Working Moms

XP: First day of daycare and a big issue

So today was my first day back to work and I'm hoping to get some perspective from some other mom's who have had their kids in daycare for a while. He's in a center and he's in an infant room with 5 other babies, 2 teachers and then an aide.

I go around 4:00pm to pick P up from daycare. When I get there, he's taking a nap (he had gone down around 3:00-3:15) and I don't want to wake him up, so I sit in the rocking chair to wait. Finally around 4:45, he starts to wake up and I'm happy he got such a good afternoon nap because his teacher told me he took a bunch of cat naps in the morning, so he was probably tired. The center keeps the cribs in a separate alcove and they keep it dark and play white noise, which I like.

So I'm sitting with him in the rocking chair while he wakes up and I start talking to the teacher (this is the same teacher who was there this morning when we dropped him off). She told me he had a really good day and that he ate every 3 hours, pretty much on the dot. We told them this morning (and wrote it down) that he normally eats every 3 to 3.5 hours during the day and sometimes will stretch it to 4 hours, but not very often. She showed me the log of his feedings and there was 3 feedings listed - 9:30, 12:30 and 3:00. I had pre-made 5oz bottles for him and I thought it was sort of odd that next to the 9:30 feeding it said "ate the whole 4oz bottle" and for the 12:30 feeding it said "ate the whole 6oz bottle". First red flag.

So I ask if I could have the extra bottle he didn't drink, since we had dropped off 4 bottles. She goes to the fridge and pulls out 2 full bottles from his shelf. So I got confused and said "I think we dropped off 4 bottles, but he ate 3 times so there should only be 1 bottle left". So she's like "hmm that's weird". Second red flag. But then I thought maybe I was losing my mind and we dropped off 5 bottles, so I told her I was fairly sure we dropped off 5 because I honestly couldn't remember right then.

I get in the car and call my DH and he tells me he's 100% sure we brought 4 bottles because he's the one who mixed them up this morning. So that leads me and DH to the conclusion that P got someone else's bottle of formula OR breastmilk for one of those feedings if he ate 3 times. OMFG.

I'm shaking/crying at this point and my H actually remained really calm. He calls the director who tells him he will figure out what happened and call him back. 30 minutes go by without a call back, so my H decides to go over there and talk to them in person because it's obviously an important issue.

So it turns out that LUCKILY P did not get someone else's bottle - they wrote down they fed him when they really didn't. Somehow apparently they went to feed him and wrote it down, but then he fell asleep in the swing and took a catnap, so they didn't feed him. He never got a bottle at 12:30 and he went over 6 hours without a bottle. I'm still seriously PISSED about this - that is longer than he's ever gone and I wonder WTF they were doing when they just forgot to feed him?? And trust me, P is VERY vocal when he's hungry so I can't believe they could ignore him screaming from hunger? 

I just really don't know what to do now. The lack of communication really bothers me and I'm worried they can't keep track of his schedule properly. Obviously we need to make sure the teachers understand we are upset about this and stress how important his routine is. And honestly, this isn't even a routine - it's the basic act of feeding our son! I plan on dropping in tomorrow during the day to check in and I will seriously call them every 3 hours on the dot if I have to remind them to feed my son. I just can't believe something like this would happen on the first day of day care. Any advice or insight on how to handle this would be great - thanks ladies!

Re: XP: First day of daycare and a big issue

  • I would have a really hard time dropping LO off tomorrow.  Messing up with my LO's feeding chart happened a few times but never day one.  I probably would ask them how they are going to make sure this doesn't ever happen again
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  • Was he really screaming and no one fed him? I mean do you know that happened or were you speculating?

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  • ke19ke19
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    image mbenit4:
    Was he really screaming and no one fed him? I mean do you know that happened or were you speculating?

    I don't know but we plan on sitting down with the teachers to find out exactly what happened tomorrow morning. At this point, we know he got fed at 9:30am and again at 3:00pm, which is longer than he's ever gone in his life during the day. I just can't imagine that he sat quietly that whole time, or slept since she said he only took cat naps in the morning. 

  • I really doubt that he just cried and cried and no one did anything. 
  • ke19ke19
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    image MrsSR:
    I really doubt that he just cried and cried and no one did anything. 

