Who to look after LO?

(26 Posts)
Dizzythedragon Fri 08-Aug-14 17:04:53

As we meet BM?

LO will have been home for 3 weeks and is 4 months old.
Meeting can't be postponed, it's now or never.

Do we acquaint LO with someone now, who could then look after LO - perhaps this person could come with us and be nearby whilst meeting takes place, saving us the travel time, ie would only be separated for actual meeting time?

Or do we acquaint LO with someone who looks after LO at our house? Probably about 3 hours.

Or do we drop LO with a random person from the LA team for the duration of the meeting?

I'm not entirely comfortable with any of these - am I missing any other obvious solution?

Many thanks!

adoptmama Fri 08-Aug-14 17:54:05

I'd personally be inclined to have someone look after him/her in your own home, which is at least familiar surroundings. And definitely have them spend time with you and the LO in your home first too - even if it is just to have them round for an hour or so before you go out. It will be ok.

Devora Fri 08-Aug-14 18:55:02

When I went to meet BM (who didn't show up - twice) I took dd1 with me. We met at the social services offices and they supplied a play worker who kept her greatly entertained. But dd1 is my birth child (dd2 was with her fc) so a different situation. But in your situation I would be inclined to ask SS for help. At 4 months old I think it is better to minimise the time she is away with you and have her with a cuddly stranger for 40 minutes than attempt to train her to accept being left with someone else for two hours.

Good luck.

Devora Fri 08-Aug-14 18:55:27

Just seen that I've directly contradicted adoptmama! Ah well, you pays your money...

For what it is worth, I would go with the home environment and pick a friend or family member who is important to you and who will become important to your dd.

We chose DH's parents for our first time away from ds, and they looked after him at our home. He is 3 so a lot older but actually can be a tricky age, and he had been home longer, about 2-3 months.

Someone else may come on and suggest another idea but I just feel familiar home, familiar smell and bed, her toys on hand, it's all pluses and if at all possible she may feel OK. but try not to worry, even a couple of hours is not that long a time and she may settle. We had a trial run for about 20 minutes the day before and our ds was fine on both the trial and the actual day.

bberry Fri 08-Aug-14 21:30:26

Could the lo's social worker do it at the contact centre whilst the meeting takes place as he/she would be a familiar face to LO?

I too would go with less time at the contact centre....

Is it wise for the little one to be at the same contact centre as the birth parent a the same time? Could you be sure you would not run into each other in the car park or hallway at the end of start? That would be very disturbing for birth parent. Maybe these things are well managed, not been there (meeting birth parents) yet so do not know. If birth parent asked where is little one today, what could you say?

I feel having your little one close (physicality) might be distracting for you.

If you were to have a friend at home, might you have begun the process of building up a friend who could stand in if there were an emergency? I know by the time there may be an emergency months down the line this may not count! (Of course hoping not for emergencies! - But I digress!)

I only count as one vote for family or friend at home because I already posted! I am not trying to bolster the case for home, just not sure if having baby at the same contact centre you and BM are at would be wise, BUT I am new to this, have not yet met our little one's birth parents.

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 08-Aug-14 22:04:51

I would suggest a full bottle if you can before you go and then someone to take dc on a jolly long walk! Hopefully dc might sleep the whole time you are away.

Congratulations btw and hope your time with bm goes well.

wanttosinglikemarycoughlan Fri 08-Aug-14 22:10:51

I would go for the shorter time with LO being looked after at the contact centre
We are a fair distance from a contact centre though so would be a long time away

morethanpotatoprints Fri 08-Aug-14 22:15:32

Do you have family who showed an interest in getting to know the child, this would be my first suggestion. Is there somebody an auntie, cousin etc who will have a relationship with your lo.
My Godmother used to babysit for me or a family member my mum told me. She wouldn't leave me with anybody else, except Dad of course.

Good luck with your meeting OP.

Dizzythedragon Fri 08-Aug-14 22:51:09

Thanks everyone!
It just seems awfully soon to be leaving LO with anyone at all.

