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Best to put 10 month old part-time with childminder for 2 consecutive days or leave a gap inbetween?

(18 Posts)
MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 07:43:50

I'm about to start back at work for 2 days a week, the days are flexible as I'm freelance. Initially I'd planned to put my lo with a childminder for 2 days, say Tues and Thurs, leaving a gap in between. However the childminder I've chosen now says she can only offer me Tues and Weds.

In other mums experience, will this be harder on my child? Will she be thinking 'oh no, Mummy is leaving me all day again in this place?' Or will it be easier because she has been there all day the day before and got used to it?

I am going to phase her in very gradually as she has separation anxiety. I've left her for a whole day before with her dad or Auntie, and she's been fine. However she has been at home, not in a strange place with other kids.

Also the childminder did say in her experience children who only went for 2 days per week cried a lot more than those who did 3.

I'd really appreciate any advice.

jules1308 Sat 15-Jun-13 08:06:05

I went back to work when my little boy was 12 months old. He's with a childminder for 2 consecutive days and I find it works really well. Like you, he had never been away from me so I was really worried about leaving him. He cried for the first hour, but apart from that he's been absolutely fine and loves going there. To be honest, I'm not sure the pattern of the days makes a huge difference, as long as they're happy in the environment.

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 08:11:21

Thanks Jules, that's good to hear! I have no idea how she will react, I take her to lots of groups eg music, which she loves but of course I am always there with her. I'm just going to take it slowly so she can get to know the childminder, and hopefully she'll be fine.

jules1308 Sat 15-Jun-13 08:21:03

I'm sure she will be but I do understand, it's a big wrench. If it's any help, I do think we underestimate how adaptable they are, my son really surprised me.smile

doughnut44 Sat 15-Jun-13 08:25:12

every child is different so what works for one won't necessarily work with another.
I personally would prefer 2 consecutive days but if it's not possible then it's not possible.
I have also found that the mindees who have been gradually phased in have been the ones who have struggled the most. My preferred way of doing things is for parents to bring baby two or three times to get them used to my home and my face and voice followed by being left for a couple of hours and then being fully minded. that has worked for the majority of little ones x

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 08:28:57

Thanks Doughnut, it's good to get a childminders opinion. I guess I'll play it by ear and see how it goes, she may settle quicker than I think. What do you think about babies who only do 2 days crying more?

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sat 15-Jun-13 08:37:37

I'm a cm and have never noticed them crying more because of less days, I have two babies for four hours a week and neither cried, one is at the separation anxiety stage now and cries when mum hands her over but stops as soon as mum leaves the room. I would maybe go for a coffee, then leave for an hour or so then the next time a few hours, then a half day then full if your cm can accommodate this.

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 08:44:05

Thanks Twinkle, that's reassuring to hear. I'm a bit worried about her being able to go asleep without me too, at the moment she breastfeeds to sleep, I guess I will have to start sleep training her now to fall asleep in her cot...

Some babies take longer to settle than others. I like to do really long settling-in, you come for coffee a couple of times, next time leave baby for an hour, you go to local coffee shop with a glossy mag, then you go get a haircut next time, baby has lunch with me and so on. Obv sometimes this ain't possible, we just go with the flow in those circs.

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 08:52:29

I would prefer that way myself too Boys, I think once she gets to know the lady and the surroundings she'll be fine. Coffee and a haircut sounds great too! grin

Oh yes, sleep! You will be amazed at how quickly she will accept sleeping in a different setting. I have had the most incredible non sleeping babies all napping beautifully. Sometimes the baby needs sling, or carrying/cuddles, rocking, at first, but thats lovely fine, too.

Gah, all this baby talk, I am off work at the mo with a broken leg, dont ask! and I really miss baby cuddles, boooo. My own chaps are bigguns now, don't fit on my lap, ha ha.

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 10:47:09

Sorry about your leg Boys flowers get well soon!

happydazed Sat 15-Jun-13 10:53:19

I agree with doughnut. I find gradual and long settling in harder for the child. the worst is when the parent stays with the child for an hour or so and then leaves. I suggest pop round just once or twice with the child, them leave them for a couple of 2 hour sessions and that's enough. it helps if the first day or maybe couple of days can be half days as it can be a long tiring day for a baby in a new place. try not to think of it as mummy leaving her in this place. it will be a nice fun place and she will enjoy it.
I don't think it matters if the 2 days are together or not. I would say children doing 2 days can take a little longer to settle at first. but she will be fine.
try not to let her see you are worried about leaving her. a quick cheerful goodbye and handover at the front door is best. I had a mum sitting on my couch crying when leaving her child. really doesn't help.
it would probably be easier if you got her used to a cot but I wouldn't worry too much. I have had children who had only ever breastfed to sleep, settling happily in a cot in a couple of weeks.

ReetPetit Sat 15-Jun-13 12:14:17

try not to drag it out too much op - i know it's hard for you but your anxieties will rub off on your child and this will make things much harder for her and the cm. i have had 2 children in all my years as a cm who never settled and this was because mums were very stressed and worried at leaving them and insisted on an extended settling period.

Let the cm do her job and take her lead on the settling. i would suggest you do a short settling period and then let her go on with it. personally, i never take it over 1 week and would prefer to just have 1-2 visits with mum and then just take over.

you also need to try and address the breastfeeding to sleep, if you know you are going back to work, you are going to have to sort that so your dd can self settle. your cm will do things her way and your dd will have to get used to sleeping at the cms however she does it, but you can help this along by not bf to sleep...

i think 2 days a week is ok at this age, the days don't make too much difference but i would say given the choice i would go for tues-weds as opposed to tues-thurs.

HSMMaCM Sat 15-Jun-13 14:52:45

I have children that come consecutive days and separate days. Both are fine. I usually do settling fairly fast, finding they only really settle once they get on with our normal routine.

MumOfMissy Sat 15-Jun-13 20:30:28

Thanks Reet, Dazed and HSMMaCM for your input. I definitely won't be like the mum crying on the couch but I may shed a quiet tear after I've left! I've got her new cot set up in room, just need to bite the bullet and start trying to get her to fall asleep in it rather than me transfer her after bf to sleep. Wish me luck...

cherryade8 Sun 16-Jun-13 13:55:08

Hi OP, my dd goes to a wonderful cm three days a week, Mon tues and Thurs. I enjoy the gap on a weds as I miss her when I work consecutive days! If you've found a good cm though then I'd go with whichever days she has available.

Regarding bf to sleep and sleeping alone, I worried about this too, however cm was brilliant and said not to worry too much as dd would have to learn a different routine with her anyway (different carer, different house, cot etc) so actually the most important thing was that dd remained happy at home and didn't have too many changes all at once iyswim.

I did several weeks of settling in sessions at cm house where I stayed with dd there and played for an hour at atime so cm could get to know dd well and she could become relaxed in the surroundings. Her dad dropped her off once she started going for full days, we found ddcried less that way.

Dd is 18mo now and loves her cm, in fact she runs in her door at drop off and ddoesn't want to be taken home when we collect her! There are some great cm out there, we love ours, she is brilliant imo, I'm so glad dd goes to her and cm teaches her lots of games and social skills. I'm sure you'll be fine, it may be hard at first but assuming you're happy with your cm I'm sure it'll all work out well, good luck!

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