    That's not my issue - I'm not saying I think they let him scream his head off hungry and just ignored him. My issue is that I told them he eats every 3-3.5 hours (4 at the most) and they didn't feed him for 6. They also had an issue with the record keeping of his day, since they wrote down he had 4 and 6oz bottles when I know I sent him with 5oz. That to me is a huge issue and I guess I was just wondering what to do in this situation. Does this warrant pulling him out all together or should we continue there and keep a closer eye on things. 

  • image amy052006:

    image MrsSR:
    I really doubt that he just cried and cried and no one did anything. 

    Yeah, but if you can't trust them to fill out the sheet properly, what other option do you really have but to speculate?

     

    Disagree. Do not speculate.  Go in there tomorrow and talk to them.  Ask them what happened.  I doubt your child cried all day and they did nothing.  That is ridiculous.  I think you're jumping to conclusions. 

    I know it was his first day and you're probably stressed about that, but just know that daycare is not always going to function exactly how you want it to, and exactly on your schedule. 

    I think you need to calm down and get some more information before you freak out.  Let them know that feeding can never be messed up or you will be forced to leave immediately. 

    I've had fabulous daycare experiences in the two centers LO has been in for the past year (we moved when she was 10 months old).  Open communication is vital. 

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  • Oh and one other thing.  My DD didn't eat the exact same amount every single day when she started daycare.  She ate 12 ounces one day.  The next she'd eat 20 oz. 
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  • image laurakaz13:
    image amy052006:

    image MrsSR:
    I really doubt that he just cried and cried and no one did anything. 

    Yeah, but if you can't trust them to fill out the sheet properly, what other option do you really have but to speculate?

     

    Disagree. Do not speculate.  Go in there tomorrow and talk to them.  Ask them what happened.  I doubt your child cried all day and they did nothing.  That is ridiculous.  I think you're jumping to conclusions. 

    I know it was his first day and you're probably stressed about that, but just know that daycare is not always going to function exactly how you want it to, and exactly on your schedule. 

    I think you need to calm down and get some more information before you freak out.  Let them know that feeding can never be messed up or you will be forced to leave immediately. 

    This. I was thinking the exact same thing.  LO's can act differently in DC than at home.  Also, being his first day he may have been distracted by the new environment.

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  • image ke19:

    image mbenit4:
    Was he really screaming and no one fed him? I mean do you know that happened or were you speculating?

    I don't know but we plan on sitting down with the teachers to find out exactly what happened tomorrow morning. At this point, we know he got fed at 9:30am and again at 3:00pm, which is longer than he's ever gone in his life during the day. I just can't imagine that he sat quietly that whole time, or slept since she said he only took cat naps in the morning. 

    I was just asking because that would be a deal breaker for me. I don't think he was crying and not fed. Both my children were a whole other way at daycare. My son was a newborn and would NOT sleep more than 15 min at daycare. DD would not eat the same when she went.

     


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  • Like other posters said, I doubt they allowed your baby to scream all day and its entirely likely that on your baby's first day of day care he didn't eat like normal.  Nonetheless, not knowing how much your kid ate is concerning.  I know at my daycare, if I walked in and the paperwork was confusing like that the staff would be able to tell me what happened.  They don't have to rely on paperwork to tell me how my baby ate- its usually the first thing they tell me about her day (admittedly, she's not the best eater).  I'd be looking somewhere else- mostly because it took the staff so long to figure out what happened.
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  • image klutzygrl26:
    Like other posters said, I doubt they allowed your baby to scream all day and its entirely likely that on your baby's first day of day care he didn't eat like normal.  Nonetheless, not knowing how much your kid ate is concerning.  I know at my daycare, if I walked in and the paperwork was confusing like that the staff would be able to tell me what happened.  They don't have to rely on paperwork to tell me how my baby ate- its usually the first thing they tell me about her day (admittedly, she's not the best eater).  I'd be looking somewhere else- mostly because it took the staff so long to figure out what happened.

    I agree with this.  I think you're getting too wrapped up in the "he didn't eat like he always eats" aspect when reallly, that's very common when they start daycare.  Sometimes they eat more for comfort and other kids eat less for a variety of reasons like there being too many interesting things going on.  Of course, they do need to make sure their record keeping is correct so that you can see an accurate representation of his day.  Focus on that and ask them to please be more mindful of correcting the sheet if they wrote it and then it didn't happen.  But don't focus on the literal number of ounces/number of times a day he ate yesterday.