IGH, I believe the issue of accidentally bumping into each other could be safely addressed. As to what we'd say, the truth I guess!
I think I will be distracted no matter where we leave LO.

bberry I believe LO's SW has seen LO about three times, briefly. Not a familiar face I'd say. Plus LO's SW apparently needs to be present at the meeting.

IGH again, rather than building up connections for emergencies, if we were to draw on a friend now, I fear we'd be using up our emergency contingency - but may need to re-think this.

Merry, full bottle and long walk sound like great ideas, no matter where we leave LO! And thanks! smile
If we were to introduce some friend (family not available unfortunately - bad timing) I worry that we would be recreating scenes from intros - which are still very recent! But at least LO would be in 'familiar' surroundings. Not THAT familiar though, only having been here for three weeks.
On the other hand, leaving LO with the 'team' would mean short separation, but unfamiliar places AND faces. But then, babies go to unfamiliar places all the time don't they? It's really the separation from the people that matters more I think. And to keep that as short as possible could be worthwhile.

Don't know...

Devora Sat 09-Aug-14 00:32:56

I don't know, I really don't, but my instincts are that a 3yo WOULD be better left in a familiar environment with people they had been introduced to a couple of times. You can explain to a 3yo that you are going but will be back, they will be distracted by their toys, can watch CBeebies etc.

A 4 month old is not going to be mollified by toys or TV. You can't explain what is going on. You can introduce a friend but unless they see LO very frequently they will not be familiar enough for this to help. At the contact centre a SW can also take LO out for a walk - or indeed come and get you if the baby is really distressed.

I guess it depends on how far from the contact centre you live, what guarantee you can get that arrangement will keep LO apart from bm, and how much you can introduce this other person.

Of course, you could also get your LO to know a friend, and then bring friend to contact centre...

I must admit it is along time since I was 'in charge of' a new born baby and when dd was little she did go everywhere with me. So Devora you could have a point.

CatHackney Sat 09-Aug-14 01:03:35

When my baby was 4 months old, I would have had issues leaving him with someone, but my baby would have been fine with anyone, anywhere, who was generally amusing (cuddly people who make faces, sing, and bounce) and kept him well fed. So, for my own piece of mind I'd bring him with me and have someone nearby look after him and I wouldn't be the slightest bit worried about the fact that the surroundings or faces were unfamiliar.

I think one thing that my baby did respond to was confidence - when people were nervous around him, he was nervous around them. So, if your emergency backup friends aren't really comfortable with babies, this might be a good opportunity for a friend to come along with you and get to know your baby and become comfortable with a baby so that if you ever did actually need to leave the baby with someone for a longer period (heck, you never know when you're going to break your leg), everyone would feel more confident that it would go smoothly. But just having someone from SS look after the baby while you're in the meeting would work out entirely fine, I think.

Dizzythedragon Sat 09-Aug-14 16:41:20

Cat, that is quite true about it often being the mum having issues with leaving a baby with someone, whereas baby would usually be fine.

However, as much as I want to believe this, well this 4 months old LO hasn't been here with us for 4 months, but rather only for 2 weeks. When we go to that meeting, it will have been only three weeks since LO was uprooted from everything.

And, before going to FC, this particular LO had already learnt (drummed in) that carer figures aren't permanent. So the most recent uprooting/move to new placement (us) may well have just confirmed (unconscious) expectations and have been a further step towards hard-wiring those expectations in LO's brain.

I'd love to be confident that LO will be fine, but I'm afraid I'm not. I am quite worried. I 'console' myself by thinking that this separation, though it will probably have some effect, won't at the end of the day be THE decisive factor i.e. if we get it right, LO will have a happy life, if we get it wrong, LO will be miserable. No, we will get many more chances to fuck up get it wrong ;)

SuperScrimper Sat 09-Aug-14 17:22:51

Genuine question. Why would it be so bad for the Birth Mother to see the baby? In a contact centre she could hardly do anything dangerous and surely if she is willing to come and meet adoptive parents and social services are encouraging that..?

I don't know, it just seems cruel to have the baby so close and actively try and prevent her seeing the baby. Might it actually be a nice, comforting things to do?

