I am looking for advice regarding childcare for a newborn.
I will be a 40 year old first time mum when baby is born in June this year. I know next to nothing about childcare and my husband (who has 3 kids from a previous marriage) will only have the standard 2 week paternity leave. Neither of us have family nearby who can help.
Ideally,we are looking for full time help (8 hours per day) plus a night nanny for a few nights per week (when stepkids are round so we can have family time together), for the first 6 weeks following the birth. 2wr will then look to scale down the level of childcare.
Is this a usual childcare option/routine for clueless people like myself? Any idea where I can find a reputable maternity nurse? I live in west London.
I wouldn't say it was 'usual', because most people can't afford that level of childcare. The usual thing is to read some books and then muddle through the best you can until you learn the ropes (with the help of mumsnet!).
But there is absolutely nothing wrong with that set-up if that's what you want. You can look for a maternity nurse and nanny via a local agency. Websites like childcare.co.uk are also good (and much cheaper to use). If you're going through childcare.co.uk make sure you check references, qualifications etc. yourself because they are just a method of introduction not an agency and they don't vet the listed childcarers themselves.
It's worth having a look on childcare even if you don't use them just to get an idea of who is in your area. You can search by postcode and it's free to look at profiles.
I don't work for them btw! It's just a good website!
Thank you! I realise that most can't afford it (and we have had to save for this) but my question is what is usual for those who choose to have this kind of set up...do people hire day nurses, night nurses alone, a combination of both, or a post natal doula?
Oh I see! It might be worth seeing if you can find one person to do all the hours. It should be possible if they're working opposite you. Everyone works slightly differently and has different ideas. If you're new to all this and don't really know what you're doing it might be best to go for one person, with one set of ideas/routines etc. Otherwise you could find yourself between a day nanny who wants to use one system/routine and a night nanny working a different routine.
A nanny will generally focus only on the baby, helping you with the baby, routines, bottles or helping with bf advice etc. A doula is usually a bit more of a home help, so will help with the baby, but will also cook a family meal, put the hoover over, do some laundry etc.
I had a maternity nurse 2 nights a week for the first 12 weeks. That meant I was guaranteed two decent nights. Then I got a mothers help every afternoon for the rest of my maternity leave. It just meant I could relax and enjoy the baby
Do you already have a cleaner? I have 2 under 2 and having a cleaner for the first 12 weeks really helped me stay organised. I also kept my oldest in nursery (lots of my freeness got judgy about this) as if I removed her the waiting list to get her a place was longer than my maturnity leave will be.
If you have a "busy" child (like my first), You may find a nursery is better for you than a mothers help as they enjoy seeing the other children and get more interaction.
I can highly recommend the agency Night Nannies from my own experience. Personally I would either go with a live in maternity nurse who can provide all the hours you need during the week (night and day) or alternatively opt for one live out person who does either daytime or nighttime hours with you, as a PP said to avoid confusion and different routines. Good luck!
Agree you want a maternity nanny. Just to mention - if you're planning on using childcare from 6 months it would be worth putting your name down for nurseries and childminders now, some of the good ones in west London have very long waiting lists!
Thanks all! To the last poster - yes I've discovered the same about childcare in west London, enquiried about putting baby's name down for January and was told there were already 2 on the waiting list!