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Toddlers visiting you in hospital after birth of DC2

(30 Posts)
BettyBi0 Tue 15-Mar-16 06:54:32

I'm currently trying to decide between ELCS and VBAC for DC2 but that's another issue.

What I'm wondering is how people normally manage things childcare and visiting wise with their toddlers if they have them. DD1 has just turned 2 and I've never spent the night away from her before. She's been babysat several times but has always been sound asleep throughout so she has no real experience of it.

My parents live about 4 hours away and will be looking after her while I'm in hospital. Because of the distance they aren't too close/ familiar with each other but all of my local friends are working or have toddlers of their own so could only really help with the odd few hours of childcare here and there.

I'm so worried about DD1 being upset while we are apart and I'm wondering if her visiting me in hospital would be a good thing or not?

A visit to me post birth would mean my parents getting the tube into central London with the buggy which they have no experience of. They are pretty doddery and my Dad has a really sh*tty temper when stressed which I'd like to minimise the risk of DD1 ever experiencing if poss. Plus the weirdness of visiting the hospital and having to say good bye might make things worse for DD1. I don't know! Do other people's toddlers cope ok with this?

Another c-section would probably mean 2 nights away from home. Last time I was so dependent on DP being with me 24 hours to pass me the newborn as I was so groggy and sore. This time I'm hoping DP can nip home (45 mins away) to spend some time with DD1 and hopefully do bath/bedtime. Bedtimes have not been easy recently since moving DD1 from cot to bed. Does this sound feasible?

Any advice greatly appreciated as I'm more worried about DD1 than the actual birth of DC2.

mudandmayhem01 Tue 15-Mar-16 07:01:52

Cant dh nip home and fetch dd1, my daughter loved meeting ds in hospital, and still loves to look at the picture of her stroking his head in his hospital cot. I think we timed it for when I was ready to be discharged so we all went home together. DD (22 months) made everyone laugh as we were packing up she kept saying " don't forget the baby"

SmallBee Tue 15-Mar-16 07:07:07

Is there any way your parents can have her for a night before baby comes just to get her a bit more used to it?

WutheringFrights Tue 15-Mar-16 07:09:18

My mum came to stay for a few days when DS was due.
I went to hospital at 11pm with DH, had a baby at 3am.
He stayed with me till I went down to the ward.
He went home for a few hours, came back bringing mum and DD with him for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
Next day he came to pick me up.
You might be overthinking the logistics.
DH does not need to be with you all the time after you've had the baby.

SerenityReynolds Tue 15-Mar-16 07:09:44

Purely in terms of planning childcare, a ELCS might be easier. Your parents could then come down a few days before and spend a lot of time with your DD so she is familiar with them. They could see the bedtime routine etc, scope out local parks/soft play/cafes to take her while you're in hospital. As long as she's presented with fun activities, she'll be fine. I can't comment on how much help you'll need after a section I'm afraid as have never had one. However, all my friends that have said they found ELCS much easier than EMCS.

Our DD1 did come with my DH to collect us from hospital (we were in less than 24 hours though). I made sure I wasn't holding the baby when she arrived so I could give her a big cuddle. We had a present for her "from the baby" and a present for her to give baby. She was a little star struck, but soon distracted by all the exciting stuff in the hospital room!

ShreddieMonster Tue 15-Mar-16 07:12:01

Similar situation, apart from for the actual c-Sec, I basically was in hospital on my own as I was more concerned about our toddler so I sent dh home! He brought dd back in to see us that night. I was in hospital for 3 days and I think dd only visited the once then came back with dh to bring us home.

I was fine, so much more confident than first time round and I just wanted dd to have normality.

Artandco Tue 15-Mar-16 07:12:09

No I wouldn't . It will be a hassle for grandparents and for you. For 2-3 days it would be better they just keep her rather than spend 4 hrs travelling each way for an hour visit.

Do your parents have a computer/ laptop/ smart phone ? If so you can get them used to FaceTime calls now, so when child if there you or Dh can FaceTime her each day for a face to face chat.

