Baby staying away two nights a week(82 Posts)
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.
Tbh I couldn't, not with either of my dcs. So I don't think you're being pfb.
I think you need to find other child care
I would not do that unless it was the only option. Too young, too far etc. I feel a child needs one home at that age.
Would it be possible for them to come and stay at your house to look aft her?
I couldn't have coped with doing that at her age, and I would worry about your continued bf aswell
No, you need to find some other form of childcare
That is a good idea, them staying at yours.
I would not have liked this.
But the other thing is that at 5 months it might be ok with your dd, but soon it is likely to become more difficult for her. I don't think it's a good long term solution, tbh, although a great offer from your folks.
No no no. Not ebf at 10 months. That's prime separation anxiety time and yes you might be up half the night feeding but you will have cuddles and that time.
Why do you think your parents are dictating this? Do you think they think you shouldn't be working? It just all seems rather conditional rather than convenient.
No, don't do that unless you have absolutely no other option. My first few weeks back at work were very hard and it was only seeing DS's face light up when I picked him up from nursery that made them worthwhile. Going home without him would have left me with a very heavy heart indeed.
I wouldn't. Its not practical, not really, and 10 months is a high point for separation anxiety.
They either need to come to you, or you need to find childcare.
Don't think you are being pub at all, I couldn't have done this with either of my Dcs, plus you need to talk through your plans with a BFC so that you don't get mastitis. For me, what got me through the work day was looking forward to a huge feed and cuddle when they were picked up.
I'd either ask them to stop at yours or find a cm or nursery that is supportive if bfing.
I couldn't have done this with my 3.
Even before u said you were ebfing I was thinking bad idea but knowing you ebfing absolutely no way.....u must look at alternatives
I wouldn't do this - the odd night would be fine -but 48 hours every week I wouldn't be able to cope with - also the petrol costs would be fairly high I think so you might not save that much - have a good look at other options-and do it now as places do get very busy depending on your area childminders can be very affordable - and very good - and also look into childcare vouchers
Sorry but there's no way I could do that, what if your parents couldn't cope one night and your so far away? Or if your DD got ill? Also I couldn't have my baby away from me for so long
No. Just no.
(for me, anyway)
Get a childminder or part time nanny. Your parents suggestion will not work
This doesn't sound great. Can your parents stay at yours?
My DD has been staying odd nights or two with my parents since she was 5mo but it was occasional. I'm quite happy being apart from her then, as I know she's having fun and being cared for, but doing it every week would be a killer. It could also muck up the bf, which would be such a shame.
Has your DD stayed alone with your parents before? While yes, 10m is the high point for separation anxiety I think if a baby is very comfortable with their GPs then this can be slightly less of an issue (as in they see GPs as an alternative care giver and are happy with them) but it is still 2 nights out of 7 and that is a lot for you as well, not just baby.
No way! I couldn't do this. Going back to work after my maternity leave ended was so bloody difficult, there's no way that I could have done it if I wasn't going to see DS later the same day.
No I certainly couldn't have done this, is this the only option?
No way, apart from all that's been said I wanted to add personal experience, albeit a bit later: my mum went back to uni when I was 18mo and I stayed with my dgp 5 days a week, they say that I was in years every Sunday night when she was going away, and lived waiting for the Friday eve when she'd come back. I am now very close to my dgp, and have had a terrible relationship with my dm all my life. I am in no doubt it's because of that. Don't do it to yourself!
No way. I think your instincts are right.
No way could I have done that. I would look for another option.
Gosh, it sounds like a great idea to me. Your DD will be fine.
This just doesn't sound workable to me, at all. Can they come and stay with you instead?
No no no.
Won't work due to age (seperation anxiety), ebf, and you will be miserable missing your 10 month old baby 2 days a week. Just no.
If you do end up doing this then I'd take her to your parents on a Sunday, both of you stay over, you commute to work on the Monday am, she stays Monday night and then your parents bring her back on Tuesday pm.
That way you only miss one night. Still tough, but I've got a friend whose dd stayed over with her grandparents one night a week from about that age (for similar reasons) and it was fine.
That doesn't sound sustainable for your parents either. It's a lot of travelling for them - and every week? Have they really thought this through?
