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How soon can I leave baby with relatives?

(19 Posts)
Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 13:41:10

I'm self-employed and ideally need to be able to return to work fairly quickly once the baby is born, or my business will start to suffer. I'm taking a bit of time off but am hoping (naively?) to do part-time days from maybe two months old. Is that mad?

I'm fortunate in that I have offers of free childcare two days a week from excited first-time grandparents. So I would be leaving the baby with trusted and experienced people.

But I'm unsure how soon is realistic to leave a baby with a relative. Is two months old completely wild or does that sound doable?

If it's relevant, I'm planning to combo feed and would be happy to pump milk while away from the baby.

Hollywhiskey Fri 14-Feb-20 13:44:59

Can be done, my boss was back at work part time within 6 weeks as her husband became a stay at home dad. I think she bottle fed though.
Personally I wouldn't be able to - I'm not very good at expressing milk, it's not compatible with my job (as in I wouldn't be able to express at work).
We're all different - I think it would be hard but lots of women especially abroad do manage it. Would you be open to giving formula if you struggle to express?

Ullupullu Fri 14-Feb-20 13:48:15

Presumably it is possible because in the USA most women have to do it! But you'll be exhausted through combination of physically recovering from birth, not sleeping (tending to baby throughout the night), needing regular breaks throughout the day to feed baby or use breast pump, adjusting to life with a baby. Can you ease into it with one day a week working with baby being looked after in your own home? Gradually build up.

Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 13:48:41

Thanks @Hollywhiskey. Yeah we're planning to combo feed anyway as I have a history of mental health problems which are exacerbated by lack of sleep. So my husband will help with the feeds, using either formula or expressed breast milk - whichever is available.

Ullupullu Fri 14-Feb-20 13:49:34

Incidentally I exclusively breastfed both my children at that age and would not have been happy leaving them for a full day because feeding still wasn't comfortably established. It's not instant.

Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 13:51:53

@Ullupullu yes that's definitely an option, my mum would be totally happy to take the baby while I work from home in the early days! My job is pretty flexible so I can work from anywhere that I have a laptop - I don't need to be physically in the office.

The lack of sleep and physical recovery are some of the things that concern me... this is my first baby so I don't really know how braindead I should expect to be at two months out, or how long it takes to fully heal from childbirth!

1forsorrow Fri 14-Feb-20 13:52:56

I worked with someone who took 3 weeks off and she went abroad for 2 week summer holiday during that. I wouldn't have been able to do it but she seemed fine. She did have a live in nanny so I suppose that makes a difference.

amazedmummy Fri 14-Feb-20 13:53:21

DS is almost 3 months now. I think he would have been absolutely fine to be left with GPS at 2 months but I would not have been. I had a C-section which had a pretty straightforward recovery but I still wasn't 100%. I've also been struggling with PND and PNA so I'm just not in a place where I could real with working.

YakkityYakYakYak Fri 14-Feb-20 13:53:53

I don’t think it’s mad at all if that’s what you want to do. You’re talking about leaving the baby for 2 days per week with grandparents who you trust, no issues with that whatsoever IMO, the baby will be fine. I imagine it will be harder on you though, I think I would have found it really tough to leave DD at that age, even though I know she would have been fine. Could you see how you feel closer to the time or do you need to make a decision before baby arrives?

1forsorrow Fri 14-Feb-20 13:54:50

How flexible is the childcare offer? I'm just thinking 3 short days might be easier.

Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 14:06:47

Thanks so much everyone. So far it seems that it's doable logistically and for baby, but I might find it hard...

@YakkityYakYakYak I need to put plans in place before the baby arrives so there's some kind of contingency plan while I'm off - my colleagues need to have a vague idea of what I'm going to be doing work-wise. But I will have flexibility to change my mind later if I need to.

@1forsorrow not that flexible unfortunately as both sets of grandparents have their own busy lives which we need to fit into. But I think in the very early days while I'm adjusting, my mum in particular would be happy to do several smaller stints instead of one full day per week.

Troels Fri 14-Feb-20 14:22:05

I did two days a week just 6 weeks after a C-section. not ideal, but MIL doted on the baby I knew he was in good hands. I still managed to breastfeed too. He mixed fed when MIL had him, she gave formula if she used up the breastmilk I left.
I used to feed one side and pump the other after work. usually getting about 4 to 6 oz milk by 8 weeks. Then add more over the days off.

RedPandaFluff Fri 14-Feb-20 14:31:00

Hi @Togepi - my DD is two months old and I think it would be doable, especially given you're planning on combo-feeding. I had an emergency c-section and physically I feel totally back to normal, even though I had complications afterwards that affected recovery.

If you feel comfortable going back part-time, and you're confident in your childcare arrangements, go for it.

I have to say, I think the option of part-time working would be good for me right now. I adore DD - she's a dream come true for us - but I think my brain might be atrophying! Sadly for me it's full-time or nothing once my mat leave is up.

Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 16:43:54

@Troels that is super encouraging that you managed to maintain your supply going back so quickly!

Togepi Fri 14-Feb-20 16:45:54

@RedPandaFluff I feel exactly the same way! Sometimes I wonder if it would be nice to have a proper chunk of time off and then return full time - the normal way - but honestly I think I would go stir crazy being away from work for that long.

Perhaps it's naive but I'm also hoping an earlier, part-time return will be less traumatic than spending a year with the baby and then having to leave them five days a week...

BrieAndChilli Fri 14-Feb-20 16:54:31

what is your work? you say you are self employed and can work from anywhere with a laptop but then mentions colleagues?

if your childcare could be at your house then you can breast feed etc when needed and then carry one working. would also be mentally better for you i think knowing your child is ok and nearby.

mindutopia Fri 14-Feb-20 17:20:44

I think it would probably be much easier to take more time off and go back to work more days later on. The early days are hard and you will likely be exhausted. Closer to a year it’s much easier to work and enjoy time away. If I had a choice, I’d take as much time off as possible, possibly bring someone in who can help you with your business part time, or at the very least give it 3-4 months and then go back 2 short days.

BackforGood Fri 14-Feb-20 17:43:46

Of course it is do-able.
When my dc were born, maternity leave was 3 months for everyone - if you finished a short while before baby arrived, then you were back at about 2.5 months.

I mean, it might be a bit dependent on what you do, and will, of course be easier if you have a relatively easy birth and if you have a good sleeper.

PippinStar Fri 14-Feb-20 17:52:13

Definitely doable, although tough. I was also self-employed and went back at 9 weeks (part time, work from home), but I only managed a week and had to stop again until 16 weeks.

However, I had a reflux baby who didn't nap or settle until we got him properly medicated and on hypoallergenic formula at 10-12 weeks. So it might be more difficult if you have a refluxy or colicky baby and no one is sleeping. But otherwise I think you will manage just fine with support from family.

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