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If you kept your DC1 in nursery whilst on mat leave with DC2...

(37 Posts)
BotBotticelli Tue 25-Nov-14 16:51:50

How many days per week did your DC1 do at nursery? What was the right balance and what worked for your family?

Am pregnant with dc2 and currently work 4 days per week and dc1 goes to a lovely nursery 4 full days.

Not sure what to do when I am on mat leave though - planning to reduce his hours (obvs - there's no need for him to be there 4 days per week if I am at home!) but not sure what to reduce down to....

<<note I am not asking for opinions on whether DC1 should go to nursery or not - that's not up for debate! He is definitely going! He loves it there and I had debilitating PND after he was born and really struggled - to the point of suicidal thoughts etc - and only really started to feel better when I went back to getting lots of MH help and support this time but really don't think I could cope with 2 kids at home all day on my own 5 days per week>>.

Other info: DH leaves house at 7am and gets home at 6.30pm and no other family help locally.

DS will be 2.8 when dc2 arrives.

toomanywheeliebins Tue 25-Nov-14 17:01:06

I kept it at four days for a month while I got over the worse (or so I thought DC2 didn't sleep much til she walked!). Then dropped to three days. She was 2.3

Chickz Tue 25-Nov-14 17:08:00

Congratulations! I recognise your username - you helped me alot and responded to my posts of the difficult time I'm having with my 1 year old high need DD.
I think you should keep dc in nursery for the first few months if finances allow so you can devote all time to your new one.
Then you can review it. Don't put yourself under any pressure.

NotCitrus Tue 25-Nov-14 17:08:53

Was 4 days, dropped to 3 days around the time I gave birth.

lynniep Tue 25-Nov-14 17:10:37

Honestly I can't remember as DS2 is 5 now, but I think we dropped it to half of whatever DS1 was doing. I absolutely didn't want to interrupt his routine too much, and it was great to spend time with DS2 as they get so much less attention than the eldest. Financially it was a pain, as DS2 was still too young at that point to get the 3-4yo funding, but we made it work!

LaPetiteCoccinelle Tue 25-Nov-14 17:15:01

I would keep it at 4 days at least for the first 1-2 months whilst you get intothe swing of having 2DC.

I had a rare complication after giving birth and was so glad to have kept y childcare as normal.

Is also important for DC1 to keep to normal routine. I found DS1 was perfectly happy going to childminder despite me being at home with DS2, much to my surprise! He wasnt jealous but did cry very easily the first 4 weeks or so as he adapted to the change.

noblegiraffe Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:52

DS did one full day and 3 half days. He got to see all his friends, and a consistent get-up time in the morning helped to set a nap routine for the baby. On the half days he got to do stuff in the morning so I didn't feel so guilty in the afternoon if he watched TV while I fed the baby. On the full day I didn't have to rush around so much. Then we had a full day together too, so I didn't feel he was completely missing out on my time off.

SpaghettiMeatballs Tue 25-Nov-14 17:25:42

DD has done 2.5 days whilst I've been on mat leave. It's worked really well for us.

jammiecat Tue 25-Nov-14 17:26:02

I left it at the full 3 days and will stay like that throughout my mat leave. The continuity has been good for my son, but good to have some time with my new babies and for my sanity!!!

kaymondo Tue 25-Nov-14 17:31:35

Ds1 went for 2 full days, which is what he'd been doing before my mat leave. He'd also being doing a full day with my mum as I was working 3 days but when ds2 arrived my mum would come to us and we'd spend the day together, all 4 of us. It was a nice mix for us.

Poledra Tue 25-Nov-14 17:37:56

DC1 went to a childminder's 5 days a week, dropped to 3 days during mat leave. It was great, as I got some uninterrupted time with the baby and DC1 maintained their routine. My CM was (is!) great and she made sure that DC1 had lots of attention as well.

It was my lifesaver, I'm sure of it. So much so that I did it again with DC3 grin

Duckstar Tue 25-Nov-14 17:50:10

Dropped from 4 days to 2 days when went on mat leave. I did however hire a post natal doula for 3 afternoons a week as well for first 12 weeks. DS1 was a terrible sleeper and I worked on logic DS2 would be as well and wanted someone who could watch both of them if I needed to have nap. How much notice do you have to give? Could you keep him in for the 4 days? See how you get on and then. If it's anything like my son's nursery far easier to drop days then pick them up.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes Tue 25-Nov-14 17:54:14

I dropped from 4 to 2 days and made sure I kept his place on a Wednesday because that was the day they had the longest waiting lists for, we were paying the full rate (8-6 day) and he was too young for the 12.5 hours funding (as it was then) so it was expensive.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Tue 25-Nov-14 18:05:13

DS1 is 2.4yo and DS2 is 3wks. DS1 staying at 3 full days at nursery for first month. Then dropping to 2 days. When am on no pay last three months of mat leave we may drop him to one day.

Part of me happy he'll be spending more time with us, part of me wishing we could afford to keep him at three days to make it easier for me...wink

mumofboyo Tue 25-Nov-14 21:45:44

we dropped ds from 3 afternoons to just one morning and, I'm a little ashamed to admit, this wasn't enough. That morning, a Wednesday, went far too quickly and then I had the other 4.5 days on my own with a 17 month old and a newborn baby.

If I was to do it all again (I'm most definitely not going to do it all again) I'd have the toddler attending nursery at least one full day per week, if not two.

That time away from the toddler, alone with the baby, is vital imo because you get time to rest, catch up on sleep and, most importantly, to bond with the baby without having to meet the needs of an excitable and demanding elder sibling.

