Day Care Question

Updated on October 08, 2012
N.W. asks from Hatboro, PA
16 answers

Hi everyone,
I have a 19 week old daughter in day care. I have some concerns and I am just looking for some feedback from other mommas. First, last week, my DD, who has been EBF, was accidentally given someone's else bottle, with formula!!! She only got 1 oz before the caregiver realized what she had done, but still, I work really hard to pump and I even go over on my lunch break to nurse her. The caregiver told me that she was fine with the bottle, but I really had to take a moment and calm down before I totally freaked out. I explained to her that since my DD has only ever received breast milk, I have no idea what kind of reaction she could have had to the formula. It could have made her very sick if she had an allergic reaction, not to mention that I am very dedicated to breastfeeding. Yesterday morning, I watched as this same caregiver took one of my daughter's bottles out of the fridge and almost proceeded to warm it up before she realized that the bottle was not for the infant she was getting ready to feed. I would like to say that I like this girl, but feel that she is overwhelmed and out of her league. I spoke with the director of the facility and she did speak with her, but it just makes me very nervous. Not exactly the feeling you want when dropping off your baby :( Also, there is a little boy there who is very rambunctious, maybe a little too much so?? I have seen him hit another child on the head, pull a walking baby down by the shirt as well. I think he needs more supervision than he is getting. Should I say something to the director about that, or will I be labelled as one of "Those moms". Thanks in advance for your help, I appreciate it!!

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So What Happened?

I should add, since some of you replied, that, yes, I do put labels on her bottles. After yesterday, I put labels on the lids of the bottles as well as the bottles themselves. The ratio is 4:1 for babies to caregivers there, which they do observe, I just think the woman in charge of the room gets eaily frazzled. As for the boy, he is a crawler, around 7-8 months old. My main concern was that he hits other babies, who can't get away from him, especially on the head. My first thought was OMG, what if he had a toy in his hand. Thankfully, that didn't happen, but that fear is always in my mind. There are other boys in the room and they don't behave this way. There are usually 6-8 babies in the room on any given day, so there are normally two attendants in the room.

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Having been there & done that, I would give them the benefit of the doubt & see what happens. If you keep on seeing the same issue happen over & over again with the bottles, then they're not doing their job.

As far as the little boy, this is something that is going to happen & that will be found in most daycares, unfortunately. One person simply can't be with all the kids at the same time.

I know you are a new mom & new moms tend to overreact a lot ot normal situations, especially in daycare.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

In my opinion, if you are uncomfortable, or have any misgivings at all, you need to find another day care provider. Maybe an in-home provider would be better. Mother's instincts are very powerful. Listen to them.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Sweetie, you are one of those moms. It's okay though, we sort of expect it and humor first time moms.

Babies rarely have any reaction to formula. It's very very rare and not life threatening.

As for the confusion, the bottles should be labeled with big letters with each child's name on them. This way the provider will be able to see it and not make mistakes.

Everyone is imperfect no matter how much we demand it. During drop off time it's utter chaos in child care, especially for the little ones. I suggest you keep an eye on things and visit with the teacher about any issues that come up. Going to the director about little stuff like this is not helpful in any way. Talking to the teacher who is responsible for your child is the way to go. If you continue to see a problem then going to the director or an assistant is okay.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Sorry to hear you are going through this. You have every right to bring concerns to the attention of the daycare center. You are paying big bucks for them to care for your child. Is the center meeting the proper ratio of babies per caregiver?? Perhaps you can put a bold label on your daughter's bottles or something that would get her attention. If I were the mother of the other infant, I'd be very concerned as well that she almost gave my baby a bottle of someone else's breastmilk! As for the rambunctious boy, you'd find that anywhere. Toddlers are learning the proper way to behave. Many of them (especially boys) cannot keep their hands to themselves. Boys tend to be rough and tumble as a rule. Having said that, the staff should be paying attention and correcting him when he hits someone. If that's not happening, then perhaps you should look for a better center.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

How many children are in the room, and how many workers? What is the age spread of the children?

Perhaps the real issue is that you don't have a high enough level daycare. A higher level will cost you more.

Your baby should be in the infant room. There should be one caregiver to every 4 babies. There should not be infants in that room over 13 months old, and they should not be walking. The rambunctious little boy should only be a crawler - if he is close to a year old, they need to move him up to the one year room. How old is the baby who was walking whose shirt was pulled on? Your baby at 19 weeks shouldn't be with walkers.

It is your job as mom to put very big labels on your baby's bottles with your baby's name on them. Even buying colored bottles would help. In a perfect world, the lady wouldn't grab the wrong bottle. But if she has too many babies to watch, you need to help her out.

