preparing for back to work and childminder(6 Posts)
DS is 10 mo, and will be a year when he starts with the childminder for 2 days a week.
I'm nervous because
- I currently just follow what DS wants, when he wants it, re naps, feeds etc, he has a bit of a routine but it can vary - e.g. morning nap any time between 9.30 and 10.30 at the moment; mid morning feed at 10 or 11 or 11.30; afternoon nap at 1.30 or 2 or 2.30 - and I just go along with it.
- I am still having to rock / sway him to sleep & the childminder has openly admitted she may not be able to do this. (the nurseries I went to see said they would rock him to sleep, but I don't see how they can do it either as they also have other children to care for)
- I don't know how we're going to manage the mornings, I said I'd be at the CMs for 8.30 but at the moment, DS is still sometimes having his breakfast at that time. I just let him wake of his own accord in the morning (usually at the moment this is at about 7.30am, so then it's milk at 7.45 and breakfast roughly 45 mins later).
OH will have to leave the house at 6.30am in order to get to work using public transport on the days I take DS to the CM in the car, so there'll be barely any time for me to get to the loo! (not that we're a stranger to that as OH leaves very early at the moment too!)
- CM does school run on the days DS will be there so his naps will likely be disturbed. Perhaps he'll just cat-nap in the buggy on the way to the other kids school.
I've thought of a few things I can do - e.g. I'll put out clothes and everything for breakfast the night before.
Shower myself the night before.
I'll have to actually wake DS up by a certain time if not awake already.
Put DS in playpen / cot to play in between feed and breakfast so I can get dressed.
Have some spare clothes to change into at work in case of baby sick-ups on the way to CMs.
As for the other issues around routine, well I suppose it is only 2 days a week, so maybe won't be too bad - although I have a feeling the evenings on those days may not be so nice if DS is overtired...
Maybe it's worse in a way that it's only 2 days as DS then doesn't really get into a routine with the CM either... but I can't stand the thought of not spending time with him as it is, so 2 days it is to start with anyway.
I'm sure others on here will have gone through this - all advice welcome.
I think you have thought up sensible solutions.
Shower and dress before you wake him up? If he's not an early riser I would make the most of the opportunity!
As you said, you will have to wake him. It's fine - if you had older ones at school you would have to do this. They get used to it and it's no bad thing to have to start fitting around other people a little bit!
My ds2 only goes to a cm for 2 days a week. I found that once he got to know the cm and her house he just knew what to expect there and treats it differently from home. Discuss your normal routine with the cm - it will be different there because of her routines with the other children, but that doesn't mean it won't work just as well. You and she might need to experiment and tweak things in the first few weeks to try to make sure he isn't overtired etc, but there is always a way!
First of all - relax You'll find DS settles into a routine pretty quickly when/if he has to, even if it's just for those two days.
Is it possible to drop him off before he's had breakfast so that he can eat at the CM's instead?
Or, instead of having a gap between milk and food, give him the milk as part of his breakfast (by 1 he might well be taking it out of a cup) or having the breakfast straight after the milk?
Second the idea of getting yourself up and dressed before dealing with DS, even if you stick an old jumper or something on over your work gear so that takes the brunt of any mess rather than your work clothes.
You still have two months to get him into a more structured routine anyway (if that's what you want to try and do)
Agree with Bitzer - they tend to be happy to do cm's routine when they are there, even only or 2 days. My drop off was at 8, which meant i frequently handed over cereal and milk to the cm because we hadnt managed breakfast at home! Dont worry about rocking, remember there will be other kids for him to model behaviour on, and he will soon suss they go to sleep when put in their bags.
My DS (11.5 mo) is settling in at the CM's at the moment, and I was worried about the same things as you, especially the rocking to sleep. His routine sounds similar to your DS's in that his naps are at roughly but not exactly the same times each day.
The first few settling-in sessions, he only napped for 30 mins or so. Then I left him with her for two full days while I did KIT days at work, and it was absolutely fine. For one nap, she pushed him round the garden in the buggy and got the older kids to 'help'. On the second day he napped for an hour and 40 mins in the cot
Re feeds/meals, my CM has been happy to fit DS's meals in around his naps the same way I do. I was worried about milk as I still bf, but DS stopped feeding during the day at 11 mo anyway, so at the moment he just has a bf morning and bedtime
and at least once a night and has cheese/yoghurt/milky porridge etc during the day until he can have cow's milk in a cup at 12 mo.
My advice would be to try to let go a bit (I found this very difficult) and let them find their own way. Also, try doing settling-in sessions at different times of day so you get to 'practise' bits of the routine before you leave him for the whole day. So we started off with a couple if hours mid-morning with no naps, just playing. Then from lunchtime to 4pm to try out the afternoon nap. Then a morning to try out the drop-off routine etc.
I've also always been led by my DS. He started at the CM's 37 hours per week around 9.5 months. He fits in around her really, although she does try to stick more or less to what he's used to with mealtimes etc. Sometimes that's not possible though. He probably has less of a routine at his CM's than he does at home because there's a lot more going on there for him to enjoy, so he doesn't always nap brilliantly. It has helped that my DS is a good self settler though, so perhaps you might try weaning your DS off the rocking to sleep to make things a little easier?
We prepare as much as possible the night before and let him lie in while we get ourselves ready wherever possible. It helps though that i car share with my DH so he's very helpful in the morning.
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