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Babysitting problems - advice needed

(23 Posts)
Tillysmummy Fri 10-Jan-03 14:12:09

My parents in law have always babysat for dd, which is very good of them and very handy. You may recall my rantings about PIL on other threads. They are very sweet people but not massively competent with DD, MIL is obese (spelling?) so can't do much and FIL is ok and able to do lots but has some irritating ways and sometimes does silly / slightly dangerous things.
Anyway I am veering off the point. Recently when they have babysat dd she has been up each time we've got in. This never used to happen and she is going through a difficult stage. She is a very knowing 16 month old, stringing words together, very clearly telling you what she does and doesn't want, and generally far too much into everything. She has never been the best sleeper but we never had problems like this before with her / them.

We have always said that they shouldn't let her get into too much of a state if she wakes and to take her into our bedroom to calm her down if necessary. The first time it happened was just before xmas and we went out for dinner at a friends house and came back and she'd been up for about an hour. It took us quite a while to wind her down again as she's not just been in our room but been downstairs playing. It resulted in her being more tired than usual and waking even earlier than normal (if that's possible !). It has happened a couple of times since then and seems to be forming a habit. I am extremely irritated when I come home and find her up because the last thing I want to do is go through the whole wind down and putting her to bed routine again.

I know I am probably sounding like an ungrateful bitch and I dont mean to be but it does get on my nerves. I have told them that she's very knowing and they need to leave her to cry and I guess we'll have to see if it works next time. I just don't think they are able to do it. My dh never slept as a child and I think it's partly because they were too soft, although I am sure there were other reasons. He used to conk out at 8 having not slept all day and then wake at 2 and never go back to sleep. I think this is because he was overtired.

It's very difficult because I am tempted to just get another sitter in but dh is very against this one because we don't pay his mum and dad and secondly because he thinks it would hurt them as they don't have much looking after responsibility with her at all (mainly because they aren't up to it). We are supposed to be going out this Saturday and they are supposed to be babysitting and I am tempted to cancel because I dont' want to come home to her up and playing. I also think that she is trying it on now with them because she knows. If she wakes in the night with us she never does this.

I hope I am not sounding too much like an ungrateful bitch because I am grateful for the favour but it makes going out less and less appealing especially if she does this on Sat and they leave her to cry but don't really know her cries, if she's ok etc. They won't know and also will find it very stressul I think.

Any suggestions very welcome. I did suggest to dh that they come down another night during the week for a trial run and we'll just sit downstairs and let them handle her but be here to offer guidance but he thought that was a bad idea.

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 15:11:22

In the scheme of things how often do they baby sit? I dont think it hurts a child once in a while to have a late night and I dont believe the odd night would disrupt a routine. Its very difficult as well because if she does wake and they take her into your room how long would you expect them to stay in there with her if she refused to go back to sleep.

I would try and relax a bit more about this as at the end of the day they are doing you a favour. Its perfectly normal to worry about your children but the only time I would say something is if you did consider they were doing something dangerous or that could harm her.

Tillysmummy Fri 10-Jan-03 15:16:11

That is true and thanks for the bring back down to earth. I think you are right. It's just I don't at all relish coming back to her awake but I guess that I'll just have to decide how much we want to go out in that case. It does normally result in her waking horribly early though that is one of the main problems.

breeze Fri 10-Jan-03 15:22:48

It is difficult for people to let other kids cry, my friend always leaves her child to cry, but when i babysit i always go to her if she is crying.
I do understand what you mean though, my pil like a good drink, and i found out through my sister in law that while they had him overnight, they were both quite pissed.
Hense to say that they do not have him overnight anymore, we never said anything, but we haven't asked them since, he only goes to my parents now.
At least with you, your child is not coming to any harm really.

Hope it gets sorted soon as i know you can not enjoy your night out if you are worrying, and us parents need our nights out.

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 15:29:47

Hi Tillysmummy, just a thought - but how about hiring a babysitter for the next couple of times to break the habit ? Then once little one is back on track revert to PILs ?

Another - very unPC thought - when PILs babysit maybe dd could have a spoonful of something lovely like Medised just to help her sleep through ?

Seriously though (I was !) why does she wake for them ? Does she really wake or are they dashing in when she just murmurs or turns over ? Maybe they want to play with her so are getting her up on purpose ? Maybe you could ask them to keep her upstairs in her/your room with low lights and maybe sing to her/read a story etc rather than bringing her down to play ?

It would be such a shame if you stopped having them to sit - I am so envious - we never ever go out these days - so hope you can overcome this problem.

breeze Fri 10-Jan-03 15:45:14

what is medised, is it something herbal that helps kids sleep.

