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Dilemma - do I keep DS in nursery when baby comes along or take him out?

(30 Posts)
Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 08:50:54

Hi everyone,
My second baby is due in October. DS will be 2.6 then and I'm in a real dilemma as to what to do about his nursery. I know it's four months away but am deliberating about it now.
He currently goes two days a week when I work and does seem to really enjoy it. But when I'm off on mat leave (plan to take a year) I don't whether to keep him in or not.
Do you think he would miss out if I took him out? Or is it better for him if he's at home with me and baby? The fees are expensive but I would pay them (although it might be a struggle) if I thought being there was the better option for him.
What did the rest of you do when the next baby came along and how did it work out?
All advice welcome!! Thanks.

belgo Tue 09-Jun-09 08:55:31

If you can afford it, carry on sending him there two days a week. He will benefit from keeping the same routine, and both you and he will enjoy your time together all the more for being apart two days a week. It is very hard to constantly entertain a small child while you are looking after a new baby, and you will really appreciate those two days when your ds is being entertained by someone else.

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Jun-09 08:57:51

DS is currently at nursery 3 days a week and I plan to drop it to 2 when I go on ML in September - he will be 2.5. He will have to go back after my year's ML, and so I would rather he continued than having to settle both of them in at the same time! Plus he enjoys it and I like the fact they will provide him with a chance to do loads of stuff I won't have the time / energy to do.

Also, he eats nothing at home but everything at nursery - reason on its own to keep sending him

DaddyJ Tue 09-Jun-09 08:59:17

We kept her in and I think it made a huge difference to dw.
Going from 1 to 2 is a shock to the system so the 2 days when it's just and your baby will feel like a nice break.
And your ds gets a break from you and the baby, too!

Only downside: It is the expensive option.

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 08:59:57

"Also, he eats nothing at home but everything at nursery"

Ditto here!

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:02:42

Yes, DaddyJ, it is expensive.
But, if it really is the best option then we will find the money. Would feel guilty that I am shipping DS off, though.
Will send him for the first month or so of my mat leave, I think, and see how it goes.

BakewellTarts Tue 09-Jun-09 09:04:55

I was in exactly the same position as you last year.

I wanted DD1 to retain as much normality as possible through the huge transition of becoming a big sister and so left her in nursery. She was settled and seemed to enjoy her days there. Also I knew that she'd be going back there at the end of my maternity leave and it seemed to disruptive to take her out only to put her back in again.

Its worked out really well. I think its helped her as I'd hoped certainly not had too many problems with sibling jealousy (everything crossed as I know this can change). Its also been nice to have some 1 on 1 time with DD2.

BTW you will get some funding from the govt next year which should help with those fees it certainly helps us.

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Jun-09 09:06:11

I know what you mean - I feel that 3 days would be too much, even if we could afford it, which we can't really.
We had a load of stress settling him in though (he was OK at being left, same as most children) but was ill for 6 weeks so I wouldn't want to go through that again.
Does your DS enjoy it? What is he like when you pick him up?
So pleased it's not just DS with the eating thing - I have been seriously stressing about this as he has regressed and now eats cereal, bread and junk food and very little else

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Jun-09 09:07:21

The funding starts the school term after they're 3 doesn't it? So for me (DS born in April) that will be September 2010 - when I'm going back to work anyway!! Could really do with it sooner.

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:07:44

He's not entitled to gov funding until Sept 2010, sadly.
If Ds could go to nursery for a couple of mornings a week it would be better, but they don't take children for any less than two full days. And I don't want to move him when he's settled there.

StealthPolarBear Tue 09-Jun-09 09:08:18

are you me?

MrsKitty Tue 09-Jun-09 09:11:25

DS is currently in nursery 4 days a week (occasionally 5 depending on my shifts) ...He will be 2.8 when new baby comes along and I plan to reduce his days to 2 full days or 3 half days...Reasons for this are

a.) to have some alone time with baby

b.) Because he'll have to go back after ML anyway and it's taken sooo long to settle him in that I don't want to disrupt him now

c.) The food thing!

I have to give 4 wks notice of reduced hours and am thinking I will probably give my notice when (or just before) the baby is born, in order to have a bit of flexibility with days in those first few weeks, but not use all the days (Expensive decision, I know, but we've saved a bit of money to be able to do it) ... I also want to keep paying for his 4 day place until the baby's born as I'm kind of hoping that the baby will decide to make an appearance with a quick labour between 8am-5pm mon-thurs so that DS can go to nursery whilst I'm at the hospital, rather than us have to call upon the less than ideal alternative childcare arrangements that we have in place ...Wishful thinking, I know grin

MrsHappy Tue 09-Jun-09 09:12:52

It sounds to me like your best option is to keep him in nursery. You shouldn't feel as though byou are "shipping him off". I think you are doing him a favour by maintaining his routine. And I suspect that being a 2 year old at home all the time with a new baby must be rather dull!

Also assuming that you go back to work it will be much better if you don't have to settle him into childcare all over again.

FWIW, we'll be keeping our nanny when I am on leave. It is very expensive and might mean that I have to go back to work sooner but the flipside of that is that it will be easier going back sooner when I know that I already have decent childcare in place.