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  • Unclench.  It was his first day and of course things aren't going to go perfectly.  The chances that they just let him sit there and wail for hours while not feeding him are zero.  You have to remember that it's a new environment for him, so what he does and how he acts at home with you in his normal routine could be vastly different than what happens at daycare.  Some kids eat more, or more frequently, some eat less.  Some nap more, some nap less.  At the end of the day, he was fed, well cared for and I doubt neglected (assuming you chose a reputable DCP). There are so many new things for them to look at and kids to interact with, it's unlikely he's just going to fall into his normal schedule.

    The only part I'd be at all concerned about was possibly getting someone else's bottle, but not because I thought it would hurt him, because it's sort of a glaring oversight.  I think you just need to give it some time... feel free to express your concerns but try to be constructive and understanding.  In the end, they have been caring for kids for quite a while and I'm sure are taking good care of your LO.  If you want someone that is going to follow your schedule to the letter, hire a nanny.

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  • I had a similar situation when Lo started DC.  They gave him all his bottles the first day, but it was at completely different times than he normally ate.  As a FTM I was really upset and nervous about sending my LO back to the center.  I stayed calm and over the next few days my LO created a new schedule for himself at DC.  I'm glad I didn't freak out, because the teachers ended up being amazing and over time have been great at giving this FTM advice on all kinds of things for my LO.  I'd give it a few days and see how it goes.  Everyone acts different in new situations, even babies.  I'm sure it will all work out.  Try not to freak out too much.
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  • The first couple of days are just harder on everyone. Maybe he wasn't on a normal schedule for feeding (like his sleeping) since it was all new for him.

    Label your bottles w/his name, that's the first thing I would do. Then there is no questions whose bottle is whose.

    I always sent an extra bottle for feeding just in case. In the beginning it was 4 4oz bottles a day. Labeled, there was no question in my mind how many I was collecting at the end of the day, or how many I sent.

    They wouldn't ignore a crying baby. The first week is hard on everyone. Hopefully by next week everyone will be in a groove!

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  • image amy052006:

    But if I am reading this correctly not only didn't the three month old sleep in that time, but they also didn't offer a bottle for six hours.  

    I think the between the likelihood that that actually happened versus the chart wasn't filled out correctly... I'm going to go with the chart error.

     

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  • image EllaHella:

    And remember, they aren't going to let a baby just cry and not attend to its needs.  That's a ludicrous notion, to be honest. 

    This is really what I'm trying to get at...

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  • image EllaHella:

    I would talk to the teachers about it if you feel that would help.  Calmly talk to the teachers.  Walking in and being "very vocal" won't get you anywhere.  Save that for once you have all the facts.  A raving lunatic who is just spouting off will get quickly dismissed. 

    And remember, they aren't going to let a baby just cry and not attend to its needs.  That's a ludicrous notion, to be honest.  Once one baby cries, they all cry.  Daycare workers don't want to listen to that any more than the next person.  They will attend to a crying baby. 

    You may also be projecting your emotions about leaving your LO to return to work onto this situation.  I suggest giving it a few weeks to let everyone, mama included, to settle in to the new normal and reevaluate the situation then.   

    This. Mistakes happen. DS's sheet is jacked up sometimes. But I know his main teachers, and they make sure to tell DH everything as well when they pick him up. I also know that when DS first went to DC, he didn't eat the first week. He adjusted to going to DC better than I adjusted to him going them. Now we're good, for the most part. He took a few month off this summer (DH is a teacher), and his first day back he refused 2 bottles. It happens.

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  • First of all it is your first day so emotions are obviously going to be on high. Yes filling out the schedule wrong would bother me but when they are juggling a bunch of babies I could see how it could happen. I think you need to take a look at the big picture, do you think they are providing quality care? You definitely want to keep your eyes open and make sure they are providing proper care, maybe drop by unexpected at lunch just to see how they are handling the babies? There were times when DS was a baby that he went 5-6 hours without a bottle but there were also days when they fed him only 1.5-2 hours between bottles. Overall I felt they were really great people so I trusted in them that they were following DS's cues. I know daycare can be an adjustment so maybe your son responded to that is by sleeping more than usual. Daycare won't always do things exactly the way you'd do them so be sure to pick your battles, feeding him when he is awake and hungry yes, correct documentation as much a possible, feeding exactly every three hours I'd say no since babies are unpredictable. 

