Baby staying away two nights a week

(82 Posts)
blushingmare Sat 10-Nov-12 21:21:16

Id really appreciate people's opinions on this as I'm in two minds.

DD is currently 5mo and my PFB. I'm going back to work two days a week when she will be ten and a half months. My parents have offered to look after her for those two days - amazing as I won't have to pay childcare and I know she will have the undivided attention of people who love her as much as I do and share my values and priorities for bringing her up.

BUT - my parents live an hour and a half away. They have proposed that they have her to stay with them, so I would take her down on a Sunday evening and they would bring her back on a Tuesday. I'm really not sure about this. I don't know if I could bear to be away from her for two nights every week and I don't know how she will cope with it either. It will be enough of a wrench being parted during the day, let alone at night and she's bound to find it very confusing at that age surely? Also practically speaking I don't know how it would work with feeding. She is EBF and I know she'll be on solids by then, but she will still need milk and I really would rather not give her formula at that stage and want to keep on BF on my non working days. It wouldn't surprise me at all if she still wasn't sleeping through the night by then and I hate the thought of her waking up upset and me not being there for her.

As she's my first I don't know how I'll feel by then and how different she will be then - at the moment she is so dependent on me it's hard to imagine it being different. So I'd appreciate others' thoughts on it, particularly if you've been in a similar position.

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Nov-12 08:49:00

I don't believe that encouraging a close relationship between DC and GP is ridiculous. My 20 yr old DS still talks about the evenings after school that he used to play indoor bowls with my DF, and other things they did together. That's 10 years after DF died, and I'm so glad that my DC have such happy memories of my Dad. It worked for everyone - although I appreciate that every situation is different, and I certainly wouldn't judge anyone for whatever decision they made.

AThingInYourLife Fri 16-Nov-12 07:23:27

Just pay for childcare.

This is a ridiculous arrangement for all concerned.

ajandjjmum Fri 16-Nov-12 07:09:03

DS stayed away from us regularly with my DP, although they were only a few minutes drive away from us. It was probably about once a week on average. Later on both DC used to stay over at their nanny's house every Wednesday, to give us a night to ourselves. Worked for everyone, but it was only one night.

Would it be feasible for you to take DC to your parents on a Sunday evening as planned, and for your parents to return to yours on a Monday, and stay over? I think the key to success is that you all agree to be completely open, and if something isn't working, that you can talk about it and sort it out, without hard feelings.

Good luck!

crescentmoon Fri 16-Nov-12 06:53:03

I actually did this whilst I was working after having dc1. My parents lived 2hours away so they would pick him up on Sunday and bring him back Thursday. I was totally happy with the arrangement as I was feeling completely swamped with work and hated the drop off pick up constraints I had. But DH absolutely hated it and steadily got more and more miserable about ds being away half the week. After 2/3 months my mum decided to stay with me half the week and the go back herself. It was lovely for us as she usually cooked everyday as well as taking care of ds1 but then my dad got steadily unhappy. Then I got pregnant and we had to move for a new job and we all breathed a sigh of relief when I took a career break!

SilverSixpence Mon 12-Nov-12 10:37:41

Don't think this is a good solution for childcare. DH left my DS with his sister for a night when he was 18m while I was on nights at work, there was awful snow and he ended up staying another night then I insisted we had to get him. When he saw us he was so upset that he hit me sad I felt so guilty at leaving him - even though he had been fine with them all weekend he must have felt distressed or wouldn't have reacted like that. I would not have wanted to put him through that regularly.

mycatlikestwiglets Mon 12-Nov-12 10:29:54

OP, just to add a bit of experience as to how this sort of thing can work - my DS has been staying overnight with his GP for one night per week since I went back to work when he was 12mo. He absolutely loves it, and has built up a fantastic relationship with his GP as a result. I do really miss him on the night he's away, but it was by far the most practical option for them to keep him overnight given they look after him for two days. Two nights for me is a bit too much though - he's done it once, and I was desperate to get him back!

