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How do you hold down a job when your baby picks up constant bugs from nursery?

(49 Posts)
MazeMap Sun 09-Oct-16 08:09:43

He's 14months and has been at nursery 5 months. Every couple of weeks he picks something up: colds, coughs, fever, conjunctivitis, sickness bugs. The latest D&V bug hit all of us and I've had back to back colds and chest infections since August. I'm so tired of being ill and struggling. On days I'm alone with DS I count the hours to bedtime.

I love my job and don't want to give it up. DH helps where he can but has a longer commute.

My boss has been understanding so far but if I were in her position I'd be getting fed up. My frequent absences have already caused problems with the teams. I keep getting called by nursery halfway through the day to pick him up, sometimes 2 or 3 weeks in a row!

Purplepicnic Sun 09-Oct-16 08:14:21

Keep the lines of communication open with your boss. Be totally honest with her. Make sure your DH takes a turn and that she knows it. Work from home if you can or stay late on other days to try and make the time up.

Just basically show her you are hard working, diligent and professional.

This phase will pass, it's always like this when they start nursery.

coffeemaker5 Sun 09-Oct-16 08:15:13

I just rode it out. I found that the bug things gets a lot better after 6-7 months.

Can your DH not step in and pick him up sometimes when nursery calls. We tried to do it 50/50.

As for being at home with an I'll child - annual leave. it's tough but it will get better.

Allthewaves Sun 09-Oct-16 08:15:29

First year of daycare is hell with bugs. Is dc properly ill or phonung when he has a cold? Mine uses to be pretty good. They would usually ring me to check if it was ok to give him paracetamol and Ibuprofen if he was running a bit hot then I'd call an hour later to see if he settled. Gave me a chance to get my ducks in a row before leaving work.

I also used to work a bit later or get in earlier to try and make up for any frequent dc illness

Sassypants82 Sun 09-Oct-16 08:15:40

Unfortunately, this is just the way it is. It's utterly shit, but a right of passage. The good news is, once the first 12 months are done, generally things get a lot better & baby's immunity is much improved. My DS, 2.5 was in & out like a yoyo for months & the goodwill certainly wears off with work. Can your partner share the burden?

UnlikelyRunner Sun 09-Oct-16 08:16:32

It should get better soon, the first few months at nursery are the worst for picking up constant bugs. I used annual leave to cover DS illnesses (no actual holiday that year, just used annual leave to cover the illness days), but on the plus side now he's older his immune system is rock solid from exposure to all those bugs and he's never off school.

AnneGables Sun 09-Oct-16 08:17:48

I remember going through exactly the same when my ds started nursery, it was relentless. It got better though, in another month or so i think his immune system will be more robust.

I started taking berocca which really helped me, I seemed to catch less or not as bad.

CantThinkOfAQuirkyName Sun 09-Oct-16 08:18:27

When DC start nursery it's common for them to pick up everything going. Our eldest certainly did.

It will become less frequent as his body becomes more immune.

As for work you are entitled to x amount of days off a year as you have a dependent, so it's good your boss is accommodating. Other staff just have to eat hard cheese.

Cuddles, calpol and best wishes all round

UnlikelyRunner Sun 09-Oct-16 08:20:34

I meant to add: share with DH. So I did all the middle of the day emergency pick ups because I was closest to nursery and had the car, DH did all the days off when we knew from breakfast time that DS was too ill to go to nursery. It balanced out fairly evenly.

Munstermonchgirl Sun 09-Oct-16 08:21:50

It's really hard isn't it? It will get better (and probably fairly soon now for you as he's been there 5 months)

A few tips: split any time you have to pick up during the day, strictly between you and dh, ignoring the fact he has the longer commute. It will mean your ds waiting a little longer, but that's not the end of the world, and it avoids you always getting the phone call.

- when mine were at nursery we could name a designated third contact person (apart from me and dh) who we authorised to collect the dc in emergencies. Can you find a willing friend? As it wouldn't be regular childcare, they wouldn't need to be registered.