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  • EcyEcy
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    I just want you to know the exact same thing happened to me when my DD was smaller and in the first couple of months of beginning DC. I was furious!!! After I calmed down and talked to the teachers about it, I felt a bit better. Mine turned out to be a situation with a crummy teacher that led into a couple of more problems. Once she was gone, all was fine.

    I just wanted to tell you that what happened is totally unaccepatable but also pretty easy to happen. I'm sure the teachers were just getting into the groove with the first day and hopefully after this incident, they will make sure it doesn't happen again.

    I know you are upset as I was the same way. I wouldn't pull your LO out yet. If you like the place and feel comfortable with the teachers otherwise, give them another chance.

  • image LoCarb:

    This. I was thinking the exact same thing.  LO's can act differently in DC than at home.  Also, being his first day he may have been distracted by the new environment.

    This is my suspicion as well.  I would TOTALLY go talk to the teachers today and make sure you understand what happened, be nice, not accusatory and say you are very concerned that he missed the bottle, etc. - I wouldn't assume anything inappropriate happened, but I would make it clear that you are paying close attention to the situation and are concerned he might have been hungry and ask if there's anything they or you can do differently.  Open up a dialogue

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  • There are two big issues here for me - first, that a 3-month-old went 6 hours without eating (whether he cried or not), and second, that the log was incorrect and no one could explain why when you were there to pick up.  These are both huge red flags.

    Unless you go in today and get a completely different vibe AND have a satisfactory meeting with the director about making sure that it doesn't happen again, I'd personally be looking for a new program.

    Mistakes happen, yes, but those are two BIG mistakes and they happened on his very first day.  Not good.

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  • I hope you had a good discussion with your teachers today and some of your fears were eleviated.  Both of my babies ate and napped on a very different schedule at daycare than at home.  It happens.  And it was his first day, he's going to take about 2 weeks to get adjusted and find a new routine.

    I don't know how it works at your center, but at D1's preschool/daycare center, there are the main teachers who are there in the morning and then there are the afternoon teachers, who are there when the classes are consolidated.  (This is clearly for the older kids.)  But the morning teachers can tell me all about D1's day and how she's playing and eating.  The afternoon teachers only see her about 1.5-2 hours/day.  Those teachers can't tell me a whole lot about her day.

     

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  • I'll chime in and agree with most of the pp's who suggest to calm down and that in all likelihood this is a charting mistake.  I find it highly unlikely that your LO would cry for any amount of time out of hunger, the ratio of staff to babies is excellent and there is nothing easier to do for a baby than feed them, right?

    I'd like to add I well remember the first time DS1 went 5+ hours without feeding.  He was about 6 weeks old.  He was napping and I fell asleep on the couch nearby.  We had done a full day outside at a street festival: it wore us both out.  I was freaked! when I realized how long he had gone without food (breastfeeding).  Of course he was ok, and so was I.  But that shock of how long he had slept (over 5 hours) and gone without food (closer to 6) has stuck with me.

    I suspect your LO encountered a similar set of circumstances.  Staff got a bottle ready expecting him to wake up (or perhaps even he woke up briefly before falling back asleep while they were prepping the bottle) and he slept through the usual feeding time.

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  • image laurakaz13:
    image amy052006:

    image MrsSR:
    I really doubt that he just cried and cried and no one did anything. 

    Yeah, but if you can't trust them to fill out the sheet properly, what other option do you really have but to speculate?

     

    Disagree. Do not speculate.  Go in there tomorrow and talk to them.  Ask them what happened.  I doubt your child cried all day and they did nothing.  That is ridiculous.  I think you're jumping to conclusions. 

    I know it was his first day and you're probably stressed about that, but just know that daycare is not always going to function exactly how you want it to, and exactly on your schedule. 

    I think you need to calm down and get some more information before you freak out.  Let them know that feeding can never be messed up or you will be forced to leave immediately. 

    I've had fabulous daycare experiences in the two centers LO has been in for the past year (we moved when she was 10 months old).  Open communication is vital. 

     

    This!  My daycare is fabulous as well but I am sure there were days she didn't eat on time or whatever.  I would get a note that they tried but she wouldn't eat.  I still do.  

  • Sorry this happened to you on the first day.  That sucks.  Mix ups do happen and I really hope it was a freak occurrence.  My reaction would depend on how I felt the teachers and directors handled the situation.  If they seemed genuinely upset about it, then I would probably give them a second shot.

    And there is a good chance that your LO didn't cry out of hunger, they act so different when they are in the care of others. 


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