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Going back to work - how to introduce baby to a stranger

(4 Posts)
Marabou Mon 24-Oct-11 22:16:01

I originally posted this on development and behaviour, and then in going back to work, where I got the tip to post here, so here we gosmile..

My baby is 25 weeks today and I will be going back to work part-time when he is 29 weeks old. I will be working three days a week and two of those days I will be working from home for 6 hours each day. DH will look after DS on the day when I work from the office and one of his aunties will look after him on the days I work from home.

I'm a bit concerned about the days when I work from home, because I've started to notice DS is a bit wary of strangers and unfortunately he hasn't had a chance to really get to know his aunty. Due to her schedule before I start work, she will not be able to come round that often and therefore the chances to introduce DS to her properly are quite slim.

Although I will of course be at home when DS is with her, I won't be able to fully concentrate on working whilst taking care of him at the same time and I'm quite anxious to see how DS gets on. I was just wondering if anyone has experience in stranger anxiety and how long it might last until DC get used to new people and what might I do to ease this phase for him.

Many thanks!

nannynick Mon 24-Oct-11 22:33:08

The first week... be around but leave aunty to do a lot of the caring side of things like changing nappy, giving feeds, cuddles etc. You are there to help settle him if he gets too anxious. Try to schedule work so that it's as quiet as possible, so you get time to spend with aunty and your DS - have lunch together.
Week 2 - cold turkey week. He now knows aunty a little, so leave her to it. If you can, leave the house. If not possible, get them to leave the house... go to a baby group or something. They need to have time together to form a bond where your DS gets to know that aunty will provide for his needs. If he gets really anxious, an item of your worn clothing (unwashed) can sometimes help as it has your smell on it.
It can take a few months for children to settle fully with someone, others will settle very quickly. It's all up to the individual child. What they need is the reassurance that someone is there to take care of them, feed them, change them, cuddle them, read them stories (he needs to get used to the sound of her voice, so reading to him can help with that).
As you are at home, if aunty really needs help she can come and get you. However that isn't ideal... you need to work. It will be hard for you at first being able to hear him and naturally want to go and tend to his needs. So distract yourself - ear plugs, play music on the radio/ipod etc.

If your DS is in a routine, write the routine out so if he starts to get cranky at a certain time, aunty knows what it is likely to mean - such as nap time, milk time.

Karoleann Tue 25-Oct-11 07:07:11

None of mine have been that clingy at 7 months.
You definately need a settling in day with both of you around, maybe on
the saturday/sunday before she starts. Be around and do fun things together.
On the days when she looks after him, book a couple of early classes, something like gymboree or monkey music or swimming so she can get him out of the house if he is upset, doing something fun and then he'll forget why he's upset. You then need to leave her to it.
I don't think you'll have much of a problem.

Marabou Tue 25-Oct-11 10:41:31

Hello all and many thanks for your replies and helpful tips and insight!

Yes I think it will be very hard for me in the beginning, as well as for DS. I'm not sure if he's actually clingy, I don't think that he is, it's more stranger anxiety I think and unfortunately he hasn't had many chances to be taken care of anyone other than mummy and daddy. I've just noticed that a few times with a visitor where before he's been fine being held by them, he now gets really tense and starts crying if I try to hand him over to them to sit on their lap. He actually already started doing this when he was 3 months old.. This is my first baby and I don't have many friends with children so I suppose it's been a bit of a situation where it's mostly just me and him together at home although I do take him to the park daily and I've been thinking to take him to a play group now that he's a bit more aware, I thought he was a bit too young before.

He is on a very good routine and takes three naps during the day (2 x 1.5h and 1 x 20-45min). I'm breastfeeding and he has now started solids as of yesterday so I'm hoping in four weeks time he'll have got the hang of it and will be on 2-3 solid meals a day. I'm going to express (I already have quite a stash of milk frozen) and I hope the feeding part won't be too much of a problem, because that would take a major chunk of my day if I'd have to help aunty with that..

I think my major concern is just that he is a bit fussy when it comes to going down for naps and eating and that he will refuse to do any of that with aunty.. Well, as you say I think I will just have to get on with it and trust that aunty will manage. At least I know her well and she is a mummy herself, so I know she wouldn't do anything I would complitely disagree with. I'm trying to be positive about the whole thing, but can't help trying to swallow a lump in my throat every time I imagine DS crying for mummysad..

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