Or you need to change daycares. I am wondering if you have too high an infant/provider ratio.

If you cannot afford more money for a higher rated daycare, then be more careful with your bottles, as I have detailed above. If there are walkers in the room with the non-walkers, they need to put some sort of barrier between the two so that the babies don't get stepped on.

Lastly, regarding the formula. You are very lucky that your baby doesn't mind formula. She wouldn't be allergic and a few ounces wouldn't bother her. sometimes it takes a while for a baby's tummy to get used to an all of a sudden switch-over, but that's not because of an allergy. The reason you are lucky is that some babies simply will not accept anything but breastmilk, and if mommy ends up in the hospital or so sick that she cannot pump, or if her milk dries up suddenly, they go through a very hard time. So don't worry about it - worry more about the fact that your bottles look too much like someone else's.

Good luck,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I wouldn't freak out over your daughter getting an ounce of formula. It won't make your daughter reject your breastmilk in the future and the vast majority of kids have no sort of allergic reaction to formula. While I breastfed at home and pumped at work, I had my son on formula at daycare. It was easier on the daycare and if something would have ever happened to me, he would have had no problems going to formula only. I realize that not all parents feel the same way, but he had no issues. If your daughter had had an allergic reaction, might have been better to find out early. Just another perspective.

Now, I can understand your concern if the lady continues to mix up the bottles on a regular basis. I would put labels on your bottles for your child and hopefully that will help keep her organized. Honestly though, that wouldn't be such of an issue for me if your daughter doesn't have any dietary issues.

How old is the "rambunctious" boy? If the boy is 1-2 years old (or younger) and the actions aren't malicious, let it go. That is normal behavior and your child will do the same thing at some point too. Their behavior can't change overnight at this age. If this is a five year old, then there is definitely a problem and you should bring it up to the director.

ETA: Is the boy in the same class as your daughter?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm not a first timer or new mommy, my oldest is 6. I would have been livid about the bottle mix up. Especially since you have everything labeled. I mean HELLOOOOO all she has to do is read the dang bottle.

I breastfed my oldest until I became sick with pneumonia and my milk dried up from the steroids and other meds I had to take. Our youngest was actually allergic to my breastmilk and had to be formula fed. Either way both of my girls had to have a specific formula because they couldn't tolerate most formulas and were allergic to some of the formulas. I would have been beyond upset to have my child's bottle switched.

While allergic reactions are usually non life threatening, who wants to put their baby through hives, vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration very quickly in infants. Especially when it is easily preventable by reading the name label on the bottle!!!! Believe me when I tell you, I've witnessed allergic reactions with my own girls and it's just miserable. I felt totally helpless and like a failure because I couldn't make it better for them.

The center needs to have a better plan in place. Perhaps you could suggest they have color coded bins in the fridge. Each bin is labeled with a specific child's name. Anything for "Timmy" goes in the red bin, "Susie is the green bin, etc. Or just take a bin of your own in and make it perfectly clear...everything for "Susie" will now be kept in this bin to avoid any further mix ups!"

I think the center itself should be taking this far more seriously. I mean for heaven's sake she almost gave your breastmilk to another child. What if she had given your daughter someone's breastmilk instead of formula?

As far as the rambunctious boy is concerned, I think that's pretty standard behavior for the age group. Did the caregiver address the hitting with the boy when it happened? If so then you can be confident that they are working on this issue with him. If not then either she didn't see it or she is too overwhelmed to handle it all.

I think I'd let this one ride and see if it continues to be an issue before I bring it up. However, next time if you are there when it happens maybe make a "Wow, I hope he doesn't hit the baby's in the head like that often. Has he just started doing that? One of the baby's could get seriously injured if he had a toy in his hand?" See what kind of response you get from the caregiver and if you're not satisfied then address it with the director. Your child's safety and well being comes first :)

Peace and Blessings,
T. B

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

This would be a concern. I was a working, pumping momma for a year. If they are giving bottles to the wrong children even with labels on, then they need new procedures. If that were my job, I'd be so, so, so careful in the future, especially if I knew I'd messed up for that customer recently.

It may not have hurt her, but the fact is she's not getting what you want her to have - kind of like a vegan child eating meat. Further, while there are milk banks and milk share programs, this is not that. This is daycare. You don't know what medications the other mother may be on if they one day mix up pumped milk vs formula. She also almost used your milk for another child, so it sounds like she's not being careful in general. And what about the other baby? Did he or she get enough that day? I hope they didn't then give the rest of the bottle to the other child.

