I work in a peds ED and fluffy babies 4 month -18 month crowd is the hardest to get the line. Give me a 10 day old or a 10yr old no problem.
Do you have help holding? We always take 2 people to start a line usually it comes down to a good hold, they will ever so slightly twist their arms and the vein in the AC will hide.
Once you poke through the skin...wait a second or 2 or 3, let them cry and then wait for them to take a breathe. Veins will break or vasoconstrict when the pt holds their breath, adults you can poke through the skin and go right into the vein in one swift motion, most kids you can not.
Scalp veins are great veins, it looks bad to parents but a vein is a vein. And if I see a scalp but do not see anything on hands or feet or AC I will go for the scalp.
i tell parents I would rather do it once and get the vein I can see, than possibly having to go more than once.
Feet are great on the fluffy non-ambulatory
On fluffy babies, you most likely will not feel a vein but might be able to see one. hot pack the areas, hands, feet, AC and then take an alcohol wipe and wipe the skin and look for a shadow.
Does your unit have a vein finder?
Does your hospital belong in larger system that has a pediatric hospital? Ask to spend some time on a unit or with the IV team to get some hands on. We have done that in my ED to other Nurses from hospitals within our system.
You will get better