What to do with an older child when labour starts?!(19 Posts)
I'm expecting my second and have a 2.5 year DD. We have no family nearby to speak of so I'm struggling to work out what to do with DD when I go into labour?
She has a full time nursery place so we're okay if labour starts during the day. If I have to go to hospital in the evening or a weekend then we're struggling!
What have others done in this scenario? The handful of friends I have in the area have children of their own or are pregnant at the same time. And nobody has actually offered as yet.
Do I have to fork out for some emergency childcare? Help!
Surely any friends who have children will understand your situation? Could you ask the nearest friend to take in your child if you went into labour in the middle of the night?
Could ypu ask a Nursery staff member to do some emergency childcare at a cost?
How far away are your family? Ours were about 2 hours away when I had DD2, so I rang once I was sure labour was progressing, MIL set some kind of land speed record getting to us (it was very early on a Sunday morning) and my mum met us at the hospital. So there might be time for family to come and help if you don't labour unusually fast?
Ask at the nursery if someone could help out. What are your neighbours like? Another mum that would be willing to sit?
I went and stayed at one of my pregnant friends, was all arranged that she could call me anytime, and that way when the call came in the middle of the night, her first child was not disturbed and his daddy was back for when he woke up! Could this could be an option, my second labour I stayed at home as long as possible trying to be as normal as poss for DS and DD was very quick.
I asked friends. They had DC similar in age to dc1 so easy in terms of activities, having kit, knowing what she'd like etc. Was fine, once they realised why their phone was ringing at 7.30am on a Saturday and answered
Your friends probably haven't offered as they most likely assume you have it covered. Unless you have specifically said you have no one to look after dd. Ask them. I'm sure they will be happy to help.
Thanks for the responses. I've been too shy to ask anyone!
I'm due in January and haven't asked anyone yet either. I was hoping someone would volunteer, but they haven't, and asking feels like a massive imposition.
So the plan at the moment is to phone MIL when things are progressing and hope she can make it over before we need to go to the hospital (she's a 90min drive away). If she can't then I'll go to the hospital on my own and leave DH with DS.
I feel like it's a bit of an imposition too. You never know, someone might offer during the festive period!
I'm thinking about getting a doula so the worst case scenario is for DH to stay with DD and I'll go off to hospital - and hope that I can hold on until he can get her off to nursery!
The friend I would feel most comfortable asking has just told me she has miscarried - she would have been due the same time as me. So I really don't feel like I can ask her now; I'd hate to upset her more.
Ummmm you might not like this but you can have the baby without DH. I know it's not ideal but plenty have done it and it's quite nice actually. No one says anything daft and you can focus on the delivery. As soon as baby's arrived, call him quick and everyone can come over.
We had a similar dilemma. My mum works over 2 hours away and I labour quite quickly and have 2 older children. I came to terms with the fact that I might have to go to the hospital alone if I went into labour whilst my mum was at work. In the end I went into labour at night and my mum made the usual 1 hour journey in just half an hour and I got to the hospital with 45 mins to spare.
You have a few options:
A home birth
Go to the hospital by yourself and your DH joins you as soon as possible
Ask somebody to look after your little one and offer payment if necessary.
Came on here to ask same question. DD is 3, DD2 is due end of the month. Plan is for my parents to come from abroad 5 days before due date. I feel like I'm ready now, had the show today so now I'm panicking in case she comes earlier. Only 1 friend offered but she's got 2 LOs herself and is breastfeeding. All friends that I would feel comfortable with have got at least 2 of their own. I'm registered with Emergency Nanny but never used them. Could they find someone that short notice?
I've got 4 children and I'm pregnant but I had my friends 2 eldest for 6days while she was hospitalised pre/post birth. I've also managed a 3yo, a baby and bf and I'm definitely not the only one. I'd say if your friends have offered to help, they've done it because they think it'll be fine and I'd be much more comfortable with that option while I was in labour than an emergency nanny (who your DD won't know and who you might struggle to get at short notice in the middle of the night).