Send her with some new colouring books, story books, and some other quiet toys she already has so she is occupied with familiar and exiting new colouring stuff. Send snacks she likes for familiarity. She will have a whale of a time I'm sure as grandparents always feed they ice cream way too much and ignore more rules

My eldest was 1 year when next was born. Was away one night only. Ds1 thought for ages I went to a coffee shop and found a baby...

BettyBi0 Tue 15-Mar-16 07:37:25

Just to clarify - the grandparents are coming down to stay with us so at least DD1 is in her normal home. Great tips about stocking up on favourite snacks, new stories etc for her.

Yes I'm hoping to boot DP out as much as poss during the daytime to go home and see DD1. It's a bit tricky with the hospital being in central London as there is bug* all parking and the whole toddler car seat/ taxi combo is tricky. So the journey home will definitely be just DP, me and the newborn in a cab.

KatyN Tue 15-Mar-16 08:08:50

My son was 4 when we had our second and didn't visit us in hospital... There wasn't really time and I didn't want him to see me with tubes in etc.
However two other toddlers visited when I was on the ward and I'm not sure they gained much from the experience!!! They played together a bit but generally just meant the dad was trying to entertain them in a place not set up for children.
Does your dd know you are going to hospital?? I realised quite late my son thought the baby would just pop out at home. Once we prepped him that I was going away he was totally fine.
I would explain as much as possible and then leave her at home. Good luck k

mrsnec Tue 15-Mar-16 08:22:14

I think it depends on the hospital. I've just had ds by elcs. Dd was 16 months old.

Hospital policy is that dads don't stay and visiting hours are very strict but I'm not in the UK.

Having a room on my own helped. But on the odd occasion dh or mil bought dd in she kind of got in the way a bit and was very unsettled in the hospital. It was terrible for me because I was in for 6 days and I didn't like being apart from her at all.

Dd is used to spending time with gps though and they live close so it was easy for dh to drop her off with them on the way to work and then visit me on his way home. They also looked after her when I came out of hospital so we could settle ds in first.

I did feel bad about it all and have spoilt dd since I've been home.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 15-Mar-16 08:33:08

Depends how long you are in. I went in 8am, with dc1 going to my mums. Baby born half ten, so dh and I had a few hours then he got her at 3pm and brought her in for 1.5hrs. He then took her home and put her to bed and stayed at home with her. My mum popped up in the evening to see me for a little while then I was alone. I really enjoyed it haha! I even had a four bed ward to myself. Bliss.

MummySparkle Tue 15-Mar-16 08:44:16

Once I was pregnant we started DS getting used to staying at PILs overnight. Slightly different for us as they only live 20mins away.

It might be worth having your grandparents to stay at yours before the birth, then you and DP can go out for a meal / cinema and get the GPs and DD used to bedtime.

DS visited us in hospital, he was a little overwhelmed by it all and a bit confused (16.5months)

Artandco Tue 15-Mar-16 09:31:31

Ah grandparents staying at yours. That's fine then.

Tbh your Dh won't be allowed to stay several days so he will only be gone for main labour and bit after, so say 24hrs. Then will have to leave and return in morning so she will have two grandparents and her father back at times.

BettyBi0 Tue 15-Mar-16 09:47:14

I'm definitely leaning towards DD1 not visiting the hospital as she'll probably just be overwhelmed by it all.

Plus the idea of DP, both grandparents and DD1 all being around my bed with the newborn freaks me out a bit. I'm lucky (?) in that my hospital allows 24 hour visiting/sleep in chair beside my bed from DP. It also allows unlimited visitors in the daytime. Last time this was a bit of a nightmare TBH as the post-natal ward had cluster bays of 4 beds with very little space and an awful lot of people all the time.

If I stayed in for longer than 2 nights I'd reconsider maybe.

When do you guys recommend starting to talk to DD1 about it? She is quite verbal and understands that her little brother is in my tummy and that he is coming out one day. The logistics of the birth bit is still 6ish weeks away and I haven't tried explaining yet about how the baby is actually going to arrive

BeStrongAndCourageous Tue 15-Mar-16 10:05:46

I had a vbac with DS and ended up being in hospital for longer than I had after my EMCS - 5 days as opposed to 2 - as DS and I both picked up an infection.

DD was 2.6 at that time and I missed her dreadfully, it would have been so much harder if she hadn't come to visit every day. She apparently didn't seem too bothered by my absence till around day 4, when she got quite down.

