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Would like advice about right help to get with toddler and new baby...

(6 Posts)
alittleteapot Mon 03-Aug-09 21:12:43

We have no family close, dh works v long hours and we will have a new baby in the autumn. I am a full-time sahm with a lively two year old who has dropped all naps. I'm already at the end of my tether with tiredness - thankfully many people say it's easier with a newborn than with a big pregnant belly - i hope so. We're going to get some sort of help for the first couple of months - ideally something like a couple of hours a day to help with day to day household stuff and/or the baby and the toddler - maybe allow me to grab a lie down (i.e. ideally a surrogate granny) - not sure if I should be trying for a postnatal doula, mother's help or what. Any advice? What did you do or wish you had done? TIA

jumpyjan Mon 03-Aug-09 21:26:50

Will your dh have paternity leave? Hopefully he will be entitled to something and that will give you an opportunity to rest. My advice for the first few weeks would be to just go to bed asap. I went to bed about 8ish which was a bit difficult as you want to catch up with each other after being apart for the day but its only temporary while you are waking a lot in the night with the baby. I found that way I could survive without daytime naps.

I normally work 3 days a week and DD goes to nursery so while on maternity leave she still goes just for 1 day a week but it is a life saver. Gives me a chance to do all the housework etc. Perhaps you could consider something like that?

Also even if your toddler has dropped naps you could encourage him/her to have a quiet time. I do this with DD if she won't sleep - I close the curtains in the lounge, put her in her inflatable bed and put a chilled out dvd on - that way you can put your feet up for a bit.

My DD is 2.5 and DS is 3 months and I can honestly say I was more tired when DD was a baby. I think the second is less of a shock to the system!

puffylovett Mon 03-Aug-09 21:38:03

My friend had a doula come in for a few hours a week, said she was a godsend. Her hubbie is a farmer, so basically she never sees him. The doula did all the housework, and the other benefit was that she was very like minded - ie they both breast fed / attachment parented etc so I think that was a big help to my friend, to have someone on the same wavelength that she could talk to.

The other thing she recommended was to have a special box of toys that only came out when she was feeding her new DC. Personally I think I'll probably just wind up going for cbeebies or using the time to read with ds !

madusa Mon 03-Aug-09 21:45:55

i work as a doula but will not do "general" housework as I'm not a cleaner.

I will run the vacuum over a room and generally tidy up though. i am more than happy to shop for the family and of course be there as a shoulder if needed amongst other things.

The main difference between a doula and a mothers help (other than cost) is the level of unsupervised care ie a doula will probably be fine to take care of the baby and everything that it entails as they are generally mums themselves. Mothers helps are usually young ladies trying to work there way into childcare by starting at the bottom of the rung.

i think that most people who have a doula say that they couldn't have done without them but in reality a doula is really there to make the transition to parenthood a bit easier both physically and emotionally.

alittleteapot Mon 03-Aug-09 21:55:03

Thanks all.

Jumpyjan good advice re just going to bed however tempting to stay up. about to do that now in fact. and dd will start nursery in jan so it's just the first couple of months i need to cover.

madusa - the household tasks i'd be looking for would be help with the washing and jsut helping me make sure the dishwasher was loaded and surfaces wiped - would a doula do that or is that beyond remit? And would a doula e.g. take toddler to swings? i like the idea of a doula for the attachment parenting type reasons, but i suppose i need an all round extra pair of hands and not sure if doula is more childcare specific?

madusa Tue 04-Aug-09 18:49:44

I can only speak for myself really but I think that most doulas would be more than happy with wiping over surfaces, going to the park etc.

I don't clean kitchens and bathrooms as I don't want to be a cleaner but rather someone who can support the family so I will do light housework, help with other children, go shopping, help with laundry etc

What a doula will and won't do is down to the individual and I guess you interview as many as you can until you know you have found the right person for the role and who will fit in best with your family. Sometimes, it all just comes down to personality

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