Childcare and commuting with a baby

(43 Posts)
chloechloe Tue 09-Jun-15 16:29:25

I'll likely be returning to work when DD is 9+ months old. DH and I both work 50 miles from home in opposite directions and I am debating whether I should put DD into a creche near to home, or in-house at my office.

Having her in the office has loads of advantages - I can pop down and see her during the day, pick her up easily if she is ill, and if I have to work late I can take her into my office with me. I'm wondering if it would be crazy to try and commute with her though. My commute is just over 1 hour - 15min walk to train station, 30 min direct train, 2 stops on underground, then 5min walk to the office.

if she were near to home, it would be much more difficult to pick her up if there are any problems (we don't have any family nearby so would probably need to have a childminder on call to pick her up just in case). Plus it would mean seeing her less during the day.

Any thoughts? Am not sure how realistic it is to commute such a distance with a baby on a daily basis. Then again, colleaues I have who live in the city centre probably spend 45min crossing from one side of the city to the other with a child in tow, even though the distance is much shorter.

lynniep Tue 09-Jun-15 16:41:49

I hate to say this, but I resigned due to this very issue.

Having 'met' DS1 I could not see a commute working AT ALL with him (and that was in the car - no way on earth I'd take him on public transport) He just wasn't the kind of baby that would work with - very high maintenance.

I didn't want to leave him near home an hour away from me and DH, and besides there was no childcare available to do the hours we'd need for that to be realistic anyway.

Jackiebrambles Tue 09-Jun-15 16:49:19

Hmm, personally I wouldn't do this. Having childcare near to home works better for us as we can both take responsibility for drop offs/pick ups if he's ill etc.

Plus there have been times when I've been ill and it's still possible then for ds to go to nursery and for me to rest/get better at home without a toddler to look after!

I'm expdcting my second now and ds is in nursery now and I only have to walk 5 mins down the road to get him!

So it's worth bearing these things in mind.

Thurlow Tue 09-Jun-15 16:50:00

I would say, being completely and utterly honest, that knowing what trains and tubes are like during rush hour this could be a one of those slow burning nightmares. Is there room for a pushchair on your normal train? Can you get to your train platform easily? How's the interchange between the train and the tube? How busy is the tube at that time of the morning?

It's the kind of thing that seems like it might be ok with a 9mo, but at some point your DD will be 2, and might not like being in the pushchair, or might fall asleep on the way home and then be awake until 10pm.

Sorry to sound negative but I don't think it would be realistically doable in the long term. Plus all the little things like what happens if you are ill, what happens if you plan to have a second DC etc.

Personally, I would look into childcare closer to home, and have a chat about how you and your DH can possibly change your hours. Or just do those hours - I do, out the house 8-7, I don't see much of DD during the week but she has her dad at home a lot, and I have her alone most weekends.

Nolim Tue 09-Jun-15 16:58:45

I would not commute in the train/tube with a baby specially in rush hour.

My commute is similar to yours and we dont family nearby either. We manage by shifting working hours: my dp has arranged to start and finish work on hour earlier so he has plenty of time for pick ups.

Artandco Tue 09-Jun-15 17:06:28

I would take baby to office nursery. Using a sling it will be no different from now. Then you not have to worry about being late home either. I have taken mine into office and on tubes in central London in rush hour daily since they were weeks old. Always in sling, never pram though. People always always stand and offer seats when you have baby in arms in my experience or you can just ask

You can always change nursery/ nanny/ childminder further down the line as they grow if needed

susannahmoodie Tue 09-Jun-15 17:09:18

Near home every time...

What if they get ill and you have to do that commute with a poorly baby?

What if you want to put them in nursery on your day off?

What if you have another one and want to keep them in nursery during your second maternity leave?

KleineDracheKokosnuss Tue 09-Jun-15 17:09:51

I'd use the work nursery. Its a real bitch sometimes trying to get home on time, and it would be heaven if I could just pick dd up and take her to my office while I finish off.

TakeDeux Tue 09-Jun-15 17:12:57

There will come a time when your baby is sick all over both of you on the way to the office.

I can understand why you would want to see her during the day, but I think this would be very disruptive and possibly upsetting both for your DD and other babies in the nursery.

Personally I think you will do a better job at work if you are in work mode undistracted. I know I would.

I second a pp about seeing if you and DP can both juggle your hours to accommodate a nursery near home, or even look for a different job.

Also be sure to have at least a few babysitters on hand in case of commuting emergency.

SirChenjin Tue 09-Jun-15 17:13:16

Nearer home - definitely. if you're ill or away from the workplace for the day then it's still possible for your DC to go to nursery, and you will be more able to share drop offs/pick ups

Applecross Tue 09-Jun-15 17:19:25

I'd go for a child minder near home. My dda are so tired after nursery the idea of schlepping around in transport at that age sounds horrible. And yes, picking up a poorly baby and doing all that...I wouldn't go for nursery again tbh, if you're doing long hours I'd go for a family atmosphere - I have none round me and I went for nursery as I felt it was safer and dd hated it - we tried changing the nursery and it was all just too much stimulation for her with hindsight. Any chance you can wfh one day a week?