Can't comment on the logistics of it - we were about a half hour drive away, and my mum, who's quite a young and active grandma. But I think the whole experience would've been worse for DD and I if she hadn't been able to visit.

kiki22 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:02:59

I wouldn't bring her to see you I think it may be harder to be parted again. She wont remember the time apart after a while, I was 2 when my sister was born my mum was in for a week and I don't remember her ever being away I just remember my seeing my sister.

I'm due my second and keep telling myself that for a couple of days ds will need to take a back seat I will miss him but I need to focus on getting the new baby here safe and getting it home, putting my trust in grandparents to keep ds safe and happy. It is stressful he will be starting school the week I go for a section so I will miss lots 😞

Flisspaps Tue 15-Mar-16 12:18:04

DD came to see me in hospital when DS was born, she was just 2.

Waste of time grin she lasted about 10 minutes before DH dragged her off again. She was not interested in DS but wanted to perform for the ward and use me as a climbing frame.

Wait until you get home to introduce them.

That was her first time away from me overnight, she had a ball and wasn't bothered at all and I sobbed winkgrin

Runningupthathill82 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:33:00

I fretted about this too, after a long and complex first labour with a 3-night hospital stay, but it turned out not to be an issue in the end.
DD's birth was so easy that I went to hospital when DS (3) was in bed, MIL looking after him, and I was discharged four hours later.
So he woke up the following morning to find a new baby sister in the house. It was lovely to introduce them in our bedroom,in the comfort of our own home.
So, based on that experience alone, I'd recommend you wait til you get home for DD to meet her sibling. Chances are she'll have fun being spoiled by her grandparents, and would rather be played with at home or taken out for a day trip then taken to an alien hospital environment?

BettyBi0 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:39:41

Aww Ruuningupthathill that sounds like a really lovely result!

bebo100 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:40:42

If you had a straightforward birth last time then hopefully this will be pretty straightforward too.
I went into hospital at 1pm, had baby at 9pm and was home at 1am, so less than 12 hours in hospital.
The grandparents looked after DS1 (aged 2).
And we introduced them in the morning at home as soon as DS2 woke up. Have some lovely photos of the 2 meeting for the first time.
So long as you have someone in place to look after the toddler, I wouldn't send DH back. Second births can be very quick, so you might risk him not being there. Won't hurt if the toddler is late to bed for a night.
If you're looking for ways to explain about new baby 'there's a house inside my mummy' is a lovely book.

Runningupthathill82 Tue 15-Mar-16 12:40:49

It was. It was sheer luck, and very lovely indeed!

Pannacott Tue 15-Mar-16 16:23:03

We are planning for DP to bring DD (2.5 years) to see me in hospital after the c section. But we only live 15 mins away so it would be easy, they can head off again quickly if she doesn't like it. I'm quite worried about her missing me or vice versa. Also not sure how long I'll be in for.

If your DD does visit, can your DH do the transporting, or if GPs do do it, they don't need to hang around your bed, just keep it the four of you so she isn't overwhelmed?

We've been reading a book called 'there's a house in mummy's tummy' about getting a new sibling. Our DD isn't super verbal but she likes the book, there's a picture of the four of them at the end and we say that's mummy, daddy, DD and new baby etc. We've been doing that since 6-8 weeks pre due date. We didn't want to bang on about it too much as she can't really understand and just would know that something was changing but not what, when or how, which would be stressful for her.

Pannacott Tue 15-Mar-16 16:25:27

Whoops posted too soon - just was going to say, have started talking about it more recently, c section planned for one weeks time. Also I am becoming physically very useless and I think she knows something is happening, she is getting more easily stressed and acting out a bit. Poor little button. It will all be worth it in the end!

PerspicaciaTick Tue 15-Mar-16 16:34:17

When you do first see her, can I suggest that you aren't holding the baby? Make the first couple of minutes all about her, hugging her and letting her know how thrilled you are to see her. The baby won't mind be ignored for a bit and there will be plenty of time to introduce them once your DD feels secure again.

PerspicaciaTick Tue 15-Mar-16 16:37:52

Oh, and there's a lovely book which my DD loved when I was expecting her little brother.

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