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Activities for nanny with toddler and new baby

(68 Posts)
Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 09:35:59

I have a nanny who looks after my toddler (who will be 2 yrs old in March). Last night we discussed a bit about how their days will change when number 2 comes along at the end of May. They currently go to Tumble Tots, Swimming lessons, and Jo Jingles. Nanny feels that she can not do this with a baby and a toddler and has requested that they give up activities until DD (the toddler) is old enough to go to these activities without parent/carer assistance.

I wonder if any one else has a full time nanny with similar ages. Have you found any activities that are suitable for them both to go to where nanny can actually look after two at once? Or do they stay home all day? I don't really like the idea of them staying home all day because nanny isn't very good at communicating with me what they have done. So, when they are signed up for activities at least I can keep up with what activities they are doing some of the time. I've thought that local toddler groups would be a possibility. But, I really would like DD to have a more physical activity (i.e. gymnastics).

I am also submitting a petition to work for flexible working where I can have Fridays off. So I may be able to pick up at least one activity with toddler on Fridays.

soapbox Wed 16-Feb-05 09:46:31

Uwila - easy to do with both children - my nanny and I have done this when ours were younger.

The baby was taken in the car chair to the activities when they were little and left at the side of the room. Obviously best to get into a routine when nap time for baby is when most of the activities are.

In fact at Tumbletots there was always a row of babies in buggies and car seats lined up at the side of the hall

Swimming might be harder if she has to get into the water with the toddler. However I let my nanny put the baby into the creche for half an hour to get round this problem.

I think a nanny should be used to managing this situation - and should have experience of doing so. It is ridiculous to think that she's just going to stop all activities for the next 6 months just because there's a new baby around!

Age difference between my two is 20 months so a similar age difference to yours!

lockets Wed 16-Feb-05 09:53:10

Message withdrawn

elliott Wed 16-Feb-05 10:00:03

I found in the early days it was easier to be out doing activities as the older child has something to entertain them if you need to be feeding the baby. I found toddler groups the easiest - if you find one with plenty of indoor space they can get quite a good runaround there. And as the baby gets older there are generally things to amuse them as well.

Some things I think would be harder - swimming for e.g. unless you can put baby in creche - or activities which require a lot of supervision of the older child. I tried soft play but a bit risky in terms of supervising them both (ds1 tends to disappear to the highest most inaccessible reaches!)
Since you will have a summer baby I would have thought outdoor trips would be a good bet rather than a lot of indoor activities - especially if you can find parks with good enclosed areas where dd will be safe if the baby needs attention. But really babies are so portable in the early days I can't see too much of a problem.
Maybe you just need to talk through what your nanny is worried about and try to negotiate activities which you both think will be feasible and safe - and maybe suggest you see how things go and reevaluate frequently. After all its going to be an awful long time before dd doesn't require supervision so you can't just drop everything.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 10:18:56

Soapbox, do you work (outside of home)? You said your nanny and you did this. So I was just wondering if youmeant that you did these activities together or if you were absent from the scene and nanny juggled both children herself?

soapbox Wed 16-Feb-05 10:21:07

At that time I worked 3 days a week - so she was doing 3 days and I was doing 2 days (of the working week) looking after them.

Just making clear that it wasn't just me lumbering it on the poor old nanny but that I found it acceptable enough to do it myself too

KatieMac Wed 16-Feb-05 11:49:24

Tumbletots go up to the next class at 2 (I think) - that class needs less adult participation
Also Music groups would be good for both ages

I regularily go out with mixed ages to mum & toddler groups

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 13:01:04

bump... for the afternoon crowd.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 13:05:26

Just looked at the tumletots website, and it isn't until 3 yrs that they drop the parent/carer involvement. However, there is a gymnastics class which runs on Fridays near us that drops parents at 2 1/2. Think we may enroll in that. And, if my flexible working request goes through, I'll have Fridays off after maternity leave so I can take her myself.

I'm more bothered about swimming and jo jingles to be honest. I've just sent an e-mail to Jo Jingles asking if DS will be welcome to accompany them. If she says yes, then nanny will have to give it a try.

elliott Wed 16-Feb-05 13:10:28

uwila I really don't see how she can go swimming with 2 of them unless there is a creche. And if there is, surely there's not a problem?
think your tumbletots/gymnastics must be rather different to the one we go to - definitely still need to keep an eye on ds1 at age 3.2 - but also no problem taking them both, just need to watch or carry ds2.

foxinsocks Wed 16-Feb-05 13:15:56

yes I would scrap the swimming (unless there's a creche). There's a chance baby would be asleep but if not, it would ruin it for dd if she thought she could go swimming then was suddenly told she couldn't because the baby had woken up.