Congratulations on your pg op thanks

MirandaWest Tue 25-Nov-14 21:49:47

There's 22 months between DS and DD and DS kept going to nursery for 2 days when I was on maternity leave. I had been working 7 days a fortnight before that and two days a week worked well for us all.

notadoctor Tue 25-Nov-14 21:54:10

My DD was at nursery 3days per week when I was working and has dropped down to 2 days now. She was 2.4 when DS arrived and it's been a good balance for us. We also have my parents around the corner though and usually spend a day a week there so I get help that way too.

IDontWantToBuildASnowman Wed 26-Nov-14 09:12:38

Mine stayed there full time 5 days. I knew I was going to be going back to work at 6m and I felt the upheaval to routine would have been more unkind than staying with what they had been used to for 2 years. I would have also been worried about loosing the full time place at the nursery I used as it was very popular. As it happened I had severe PND (which peaked at about 5m) and barely coped with the baby so a 2yr old on top would have broken me.

Do whatever is right for you and your situation, and don't fell guilty about your decision xx

Shelduck Wed 26-Nov-14 12:48:50

DS does nursery 4 days a week, and will stay at 4 days while i'm on mat leave because a) he completely loves it and gets so much out of it, b) not worth the break in the routine for approx 7 months mat leave and c) i also struggled first time round and intend to make it as easy on myself and family as possible! Don't feel guilty, and thanks for posting this as it's made me feel a bit better too!

Greenstone Wed 26-Nov-14 12:58:59

5 mornings (20 hours) a week, same as always. I'm absolutely unapologetic about too. Dc1 nees routine and dc2 needs constant feeding!

BotBotticelli Wed 26-Nov-14 13:50:52

Thank you so much everyone. Very interesting (and reassuring!) to hear your responses.

You're right: DS loves nursery and gets so much out of it (they have guinea pigs and a lovely garden plus all sorts of messy activities I would never do here!).

And I have to go into this assuming that dc2 is going to be a sleep-refusing colicky screamer just like ds1! And if I get a pleasant surprise then that's all good.

I will look at the numbers then - maybe keep him at 4 days for the first month or two if we can afford it and then drop down to three days for most of the mat leave.

BotBotticelli Wed 26-Nov-14 13:53:22

Ps hello Chickz <waves>. Worried that everyone in RL is going to think we are mad havig another one when I struggled so much with DS as a baby....!

Thing is: he is an absolutely adorable toddler and I am lovin the toddler stage. And then I got massively broody and one thing led to another...

Oh well I just have to survive the first fifteen months bit, right??

Chickz Wed 26-Nov-14 21:03:27

You'll be fine. You've done it once. You can do it again. And you now have a wonderful toddler so you will get there even if things are tough. And you never have two the same. Your second could be easy and chilled out. You certainly deserve that!
I'm still waiting for things to improve for us but you are hope that things get better with high needs babies.

BotBotticelli Wed 26-Nov-14 22:20:06

How old is your LO now Chickz?

Things started started getting better for us around 15mo. By 19mo I could genuinely say I enjoyed spending time with DS (on his good days - which far outnumbered the bad by this stage!).

Around 22mo I had an epiphany where I realised for the first time since he was born, i genuinely didn't regret having had him <terrible guilt emoticon>.

I think this all happened because once he started to understand tr world a bit better and when he speech really took off it was like he had a personality transplant!! The miserable grumpy baby who was never happy and rarely smiled and was so frustrated blossomed into this firey, sparky, funny kind little dude and I am so in love with him.

Also I have to say this all also coincided with me "caving in" and agreeing to ggive antidepressants a try, having resisted gentle suggestions from my HV and GP since DS was around 4mo...! I had 2 lots of counselling (CBT and more general 'let's talk about your mother' style) but although they helped a bit they didn't erase the awful underlying anxiety and anger I had been feeling since DS was born.

I went in Citalopram in July an within 4 weeks felt back to my old self. Like before DS was born. Relationship with DH improved, less stressed about everything to do with DS routine/sleep/food etc.

For me it has been a miracle drug. I never truly believed I had "depression" (I just thought life was hard) until I took these pills and my brain went back to normal again...

Anyway sorry for rambling. Most of this is probably not relevant to you but am posting it in the hope that some other woman will come across it in a google search one day feeling the same way I did, and might make that GP appointment sooner...

Mamabear12 Wed 26-Nov-14 23:07:50

My kids are 20 months apart. I decided to keep my daughter in nursery full time the first 8 months after ds arrived. I am not sure how someone has the energy to cope with two under two all day! I guess it didn't help that my second was waking five times a night and I don't fall back asleep easily and my daughter can throw big tantrums etc. so our best solution was to have her in nursery full time. But when she was at home, she would get my full attention bc dh would be in charge of baby for an hour in morning, while I snuggled, fed and got my dd dressed and ready for school. Then I would attend to and focus all attention on baby while she was in school. When she came home my dh would focus on baby if he was home from work or we would get our part time nanny over for two hours to help w dinner and bed time. I know we were very lucky to be able to get this kind of help...but we don't have any family here to help, and I found it too difficult to do on my own. But after 8 months, I finally was able to take them both out on my own and feel comfortable bathing them same time etc. I'm sure it would have happened sooner if I was forced into it. But I am happy with how we decided to do it. I was able to enjoy my new baby and also get time w my dd when she was home. On weekends we would do a lot of family time. And in evenings when kids r in bed we get much needed couple time. Or alone time.

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