Lilipot15 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:24:29

We moved so one of us wouldn't be so far from work. DD was once very ill at childminders and I had to take her to hospital. This focussed my mind on how difficult it would be to be both at least 50 min away from her. I can see though that you are in London so a much longer commute is far more normal than it is where we live.
Also late naps on your journey home if you are commuting with a child who will almost certainly be shattered after a long day at nursery may disrupt sleep.
Sorry I can't see an easy solution to this one.
Certainly being pregnant with my second, it is a blessing to have childcare 5 mins from home.

Lilipot15 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:27:58

I'm sorry, but I've just seen your suggestion that if you have to work lare you can take your child into the office with you - that is just not going to be practical with a mobile 9+ month old.....tiny baby possibly, but it just wouldn't work (unless you were working in childcare yourself or had someone else in the office to mind her)

NerrSnerr Tue 09-Jun-15 17:29:52

I'd go nearer to home, it would be easier so you can share the nursery drop off with your husband and if he's ill it would be a miserable commute with a baby with d&v on the tube and trains.

My commute is about 40 minutes and I'm desperately looking for jobs nearer to home as that extra hour or so is an extra hour I could have with my baby.

SirChenjin Tue 09-Jun-15 17:32:17

I missed the bit about taking your baby into the office. That really doesn't work once they are mobile grin

Artandco Tue 09-Jun-15 17:39:45

In the office works fine with kids. Mine have been coming in daily the whole day the last 5 years. Admittedly it's my company so I make the rules they can come but it's not been a problem. I have a large office space to myself with a side room attached. They use side room to nap/ read/ chill/ play imaginative games now. In my main office they draw, or play with various toys

At 9 months and in ops situation I'm assuming she means she just needs to finish some paperwork another hr max. If she has her own office room she can just keep a small basket of toys there, shut the door and let baby play/ crawl around. In the evening most office would have left anyway or in finishing off mode so not full on.

PonderousTortoise Tue 09-Jun-15 17:40:47

I commuted 30mins into central London with Dd from 12-19months for a nursery halfway to work. It was only three days a week, but it was really really tough - she was exhausted, the trains were always busy, people didn't always help/give us a seat (or even help me carry the pushchair on steps when I was 8 months pregnant with dc2). I would not do it again if I didn't have to.

When I went back to work after dc2 I used a nearby childminder and worked 9.30-3.30 which made things much more manageable (still ended up quitting though!)

Is a nanny (perhaps shared with another family) an option? I'm not sure how likely you are to find childminders that will be 'on call' for nights you work late?

insancerre Tue 09-Jun-15 17:48:08

You can't really expect a child under to be available in case your child was I'll and needed collecting from nursery. Unless you are willing to pay a nursery and a childmnder
Have you considered a nanny? It will be less stressful for your baby to he cared for inbrhwir own home. Instead of bwng hauled around like a package

Duckdeamon Tue 09-Jun-15 18:02:54

If a nanny (the ideal ImO) or nanny share wasn't affordable I would (and have) go for a local childminder who is flexible about lateness due to public transport delay.

If DC are ill or injured then a CM (or nursery) could get help quickly, and that's unlikely to happen often so I wouldn't base day to day routine on that. The same risk is there when DC get to school age and DC go locally then anyway.

Commuting with DC would be hellish for you (and fellow commuters often won't be at all sympathetic - DH has helped someone regularly commuting on with a toddler sometimes when people are horrible to her but even he avoids carriages with grumpy, tired small DC if possible!)

As Pps say it's unrealistic to take DC into office if you have to work late! Also unlikely you'll be encouraged or able to pop in during the day.

Duckdeamon Tue 09-Jun-15 18:04:57

Artandco your situation of being your own company is really different. DC are not even allowed in many offices.

Jackiebrambles Tue 09-Jun-15 18:06:30

Also we are in London and both dh and I work about 50 mins from nursery. The nursery understand that as it is the case for most parents to be honest. If he's ill then they call and we leave as soon as humanly possible and they jus administer cuddles and cal pol if required til we get there!

Duckdeamon Tue 09-Jun-15 18:15:46

In 3 years or so our childminder took our kids to the doctors once or twice as a favour and to A&E (for one of her own DC) once, leaving the other DC in the care of another CM we knew (this was a back up plan she'd made her clients aware of).

bialystockandbloom Tue 09-Jun-15 18:16:17

Definitely nursery nearer home. Commuting's bad enough in London, especially with a baby in tow.

Also depends what kind of work you do, but I can't imagine any office circumstances that I could have worked easily with a baby crawling around, picking up all and sundry, pulling wires, emptying the contents of someone else's desk, banging heads on desks, crying, needing nappy change, food, entertaining etc, while I was trying to concentrate on work.

Being at nursery further away from work isn't that much of a problem. If she's clearly unwell you wouldn't take her at all, and the chances of you needing to rush back within 10 minutes for an emergency is teeny tiny. I don't think in over 6 years with two children at nurseries/schools I think I have only ever had to rush back to pick one of them up once.

Isn't part of the point of work to have some time away from your dc? grin

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 09-Jun-15 18:24:58

I did similar when DS was little and although most days it was fine, the days when the trains were diverted because of a signalling problem or delayed for random reasons were incredibly stressful. It was more stressful, though, when he was in a nursery near home and I was stuck on a train unable to get to him... We ended up moving for better childcare options, sorry that's not helpful

One quick point - you probably won 't pop down during the day to see him in an office nursery - that would be really unsettling for both of you

Applecross Tue 09-Jun-15 18:29:23

Yes you've reminded me of I had to go to dd's nursery in the day for an event she'd get really upset if I left again she hated routine changes

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