Personally, I have only just started taking my two swimming together in the last month (they are 4 and 3). Before that, I always waited until there was another adult.

I seem to remember you're near Sunbury. I know Feltham has a pool with a creche in the same building (I think it's Feltham airparcs).

Other than that, have you looked at pre-schools for dd (some start at 2.5)? Not saying you should send her there but if you're worried about stuff for her to do.

Twiglett Wed 16-Feb-05 13:51:56

Sorry I've never employed a nanny (had a childminder) but you don't give up toddler activities because you have a newborn .. you take the newborn along

I haven't read the rest of the posts, but it smacks a little of taking the easy road .. and as a nanny surely that isn't her job .. surely she should be doing as a mother would .. trying to give both children what they need .. a baby in the early months is completely and easily portable and entertained just by being near people

don't see the problem here

WideWebWitch Wed 16-Feb-05 13:54:06

Agree with Twiglett. I had a newborn and I couldn't just not, say, collect my older child to school because the baby was sleeping, I just had to get on with it!

foxinsocks Wed 16-Feb-05 14:00:59

yes I agree, but swimming is another matter (especially if the child is too young to swim independently).

anything else is do-able with 2

Twiglett Wed 16-Feb-05 14:03:43

swimming is the only exception I agree

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 14:16:56

Elliot, I didn't mean to suggest that I was going to force her to go swimming with 2 in tow.

I've just now called the Leisure centre to see if they have a creche, but they don't. So, I guess we'll have to let swimming go until the DD is old enough to go to the lessons without nanny getting in the pool with her.

I may look into swimminglessons elsewhere where there is a creche, but nannay doesn't drive and Sunbiry Leisure Centre is walking distance. Oh well, guess it won't kill her to give up swimming for a year.

Still looking into the others...

jane313 Wed 16-Feb-05 14:20:12

could you not go swimming with the whole family at weekends?

Twiglett Wed 16-Feb-05 14:20:12

DS never went swimming until he was over 3 and could go to lessons on his own .. I sit on the sidelines with baby DD and watch .. he's very good

don't worry about not swimming .. if you want you can take her at the weekends .. DS's swimming teacher says the best thing you can do for them is every time they're in the bath make sure they get water on their face (dribble it on the top of their head .. we have just always thrown a cup of water over DS's head to rinse off shampoo) cos they get used to the sensation

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 14:22:20

Thanks for the idea fox, but nanny's greatest skill is the time she plays with and educates DD. She is very good at teaching her verbal skills (except that she is learning English with estonian sentence structure). Instead of "What is it?" she says "What it is?" I laugh it off now, but at some point DD does need to learn proper sentance structure.

Anyway, in terms of education and entertainment nanny is really good so that's one area I want to keep her on.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 14:25:58

Thanks Twiglett. And you are right. It's only a one year break. It won't impair her ability to learn how to swim later. It's just too bad because DD loves swimming.

And, as for weekends, I'm afraid my fat pregnant arse is going no where near a bathing suit -- certainly not in public! Perish the thought!

21stcenturygirl Wed 16-Feb-05 14:26:20

Uwila - I used to take dd1 swimming and leave dd2 sleeping in the car seat at the side - about the only time she would sleep . Mind you, the pool was quite a small one in a health club. I did this up until dd2 was six months old.

elliott Wed 16-Feb-05 14:29:23

I did this too 21C but have to say wouldn't be comfortable letting someone else do it...and I suspect it wouldn't be allowed at the public swimming pool.

Uwila Wed 16-Feb-05 14:37:56

I asked the guy at the leisure centre what other parents/carers do, if they bring babies in prams or car seat, and he said "not really". SO, that settles it. No moe swimming

soapbox Wed 16-Feb-05 14:41:44

Uwila - can you not change swimming to Fridays when you are around and you can stay at home with baby while nanny takes DD to swimming?

Ameriscot2005 Wed 16-Feb-05 14:43:08

A nanny should be able to do all the same thing that a SAHM does, surely?

I remember taking DS1 swimming (baby/toddler classes) with newborn DS2 in his car seat at the side of the pool.

We have lots of nannies at our Parent and Toddler group with a baby and toddler.

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