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Keeping nanny whilst on mat leave with DC2 - tips please

(12 Posts)
minipie Mon 19-Jan-15 11:10:21

We have a lovely nanny for DD, who will be 2.5 when DD2 arrives in April. We are lucky to be able to keep our nanny on while I am on maternity leave.

The question is how best to divvy up the care of DD1/2.

I will be BFing DD2 so suspect there will be a limit on how much our nanny can help with DD2 in the early weeks. Also nanny does have a little bit of newborn experience but not huge amounts whereas obviously she knows DD1 very well.

On the other hand, I know it's important for DD1 not to feel pushed out by me, so I mustn't simply ask nanny to look after DD1 while I take care of DD2.

Any tips on how best to manage the days and head off jealousy issues?

At the moment our nanny takes DD1 out for an activity of some sort pretty much every morning and afternoon. I had hoped that could continue so that DD1 will be occupied and won't mind me being at home with the baby. Is that realistic or will it cause more jealousy? DD1 has never been clingy/mummy centric but she has got a bit more so in recent weeks which I suspect is due to awareness of "baby sister".

Thank you

HandMini Mon 19-Jan-15 11:31:52

I did this.

I always intended to divvy up our nanny's time between the 2 of them after about 3 months (I stopped breastfeeding at about 10 weeks so would have been possible) but she ended up doing way more with DC1 and it worked fine.

DC1 was going to lots of playgroups, activities, big days out to the park and I had a few home renovation projects to do so it just worked better for nanny to take v active toder out and I stayed home more with the baby. My toddler was also very into routine so liked doing the same things in the same way with nanny - it wasn't necessarily welcome for mummy to step into eve thing (and I was v happy with that - DC1 has been with this nanny since 6mo and they have a real pseudo-parent bond.

Obv when I went back to work, nanny just changed things round to do two of them and DC2 was v familiar with nanny because so used to having her around.

Also remember your nanny will be caring for both once you're back at work and it's nice to introduce that slowly too - an afternoon here and there.

minipie Mon 19-Jan-15 13:51:45

Thanks, that's reassuring that your DC1 didn't mind being with the nanny more. Mine also loves going out to activities with her nanny so hopefully that would be more attractive to her than staying with mummy who is stuck on the sofa anyway.

Oh yes, I will definitely need to start the nanny having them both at some point! DD will start pre-school in September when LO will be 5 months so I guess that will be a natural time for our nanny to have some more one on one time with LO, then that can gradually merge into time with them both. Not sure yet how long I will take for mat leave.

Will have to think about the BF thing - I BF DD for nearly a year but I guess if I did the same this time that might hinder what nanny can do with DD2/both children.


BitOutOfPractice Mon 19-Jan-15 13:56:47

Hello OP.

I also had this exact situation and it worked just brilliantly.

DD1 carried on with her usual day-to-day routine with nanny and I had the luxury of having lots of one-on-one time with the baby. The nanny also looked after me a bit - brought me drinks while I was feeding etc.

DD1 didn't have any jealousy issues to be honest because her routine hardly changed and it all worked out beautifully. I look back on that time as some of the happiest of my life.

My nanny was with us from DD1 being 7 weeks until she was 10 and is still a massive part of their lives and sees them regularly. It's a lovely bond.

I'm sure it will work out just fine if you all keep open minds and go withthe flow

Congrats on the new impending arrival thanks

minipie Mon 19-Jan-15 14:03:52

smile that's lovely and positive, thank you!

Again, glad to hear it didn't cause jealousy issues for DD1 to continue her usual routine of being with nanny.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 19-Jan-15 14:08:37

Could you ask Nanny to start early and finish early? So she can get DD1 up, breakfasted and dressed, and bring you some tea and toast, with you catching up on the night wakings by staying tucked away til lunch? (Thinking itll be easier than you dipping in and out of DC1s day). Lunch with everyone, then you and DD1 do something just the two of you for an hour while Nanny minds baby (only bringing them to you if they need a feed). Then swap back while you prep dinner to heat up later, then Nanny goes home. So you are with the two from about 3pm til dh gets home but wont have dinner to make etc, and also if DD1 has done classes/clubs/park in the AM you could do cartoons or a film in this time?

dinkystinky Mon 19-Jan-15 14:13:03

I did this when I had DS2 and DS3 - it was lovely and meant that I got to spend time with the older child/ren while nanny looked after sleeping baby/did the world of laundry a small baby brings, sorted dinner for the older child etc. Talk to your nanny and agree parameters on how you think it will work with her - and agree to review after 6 weeks.

Our nanny has been with us since DS1 was 7 months old (he's pushing 9 now) and we really really wanted her to look after his little brothers. Keeping the older children in their usual routine was a life saver - and we never suffered jealousy issues when the babies were born/when I was on maternity leave.

minipie Mon 19-Jan-15 15:30:13

Hacked interesting, that is food for thought...