Finally if it doesn't improve you could consider a child minder so your ds isn't mixing with such large numbers of children. Bit drastic but could be less stressful all round. You don't want to end up jacking in your job, which would have long term repurcussions, because of a relatively short term problem

MazeMap Sun 09-Oct-16 08:34:30

DH has a 1.5 hour commute so not really possible for him to pick-up. He did it once but nursery weren't happy about it taking so long as they were stuck with a vomiting baby for nearly 2 hours. They don't call for mild colds but do send him home if he has a fever or is sick.

Yes I use annual leave for most of it, but a/l is supposed to be booked in advance so it messes things up when taken as an emergency. I co-run a dept (both of us part time) so shouldn't leave dept without cover.

I've also taken a lot of sick leave.
I'll try berrocca, thanks!

Would a part-time nanny look after a child when ill? How much is a nanny compared to nursery generally? We pay £45 a day. Does anyone use nurseries but have a few 'back up' nannies on their books for when children are ill? (or for when parents are ill and unable to look after them. I might be fantasising a bit here but after a hellish weekend of trying to care for DS when both have D&V, a nanny seems like a dream!)

PinkSwimGoggles Sun 09-Oct-16 08:41:39

dh needs to step up.
he needs to stay at home with dc half the time.
if dh and I both have important things at work we do 'shifts' - both take half a day off, one mornings, one afternoon.

and it will get better!

eurochick Sun 09-Oct-16 08:48:19

Your husband needs to share the burden. I think this is pretty typical for the first year in childcare. It is tough.

Obsidian77 Sun 09-Oct-16 08:48:53

Like munstermonch said, do see if a friend could help out. I've done this loads for friends.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Sun 09-Oct-16 08:52:26

I have exactly this problem. Watching with interest.

stayathomegardener Sun 09-Oct-16 08:55:50

Look at what age you can give DS Sambuccol for strengthening his immunity and Acidophilus to up good stomach bacteria for V and D and certainly start those yourself so you feel better able to cope with the situation.
It's so hard.

Rattusn Sun 09-Oct-16 09:10:52

Either send your ds to a childminder: far less sickness in my experience, or find some helpful grandparents smile

SheldonCRules Sun 09-Oct-16 09:11:43

It gets easier as immunity builds.

We shared the time off, either taking it as annual leave or unpaid. We never called in sick as employers are not stupid and know it's a lie.

Your DH needs to help out more regardless of his commute. Both parents needs to share the burden.

Rattusn Sun 09-Oct-16 09:13:00

You could use an emergency nanny when he is sick, but it will cost a lot, far more than 45/day. Try contacting agencies.

lolo14 Sun 09-Oct-16 09:17:38

Oh boy I was unwell on and off for two years but now my DD is three and things have improved a lot. I started to wonder whether I was biologically inept! So far this Autumn, no illness (fingers crossed!) This Time last year I had two back to back bouts of tonsillitis

ilovesooty Sun 09-Oct-16 09:18:22

You are not entitled to a certain number of days off because you have a dependant as a pp suggests. That is parental leave which has to be booked in advance and is not for emergency illness. You sound like a dedicated employee and I imagine you know that.

I hope things get easier for you as your son's immunity develops.

MerylPeril Sun 09-Oct-16 09:23:07

It does get better! DD is never ill now

You need to split with DH. I would do the emergency pick up, DH the next day and I would do day after if needed - however being part time always helped me as I would usually be off anyway.
You can't do it all, it's relentless for a year or so

SummerSazz Sun 09-Oct-16 09:23:40

We used a childminder and dc had 1 or 2 sick days ever. CM never had one. When she went on hols outside of Xmas and 1 week in summer (rare) she found us a cover CM.

swimmerforlife Sun 09-Oct-16 09:24:10

Honestly OP, you are just going to ride it out, on the plus side you have an understanding boss.

DS2 is going through this phase where he is picking up everything going at nursery, thankfully DH is self employed and I can work from home if needs must.

I am the main breadwinner which means a lot of sick days fall on DH because we need my job but if DH has an important client (or whatever) I will pick up the slack. So 50/50 isn't all clear cut if one job significantly pays more.

LoisEighty Sun 09-Oct-16 09:30:10

A nanny will look after sick children but would cost £10-£12 an hour, plus expenses - more in London.

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