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How early can I go back to work?

(40 Posts)
WaspFactory Thu 03-Jan-13 15:39:51

I'm thinking of having my first child (I'm 35 now) but I don't know my options for childcare and how early I can expect to go back to work. Is 3 months too young? Can you even get childcare for that age or do you have to get a nanny? As you can see, I'm totally clueless having actively avoided children and people with them all of my adult life.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Thu 03-Jan-13 15:51:51

When you go back is upto you, I looked after a 4 month old. Some childminders have a minimum, my friend will have a 2 week old start soon and I know of a 6 day old starting at another local one.

Just ring round a few childminders/nurseries a couple of months before.

WaspFactory Thu 03-Jan-13 15:55:02

Wow, 6 days old? Thanks, that's a great help smile

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 15:58:59

You may need to check out your childcare options sooner rather than later - the good nurseries get booked up. Our nursery wouldn't take a baby younger than 3 months.

forevergreek Thu 03-Jan-13 16:00:07

I'm a nanny. All my jobs have started from newborn with mum back at work approx 12 weeks later

ReetPetit Thu 03-Jan-13 16:08:20

3 months is good from both baby and childminder's point of view (much easier for settling) and it would be a good idea to look into nurseries as early as possibly during pregnancy as some of them have stupidly long waiting lists. However, with childminders, you don't need to worry as much, we work on a shorter term basis generally and you are best to look around the time baby arrives. (If i remember rightly - we can not take a retainer for an unborn baby anyway)

You may find you feel differently about going back once your baby arrives but it's best to cover all bases and keep your options open.

MirandaWest Thu 03-Jan-13 16:10:10

I think legally if you are employed you can't start back at work until your child is 2 weeks. Although not sure if you are self employed if there is any similar legislation.

WaspFactory Thu 03-Jan-13 16:11:06

Great, thanks for the advice. I really thought people would say it was way too early. Now I just have to worry about paying for it.

paying for it you and partner if employed are entitled to childcare vouchers so google to explore these. These can also start from when child is born so can build up a stash useful if childcare is going to always be more than voucher value. (wish I had know this as only found out mth before went back to work)

to cover maternity leave finacially before i got pregnant and when pregnant we put some aside into a seperate account to cover short fall in my salary.

Maybe stagger going back to work I did 3 days a week but on a four day a week contract using annual leave one day a week for 12wks eased finances. I went back at 9mths.

DD's nursery takes them from 3 months - though I think it is quite rare to get them that young and they need to do their settling in period before starting. I think the staff would love to have a really little one.

Just to put some perspective on it, I had a very bad birth with complications which would have made going back at 3 months impossible - 5 or 6 might have been realistic, this is unusual, but possible. Also DD was 2 weeks late - not sure if that would eat into your planned 3 months. It is worth being prepared for needing to take a bit longer.

cheddarcheeselover Thu 03-Jan-13 21:55:30

I was working when DD1 was 5weeks, but I'm freelance, so did a project then took a break before the next.
DD2 was a more traumatic birth and I was off till she as 6m, though I could have gone back a bit sooner.
Make plans, but be prepared for them to have to change.

mindingalongtime Fri 04-Jan-13 08:23:41

I have had a 5 week and a six week old with the 16month old sibling!

6 days IMHO is far too young, feeding hasn't been established, cord may still be attached, possibility of jaundice, all 'problems' I have seen with new booked in clients, not that I would say no, I would be honoured!

The wonderful thing of having a 3 month old is they need NO settling in, only the mum does! Any baby up to 5-6 months needs minimal settling as they have not reached the separation anxiety stage. 7 - 8 months is hard, and after that much harder still.

I have been minding 26 years, I know from experience!

Twattergy Sat 05-Jan-13 21:08:39

You can get child care from super young as the above posts outline. However if someone had made me put my son into nursery or even with a nanny at 3 months I would have been distraught. It's so early, you and baby are still getting to know each other. You will likely also be exhausted from night feeding. I love my job but 10 months would have been earliest I could have happily gone back, and I actually took a whole year.

Karoleann Sun 06-Jan-13 16:02:19

Most people don't go back until 6 months, its quite unusual to see really little ones at nursery now (although most do take from 6 months).
My brain doesn't work properly until they're at least 6 months old again. Combination of hormones, lack of sleep and breastfeeding.
Why anyone would want to leave a 6 day old as beyond me.

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 16:06:45

I started work again at four months, three days a week. It saved my sanity.

WaspFactory Sun 06-Jan-13 16:21:11

I've no idea how I'll feel but I will definitely be sharing night feeding when I go back to work. Me & my partner might both do a 4 day week, we haven't thought that far ahead yet.

Yeah we'll be tired but it won't last forever.

yousankmybattleship Sun 06-Jan-13 16:24:13

Wait and see how you feel. I don't think many Mums could leave a three month old baby. Good to be prepared, but also prepare to be surprised by how you feel!

My DM is a CM and she has had a six day old (whos mum was a student.in her final.year) and she minded the baby til he was 13. They had a great bond, she does with all her mindees, and ends up being like.an aunt to them. If going back so soon, I would recommend a CM over a nursery as most CMs are only allowed one under one so your dc will be the onpy newborn so can be held snuggeld rocked slinged fed as he needs.

WaspFactory Sun 06-Jan-13 18:00:23

If I wait until this time next year to start TTC then I'll get a much better maternity leave/pay deal from the company I work for which would mean I could stay off longer, but I don't want to wait that long to start trying so I'm assuming that I will have to go back in some form after about 3 months.

It's reassuring to know that about CMs only being allowed one under 1 y/o. I don't think I would struggle to leave the baby, I think it would be good for him/her not to be too attached to me.

noblegiraffe Sun 06-Jan-13 18:08:34

You might think that now you'd find it easy to leave a 3 month old baby but honestly, don't underestimate the hormones involved, they can make you feel entirely differently to what you expected. It's an animal instinct to protect your young!

I know I could have gone back to work when dd was three months. I had already booked a CM and my return date and annual leave for another four months after that but could have gone earlier and was more than ready to return when I did.

Dont forget to add annual leave onto that too. For instance, if your leave calander in Jan- Dec, and baby was to arrive syart of Aug then you could do three months Mat leave, followed by all your AL for that year to take you uo to the end of the year. you could also take all of next years leave from january too, giving you another two months. So 7 months with four of them on full pay holiday.

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 18:13:59

I cannot tell you the sheer blissful relief when I started work again.

JustFabulous Sun 06-Jan-13 18:15:41

I think planning to go back when baby is X old is a bit daft tbh. You have no idea who you will feel. You could be recovering from a c section, knackered, not want to leave your baby even. Of course you could sneeze the baby out and be back to normal the next hour but you need to be realistic.

motherinferior Sun 06-Jan-13 18:19:47

Er...most of us do have to plan when we go back. We have to work out how much maternity leave we're taking!

JustFabulous Sun 06-Jan-13 18:19:57

"Yeah we'll be tired but it won't last forever."

MIne are 7, 9 and 11 and we are still knackered!

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