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Au pair returning home in the early hours

(21 Posts)
ReadTheWholeFred Sun 02-Oct-16 09:22:02

We have a really good au pair who is 19 and great with the kids and a pleasure to have around. We have only one problem which is that at weekends she goes out with friends and tends to get home at 5am. THis is danger hour for our kids as the slightest noise can wake them and at that hour they won't go back to sleep. Left in silence they will sleep til 7.

I don't want to tell her she can't stay out late but I don't want to start each weekend morning at 5am. Our door and wooden floors are loud so there is no getting her to be quiet.

WWYD?

Karmin Sun 02-Oct-16 11:28:47

Personally, I would talk to her explain what happens and see what she comes up with as a solution, start with praise on how you like her then explain the issue then leave some silence.

Could she stay with the friends? Come back a couple of hours later? Come back earlier?

Karmin Sun 02-Oct-16 11:30:05

Is there any way of modifying the door so it is quieter and she can then take shoes off so she is quiet on the wooden floors?

NuffSaidSam Sun 02-Oct-16 13:08:56

It sounds like everyone is reasonable so just explain to her what happens and see if you can come up with a solution together.

I'd also tackle the children. How old are they? If they're school age then I would be explaining to them that 5am is night time and they need to go back to bed until the clock says 7am, because that's when daytime starts. You can get one of those gro clocks for any little ones and a proper clock for older ones. Leave a drink and snack next to the bed incase they're hungry. Make sure they have a night light/light they can reach so they can read quietly while waiting if they don't go back to sleep. Then leave them to it. 5am is too early to be waking up passed the baby/toddler stage.

eightbluebirds Mon 03-Oct-16 18:45:20

Has she actually woke them up yet?

BarbLives Mon 03-Oct-16 18:57:36

What time would you prefer her to come home eg. before 4.30am or after 6am?

ReadTheWholeFred Mon 03-Oct-16 19:30:02

Thanks all. She has woken them up several times already. Twice she realised because they immediacy made noise but the other times she didn't as they came into us after a few minutes.

Do you think it's reasonable to say please come home before 4 or after 6.30 but not inbetween?

ohtheholidays Mon 03-Oct-16 19:32:09

As she's out with friends would she be able to stay at one of they're houses,even if just for a few hours so she gets back after 7 am?

yoowhoo Mon 03-Oct-16 19:39:20

Hmm sorry but I'm going to have to say I think it's an unreasonable request. Work with her to try make her door less squeaky etc.. maybe put a mat on the floor to make less creaky. I'd hate to be out on a night out and having to come home early or waiting around. Also agree with poster above about telling the kids to stay in bed. I'm assuming slightly older children as au pairs aren't usually meant to look after little little ones.

ReadTheWholeFred Mon 03-Oct-16 20:27:13

Au pairs can look after any age. Au pairs come in all shapes and sizes in terms of experience. You just make sure you employ someone with the experience and attitude right for your family. Its only on MN that I hear this mantra that an AP mustn't go near an under 3.

As it happens all mine are over 3 but I Just wanted to make that point as I I couldn't have survived the baby years with number 3 without the help of our past au pairs. They were mainly here to look after the older kids but they were an amazing help with the baby too. One of them ended up becoming his godmother!

BarbLives Mon 03-Oct-16 22:34:05

If they are over 3, I'd lean towards teaching them to stay in bed until morning. My 2.5 year old understands he can't get up until his groclock comes on at 7am.

yoowhoo Tue 04-Oct-16 06:49:39

Op I said 'au pairs aren't usually meant to look after little little ones' by putting the word usually I wasn't categorising them all. I've worked as a nanny for over 4 years and wouldn't definitely contemplate becoming an au pair sometime in the future. I'd be more than qualified to look after babies.

Karoleann Tue 04-Oct-16 12:50:12

The british au pair association recommends that au pairs don't have SOLE care of under 2's. Read I assume that you were at home too when you had an au pair to help with your baby which is a completely different matter.

I've had 4 great au pairs, but still wouldn't have a left an under 2 with any of them for more than a few hours for the first few months.

OP - I think the problem with asking your au pair to come home at a different time is that she then have to come home on her own (without her friends) which isn't ideal on a night bus. Maybe discuss it with her and if that is a problem offer to pay for a taxi every other week. But I don't think you're being unreasonable - who wants a 5.30am start on a weekend?

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 05-Oct-16 13:01:21

Ask au pair to come in earlier or later due to kids waking

But

You really need to sort out early waking from children and teach them
To go back to sleep. If over 3 then to tell them it's night time and go back to bed. This done over a few nights will stop waking and getting up

They may cry and scream but keep firm and should work

ReadTheWholeFred Wed 05-Oct-16 21:57:37

The thing is I sympathise with the kids. If I wake at that hour it's hard to sleep again. They aren't naughty kids, they often stay in their room, they aren't running about like looks but although they are trying their best I can hear them fidgeting and coughing and moving about and we are clearly all awake and unable to sleep.

MLGs Sun 09-Oct-16 23:36:15

I think saying before 4 or after 6.30/7 but not in between is fine.

It's still your home and she's not there to wake your children in the early hours.

It's not like she's being forced to come in by a particular time. If she doesn't want to be back by 4 she can wait til 7.

jannier Wed 12-Oct-16 13:05:08

Interesting thoughts on saying stay out longer....I wonder what would be thought of asking your own teenage daughter to stay out until 7am on her own because her friends live the other direction maybe?

I would ask her to be as quiet as possible and look at noise reduction possibilities....is the house quiet from bedtime or do they sleep through others coming and going, music tv etc? I would also be teaching the children that it is not time to get up which to be honest is easier in winter anyway. Its no different to if anyone gets up for the loo in the night, you cant say please don't go to the bathroom between 4.30 and 7am....sounds to me more like they are waking and know you will let them come in because you have done it in the past. I would rapid return to bed. Children get used to all sorts of things this is no different to one parent getting up and being ready to leave for work by 6am. Once you are used to the noise and know what it is your brain doesn't wake you up.

jannier Wed 12-Oct-16 13:13:02

Readthewhole fred...

I wonder is it that they often wake this early or are normally stirring in their sleep but you don't normally know it because you are used to their noise and it doesn't rouse you enough to wake but the AP coming in is new so does? 4.30 to 5 is a normal transitional sleep time when we go into a more awake phase so move, fidget, cough etc. but are not always actually fully awake and if left to ourselves go back to sleep fully.

Cloeycat Wed 12-Oct-16 13:17:05

Am I the only one that thinks staying out till 5am is crazy anyway? And I say this as a 25yr old who until 6 months ago used to go clubbing every weekend and often a weeknight too! By 2.30/3 all I want is food and bed 😄

Like others have said just have a chat with her about it, be clear you have no issue with her going out just the kids waking. She will probably agree to coming home before 4.30 or after 6... it's not as if you are giving her a 10pm curfew.

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Wed 12-Oct-16 23:59:28

Get her to babysit at the weekends. Problem solved!

velourvoyageur Sun 23-Oct-16 09:56:05

Can she stay at a friend's perhaps? Probably safer than coming home alone as well.

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