Nursery hours when new baby arrives(24 Posts)
I currently work full time and my DS attends nursery full time, 5 days a week. New baby is due when he will be 2.8 and I'm going on mat leave at 36 weeks and part time for 3 weeks before that (using holiday). My DH and I can't agree when or if we should reduce the hours at nursery at the moment. I feel that it's not right to have him in full time nursery when I'm at home, but DH feels I will enjoy the break before baby arrives. He thinks DS should stay in nursery full time until at least 8 weeks post birth too. I was thinking dropping down to 3 days a week when I start using holiday, so from 33 weeks, and continuing this on after birth.
Does anyone have any experiences of what worked, or didn't work for them? DS was an easy baby (and is still a relatively easy toddler who has his moments) but I'm not naive enough to think the second one will be too!
I am in the same boat as you...DS is 17 months and at nursery full time and I am due DD in 7 weeks. I am going on maternity leave in 4 weeks time. My plan is to keep DS in nursery full time for the first 6-8 weeks of the next baby to give me a chance to get myself sorted out then take him down to 3 days a week.
I guess we just need to see how it goes. Good luck.
Another one with no experience (yet!) but in the same boat.
DD will be 2y2months when the new baby arrives and currently goes to nursery 4 days a week (the other day is with DH).
She's going to stay as she is until 4-6 weeks after the baby is born (depending on how punctual it is!), and then then she'll drop down to two days.
I'm hoping that will provide consistency for her (she really enjoys nursery), while saving us a bit of cash (I'll be on maternity allowance only as I'm starting a new job), and give a balance between spends time with the new baby and doing fun toddler stuff.
I found the newborn days quite boring with DD if I'm honest, and she's really fun now, so I'm looking forward to doing stuff with her. I'm just hoping the baby will be happy to hang out in the sling and come along with us!
Could there be a risk that ds doesn't bond as well with baby if he is out all day? I would be more worried about this than anything else, not saying it's right though, just a thought.
I know those first few weeks were really good for sibling in our case.
It's amazing how much they can do to help too, even passing things for a change, and they always want a cuddle.
Will you risk losing his place if you drop his hours?
DS1 was 19 months when DS2 was born. He was already in nursery 1 day a week and we kept it that way. For me, that was enough (DS2 was an easy baby!) to get cleaning done etc. However, for a while I got 'quality time' with DS2 when DS1 napped, but he's since dropped that nap and it is a bit tricky to get time alone with DS2 other than when DH is around. Days are still generally about DS1 as he needs wearing out!
Now DS2 is 11 months and I feel DS1 would benefit from nursery a bit. DS2 only naps in the cot (morning and afternoon) so days can be a bit dull for DS1. He doesn't seem to mind though. Plus it's yet another phase that will move to something else soon.
We're in a similar situation but ds is only in nursery for 2 days. He ia 20mo and new baby is due in 4 weeks. I'm going to drop him down to a shorter session on both days from when I start mat leave (so we don't have to get ready so early in the morning and battle through traffic) until the baby is a few minths old. Then we'll either drop to one day or 2 half days. Ds enjoys nursery and will have to go back when I return to work next year so I don't want him to lose his place or become unfamiliar with it all. I so feel mean being at home without him though, but there's no way of knowing how you'll cope with the new baby.
I am going to keep DS in nursery until my due date, at least. I have a slightly higher risk of having a premature baby, no family nearby, and the nearest neonatal unit is an hour away. So I think I would be glad of the option, if anything did go wrong. I like to plan for the worst.
Thanks everyone, it's so hard isn't it?! I do need to keep his place for when I return to work, but potentially only part time. I don't want DS to feel pushed out to nursery when new baby arrives, and I do want him to bond as early as possible with it. On the other hand it feels like a waste to have me sat at home doing nothing all day, paying for him to go to nursery full time! Maybe we could work out a compromise with nursery to do 4 days 4 weeks before and after birth, then go down to 3 days once baby is a month old?
I would be very wary of making too many dramatic changes to your DC's routine. He might find nursery a refuge of calm, certainty and familiarity in a world where his homelife (in the nicest possible way) has been turned on it's head.
I would also be careful about dropping to part days, I think if he is used to full days then possibly reduce the number of days rather than maintain the number of days and reduce the hours per day. Reasons for me saying this are a) if he enjoys bits of the nursery routine such as lunchtime it might be hard for him to leave just as everyone is settling into one of his favourite activities b) half days are a pita with a new baby - by the time you've dropped off and got home it will nearly be time to collect again - a whole day gives you the chance to grab a nap or have a friend round for a cup of tea c) the stamina they build up doing whole days is excellent practice for full days as school (I'm not sure how close that is for your DS).
I kept DS1 in nursery on exactly the same hours before/after I had DS2. However, he was only doing 3 days/week, rather than FT. I'm sure you will appreciate the break and managing a toddler and a new baby in the early days is hard. Plus, he'll have a more fun and stimulating time at nursery than at home with you, while you sit and feed new baby because, let's face it, that's all you do for the first few weeks. The 4 days compromise sounds good though and will, perhaps, assuage your guilt!
If you can easily afford if, I would leave him in nursery.
Appreciate the rest in your last few very uncomfortable weeks, and take the chance to bond with your new baby and have a little bit of one on one time with them too in the first couple of months.
If you can't afford it, then it's another matter entirely and do what's best financially.