Our nanny currently does 8am till 7pm so she already does get DD1 dressed and breakfasted (and then out of the door usually) which will be a big help. At the moment DD has about 7.30-8am with me (DH does 7-7.30) and there is a lot of "cuddle mummy" outside my door before that, so it could be pretty unpopular if I don't emerge till lunch... I wonder if I can persuade DD to "read your books in bed with me while I feed DD2" until nanny arrives?

I do like the idea of building in a regular slot for me and DD at some point while nanny has baby, I will think about when is best for that.

At the moment I do bath and bedtime after 7pm (DD doesn't go to bed till 8.30 as she only appears to need 10 hours sleep <yawn>). So bath and bedtime are more of an issue than mornings I suspect! Hoping DH can get home by 7 for a few weeks at least...

dinky thanks, another positive story of avoiding jealousy. Good idea to discuss with nanny and agree to review, I wouldn't want her to feel it wasn't working and not say anything. Yes our nanny currently does some child related chores (mainly batch cooking) which is very helpful so want to build in time for her to carry on doing that if possible.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 19-Jan-15 17:38:43

Hi Minipie - I've posted on a couple of similar questions recently so I suspect you have seen my responses already as you were placemarking.

One really helpful thing especially for the early weeks is to have bathtime done and dusted before your nanny goes home. Then it's cuddle, storytime, cbeebies with DD1 while you cluster feed.

Longer term, it is massively helpful if both children have been bathed and had dinner when you get home from work especially if that's at 7pm. All you have to do then is sit down and talk to your child. My DD1 is in Reception and we can spend 30 mins every evening reading her book for the day, doing her words, reviewing her art work, opening birthday party invites etc etc. It would all be a hassled rush if we were getting two of them ready for bed.

Batch cooking definitely. Dead handy for the boring making purees stage too.

Not child related per se, but we were able to offer our nanny additional unpaid leave while I was on mat leave if she wanted it. She went home for 4 weeks at Christmas, I took the kids to see my parents for a week, then had two weeks off with DH and an exhausting week of solo care smile before she came back. It was a bit too soon as DD2 was only 6 weeks old but it was massively appreciated by her as we obviously couldn't give her 4 weeks off then while we are both working.

A lot will depend on the baby. A zen child that feeds every 4 hours [after 8 weeks or so], has a dream feed at 11 and sleeps through until 7 will give you a lot more flexibilty with a nanny in the house than a colicky, clingy baby that never seems to sleep more than 30 mins at a stretch.
If you are lucky enough to have the former, take advantage and get out to the gym or whatever. DD1 will be less fazed than that in my experience than you disappearing to do baby sensory or similar if she is at home.

minipie Mon 19-Jan-15 21:10:55

Thanks tread. Bathtime before nanny goes, yes that's definitely a good idea, thanks. At the moment I don't mind doing bathtime after work as it's easier than entertaining dd any other way and so helps use up the time till bedtime (does that sound awful...) but with 2 bathtime will be much harder. And yes there will be more chatting to do with DD1 as she gets older so the extra evening time may be useful.

offering unpaid leave if she wants it is a good idea too though might wait till I see what kind of baby I get! DD was definitely in the difficult camp (premature, slept in 20-30 min stretches, feeding issues etc etc...) so much as I hope for a chilled baby this time it may not happen.

Maybe I'll have a magic sleeping baby this time and they will go to bed and sleep at 7pm and I can have time with DD after DD2 is in bed <wishful>

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 20-Jan-15 13:29:40

I got a magic baby second time around so there's hope. She was early and had feeding issues but we didn't look back after about 8 tough weeks really. She's a cheeky monster now but still sleeps like a log [finds one to touch]

It all sounds a bit Victorian coming home to children who have been fed, bathed and are ready to "inspect" but DD1's evening energy levels fell off a cliff when she started nursery school. Joint late bathtimes just became an exercise in crowd control and whinging especially in the summer months when its a bit warmer and they are dusty and covered in sun cream. Everyone is in a much better frame of mind after a bath and I could come in straight from work, feed DD2 on the sofa with a bit of Cbeebies, put DD2 to bed and then do bedtime stories with DD1. I think there is a lot of romanticising about "doing bathtime" with your kids on MN as a way of bonding. Not if you are straight in the door from work and everyone is tired and grumpy. It's one way to light a short fuse, get snappy and spend the rest of the evening beating yourself up for being a crap mum.

It's worth noting that your nanny may also have to do "homework" such as it is at 4-5 yrs old. DD1 is not particularly receptive to phonics and reading by 7pm....

minipie Tue 20-Jan-15 17:11:19

Energy levels falling off a cliff is music to my ears smile as is inspecting freshly washed and calmed down children! no MN style romanticising of bathtime bonding here, if I am completely honest I am quite often checking emails on blackberry or changing out of work clothes while she's in the bath. here's hoping for magic sleeping baby this time <piles up logs and clings to them>

yes I had assumed nanny would do homework once it starts... Current nanny would be quite good at it I think, let's hope we still have her by then.

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