Think you're going to have to find another option.
at ten months it wil be very different, though i still wouldn't want them away overnight.
if that arrangement made life possible after 1 year, a bit different - maybe rethink jus tthose first two months?
IME separation anxiety at 10 mo is because I went back to work then every time! I didn't feel guilty though - needs must etc. baby is in good hands.
No, not pfb. I wouldnt be able to do this. DD is 23 months and DS is 7 months and as much as I am dreading going back to work and sorting childcare, as much as I am totally knackered and could do with a night to myself to actually have a decent sleep, no. I dont really think it's natural tbh. Go with your instincts.
Personally I would not have liked to have done it with any of mine.
BUT it is common practice around the world. Needs must in many families.
I am sure, if done right, it does not harm the child. If they are well cared for and feel loved and secure it will be ok.
It really depends on a/do you want to? b/do you have to?
Am I the only one who thinks this is ok? I would be happy to leave my 10 month old with my parents.
I think the issue is really the EBF - because if you want to continue BF, I don't think that would work if you didn't see her for two whole days a week.
Can't your parents stay at yours?
Ok. You are looking at this as your DD is now I.e young baby, exclusively breastfed etc and unsurprisingly, you cannot bear the idea. But at the age of 10 months, your DD will be a different baby completely, much more independent, eating solids, maybe even walking and almost certainly crawling.
I really wouldn't write this off. I would rather my DD was in the care of grandparents than paid minders.
I think Sleepyhead has a good idea.
i think it unlikely child would still be EBF at 10mo anyway
but i think most people don't like their babies away overnight
I think it is ok but that isn't the same as wanting to do it IYSWIM.
grandparent care i have found to be really good, and gives great continuity. it is a weighing-up of that benefit vs the inconvenience.
I would have been happy to leave DS with my parents; their care of him would not be an issue. But I would not have wanted to be away from him for two days every week unless I had to. I would hate it.
I am sure your parents have the best of intentions, but this sounds to me like a disaster in the making. I went back to work when DS was 13 months old and still BF, and I used to love picking him up at the end of the working day for a big cuddle and a breastfeed, and I was also still feeding during the night. Yes, it was a bit tiring, but DS was the happiest, most securely attached child imaginable, even though I was at work for four full days each week. I know childcare is expensive, but I think you would be far better off finding a childminder or nursery you are happy with, near your home.
Is there anyway that your parents (or even just your mum or dad) could stay with you for two nights?
I'm in sort of a similar situation: my DS goes to nursery all day on a Monday and Tuesday morning. My mum picks him up from nursery on a Tuesday afternoon and brings him back to my house, she looks after him from here and stays Tuesday night and looks after him all day Wednesday. My parents live 1 hour away.
When I started back at work my son was 9mo and I was still breastfeeding (I still am at 11mo ) there is no way I could have gone 1 night, let alone 2 without feeding him!! Plus his separation anxiety kicked in at about 9/10 months so it was really important for me to go home to him and reassure him.
Can your parents stay with you at all? Or, find a nursery/child minder for your days at work.
Courts don't even give overnights to an ex partner with an ebf baby under 1yo. Too long, too far IMO.
Not sure really. I would completely trust my parents and I'm sure it would give your child a wonderful opportunity to know her grandparents. I'm sure she would be fine. Its whether you can deal with it really. I'm sure my anxiety levels would be through the roof purely from missing dc.
Sarry, I know what you are saying, I would be - and am - happy to leave my 10mo with my parents, they are having her next week for 3 nights simply because they are off work and we thought, well, why the hell not? They get to have fun, and DP and I get a wee bit of a break. I also genuinely think that separation anxiety isn't always that bad and that babies can be happy with quite a few people (as in, my DD is happy with me, DP, my parents and her CM) and not feel a huge loss of a parent when another close care giver is around.
Personally, though, I would feel that the regularity of separation at a young age, with throwing return to work in to the mix, might be a bit too much for the OP. I suspect it might end up being far more upsetting for the OP than for her DD.
My 5 yr old dd had her first sleep over a few weeks ago and I was pacing the house with anxiety. A little OTT I know. Goodness knows what I will be like when dc finally leave hone.
I can't see this working as per the original suggestion, but have you considered staying with your parents as well? If they've the room to out you as your baby up that could be a solution.
