefit since your baby is prob due around fall.

It also sounds to me like the baby is bored. My charge would freak out if we spent to much time indoors. He would bang on the front door ad yell out out like there was a fire.

MissMannah said...

I'm going to have to agree with the "holier than thou" nannies. No, NannyinNC, I have NEVER used a pack and play for anything other than napping and I never intend to. A child needs room to move about while she's playing. Yes, I let children play by themselves on a blanket, but only under close supervision so to watch out for safety hazards. Yes, nannies need to get things done. That's what naptimes are for.

OP, do you really expect a 10 month old to have an attention span longer than 5 minutes? Of course she's crying for attention and it is because you're not giving her any! This is scary to a baby this age. If she sees you walk by and not acknowledge her or if you ignore her crying, she is learning that she can't rely on you for comfort. This leads to attachment difficulties. No, you don't have to pick her up every single time she cries but if you've been a nanny for 7 years you should know that it is possible to comfort a baby and make her feel safe just by playing attentively with her.

Dot said...

Hi, this is my first time posting here even though I have been reading this blog for months. Yikes :) I have been a nanny for 8 years.

This is hard because I only know about your situation from the posts on here so there is now way suggesting the perfect idea! Anyway, I think that you, with permission from the mother of course, should try "giving in" to her every need. You aren't going to spoil her or make her clingy, I think you may find the opposite to be true. I think you should try, at least for a few days, to indulge her and pick her up when she wants you and not put her down until she is ready. Rock and bounce and sway with her when she is upset, tell her that you are trying and you don’t want her to be sad, mad, frustrated, or hurt, I believe that it is important to talk to them even if they don’t talk back, they still understand. So forget about her schedule for a few days and just follow her cues, it may be a little more exhausting for you at first but if it works for you guys, I think it will make everyone happier! (I would recommend this to the mom as well :))

I don't know how long her dad has been deployed, she may know something just isn't right. We don’t give babies enough credit for their ability to understand their surroundings. She may not trust that she will be getting her needs met, her basic needs of food and shelter are being met, but maybe not her inner needs, the need to be connected to her care givers, knowing that she will be constantly cared for?

I am sure you do a great job making sure she is cared for, you probably wouldn’t be posting if you weren’t.

Just a few last things, I recommend the book The Vital Touch by Sharon Heller for help understanding the needs of this baby and it will also be a great book to read for the little one you have on the way. I also want to recommend homeopathics, which sound like witchcraft or crazy mystical healing medicine but there has been some amazing stories about “colicky” or “temperamental” babies that got a homeopathic remedy and instantly had a positive change happen to them, you can suggest for the mom to take her to a naturopath. They often see people on a sliding scale and some take insurance. My final advise is for you because I know how hard it is to be pregnant and give birth with a husband who is deployed. You can get a volunteer birth doula through Operation Special Delivery, an organization that provides doula support to mom’s with deployed partners. You can look them up on line, they have volunteers all over the US. Best wishes in all that you are doing! :)

NannyinNC said...

MissMannah- she explained further in the comments. Hope you got to read those. I just feel bad that she's being attacked. Maybe you haven't put your in charge in a pack and play but what do you do when you need a break or need to eat lunch or if the parents ask you to do something around the house?

I just think the comments on how she's neglecting the child and leaving her in a cage and how she's going to have her own child taken away were very harsh and unnecessary. I mean look at some of the responses in comparison to others. Some of the people weren't here to help or find out more about the situation, they were just here to be rude.

And the OP is right, how many people have come back in the comments to answer questions or explain the situation further?

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

NannyinNC, I think you can easily do your chores when your charge(s) are asleep, or you can bring them with you to "help" unless you are scrubbing toilets or using other harsh chemicals. Heck, my current charge is 3 months old and he "helps" unload the dishwasher, meaning he sits in a bouncy seat and observes while I talk to him about what I am doing.

I always eat meals with my charges once they are eating solids. And if I need a break, I get one at naptime. I do use a P'n'P if I have to use the bathroom, since all my families have been dog owners, and I am not going to leave a baby/young toddler alone with a dog. And oncew the P'n'P is gone, I get to use the bathroom with company, lol!

I am not going to jump the OP, but I also don't believe a P'n'P is a good place to leave a baby for longer than a few minutes. JMO!

Former Nanny said...

I'm wondering if the schedule might be part of the problem. How long has she been on this schedule? While schedules are important for infants, as they grow and change, schedules need to be adapted. I wonder if the mom would be agreeable to changing things up a little bit. Developmentally, baby needs to be moving and using her senses to explore her world. That's difficult while in a packnplay or even stuck on a blanket with toys for two hours.

The last time I had a 10-month-old, we did a lot of moving around. Play for a few minutes with her toys in the family room. Go to the kitchen and play with the pots and plastic containers. If I needed to do dishes, she could be right there on the floor, playing with her dishes. We'd pop outside and do some bubbles, get the mail, walk around the yard and talk to the trees. If I was doing laundry, she liked to crawl up and down the hallway, always in my sight. She loved to go out- walks, post office, grocery store, wherever. Always on the move, no activity lasting more than 15 minutes or so, and to be honest, she much preferred to be moving around the house and exploring than playing with her toys.

Constitution said...

Please make sure that if you are using the PNP, you always make sure the sides are properly latched and that it is not an older model that has been recalled for causing children injuries/deaths. Check Consumer Reports website for recall info.

myopinion said...

