Need Advice - Is there a solution here??

I recently started nannying part-time for a four-month-old. The baby won’t bottle feed, so I go to the mom’s work to watch her (they have a spare office where we set up). I normally hate even working for work-from-home parents, but she is a friend of a friend and they are desperate for childcare help in the face of this unexpected obstacle.

For whatever reason, the baby has not adjusted well to me being there. I suspect it’s because her parents have been doing almost all the childcare up until this point, and it’s stressful to add a stranger in the mix. Normally I would not be that stressed about this, but because of the environment, it doesn’t feel like this is working out. Baby cries often, and her mom usually rushes in to soothe her if it goes on for more than a minute in order to reduce disruptions to the office. I get it, but because of this, baby expects her mom to come every time she cries. If mom is in a meeting, baby can cry for the whole hour or two with no let up and no solution, because she expects her cries to bring her mom back. She pretty much will not be soothed by me.

I would tell mom to give her time to soothe without coming in, especially because she has mentioned being stressed about reduced productivity, but it’s a difficult situation. Recently, after baby was crying relentlessly while mom was in a meeting, her boss “dropped by” to say, “Man, she sure was noisy today!” in a really pointed way, and likes to mention things like this pretty regularly. So obviously just letting baby cry a little while she adjusts to mom being gone is not going to work if mom is going to keep her job. Other employees (almost all of whom are moms, and so kinda get it) also drop in regularly to offer advice if she’s crying, which, while well intentioned, never really helps the actual problem.

The whole situation is driving me nuts. The “friendly advice” and hyper-attentive mom make me feel like they think I’m the worst nanny in the world, when really I know it’s just the circumstances and (hopefully!) nothing about me that is causing this. I know the parents are super stressed and I would hate to add to that by making them have to look for other childcare, but I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I leave totally exhausted—mentally, emotionally, and even physically from all the bouncing and rocking and attempts at soothing—often to go to another nannying job, since this is only part-time. Is there a solution here??



Anonymous said...

The solution is that either the mother stops working or the baby stops going to work. He baby will take a bottle eventually. I nannied a newborn who took forever to adjust to a bottle. She would scream bloody murder. My MB was smart enough to leave the house while we were practicing with the bottle. As a mom I get it. Your first instinct is to come rushing back to fix the problem, but I also understand that the baby will NEVER adjust then. So, unless the mom realizes that, too bad for them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above poster. Another thing you may try is to maybe take baby somewhere in between feedings? Is there a park or library or anything that you can do with baby to distract from mom? Even if it isn't close but maybe mom will let you drive with baby.

DanishNanny said...

I am so sorry for you. I worked for a WAHM once, and NEVER AGAIN! So stressful.
If I were you, I would ask the mom for a sit-down. Write down (perhaps in bullet-form) what you want to discuss with her so you don't end ud rambling your frustrations, and make your point: Baby neeeds to stay home with you, not come to the office, or you will have to terminate care.

Seriously, this is ridiculous. Baby at an office? What is the long term plan here? Baby is four months old; in a few months time, she'll be creeping and crawling all over the place.
And all these different people and general commotions of office life is NOT an ideal environment for a baby in need of structure and easily recognisable patterns.

Your worries are so, so valid. Sit down with mom ASAP. God luck 🙂

OP said...

Thanks so much for your help! Unfortunately, the baby chokes every time they try to bottle feed, and the pediatrician recommended giving it some time before forcing the issue. Otherwise, I would totally just say that the baby will figure out how to take a bottle when she's hungry enough!

I have been using the second commenter's suggestion and taking the baby out in the stroller between feedings whenever it's warm enough. Huge help! Baby calms down after a while when mom doesn't rush in, and is getting more used to me being around, so it's easier on the days when we can't go out as well. By March the pediatrician says she should try bottle feeding again, so here's hoping an end is in sight!

Thanks for everyone's advice and help. Hopefully the nightmare will be over soon.

Anonymous said...

I would look politely give notice. Dont put anothers needs before your own. Take care of yourself first.