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3 whole days or 5 half days, what's best for baby?

(56 Posts)
twinkleymum Wed 16-Jul-08 07:08:35

Any thoughts? DD 8mo and will be in nursery.

CaptainUnderpants Wed 16-Jul-08 07:21:43

I dont think that there is a right or wrong answer as it depends very much about your child and your wrok conditions.

I did two full days when my two were in day care nursery - job and finish . Would 5 half days end up as 5 full days if something over ran ?

At least with the two days you have off you can make plans and do somthing with your DC .

I would personally go for three full days .

youcannotbeserious Wed 16-Jul-08 07:26:42

personally i'd prefer 5 half days as it's more of a routine- but i do agree with CaptainUP... what if something overruns? if you'd be expected to stay, then 3 full days would be better

pinkdelight Wed 16-Jul-08 07:29:25

I'd probably go for the three days as well, mainly cos the childcare will be easier. On those two free days you don't have to faff around taking her to nursery, or thinking about work, and can just enjoy yourselves together. I don't think that either would be bad or best for baby, but it could be better for you to separate work and baby time.

eandh Wed 16-Jul-08 07:33:58

I went back to work after dd1 on 2 half days and one full day it was a nightmare as mucked whole day up and there was never enough time to do things, thankfully then had teh chance to swap to 2 full days (what I wanted to do originally but had to compromise as was going from f/t to p/t) and it works much better.

The dd's know they are going to Mums/Mil fro breakfast till after dinner and then I have 3 full days with them (meant I was able to settle dd1 into preschool and do the pick ups etc)

Now I have another dilema that dd1 starts school a year in september but dd2 will still be home for another 2 years, Mondays are fine as my Mum can take dd1 and pick her up but MIL doesnt drive so not sure what I am going to do on Fridays sadhmm

aGalChangedHerName Wed 16-Jul-08 07:40:47

As a CM i would say 3 full days would be better for your baby. When i have had lo's for half days the baby never has a proper nap etc as mum picks up at 1pm or whatever. Mums always seem more frazzled/harrased.

The ones who do 2/3 days seem to cope better and do enjoy the time off with their lo.

ClareVoiant Wed 16-Jul-08 08:01:02

I do 5 mornings, but, if i had the choice i'd rather do 3 whole days it is nice having the afternoons, but invariably i feel done in by the time i get home so don't get much done. At least with 2 whole days, you can do more.

Gateau Wed 16-Jul-08 08:55:33

I do three full days and it works really well. It means I have my "work" head on on those days, (well as much as I possibly can!) focus and "get things done", and then I have devote the other full days to just being "Mummy".

PussinJimmyChoos Wed 16-Jul-08 08:58:42

Another vote for three full days here - the work mornings are hard work with all of us (me, DH and DS) having to be ready so its nice on the days I don't work to be able to mooch around in pjs, give DS (two) a leisurely breakfast. The two days we have off are spent doing things together -music with mummy or visiting friends etc - seems to be working out.

Also, if you work 5 days a week - you get roped into ALL the meetings/tedious crap. If its only 3 days, its not so bad grin

Gateau Wed 16-Jul-08 09:17:52

Agree PussinJimmychoos; it's nice to sit "on the fringes" and enjoy the bits you want to enjoy without being drawn into the meetings and the bitchiness.

twinkleymum Wed 16-Jul-08 09:28:11

OK thanks, will definitely go for 3 whole days x

MrsJamin Tue 22-Jul-08 16:17:16

Can I jump in on this thread as I'm in a similar quandry, I want to do 3 days a week worth of work but I think I'd rather split it across 4 days so I'd work until 2.30/3, meaning I actually got to see DS rather than just commute with him and put him straight to bed. Surely that's a better arrangement rather than having 3 days from hell just to have 1 additional complete day?

witchandchips Tue 22-Jul-08 16:25:41

Nursery places are often done in sessions so either 8-12 or 1.30 -6 or full day, not possible to do 8-2 without paying for whole day). Becomes v. stressful. Mornings you need to leave v early to make sure you get a proper half days work and a drop off at 1.30 means that you'd be hard pushed to get to 4 hours work in before you'd have to leave to pick up. Logistics are much easier with 3 full days imo

unknownrebelbang Tue 22-Jul-08 16:44:05

I did five half-days because DH worked shifts, and it meant we had some sort of routine. (Childcare not an issue as my mother did it and would have done whatever hours iykwim).

Last thing I/we wanted was for me to be working three full days when DH was off-duty, although I can see the benefits of wokring three full days/two off depending on other circumstances.