The bottom line is if your chat with the director did not put you at ease,then I'd be looking for alternate care. Kids act up and there will be good and bad days (my DD bit someone) but if you overall don't like what you see, you will not be happy leaving her there and you will not be able to focus at work, etc. One of the ways I got through dealing with being a working mom was loving and trusting my daycare. A center you are happy with is worth gold. Mistakes happen, but how they react to that mistake matters a lot.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I take care of 6-8 children by myself (3 can be under 2 years old, and I do a Birth-to-three focus, so all are 3 or younger). I never mix up bottles, formula or breast milk, bigger kids cups, etc. I have no assistant or helper. So why is their excuse plausible? I don't think it is, not to me.

Sounds like too much for these providers to do, lack of care or training or a system failure. You have every right to expect your child is being fed the BM you work hard to produce.

If you really feel things are not in line with your expectations, take it up with the teachers, the director, or make a move and ask more questions and do more observations first at the next location before making the final decision.

In my opinion, parents deserve quality care that meets at least minimum expectations such as this.

Best of luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

First off....ewwww....she got another babies bottle. That is completely not ok. You do not know if your baby drank another moms milk! You don't know for certain that what was in that bottle was in fact formula! This provider doesn't even know who's bottle is who's, how can you believe she would know that the bottle she pulled from the fridge wasn't breast milk, unless she made the bottle! And did she throw out that bottle or then give it to the correct child? And if she didn't throw it out, did she then just wash the nipple off? You don't know what she did! I would talk to the director of the facility and even request she send an emailed memo to ALL parents regarding this incident, since it has to with the health & well being of the children. If something like this happened in a school setting, parents would be notified. If not all parents, then at least the two parents that it concerns, you and the parent of the child whose bottle your baby ingested. Some may think what I'm saying is over the top, but this incident is clearly not an isolated one since you also witnessed her catching herself making the same mistake, again! What if she accidentally gives one of your bottles to another baby! Those parents don't know what kind of health you are in! If you have HIV/AIDS! Not to say that you do! But they don't know that! And what if your baby ingested breast milk that was contaminated with something of the sort! OMG!!!
For myself, I would be interviewing other centers and if you have a contract with them, you have the right to break it, without prejudice! You should not get any fees for lack of sufficient notice or other fees that may be in the contract! That provider potentially put your child at risk for a number of things!
I would not judge you if you didn't pull your child, but for me personally, I couldn't keep my baby there with those kinds of risks.

Best of luck to you

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Hi. So I pretty much agree with most of the other responses. Just a few things to add: The issue with the bottles - HUGE issue. I would be very upset and there is no exuce for that. Your daughter will be fine with an ounce of formula. That is not the real issue. What if they mixed up two different formula bottles and one was soy formula because a baby has a milk allergy. I would definitely talk to the director and make sure you express you concerns about the bigger issue at hand here. Don't make it about your BF baby getting one ounce of formula because they will just think you're one "those moms". I was one of those moms too but I've learned that there are certain things that happen in daycare setting that you can't control are not really not important. This is an important one so complain all you want. Also, they have these rubber band type things that go around the bottles. They are like those bracelets that they have for different causes. You can get them printed with your daughter's name. I would get them in the brighest most obxious color they have so it is easy for them to spot your daughter's bottles. As for the little boy, he probably fine. That sounds normal and your daughter will likely be doing the same thing in a few months. You said he should be getting more supervision but define more. At that age you literally have to watch them every second. You can't take your eyes off of them for a minute and that is not possible in a daycare setting. It's hard even when it's one on one to make sure they don't get into anything at that age. I can assure you this baby is not trying to mean. He doesn't know he is hurting other kids and he is probably not a bad kid. He's just more active. I will add though that kid may be bored and might be ready to move up. Do you know for sure he only 7-8 months old or are you assuming because he's not walking? I would subtly ask the teacher "how old is this little guy?" depending on her answer do the math quickly in your head and say "so he should be moving to the next room in ____" See what the teacher's reaction is and that may give some more insight to this baby's actions. Chances are he is probably driving the teachers crazy too and think he needs to move up to the toddler room soon. Doesn't mean he will move though until he turns one. My son was walking at 10 months and was bored out of his mind in the infant room but they would not move him until he turned one because even if there is only one child under the age of one, the ratio still needs to be 1:4 (the ratio is 1:5 for one year olds). He was still taking two naps a day so he wasn't really ready for the toddler room so I never pushed the issue. Hang in there - the daycare thing gets easier.