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 15:57:26

Not herbal sadly - but yes it does make them sleep - I think it's a cold remedy in fact - but it has painkillers and a sedative in it so it's quite good for teething pain too.

I rarely use it - but on those rare occassions it has been a blessed relief !!

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 16:03:54

Im personally against any baby taking a medicine that they dont really need, especially on an occasion like this. As breeze said it can be difficult for others, particularly grandparents to hear a child cry. As for them waking when they wouldnt normally... it happens.. we all have nights when they do that. Children can sense things are different just like we can.

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 16:08:03

Good job we're not talking about your baby taking it eh then Temptress ??

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 16:09:33

Why give a baby a medicine that it doesnt really need just for the sake of making yourself feel better?

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 16:10:28

Why ask - you appear to have the answer to everything !

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 16:11:04

Thank you.. I take that as a compliment

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 16:11:29

It wasn't

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 16:12:18

Scatterbrain I understood this was a thread to help someone... how you think insulting me does that I really dont know!

Scatterbrain Fri 10-Jan-03 16:14:29

Errrrr - scuse me but it was you who started this by criticising my suggestion, which Tillysmummy could take however she liked - by suggesting that I would medicate a child for my own convenience.

I get the impression that you are out to have a row Temptress ! Not with me you aren't Madam as I am off now !

Temptress Fri 10-Jan-03 16:16:39

Im in no way looking for an argument. What would be the point. I merely stated that to give a child a medicine, merely to get them to sleep was a bad idea.

breeze Fri 10-Jan-03 16:19:58

remember that we are here to give people advice and help them, i personally have never given my son medicine other then when needed to help him sleep, but saying that i am blessed to of had a son the has always slept very well (except for the odd exeptions).

Tillysmummy Fri 10-Jan-03 17:44:04

Thanks ladies and I don't mean to have caused controversy. I am on the fence unfortunately. We give dd Dozol sometimes which is a painkiller but which also makes her sleepy when she has a cold or very bad teeth (most of the time at the moment ) but I am conscious of giving it to her for my own convenience but don't always no where to draw the line for example last night she cried out every 10 minutes. I have had virtually no sleep and have a stinking cold and feel not great to say the least. I didn't give her medicine because I couldn't get her to take it but I did try so that she could get some sleep (and hopefully help her feel better) and so could I.

I will have to work out the in laws thing myself I guess and agree with you that it's not fair to let them leave her to cry. Thanks all for your sound advice.

aloha Fri 10-Jan-03 18:02:13

Ooh, I'm all for drugs! Nah, really, when I don't know why ds won't sleep or he seems distressed I quite often give him Dozol. He can't tell me if something hurts so it's an insurance policy. And I confess that when he was smaller and wouldn't sleep and I was half mad, I gave it to him purely to help him - and me - sleep! It's not toxic, and does no harm so I didn't feel bad. I do sympathise, Tillysmummy, my mum won't put ds down for naps or even put him to bed because she can't bear to hear him cry even for a moment -also I think she just loves being with him. I know if we are ever going to leave him with her overnight I am going to have to either really bully her into practising putting him down beforehand or put up with the fact that he'll be shattered! At least they aren't beating or drugging her

JJ Fri 10-Jan-03 19:50:58

Tillysmummy, you've got my sympathy. The thought of returning home to an awake child almost ruins an evening for me. I don't think you're being unreasonable in wanting to hire a babysitter, at least on those occasions you know you'll be in no mood or state to do active child care upon your return home. My one idea is that if your husband doesn't want to hire a babysitter, make him put your daughter to back to bed if she's awake and get up with her if she wakes up earlier than normal. Good luck with it and hope you have a good time on Saturday.

Marina Fri 10-Jan-03 20:06:58

I think JJ's advice is excellent Tillysmummy! If dh wants to persevere with using his parents, then he can do the putting down when dd is wakeful on your return. If you feel you can stick with it, though, your PILs are bound to get more confident with dd, the more they look after her. And she will get used to them too - bright little buttons soon realise that bedtime routines differ when grandparents are around...and hopefully, if she loves them and is familiar with them, she will understand about not playing them up.

Bozza Sat 11-Jan-03 13:56:43

Yes Tillysmummy - I too sympathise. It would spoil my evening too. Personally I'm sure that by now she will have realised that they are a soft touch and expect to get up to play every time they babysit. She's obviously bright enough to work out which buttons to press!

Does she know that they are babysitting, or is she already in bed before they arrive? If not, I would suggest the latter might help. Or would you be brave enough to let her stay with them overnight? Then they would be forced to put her back to bed eventually. Just once or twice of that might break the pattern. I would definitely try to break the cycle that you're in at the moment.

breeze Tue 14-Jan-03 13:49:55

Did you go out at the weekend?, if so how did the babysitting go? Hope you had a nice time

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