Workwise, I found being in the office on a daily basis helped, rarely struggled to get off on time, (unlike my current role...)

Now the boys are older, am considering requesting a change from five x 5 hr days to 4 slightly longer days (currently work 25 hrs pw)

unknownrebelbang Tue 22-Jul-08 16:45:35

The other advantage (for me) of working five half days was I could always do the nursery/school-run as they got older...not an issue for you just yet though.

mistlethrush Tue 22-Jul-08 16:54:19

I did 3 whole days when I went back to work when ds 6mo - now increased to 4 days in 3.5 days so ds picked up from nursery at lunchtime on last day - but its always difficult getting anything done properly on that day - full days off are much more productive.

pointydog Tue 22-Jul-08 16:54:36

When mine were little, I preferred whole days. When they started school, and I still worked part time, I was able to change to half days to get them after school.

unknownrebelbang Tue 22-Jul-08 16:59:49

I partnered with another colleague (not a mother, and she did two jobs). She would have had to change her hours too, so a non-starter for me.

Half-days worked for me due to my personal circumstances, and the job itself. I can see that it wouldn't work for others.

I was never stressed on collection, but then I would often go swimming on the way home from work prior to collecting (the beauty of nana childminding).

potatofactory Wed 23-Jul-08 08:55:22

I'm really encouraged by what you say here - I'm about to return to work for three full days, and put my 16mo into nursery. 8 - 5 seems like SUCH a long time for her to be at nursery, though, and I am quite worried about how naps / eating etc will work. As she's 16 months, she's very used to her days with me...

TheGoddessBlossom Wed 23-Jul-08 09:13:08

I do three full days. There is an adjustment period, and my two DSs do hve very long days there, but they build in lots of rest times, and both of mine absolutely love going. The 23 month old started at 18 months, and he has always had at least 1.5 hours sleep there at lunchtime no problem at all, I have no idea how they do it, all of the little ones just get a cushion and lie down and go to sleep it's amazing!

And I love that Thursdays and Fridays are our days and we plan absolutely loads of stuff to do with our friends, or sometimes just have pyjama days it's great.

When DS1 starts school next year it will be a bit different I think, as we will have to factor a childminder for him before and after school on my work days but still doable, and I would rather that than do school hours 5 days a week...

PeppermintPatty Wed 23-Jul-08 10:20:51

I think it depends on your childcare.

I personally think a full day in nursery (say 8 till 5) is a very long time for such a young baby.

If your family or a nanny is looking after your LO, then its different as they get a lot more attention, and its a quieter and less stressful environment.

rozzyraspberry Wed 23-Jul-08 10:21:38

I do 3 full days and think that's much better than 5 half days for me. Travel time/costs obviously better as well as having 4 full days a week with dc.

hattyyellow Wed 23-Jul-08 10:40:05

As others have said, it depends very much on your job/commute/childminding arrangements.

I currently do two full days plus two half days and I've just deliberately swopped to 3 full days from September.

I find that by the time I've picked the girls up after lunch they're shattered and that restricts what we can do in the afternoons. I think it also messes up nap times as someone else mentioned.

Most activities are in the morning so we're currently missing out on them. I am looking forward on my two full days with the girls to being able to have a leisurely breakfast, go to activities if we want or go out for the day. It will be my days with them, rather than rushing to pick them up with a head full of work, them tired, me tired and feeling most of the day has gone.

It's also a battle getting everyone dressed, breakfasted and ready for work every morning - I'd rather not to do everyday as possible and I think as babies turn to toddlers it all takes so much longer to get them ready and out of the door every day.

DonnyLass Wed 23-Jul-08 11:16:12

For the past year I have done 3 full days ... I have my own business so am lucky enough to be able to start at 1000 and finish at 1700 on those days and my office is a walk from home.

I often do a bit in the evenings/weekends. Also in the world of Blackberries etc I find that on mon and weds when I am with my daughter I do 'worky' things esp emails etc.

I would say whichever route you decide you never actually work part time ... you end up doing the equivalent 5 days crunching in here and there even if there are formal 'chunks'.

My daughter is off to nursery 5 afternoons from September and I am thinking through the very same options ... do I stick to my full three days and take the two 'extra' afternoons she will be at nursery as catch-up chore-time or formally up my work time?

I think I am coming to the conclusions that its just a massive juggling act, and balls get dropped whatever your formal plan ...

gladders Wed 23-Jul-08 11:48:05

3 full days - as with the 5 mornings you'd still have 5 lots of travel? and you'd always be clock watching at work.

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