I probably feel it is ok as my dd used to go to my dad one night a week from 9 months when I went back to work.
dd1 went to school in the morning and grandad picked up and I had just dropped dd2 with him at 3pm - I worked two shifts back to back to get 16 hours of work in and finished at 3pm the following day, I did one other half shift.
I did this for 18 months, For me though it was a full 24 hours and I was back and most of that time dd2 was asleep and I had worked 16-18 hours of my 20 hour working week.
Nelly you maketh a good point. If the OP is going to find it stressful, this will rub off on the baby.
How about for the first couple of months, the parents stay at yours, and once baby reaches a year, you could try at theirs instead.
I remember reading that the maximum nights away that a child could cope (w/o having to 'detatch' for their own psychological protection) was equal to the years they are old. It was on MN, a long while back.
I couldn't do what your parents are suggesting for the reasons you ouyline in any case. My DS was not eating enough solid food at 10mo for it to be okay, and the introduction in the pattern of formula would affect your supply (I would strongly suspect - no expert).
For context, I returned to work when DS was 19mo and he upped his night feeds on days when I worked - partially for food but probably mainly for comfort/ reconnection.
I think whatever the 'truth' of how it would work out for your baby, you should honour your instincts as a parent. True, you can sometimes go wrong in this, but feedback from those around you/ those affected usually will let you know when you've got it a bit wrong. But on the whole, trust yourself, would be my advice.
"and the introduction in the pattern of formula would affect your supply" - and the introduction of formula in the pattern you describe would affect your supply. (sorry)
Op - your DD would probably be fine, but you wouldn't be - you wil lhave to have stopped breastfeeding long before this. You would have to deal with the separation. You will have to teach your DD to settle without you, teach your DD that mummy won't be there every night.
I wouldn't do it, some people are comfortable to leaving their DCs with others from a young age, but you don't sound like that. If you're not, it's hell being away from them overnight.
I wouldn't let my 12 yr old do that EVERY week.
Not pfb at all.
Oh, and if you do this, accept that you'll have stopped breast feeding by then. It's not going to work if you try to stop feeding for 2 days a week and then expect to just pick it back up as if your DD has been there the whole time.
If you do this, take the decision to do this, you need to have given up breast feeding and dealt with the emotional fall out from that, you don't want to be back at work with sore boobs and then with a baby who won't feed when you get them back and feeling like a failure at the same time as dealing with the separation, the back to work stress - it's a recipe for hellish few weeks!
Thank you so much for your thoughts everyone. I was wondering if I was being overly protective to have my doubts, so it's reassuring to hear so many other people's doubts about it working!
I have absolute 100% confidence in my parents ability to look after her, but it's the separation I, DH and possibly DD would find so hard. But at the same time it would be really lovely for them to be so involved with her and I know they would love it too. They just don't really seem too keen on staying up with us. I don't think it's a control thing, I think they just like to be in their own space and their home area etc. And I'm aware that they would already be making a massive commitment by looking after her and I don't want to stretch their generosity further by making them stay away from home. But seeing all your comments gives me reassurance that it's not unreasonable to not want her to stay with them, so I know we need to discuss it now.
On the question of BF. Do you think I will be able to continue BF whilst working 2 days a week if I am with her at night? I thought I would be able to manage this by pumping at work and giving her expressed milk in a sippy cup during the day, but reading some of the comments here makes me worry that's not feasible either?
Yes I think you could do that op without many problems. Don't forget once dd is weaned she will be dropping milk feeds anyway. My dc were bf first thing in the morning and last thing at night. They naturally started to drop the other feeds.
at 10 months I was working 2-3 days a week -and still BF both DCs -I think at that age both had some formula the days I was working - and then BF normally the days I was at home - I chose not to express with DC2 when I went back to work when he was 10 month old and am still BF - a bit - with him over 2 -
I work 30 hours a week, dd is 15 months and still bf. not exclusively, but mostly. It's entirely doable (she was ten months when I went back).
you can feed morning and night only - lasted a month or so for me.
although at 9-10 mo i used to go home form lunch to BF baby from work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Just pay for childcare.
This is a ridiculous arrangement for all concerned.
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.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.