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  Work –Baby showing discontent
My baby has had a nanny for the six months that I have been back at work, and has been fine. But the last few weeks he is really miserable and cries when I leave in the morning, which he has never done before. How do I figure out what the problem is?

Assuming that you have ruled out the possibility of illness or even teething, there is the possibility that your baby is ready for a change of scenery. After six months together, maybe your baby is bored with the enviroment that the nanny provides, and needs more stimulation to keep him busy and happy. As babies get towards a year, their need for stimulation and fun increases and the nanny may not realise how much he needs to be played with. If you were at home with him you would probably be making extra efforts to take him to mother and baby groups in order to improve his social skills, and also because he would probably enjoy it so much!

Hopefully you have a good enough relationship with your nanny that you can discuss this with her. Talk through the daily routine with her, and see if adding a bit of extra socialising with other babies at the park makes any difference. Also ask her to talk to him a bit more, even if it’s just discussing the housework with him. Ask her to add a bit of extra singing and playing and to be extra attentive to him. In addition perhaps you could ask your mother or a friend to pop in doing working hours unexpectedly to see if there is something going on that you don’t know about. Perhaps the nanny has really lost interest and is completely ignoring him. Or it is not impossible that she is over stimulating him and he could do with a few quiet days! You can also see if he seems to cheer up on the weekends and figure out if that has anything to do with extra stimulation or not.

Your baby is changing a lot during this time. Something new you can expect from about 8 months is separation anxiety. Babies suddenly become aware of you leaving and coming back, and may not accept it as easily as they did previously. In fact, learning to accept that a parent leaves and then returns is an important skill for a baby to master, and very much linked to his sense of security. So it may be worth just waiting a while to see if he settles down again. The other option you may want to consider if that he is ready for a day care facility. There he will get plenty of stimulation, and since he is a year old his immune system is getting pretty strong and he should be able to cope better with the germs he will be exposed to than when he was younger.

See also:

Work - Baby’s relationship with carer

Work - Childcare decisions

Work - Choosing a carer

Work - Deciding whether to go back

Work - Financial implications

Work - Guilt at wanting to work

Work - Important considerations

Work - Making the first day easier

Work - Missing baby’s milestones

Work - Returning to work part-time

Work - Spouse doing his share

Work - Stay at home regrets

Work - The downside of working from home

Work - When to return to work

Work - Work from home

Work - Working with baby present

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