I have one DD and am expecting a baby early next year (at which point DD will be 2yrs 3mths).
We have no family neaby and DD is with me full-time at the moment. So I am thinking I would like to get some help 2-3 half days a week. This would mainly be supporting me in the home, playing with DD while I grab a shower/feed the baby, maybe taking DD to park for an hour so I can try to catch a nap when the baby does. Would ideally like someone that could help prepare a simple lunch on the days they are here too. I seem to remember never getting a chance to eat any lunch the first time around.
No experience of childcare before - do I need a nanny, mother's help or what? Any suggestions on the best place to start looking too?
Mothers Help perhaps. Most nannies I would have thought would want more responsibility than what you are proposing.
Where are you located? Knowing this can help me provide you with suggestions on where to start looking/advertising.
Try to be flexible in the days/hours you need, as then you can try to fit the job to the person. Some people for instance may prefer to work one full day per week - is that something you would consider? It would give you a day to spend as you like, knowing that DD is entertained.
Sounds like you need a mother's help or maybe a childcare student who wants to get some experience. If there are any colleges near you who offer childcare studies it might be worth contacting them. I advertised for an afternoon only nanny (1pm-6pm) a couple of years ago and got applicants from nursery nurses who wanted to become nannys and needed the mornings off so that they could attend college - that might suit you.
I was going to suggest a post natal doula too. I had one and it was fab.
Super flexible and they are self employed so no tax etc to sort out. You can pick and choose your/their hours subject to their availability and generally will do anything you like to make your life easier.
Some weeks you might find you are really struggling and you can ask them to come and help a lot. Other weeks might be much easier.