Good luck with whatever you decide
I gave birth alone while dp looked after the other two.
But I couldn't recommend it if you found your first birth challenging, as regardless of what they say about speed/ease, my three have all fol!owed the same pattern.
Could your partner look after the toddler and you hire a doula?
We're in a similar position. Why have two kids, 4.5 and 2.5 years old and just moved cities, living abroad from family. I'm currently due in two weeks, or four weeks max, iykwim.
First labor was inducen post-dates. Second time around, we had a list of about three or four expat friends who had babies the same age as my eldest, who were willing to come and collect, or receive our older kid when I went into labour. They all lived relatively close, in the same city. We pitched it as a childcare swap thingy, and we paid them back in staggered babysitting, a few hours here and there. It worked out really well for us.
This time around, like I said, we've just moved city and don't know many people, and obvs it's that difficult time of year. I've just spent today asking a heap of people that I don't really know, what it consider to be a massive imposition. However, I also know that I will find it very difficult to relax enough to let go and labour, if I'm not relaxed about what's happening withthe kids. Our priority is that it be someone that our kids already know, and they are few and far between. The most obvious choices being: mothers of I similar aged kids; crèche staff; grandparent-types; known babysitters... So today I asked our cleaning lady and offered her money and she was clearly delighted to be asked and very happy to be available, said to let her know as soon as I thought things were kicking off and spent a few minutes playing with my kids and telling them they might see her when the baby is coming. This was so comforting to me. Even though I know realistically we need a few people lined up, just in case. I also asked in my sons crèche, and have been offered a list of contacts of the ladies who work there who are available. Again, we obviously are expectingto pay for this as a "babysitting service", however, for me the peace of mind makes it worthwhile. Another person we plan on asking formally, and who has already offered to be available is a friends mother, with whom we have a pretty good relationship, and who helped us out with emergency childcare for a week previously. Said friend may also be around, depending on if it's an actual holiday day, and has a kid the same age as our youngest one. I'm sure we can pay them back in kind.
One of journey pm others will then come out to stay with us for a while after the baby arrives, but I'd like a few days to be a new family together before that happens.
So, that's it really. I won't be happy until we have a substantial list of people available. We are expecting to have to pay, and I understand that may be difficult for you, but there are ways to repay people that isn't straight money, and it sort of is to be expected when you live far away from family.
As it was with our second kid, we called my mother when I was, as I thought, a fairly long time into labour, and she arrived at the hospital a good two hours before the baby was born. Which was a bit weird...
I wouldn't hesitate to help out someone in he same situation, im ion, im sure almost anyone in a similar position would feel the same. I think you should ask people, as many as you can. Express that you don't mind if they can't, and give them time and space to make excuses if they need to, and it think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how people will be happy to help out.
I did read somewhere, I think it was Ina May, or maybe Michel Odent, that second time mums after start labour at night time, just after the older kid/so have gone to bed, because that's when she's most relaxed, and also gives the longest uninterrupted stretch before needing to find someone to look after her older kids. It was true for me, contractions started strong and regular at ten pm, just that my second a labour was very long!
Either way, best of luck and I hope it all goes great for you!!!!
We brought our 3 year old to the hospital and he was in the delivery room the whole time. We prepared him for what would happen, that Mummy might cry but it was just because the new baby was on her way. He sat and watched the ipad quite happily.
I do have quick labours though so it was over in under an hour.
I was in the exact position, no family, DS aged just under two, and I stressed and stressed about it. Paid £200 for a doula to be with me in hospital, thinking my husband could look after DS. She was a nightmare and I ended up paying her to NOT come to the hospital. So, what happened in the end was my DH and DS drove me to hospital around 11pm. My DS and DH stayed in a hotel opposite the hospital and I did the whole labour alone with the midwife. It was fine - I had a snooze and DH and DS appeared in the morning for cuddles. But it was so stressful, the lead up to the birth. A doula could be an option - just make sure you are aligned in what you want from each other.
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