Other Child in Nanny Share Is ALWAYS Sickly - How Do I Approach This?

Updated on October 12, 2006
Y.H. asks from Chicago, IL
8 answers

Hi everyone -

I have a touchy situation to deal with. I have a nanny share with another local mom - my boy is 3.5 months, the other boy is 9 months.

The nanny share has been going on for a month now and the 9 month old is ALWAYS ALWAYS sniffly, nose is just a faucet. My baby has already caught a cold & cough from him before and it was hell staying up with him all night for 4 nights while the poor thing was congested. PLUS, my husband also caught the nasty cold so I was nursing both men of the house.

2 weeks past and the 9 month old's cough went away but his nose was constantly running, nonstop.

Now, the 9 month old is sniffly and coughing AGAIN - but no fever so his mother dropped him off with the nanny.

I'm just so f**king annoyed about this (pardon my language) - why the hell is the 9 month old sick all the time? I know he is teething and that can cause problems, but I'm just so afraid my baby will be sick constantly.

The 9 month old is off the charts in terms of weight and height so he appears healthy - his older brother is in preschool so perhaps thats where all the germs come from.

I hate the thought of having my baby sick ALL THE TIME and, I'm afraid the other baby will make our nanny sick - and I ADORE our nanny.

Should I try discussing the 9 month old's constant sickness with the mother or just pray to God my baby develops a stronger immune system?

Thanks for your help.

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone - thanks for your fast responses. I talked to our pediatrician and he confirmed - regardless of the type of child care, I can count on my baby being sick a lot for the first several months, he'll eventually grow out of it. Sigh.

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I have two kids, and I have also been through a nanny share experience with my first son. Here are my thoughts:

I think a nanny share is great, and I do think that you need to schedule meetings either with the other mom or the family from time to time to touch base, not just try and get in a word during drop off or pick up. I did this and we would talk about our schedules, changes in eating habbits, naps, anything we wanted to address with the nanny, etc. It was a huge savings to us, but the best part is that as each child approached the age of 10-12 months, they started to become really close and were the best of friends. My son, four years later is still really close to the child he was in a nanny share with even though they have now moved.

I think that some suggestions to the nanny and the other mom can be really helpful. The two suggestions are that: 1) the nanny needs to wash her hands frequently, as well as the baby's hands, and the other mom could probably benefit from more handwashing at home. It is the best way to prevent illness. I know it sounds compulsive or something, but when one of my children gets a cold, I have been able to prevent the other from getting it simply by frequent handwashing.

2) I think another important thing to stress is that you and the other mom have to agree on full disclosure about your child's health. Even if a child does not have a fever and they are feeling well enough to be with the nanny, they can still be contagious. So, she should have to tell you if he has a cold, or if he is just producing more fluid due to teething, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Unfortunately when you have a child around a lot of other children they get germs. Until they can build up their immune systems they will most likely bring it home. My daughter has been in daycare since she was a baby and the first year was tough with her getting sick, but now she only gets sick once or twice a year.

If their older child is just recently around a lot of kids he is probably bringing it back to the house and getting the others sick in turn getting your family sick. I can sympathize with both sides, on one hand the other parent probably can't take off work every time the little tyke gets sick on the other it really sucks for you and your family.

I think you are going to have this situation no matter where you go if there are other children present, but it might not be so bad if they other family does not have any kids in school. The first year of school with a lot of other kids is tough, and cold and flu season is right around the corner.



answers from Chicago on

OOoh, that's a tough one--my son is in a group daycare situation and has been sick once with a bad cold that turned into an ear infection, and I felt so guilty, becasue he obviously had gotten it from a kid there--colds and flu and rashes, even, rip through those places like wildfire. So hey, having ONE kid with a runny nose can't be as bad as that, and even that is bearable. But I know what you mean, it's frustrating to drop your kid off somehwere and see that a kid with snot all over his face is beign allowed to play with your child all day. I woudl jsut talk to the other mom about it (take a deep breath first and chill so you don't come off angry) and see, she may be concerend as well...? If she's not receptive, you may need to find another nannyshare or jsut shoulder the cost of a nanny all to yourself. But what I keep telling myself is that he's building up immunities--when i was a little girl my sister and i were totally sheltered form people with germs and now, we get sick all the time! My husband, on the other hand, played int eh dirt and ate mud pies and dug up worms, etc, and he's never been sick a day in his life. germs can be a good thing.



answers from Chicago on

Did your child just start daycare? They all get sick when they start any kind of childcare. When my son started he was sick for awhile off and on. We all have germs and a 3.5 month old does not have a defense against them. My doctor told me that even if the other kids are not sick your chances of getting sick in a childcare setting is high, because the child has to get use to everyones germs and build up their immune system.