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answers from Green Bay on

I have worked in an infant room at a small day care. It is not that hard to keep straight whose bottles are whose...even when you are busy and frazzled. I don't blame you for being upset about that situation - especially since it seems to have happened on more than one occasion.

Infant ratio is 4:1...if it seems crazy, it IS! I have been there! You can't be with every baby ALL the time. That is the nature of the beast with child care. Kids hitting other kids is going to happen. You can do your best to redirect, but babies are going to do that. They don't mean to do it - it is their way of exploring. They do it once and get a reaction (reinforcement) so they are going to do it again. They don't understand that it hurts the other child. The best you can do is redirect and try to catch it before it happens. It is repetitive and frustrating, but that's all you can do. Some babies are more active than others and there are girl babies that hit and are rambunctious too...

If you are not comfortable with the environment or the care your child is receiving there, you need to look for an alternate situation.

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answers from Allentown on

Well having worked in a daycare as Director as well as previous experience working as an infant teacher and pre-school teacher I felt like I needed to answer this despite all the answers you have already. As a teacher in an infant room it is nearly impossible to watch all the babies at all times. the ratios are correct but IMO should be lowered. Once a child is able to understand verbal direction it gets easier hence them increasing the ratio as children age, but my theory is we only have two hands therefor we should only be responsible for two infants. Unfortunately that is not the law and in order to make money they go with 4/1 ratios. So for the issue of the little boy hitting well there isn't a lot anyone can do about it. If you feel obligated to speak to someone about it, speak to the teacher first before going to the director and if you are met with compassion and an understanding/helpful attitude, then let it go, but if they are defensive, angered etc, then by all means take that to the director, but the whole incident doesn't sound out of line for a daycare with the allowable staff to child ratios. As a teacher I preferred a parent deal with me first, as a Director I also preferred that a parent go to the teacher first and encouraged them to speak with the teacher on minor issues, unless it was a major issue then it needed to go thru me. The bottle issue, whole different deal. That should never, ever happen. Not even once, and because it did, and then almost happened again, I would keep an eye on that issue, bring that up to the director again. Speak to both the teacher and the director on it. That should never happen. When a teacher gets a bottle they need to triple check before giving the bottle. Yes there are too many babies and watching behaviors all the time is not always possible and yes sometimes you need to feed 2 babies at once, and yes it can be highly stressful, but that is not an acceptable mistake. You take the time even if there are crying/hungry babies. Even if there is an emergency you need to deal with when you actually take that bottle out, you need to be sure it is right before heating it. I have see issues with diapers as well, that I feel are not acceptable, but a lot of people do not understand unless they have had a child with issues. Now as director of a daycare, I had not yet had my own children but I took what parents told me very seriously as I didn't always have their knowledge or experience especially with their child, but not all people are like that and you need to be sure the teacher was properly taught and if not find another provider. Bottles are extremely important as important as medicine IMO and that is what I taught the teachers in daycare but that is not the view of everyone and some may not take it as seriously or feel it as serious a offense. Mention it again to both the teacher and director and gauge their responses. If you are not comfortable find another provider, you need to feel confident in your child's care.

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answers from Atlanta on

I'd be upset. Worse than formula, another child could get your breastmilk (or yours someone elses). Something similar happened when my daughter was a baby. They weren't sure if my breastmilk was given to my daughter or another boy. They did do a lot to address it and make sure it never happened again and the other parents and I decided to stay and were happy in the end. But, if it had happened again or if they hadn't done a good job addressing it we would have left (and we did consider). If you aren't comfortable then it isn't worth it and you should leave.

As for the agressive child, that is somewhat normal for that age. I would be more concerned about babies being mixed with mobile kids. Maybe somewhere small with more supervision but most centers break them up if they can for these reasons.



answers from Cumberland on

At 19 months-she is probably ok with 1 oz of formula-and really should be weaned to a cup. As for the caregivers-can you put your daughters milk in a bottle that is so extraordinary that mistaking it would be impossible? It sounds like an environment that is very stressful, understaffed, and not the right fit for a child under 12.



answers from Las Vegas on

At 19 months, I would think drinking off another bottle may happen more than you think.

I taught my daughter germs and no sharing. Then after a few play dates, I realized they have been sharing all along. I don't like it, but I saw it. When I went nuts, the kids looked at as just that...nuts.

As for that rambunctious kid...there will be many in her life. When my daughter was in preschool and I witnessed someone hit the other, I just let my reactions speak for me. I would give a surprised look and say he just hit her on the head or he is hitting again. If that doesn't help, go to the director. That way it lets the teacher know that you saw it and are aware of his behavior.

Sorry my response is for the wrong (aged) child. It was still early over here on the West coast.

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