I think others on this thread are right when they say that at 5mo it is probably too early, and 2 nights is probably too long. There is a big difference though between a 5mo and a 1yo and you might be able to do something along the lines your parents have suggested later if you can come up with a better short-term arrangement.

TheonlyWayisGerard Mon 12-Nov-12 09:03:03

I would have loved this. But I had crippling PND and DD was ff. In your circumstances it's probably not a good idea. It will be nice for your DD/DPs when she's a bit older, but not this early.

Mytimewillcome Mon 12-Nov-12 08:57:54

I wouldn't do it. My husband and I both went to 4 days a week so that our child could be in nursery just 3 days a week which seems on a par with people who have help.

I think when you have children parents on both sides so desperately want to have a relationship with your ds that they don't seem to think about your own relationship with your ds which is the most important. My MIL offered to look after my child from 6 months old and they live 4 hours away (I said no) and still asks for him to stay at theirs even though he is only 2 and a half years old and I won't let him.

Personally I think your parents staying with you is the best option. I used to rush home from work to see my child and he used to crawl up to the front door to me with a big smile on his face. You don't want to miss out on that.

UniS Sun 11-Nov-12 23:03:52

I have a friend who makes the OPs situation work, and has done for a few years and two children. BUT the mother goes to GPs house with child stays over, commutes to work, returns to GPs house, sees children, sleeps, commutes to work, returns home, meets GPs and children at home.

pjd Sun 11-Nov-12 22:33:08

I continued to bf after returning to work. I went back full time, so for practical reasons had to introduce some formula for daytime feeds, but continued to bf morning, evening, and whenever he woke during the night. I went back to work when he was 10 months and carried on bf until he was 13 months. I'm really glad I could carry on, as I wasn't emotionally ready to stop bf when I went back to work. I would echo what others have said about the difficulties of you continuing to bf if you are away from your baby for 2 days, so doing this could force you to stop bf before you are ready to do so. Hope you come up with a solution that works for you. My boy went to a childminder and has come to love her dearly, so that worked for us. Although it would be wonderful for your parents to be involved, perhaps this could happen when your baby is a little older, as others have suggested. Good luck.

dixiechick1975 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:10:14

Just to say that there are many more years for the grandparents to be involved. An excited 5 yr old spending 2 nights a week with gps in the school hols for childcare is a whole different ball game.

I forgot to say that sometimes ds would stay over the night before too if I needed to be at work early, making it 2 nights away from me. It was always 2 nights without me putting him to bed, sometimes 3 .

I seem to be the only one, but I did something very similar and it worked really well.

I worked 2 11 hour shifts back to back so dropped baby to my mum before work on the first day, she looked after him all day and he stayed there overnight. She again cared for him the following day then brought him back and put him to bed in my house. I didnt return until after his bedtime so she would wait until then.

Plus points were that I knew he was looked after well and with someone who adored him. Ds and my mum still have a fantastically close relationship and obviously it saved us money.

Bad points were that I couldn't find a way to make breastfeeding work so switched to formula at 5.5 months once he was properly on solids. I did miss him but felt this was better for him than long days in nursery or with a childminder at this stage in his life. If I was finding it particularlly hard i would drive to my mums before or after work and peep at him sleeping.

It definately did not cause my son any problems. We actually started this much earlier than you, he was 6 months when I returned to work.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 11-Nov-12 15:09:18

Op - you and your dp can register to get child are vouchers, that's £243 tax free each every month which adds up to a useful amount.

As for childcare costs taking most of your salary - that is indeed the case for many mothers returning to work. You have to look at the bigger picture though - household income (paying for childcare is not just the mothers responsibility) and also long term career prospects and how having more time off might affect that.