Bostonnanny: "in most states" you cannot get in trouble for babysitting one or two children in your home. Generally unless you have more than four unrelated children, you do not need to be licensed.

Regarding the issue of "independence" in infants: I don't really think making this baby independent is important. The baby is an infant. Infants need to bond with their caregivers. If this mom wanted to have her child socialized, she could put her in a daycare for about the same cost.

I'm a little old-fashioned. I am a "holder." And as far as Pack n Plays, I'm not a big fan. I think they should be for traveling, camping, or if you have to go to the bathroom. A child who is being supervised does not need to spend time in a pen.

OP: don't take what these people say personally. They don't know you. And if you hang out your dirty laundry, you have to expect some people to stick their nose in it.

Good luck

Bostonnanny said...

your right not every state require licensing, some require just a registration or certification. But as defined by EEC any child being cared for that is not related to the caregiver and is cared for in the caregivers home on a regular basis for payment is considered a home daycare, even if its one child. The state decides how many children your allowed to care for which is between a max of 4-10.

There are 28 states that require Licensing, 14 require Registration and 2 require a certification. You can find out more about it on your state website.

I found this information on a government website National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center and also from looking at my own states website which happens to be strict on licensing.

Becoming a licensed home daycare provider does not take a lot of money or time, usually a few classes and paperwork.

You can't label yourself a nanny if you care for a child in your own home. Nanny's are household employees that work in someone else's home, not their own

myopinion said...


sorry but you're wrong. there is no law in my state that requires a registration or certification of any kind.

on my state's website it clearly says, as I said in my post, "FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME means any home other than the child’s home in which child care, in
lieu of parental care and/or supervision, is offered at the same time to four (4) or more children
who are not relatives of the care giver."

FOUR OR MORE. That is what I said, and that is what I meant. If you babysit children in your home, as long as it is less than four, it does not qualify as a home daycare, nor do you need to get any sort of license, certification or registration at all.

I speak from experience. You're a freaking know-it-all. And your grammar and punctuation is extremely poor.

Bostonnanny said...


I'm actually looking into forming a home daycare in the next 4 years and have been researching it for a few weeks. It varies from state to state and maybe your state is different but I know that MA has a lot of guidelines. I also looked into some other states because we may move in the next two years.

insulting my grammar is pretty lame, I don't really care whether I spell or use proper punctuation when I'm commenting on a blog through my phone. I wasn't being rude to you I was just letting know what I know and
learned. The advice I gave the op is to look into it and that's her choice. You may not live in the same state as her and she may have to go through a different process.

sharon said...

boston nanny - thank you for your post - you make this blog more interesting - be sure to check back on your views and experiences in home care and all else - this is a very important industry that we all need to learn about !

MissMannah said...

NannyinNC, I did read all the comments and I agree, it is really rude and unnecessary some of the things people say. Too many people seem to shoot off at the mouth (finger?) here. I've done that and it just leads to bitch fights. I now try to think my posts through logically first.

OK, so I did see where OP is trying to "justify" or "explain" what she meant in her post. I don't agree with it because she seems to be reiterating the same thing, which is, and I quote:

"For about 2 hours after lunch I put her in her pack and play with her toys or I lay down a large blanket on the floors and I lay her toys out on that."

I just think that anyone who expects a 10 month old to stay in one area without losing interest for 2 hours just doesn't know what she's doing.

You asked me what I do when I need to get something done during the day? Well, first of all, I'm not working as a nanny right now--I'm at a daycare in a toddler classroom. Let me tell you, we fully utilize naptime. Mopping the floor, bleaching toys, washing windows and mirrors, doing laundry, you name it. I also often have to stay after to mop the floors when the parents don't pick their kids up on time. But we're talking about nannying and back then I easily found ways to get things done during the day. I've never cared for a baby younger than 6 months, so I always ate my lunch with one hand while spoon-feeding the baby with the other. Or if that didn't work, I just waited to eat while she slept. I did minor chores during nap and a few with the baby. Both of us sitting on the blanket, me folding laundry, her playing with toys. (And messing up the folded clothes! But that's what makes it more fun.)

Mannahfan said...

"Both of us sitting on the blanket, me folding laundry, her playing with toys. (And messing up the folded clothes! But that's what makes it more fun."

Miss Mannah, you hit the nail right on the head! I believe with more experience, OP will come to learn these things and begin to manage her time more effectively. Great post!!!!

NannyJ said...

I admit when I first read what was posted I was a little in shock but then after reading the comments (all of them) I have to say the personal attack was unnecessary and a lot of people gave great advice.

I appreciate you coming back on and filling us in a little more. If you've been a nanny for 7 years Im sure you know what your doing. Going back and looking at the schedule it's obvious you didn't explain in detail what happens during each hour of the day and I wish people would have realized that. Depending on where you live you may not have the option to go outside everyday (weather permitting) so I think the library suggestion was a good one. I also think if your limited on space (since you watch her in your own home) that finding a playgroup or asking the mom for possible playdate suggestions would be a good idea.

I'm kind of new to this blog and I would think as adults we could give more constructive critiscm and less judgement. We have no idea why the mom has the schedule like that or what they do during the two hours of morning time, until you get the full story you shouldn't be so quick to judge. What if the mother has her using the PnP because she has things she needs to do at home that require the baby to be in there and so using it as part of a routine is for that purpose? Just because the nanny and the mother use a PnP does not make either one of them a bad caregiver.

Sorry again OP about the harsh things that were said to you. Hopefully you aren't discouraged from coming on the site anymore.