But I'm coming at it from the angle that my adopted parent saw the birth parent regularily without any unpleasantness so that's just my experience.

fasparent Sat 09-Aug-14 17:40:03

May be you could look into using a sure start or children's centre where there would be experienced people around. We have good experiences of this, staff are dedicated too looking after all children in all circumstances our LO's were very comfort, would sound them out.

Dizzythedragon Sat 09-Aug-14 17:44:07

SuperScrimper we would be willing to consider 'direct contact'. But a) BM does not at this time wish to see LO, and b) if and when contact should happen, it should be planned and organised, rather than by chance which could be hard on people's emotions.

I don't think there is any 'danger' but it most certainly would be awkward. Not 'bad', but awkward.

Dizzythedragon Sat 09-Aug-14 22:42:02

How about if one of us doesn't stay for the whole meeting, but leaves half way through for instance, to keep LOs time away from us shorter?
Or would that be too disruptive for the meeting?

OutsSelf Sat 09-Aug-14 22:52:34

I'm not an adopter yet so please feel free to ignore me. I would not leave my securely attached bc -either of them- at that age for that length. I'd take the baby with me and care for her out of the room at all times with a parent, swapping whenever it felt appropriate for the baby. That might have meant, for one of my babies, up to two hours without primary caregiver, but the other would have needed a bit more frequent check-ins with me.

Dizzythedragon this is just my personal opinion and you can feel very free to ignore me but I would not cut the meeting short to go and be with your baby. I think this meeting may be very important to you and your other half and I think you should get all you can from the meeting.

My 'concerns' about your baby being in the same building with birth parent were not at all that there would be any danger to the baby, simply that it could be distressing for the birth parents to know the baby is in the building, perhaps to see them at a distance or maybe to hear them if they were to cry. That if the baby were in the building and you knew it, or if they cried and you heard it this could jeopadize the meeting in that you would be distracted and may feel the need to go and see baby is OK etc.

I am a new adopter and my son is a lot older (3 nearly 4) and has been home longer (3 months - about two and a half before we had our meeting which both DH and I had to go to). So the only thing that was similar was the length of time of the meeting, which was two and a half hours in total including travel time.

I was very nervous about the meeting and about leaving ds.

For us it worked out fine and I now feel that those fears I had were unfounded.

One person said something helpful to me, something along the lines of one meeting not making a big difference to things like attachment.

I think you may need to speak to a professional (your social worker or someone else in the department) who can put some of your fears to rest. I really do not think do not need to worry that this one meeting and your being away from little one for three hours will damage your growing relationship. I know it feels like it, because I felt the same even after ds had been home longer. But I am not sure it would be such a terrible thing for your baby. It's obviously very stressful for you so I think doing whatever would make you feel most comfortable is the best thing. Try and get the best out of this meeting and I really do not think you will damage your growing relationship with baby. As others have said, a nice full bottle and a nice sleep and soon enough you will all be home again.

Maybe bit more than two and a half but not as long as your three.

Thefishewife Tue 12-Aug-14 15:04:06

Sorry I would not be inclined to take dd if the bm knows he's their their might be a ugly seen also you wouldn't want their to be a accidental meeting

Try one of your parents at your home

Dizzythedragon Mon 18-Aug-14 22:56:56

Just thought I'd let you all know what we did and how it panned out...

We decided to leave LO with in-house childminder, to minimise the time we'd be away - it was a total of about 80 minutes. The meeting took place about 5 minutes walk away so no risk of chance bumping into each other.

LO screamed at the childminder for about 45 minutes. Then was consoled by a bottle, despite definitely not being hungry, and finally fell asleep a short time before we came back. Everyone in the building had heard the screaming, it caused quite a commotion (LO has a loud screaming voice...).

LO was fine afterwards, but we've had some fall-out (I feel) the next day, and ongoing. Feeling sad that we couldn't find a way around this. We can deal with the fall-out but I just wish it hadn't been necessary.

Thanks for letting us know. try not to feel too sad, you did it for a good reason, Dizzythedragon.

Hope the meeting went well.

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