HearMyRoar Sun 11-Nov-12 14:06:08

Going back to work and continuing bf won't be a problem if you at coming home and feeding hungery baby. I went back 3 days a week when dd was 4.5 months and still bf at 7.5 months with no problem at all. I think it only might cause issues if you are not feeding at all for 2 days.

DontmindifIdo Sun 11-Nov-12 13:46:28

Can you get childcare vouchers to help with the nursery costs? Or look at childminders near you. Remember when you get to 3 you will find your nursery costs will fall dramatically with the free hours. It's only therefore 1 /12 years where you'll have high childcare costs, worth keeping your hand in work wise to avoid having to start again in 4 years time.

Welovecouscous Sun 11-Nov-12 13:42:20

I agree with you op - this wouldn't work for me or DS - not pfb at all.

I went back one day a week when he was 11 months and am still bf now, so I really think you can express and leave a bit of milk and you can carry on the bf perfectly well.

Can you work from home at all?

blushingmare Sun 11-Nov-12 13:38:22

No mummy I said I don't think it's a control thing. I think they haven't really thought it through in terms of the impact on her and me for the separation and are trying to be helpful but would prefer to do it from their own home (I think they think we don't live in that nice an area - London borough compared to rural village that they're in! And they have a bigger and more comfortable house etc etc)

I think I'm going to talk to them about them coming to us to look after her til she's 1, then we'll reasses things. I don't think we could afford a nanny, we could find the money for nursery although that's practically most of my salary which makes me wonder why I'm bothering going back to work at all! Still, I know this is the decision thousands of women face all the time!

Thanks for everyone's input.

DontmindifIdo Sun 11-Nov-12 11:42:08

I always think if you can afford to pay for childcare, it's best to not rely on favours from family, because the compromises generally make it not as good for you as using paid for childcare. In your case, the compromises will make your life so much harder and make you more miserable. I would find the money.

mummytime Sun 11-Nov-12 09:23:44

Your parents don't want to stay at yours because its a "control" thing? Do think seriously about free child care by relatives. There are huge pitfalls, and its not an easy option. It can be far easier to use a professional Nanny or Child minder. Do at least go and visit some CMs, and or get to know some Nannies. The quality of care and the professionalism could really impress you. People do not usually do these jobs unless they really enjoy children, and they can offer as much care as Grand parents, with the big advantage that they will listen to you and not think they "know best".

naturalbaby Sun 11-Nov-12 09:11:39

If your parents want what's best for your DD then you can explain to her that it would be best for her to be cared for in her own home if it's for long hours. Dealing with separation from you would be easier in her home environment.

At that age, depending on your work hours, you could BF first thing in the morning and as soon as you get in from work, then at bed time and still maintain supply. My babies were ebf till 9months then some days they had 2 bottles and other days they had none, some days 1 bf and other days lots.

Yes, it would be nice for your parents to be involved, but they live too far away for this to be practical.

I don't mean to be harsh but I think you need to have a good look at your relationship with your parents, and the extent you're willing to make yourself unhappy in order to please them.

Can you afford paid childcare? Have you and your DH registered for vouchers?

You can definitely still BF morning and evening if it's every morning and evening - but I can't see it working if your DD is away for 48 hours every week.

There are other issues to consider too - such as your authority as parents. To put it bluntly, if your parents are having her for that long every week they will end up making decisions about the way she's raised that you may not like, and there won't be much you can do about it.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Sun 11-Nov-12 00:19:17

I bf one of mine morning and night for 5 months AFTER my return to work. I only gave up when I had to do a 2 day course and she didn't want to know when I came back.

PixieHot Sat 10-Nov-12 22:43:01

I went back to work when DS was ~11 months, and initially he BF just after he woke up, when I got home from work, and before bed (but more often when I wasn't at work). He's 2 now, and still BFs in the morning.

SarryB Sat 10-Nov-12 22:41:56

My friend was just BF first thing in the morning and last thing at night when she went back to work when her babies were about 7 or 8 months old.

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