Grandparents caring for DD1 - any tips to make it work?

(10 Posts)
housesalehelp Fri 04-Jan-13 21:04:20

ImNotCute - that can be a concern about multiple carer although mine copes well with pre-school, CM and GP and me

Some0ne Fri 04-Jan-13 20:50:16

Bite your tongue! You won't always agree with how they do things but you just have to let it go. It's hard but it can be done.

ImNotCute Fri 04-Jan-13 20:46:06

Your arrangement is the same as my bil & sil have for their ds. It has worked well for them.

We live too far away to do the same but I'm not sure it would have worked for our dd anyway- she's quite sensitive and I don't think she would have coped well with the multiple changes between different carers each and every week. I think it was better for her just to be either with me or at nursery. That's perhaps just her though and obviously it does work well for other people. I think having your parents come to your home (at least at first) would be good for the familiar surroundings.

housesalehelp Fri 04-Jan-13 20:34:56

my parents have been looking after my DCs for a while -its great - 1 day a week is good per GP "set" - they may be more tired than they expect - especailly as your DD gets more mobile -
have a chat about holidays - my mum gives me lots of notice which is really helpful
and also think about what happens if your DD is ill or they are -
are they going to be at your house or their's - if their's have a think about equipment - my parents have a car seat, buggy, travel cot and toys and a high chair - all can be got 2nd hand - and also think about child proofing.
As your DD gets older you might see if they want to take her to a toddler group or something - although if she is going to nursery one day a week may not be so important
do a couple of short practice sessions which each set of GPs - and give them an idea of routine, what food etc but don't stress too much about things -
when my DS was 2.5 he started at pre-school the mornings my parents have him - that has worked well -much cheaper than nursery but means they don't have him for full days
and the good thing if its not working for some reason you should have the fall back of nursery which she will be used to

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 04-Jan-13 17:41:26

My first post makes me sound awful the way I have typed blush

But I'd like to say my nan has provided cc for me since dc were babies and they are 5 and 7 and she still does 2 morning school runs and one afternoon pick up a week with NO PROBLEMS. We have never fallen out over anything. Yes my dc got put in yesterdays pants sometimes and she didn't always remind them to brush their teeth (they are old enough to remember themselves now) but I just ranted to my mum let it go. She is invaluable to me, she has them when they're ill to, and is worth the odd niggle.

Mandy21 Fri 04-Jan-13 17:18:58

My mum looked after my twins for 10 months when I went back to work after my maternity leave. I agree with other posters that in lots of ways, you forfeit the right to dictate every last detail - if you trust your relatives to provide good care for your DD, then you have to trust their judgment bite your tongue. I was quite obsessive about sticking to the routine, and giving them only the food I'd left out, which groups / toddler sessions I wanted them to attend which with the benefit of hindsight, was slightly OTT and led to a little bit of tension.

I'd start with agreeing a set day (or even a set pattern) for each couple so that everyone - your parents / ILs / DD and you and your H know what's happening and can make arrangements accordingly.

I suggest you agree up front the financial implications of it - if your parents/ILs are going to be out of pocket for anything (paying for toddler sessions / travel / petrol etc) are you going to pay for that?

Similarly if they want to have a week off / go away etc how are you going to handle that? Do you need notice (i.e. if you want to get an extra day at nursery sorted out?)

Similarly have the conversation about what happens in emergencies (say DD is not well, or the ILs aren't well, or she gets sent home from nursery) - they might feel put upon if they think they're at your beck and call for other days too.

Are they looking after her at their house or yours? Perhaps sort out an extra buggy / car seat etc / toys for them to have at their house if its going to be there? Agree how you're going to do drop off and collection. Depending on your job, be there when you say you will and don't be late. I think in lots of ways you have to treat them as if it were a nanny - you shouldn't take advantage just because they're your parents or ILs (I did cause a big row once when I went out with clients and kind of expected my Mum to put them to bed without me asking).

It really helped with us having an end date - we decided they would go to nursery at 2yrs old, and everyone worked to that timeframe. If you do think you'll want her to attend playgroup / nursery for more days etc as she gets older, mention it now so that they don't think they're being "sacked" so to speak if and when that time comes.

And the over-riding principle - you must act like they're doing you the biggest favour in the world (which they are really). Be understanding, they're giving up their precious time.

janey68 Fri 04-Jan-13 12:12:28

Read over some of the MN threads about it for starters! There have been quite a few in AIBU! And I'm not being flippant- seriously there are some examples where parents have got themselves in a right state about granny doing something a little differently to how you'd like

As others have said- don't sweat the small stuff. If you're not using paid childcare, you're not going to have control over every detail and it's not worth getting wound up about things

The other advice I'd suggest is Don't lose sight of your child's interests being the most important thing. Saving all that money is nice, but if there comes a point when you feel your child would benefit from more nursery and interaction with other children then don't let the money factor dictate your decisions.

OctoberOctober Fri 04-Jan-13 00:19:18

My parents were looking after DS 2 days a week before I went on mat leave and it was great.

Recognise they will have their own ways of doing some things and fon't get hung up on the small stuff. They will undoubtedly spoil them, remember they are prob doing this from love rather than wanting to annoy you. It isn't the end of the world if they have the odd kit Kat grin

Remember they are doing you a huge favour and it is highly beneficial relationship for both kids and GP.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 03-Jan-13 17:54:37

My experience is to let small things like food go. You have to let those little niggly stuff go because it's really good for your dd to be close to other people and your not paying for so you can't dictate everything and yes grandparents usually want to spoilt their grandchildren

FailedActress Thu 03-Jan-13 17:52:07

I am due to go back to work part-time (3 days a week) in March when DD1 will be 9.5 months old. We are very lucky and live really close to our parents and both sets have offered to look after DD1 one day a week and then she will be going to nursery for the third day. Does anyone else have any experience of their own parents looking after their children and can give me any tips on how to make it work? If it doesn't work, I can (just about) afford for DD1 to go to nursery for 3 days a week but both sets of parents really want to look after her and 'get to know her' as my FIL put it!

I know we're really lucky and I massively appreciate it so I just wanted to get any ideas from anyone who has successfully navigated a similar arrangement. I'd be really interested to hear from any any grandparents who do this too so I can get both sides of the story!

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