My son has a bad sinus problem and his nose is always running and he coughs alot since he started daycare in April (he is just now better). Every month it is something different, and with a sinus problem when you get a cold it goes into a sinus infection. The care giver knows of his problem and we take him to the doctor for it all the time. I think if another mom talked to me about I would be abit upset, since he does see the doctor and does not have a fever.

If the other child does not have a fever, it might just be that your child is getting sick from germs, or the weather.
If you do talk to the other mom it should be out of concern that her child is alway sick. There might not be anything that the other mother can do about it, maybe it is an allergy or sinus infection. Think about how she has to deal with a sick child all the time.

I Hope your little ones immune system kicks into high gear soon. I know how it is when they are sick, you just hurt for them and wish you could be sick instead of them.



answers from Chicago on

The advice about often being sick is true, whether it be from exposure at a preschool or daycare. Still, your son is very young and you chose NOT to send your son to daycare, where he would be exposed to more germs. In other words, he is getting the germs from the preschool, just as if he were in daycare. I would be really mad also. Your son is too young, imo, to be exposed to so many germs, unless it is absolutely necessary. I think it is just bad luck that the other family has a child in preschool (so many germs.) Though you love your nanny, you would need to have her without sharing with this other family, or find another childcare provider. Otherwise the germs will keep coming. This is unfortunate and unfair. You have some good advice here, but your son is so young...If you are not happy with this situation, don't be afraid to make some changes. I am not afraid of germs in general, but this situation would be unacceptable to me. Also, you can find part-time nannies through agencies. Midwest Nannies is a good place to start. www.midwestnanny.com



answers from Chicago on

Hi Mom,

Yes, I think you should approach his mom maybe he has a sinus problem and, since she is not treating it on time it turns into a cold when the cold starts the coughing starts. Or maybe he is just a sick baby some babies are just like that no matter what the moms give them they always seem to get sick. I think that you are going to have to find your self another babysitter for the goodsake of you baby. Talk to her and see what she has to say she mught get upset but let her know to put her self in your shoes. This is why my husband works night's so he can stay home with my daughter. It has worked out so good she harly ever gets sick. This is what we have to put up with when we have to have someone else takecare of our kids. Good Luck!!!



answers from Chicago on

I just wanted to add that you'll find that children this age tend to have A LOT of runny noses in the winter months. My children tend to have what seems like a constant runny nose all winter, but are otherwise healthy with a few mild colds here and there. I think regardless of the childcare arrangement your child will pick up colds.

By the way, most daycares allow children who are very mildly ill (i.e. mild colds, runny noses, etc.) but who have no fever and seem to otherwise feel fine to attend daycare. I think as long as the other family is respectful not to drop off their chid when he is clearly much sicker, you shouldn't (in my humble opinion) worry too much about it.

The last thing I have to say is to put yourself in the other mom's shoes... if you have to work and your kid has a little cold but is otherwise fine, what are you to do? I know your child is still very young, but even young babies are pretty resilient. My younger daughter caught a cold from her older (toddler) sister when she was 3 weeks old. It made for some sleepless nights, but we all got through it.



answers from Chicago on

My first child started daycare (small home daycare with <8 kids) at 11 weeks. Second child started daycare at 1 year. Both of them were pretty much sick for the entire first year of daycare, so it didn't matter what age they were when they started. With the younger child, he honestly was sick constantly - as soon as one cold or bronchitis or fever left, another would appear, I swear, within a week. We were at the pediatrician twice a month for six months. The good news is that the older one didn't miss a single day of Kindergarten for illness. He never catches anything.

I'm not sure what to advise - you may want to wait on the nanny share until your son is a little older. Eventually your kid, unless he has a stellar immune system, will spend the better part of a year having colds. Maybe you could ask your pediatrician what they think. There doesn't seem to be much point in talking to the other mother - what can she do about it? No more than you can, if you think about it.

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