We kept DD with her childminder 4 days a week (shorter hours) when DS arrived. We would have lost our 'spot' with the CM if we removed her completely and I also felt it was better for her to keep her routine as she loves going to the CM. It does not appear to have affected her bond with DS at all, they idolise each other.
It is tough juggling a baby and toddler, esp taking them both to activities etc so I'd advise caution if you are thinking of removing her completely from nursery.
BTW I doubt you will be sat at home doing nothing when she is at nursery, I found I was extremely busy all the time during my second mat leave!
I had a 12 month old DS when my DD was born. The BEST thing I did was have DS in nursery full time. DS would have been so bored at home with me and he is a very busy child! My DD was born late November, so it would have been hard to get out of the house with a newborn and a toddler in that weather. I also felt I owed my DD that first few months of 'mummy time', like my DS got. Only when my DD was 6/7 months old did I feel comfortable having them both home all day. But DS still goes 4/5 days a week (DD now 10 months old), depends on sleep/weather etc how many days DS goes.
And now I need to keep the days to keep his place as I return to work in January. Just my experience, and with my two being very close in age it was a good option for all of us to remain sane!
Have a 21 month old and a 2 month old. We've kept DS1 in nursery routine of 3 days a week. It's allowed me precious time with DS2 and kept stability and normal routine for DS1. The days we're all at home together are hectic and I'm only now, 2 months in, starting to find a routine and enjoy the time with the both
I've got 2 under two with a 17 month gap. Ds1 goes to nursery 2 days a week and tbh those days are a godsend for everyone. He loves it as he gets to play and socialise all day. I get to spend time with baby. 5 days at home with a toddler and a newborn would be very very tough and having the toddler at nursery gives you the option to do housework/meet friends etc on those days. As other posters have said, do not estimate how hard it is to get out with both a toddler and a newborn - having days with just one provides variety and keeps me sane!
We kept DC1's nursery hours the same just for consistency, but that's only 2 days a week anyway! I still find that time invaluable to recharge a bit and get stuff done that is tricky to do with 2 of them
I think your plan of reducing to 4 days pretending and post birth, with the option to reduce further later is a good one. I've actually found mat leave a lot nicer this time round with DC1 for company (I don't really enjoy the young baby bit and find it quite dull!). I would also recommend keeping full days at nursery. It gives you much more flexibility with meetups and baby classes, not to mention opportunities for you to nap during baby naps in the early days.
I'm currently 39+6 with dc2 and a VERY active 2.11 year old. Believe me, and I cannot stress this enough, LEAVE YOUR TODDLER IN NURSERY BEFORE THE BABY ARRIVES. Seriously.
Then reduce his days afterwards if you want to it is so, so hard being heavily pregnant with a toddler. Much harder than working.
Don't bother with part days either, DS has dropped from 3.5 days to 3. The 0.5 was just going to be a pain with a baby (pick up will inevitably coincide with nap times), plus they are nearly as expensive as full days.
DS1 has been full-time in nursery since he was 8mo, so there was no way we were going to interrupt his routine AND present him with a baby brother. He stayed full time in nursery both before and during my mat leave and it was brilliant. DH and I dropped him off at nursery on the morning of my ELCS, then DH picked him up that night at normal time and brought him to the hospital, then kept up with full-time nursery without a break from then on.
We also didn't want to lose his FT place when I went back to work, so there were no issues there either. No bonding issues whatsoever between DS1 and DS2 and I was able to deal with a non-sleeping Velcro-baby without a toddler around getting jealous during the day. Absolutely brilliant and I'd do it like that again.
If you can afford it,, keep he m in nursery full time
He will benefit from the consistency and familiarity of the nursery routine when the new baby comes along and his whole world changes
Most nurseries offer discounts for full-time, so it might not work out that much cheaper dropping down to 4 days. Plus, there is no guarantee the place will still be available if you need to increase his days when you return from maternity
If you keep the full-time place, then you can use it how you wish. You could drop off later or pick up earlier or have a day at home if you wanted
Plus, if beacon nursery full-time then appointments etc with the baby will not be a problem. Otherwise you might find yourself taking a tiddler along with by because they fall on non nursery days
Speaking from experience, consistency is key. If he's happy in nursery and familiar with the routine, then deviate from it as little as possible. We all found it a huge help when dd2 was born that life could simply continue as normal for dd1 (2.9yo at the time).
I think your dh's idea is a good one - definitely keep up nursery when you start mat leave as you will never get that time to rest again, and then play it by ear when the baby comes.
Ds1 was nearly 3 when I started mat leave at 36 weeks. I had been working full time and he was doing 3 days nursery and 2 days childminder. I reduced it to 2 days nursery, 1 day childminder from the beginning of maternity leave. They were both able to have him on no notice on the days he used to go if the baby arrived on one of those days. In fact I went into labour on the first day and we took him to childminder, although we also picked him up later!
I checked with nursery which days would be best based on demand and when he got his free hours a few months later I switched to 3 school days at nursery. I changed which days these were over the next 9 months to fit in with activities etc. By the time I went back to work he was nearly starting school.
3 days nursery/ 2 days home was a good balance and meant his routine wasn't too disrupted and I had a reason to leave the house on his nursery days and a chance to nap when ds2 napped!
DS1 does 3 days at nursery and 1 day with my mum each week and we 're planning to keep that unchanged when baby arrives (DS1 will be 2.5) and before baby arrives. DS1 took a while to sleep through the night and I struggled a lot with tiredness through the day so no idea how I'd cope with that plus toddler. He loves nursery too so tbh I think he'd get more out of being there during the day.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.