View Full Version : Picking up infant too much?

02-11-2014, 12:37 PM
So after checking out some other posts from users I'm guessing this is more of a forum for daycares that take place in a home setting. Although I've had a bit experience in this kind of setting before, my issue takes place in more of a business daycare environment, but I thought I'd still post something.

About a month ago we got a new baby, who had just turned 12 months. Like most people, when there's a baby crying, asking to be picked up and comforted, I will. So, naturally, I do this with our new baby.

This morning I had eight kids to myself, ranging in ages from 12 months to 6 years. This baby was the youngest there. I was sitting on the ground with some of the kids and the baby, but I had to get up to do something quickly. At this time the Director of the daycare came in to the room to get something. As I was talking with the Director, the baby, like he usually does when I have to leave his side, came crawling towards me crying. At first I squatted down, letting him hold on to my shoulders as I tried to comfort him, but after a minute of that not working and him still showing that he wanted up, I did pick him up. Almost immediately the Director said, "Olivia, put him down." I did as told, and went back to squatting with the baby even though he went back to crying.

The Director went on to say things like "You're the only one he does this with." and "You shouldn't be picking him up." and how I "should be trying to get him to plays with toys instead."

I felt insulted (mostly because of the way she said these things) and defensive. I tried to explain to her that he was trying to communicate a need and she brushed it off saying he wasn't.

This Director is relatively new to this field, and she pretty much has about as much experience as I do. We both only how our level one in ECE. I do try to get him engaged with toys or other things to help with the crying, but as she isn't in the room that often, it's like she only ever sees me just picking him up. She feels that I can't give the other children the attention they need if I'm so focused on the baby. But how can I not be so focused on him? He's barely a year old! Plus, in any situation, I find it hard to give 8 children equal attention.

Anyways, this is just a little 12 month old we're talking about. Is it bad that he is kind of attached to me? It would feel so wrong to not pick him up just because he doesn't have such an obvious need like being hurt or needing to be changed. I'm only 18, I have so much more to learn, but I feel like I should stand my ground with this. And I feel that if his mother walked in on a situation where one of the staff was saying "Oh, you don't need to be picked up." (as they usually do when he is asking to be), she would not be impressed. So, thoughts? Suggestions?

02-11-2014, 12:46 PM
There are differences between wants and needs. The child is not a helpless infants that "needs" you to do things for him. He might "want" to have that but you would be doing him a favour as the director although maybe not in the nicest way suggested by encouraging him to explore his new abilities of crawling, pulling up to a stand, walking, making a ball roll, building a tower with 2 blocks.

There are also ways to encourage the child to be more independent without being so negative either. Ignore the demands for up - do not get down to his level because that gives a false sense of hope of being picked up, instead pat his head or back or just touch his arm and tell him it isn't cuddle time right now it is playtime and then hand him a toy, turn him in the direction of a bin of toys. Saying "it isn't cuddle time right now; it is playtime" acknowledges his feelings without giving in to him and it sounds politer and friendlier than what some of your coworkers are saying but the end result should be the same.

02-11-2014, 12:55 PM
playfelt was right on the mark. As for all the other children you are not giving them your attention all at the same time. With the age group you mentioned the children are probably playing on their own at times so that you can give one or two your attention while the others are playing. It's not an easy thing to let a little one cry when you are only eighteen. Sometimes letting them cry a bit teaches them to self sooth another way. Good luck with your little ones.

02-11-2014, 12:57 PM
I agree with playfelt.

I have a 20 month old, who was very coddled when she first came to me in November, always wanting to be picked up, keep me within sight etc.

I would say "you're okay_______, let's go play with ___________"


You're a big girl, show me how you can play."

I too say, its not time for up, that comes when we read a story.

It'll get better, but don't give in kay?

02-11-2014, 01:06 PM
The other ladies have a ton of experience and have offered good advice. I have a slightly different take on it personally though. There is not one "right" way I don't believe...so I am not saying they are wrong. For me, when I have a new little one transitioning into care, I do hold them or wear them on my back in a carrier quite a bit until they are feeling secure with me and the other kids and the new environment. I know I am not the norm in the daycare world, but this is just my way. I have found that when I do this, they form an attachment with me and feel more secure and soon enough they no longer want or need me to carry them around. Once they are feeling secure, if they do still ask to be picked up all the time, I do start to encourage them to go play instead and gently guide them to some toys etc to distract them from wanting up. It is a balance I think and it depends on how long the child has been in care etc.