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:14:09

yes, he does enjoy it, polar bear. Oftrn when I pick him up he's not ready to leave, so that is surely a good sign.
Know what you mean about the junk food thing. We had so many rules on that before DS came along and now they're all out the window. You give them what you can to make them eat, don;t you?
Last night was an example: yummy, home-cooked dinner - meat and two veg job. DS refuses point blank to even taste it. We make him scrambled eggs as an alternative. Same again. We then resort to crackers and cheese and cheese strings, followed by cake (albeit homemade).
Arrrgh. It stresses me out no end!

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:15:01

Yes, stealth, your situation sounds very similiar to mine! smile

Poledra Tue 09-Jun-09 09:18:03

I kept DD1 at my childminder while I was on mat leave, though I dropped it from 5 full days to 3 days 10-16:30. She liked still seeing her friends and I got some time with DD2 (and to sleep!). Did the same thing when DD3 came along last year (though DD1 is at school now, so it wasn't too expensive). It kept her routine, and made sure I didn't lose my place(s) with a fantastic childminder,

Notquitegrownup Tue 09-Jun-09 09:23:33

Echoing the advice below to leave him in if you can for 2 days - sounds ideal, if expensive - and means that he will settle back in better once you go back to work.

He will go through a clingy phase once the baby has arrived, and not want to go, which will make you doubt your decision. This is normal - he will see baby staying at home with you, and want to be part of it. Be prepared for that, by talking in advance about play days for him at nursery, giving him pictures of the new baby to take in to show off, and saying how boring it will be at home for baby, who will look forward to seeing him again at the end of the day.

And if it really creates stress for you, once the baby is home and settled, you can always change your mind and give notice then, can't you?

goldrock Tue 09-Jun-09 09:25:08

When I had DC2 I left DC1 in nursery as I didn't want him to have too much disruption to his life on top of a new baby and it was in the days when nursery places were more difficult to get than they are now and I didn' want to risk losing the place. I did short days so we all had breakfast and tea together but I was able to have time with DC2 alone. Things had changed by the time I had DCs 3 & 4 and we all muddled in together but I wouldn't feel guilty, if you think its best for your family and you can afford it then you should do it

llareggub Tue 09-Jun-09 09:25:51

I have a 6 week old and a 2.6 year old and the 2 mornings the older one is in nursery really keeps my sanity. Keep him there if you can!

Poshpaws Tue 09-Jun-09 09:30:56

When DS2 was born, DS1 (3.5 at the time) was at nursery 3 days a week. I then decided to drop it to three mornings a week. What a mistake that was.

When he was at home in the afternoon, he just wanted my attention all the time, was bored witless and played up, which in turn disturbed DS2's nap time and I could not catch up on sleep either wink. In short, we were all quite miserable.

As soon as I increased the time back to 3 full days, all 3 of us were much happier. I have no regrets about keeping DS1 in nursery and both boys are very close (now 7 and 4) smile

Gateau Tue 09-Jun-09 09:34:00

Thank you very much for all your comments, everyone. Very helpful.
Notquitegrownup: I like your ideas for addressing the situation with DS.

Ceebee74 Tue 09-Jun-09 09:34:50

Just to add my voice to the 'send him' camp.

I went on ML in October and DS1 (who was 2.4 at the time) has carried on going to nursery for his normal 4 days - and I wouldn't have it any other way tbh.

We were planning on dropping it to 3 days - but DS1 didn't react very well to the arrival of his brother (aggression, whinging, tantrumming etc) and, as DaddyJ said, the shock of going from 1 to 2 completely threw me and DH so we needed the 'normality' and break from DS1 to cope (iyswim) so we have just kept it at 4 days.

DS1 has never once said he hasn't wanted to go and never made a fuss when I drop him off and leave with DS2 to come home. I drop him off and collect him on foot (as long as it is not raining) so me and DS2 always get 40 minutes of walking/fresh air a day, it gets me up and about in the mornings rather than slobbing about in my PJ's all day wink It has definitely helped DS1 (which is the most important thing of course) and he loves going to play with his friends. It is lovely to be able to focus and have some 1-2-1 time with DS2 aswell.

Plus we have the 'eating' issue here <sigh> - eats everything at nursery and nothing at home so I know he is being fed properly for 4 days wink

Anyway, in summary, if you can afford it, I would say still send him smile

Ceebee74 Tue 09-Jun-09 09:37:11

Looking at what Llaregub said - it has definitely helped my sanity.

When DS2 was 6 weeks old, both him and DS1 got chicken pox so I had DS1 at home all week as he couldn't go to nursery - having the 2 of them at home constantly made it the hardest week of my life (DH was away all week - typical!) and definitely confirmed my decision that it was the right decision for DS1 to stay at nursery.

newmumof2 Tue 09-Jun-09 09:38:18

i agree with everything said, keep him in!

i kept dc1 in 2 days a week, it has been a life saver (although dh thinks those 2 days are a holiday for me!!) shock

the days he's with me he does get bored and its impossible to get him an extra day at his nursery now!

PortAndLemon Tue 09-Jun-09 09:46:47

We kept DS in. It gave him extra stability when DD was turning home life upside down, and to be frank it was more interesting for him as being home with a new baby is pretty dull grin.

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