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Childcare w Grandparents: what age to start?

(10 Posts)
PipPipPip Thu 16-Dec-10 23:19:06

Hi there,

I need a little advice. I'm currently pregnant and working on a PhD thesis. I'll take a couple/few months of proper maternity leave, but I'll be keen to get back to SOME study as soon as possible.

My parents-in-law have kindly offered to look after the baby on a regular basis. My partner also has some flexibility in his work hours.

But I am completely clueless about babies At what stage do you think I would feel comfortable leaving my baby with its grandparents or my partner, and heading to the office/library for a couple of hours?

I'm planning to breastfeed, but don't really understand how expressing etc works.

If I could just get one day (or two half days?) at my desk, it would make an enormous difference to my progress.

All advice welcome!!

PS. I did put this on the childcare forum, but just looking for advice experienced second-timers on here. Thanks!

PipPipPip Thu 16-Dec-10 23:20:35

There was supposed to be a blush after "completely clueless about babies"!

Megletitsnow Thu 16-Dec-10 23:28:42

Well, seeing as your PIL's have already bought up a child then will have a good idea what they are doing wink.

IIRC my mum had my DS from about 8 weeks old, usually just for an hour or two so I could get a break, he was mainly ff by that point though. When DD was born and exc bf my mum did have to insist on taking her for a walk at 12 weeks old as I was going a bit mad with tiredness - DD was fine.

I'm not an expert on bf but I think the advice is to give it a few weeks before you start expressing as the baby needs all the milk you make, you might be better off getting advice on the bf topic about that.

Congrats on your pregnancy and good luck with your PHD.

EenyMeenyMaya Fri 17-Dec-10 07:23:22

The theory is that to fully establish BF-ing, you exclusively BF for the first six weeks. You may be comfortable with expressing and giving your baby EBM earlier than that though. I think I did it earlier with DS1. As soon as you are comfortable with BF-ing, give expressing a go and don't get disheartened if it takes a week or so to feel ok.

Re: being ready to leave your baby for the first time, I would say it really is something that you won't know until you know. I'm not helping am I? hmm

I'm expecting my second and have agreed with DH I will take an hour a day away from the three of them from 6/7 weeks. (I had PND with my first and the time away is to protect my sanity this time!)
Maybe aiming for 8-10 weeks would be good for you, esp if you start with just an hour or so?

HTH in some way. Congratulations BTW and good luck with the PHD.

wigglesrock Fri 17-Dec-10 08:56:44

My parents in law minded dd1 twice a week for five hours from four months old - they did this for a few years until I had dd2. It was brillant, they loved it. She really thrived on it, they had so much time/patience for her, did jigsaws, read for hours, did day trips in the summer etc. I didn't breastfeed so no advice there, good luck.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 17-Dec-10 10:39:12

Speaking as a fellow PhD student, I'd suggest that baby brain may also be a factor. I couldn't have gone back to study before DD was about 4 months because I was simply incapable of any coherent academic thought...

thefurryone Fri 17-Dec-10 11:03:41

I'm also a pregnant PhD student. I don't have any past experience to help you with but for what it's worth I'm planning to withdraw from the start of April till start of January 2012(due end of April) which seems like a lot of time off written down but I just can't imagine going back full time before 6 months and I don't want to re-register just before christmas as I think I'll have a better chance to get into university childcare at the beginning of a semester. I do have in mind that I will start trying to get maybe an afternoon or a day in from around 3 months or so onwards depending on how things are going.

How are you finding PhD and pregnancy? I'm finding it incredibly stressful, having really bad sleep problems and concentrating has become incredibly difficult.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 17-Dec-10 11:27:42

I can relate to the stress! And to the tiredness and the concentration really not helping. Easier, though, second time around [unhelpful empticon]

valbona Fri 17-Dec-10 11:47:01

I do similar work and was mid-project when DD was born - I started doing the odd half-day/ few hours when she was about 2 months old and built up slowly from there. It worked out pretty well - plus those few hours in non-baby brain-world were MAGIC!

With expressing, my DD wouldn't take a bottle until about 6 months so I just hid myself away and my mum presented me with a hungry baby when necessary. But if all goes well, you should be able to express a feed's worth a day so there's some for when you're at the library - otherwise I'd say it's hard to leave for any longer than two hours at a time.

Hope all goes well for you

PipPipPip Fri 17-Dec-10 14:36:02

Hi everyone, thanks SO much for sharing your experiences and useful advice!

Wigglesrock thanks for the optimism about spending time with grandparents. I think they WOULD thrive on it.

There's a library near my parents-in-law's house, so one possibility is:

- drive to PILs' house
- do a feed or whatever
- pop off to library for couple hours
- come back to feed/collect baby
- drive home

I think my PILs wouldn't mind doing this a couple of times a week, provided they weren't left for TOO long.

I also like Valbona's idea - I could always just hide away in my PILs' house for a few hours each week, and they could bring the baby to me when it needs to feed.

Thefurryone where are you studying? In London? I totally sympathise - I've had a terribly unproductive few months!!

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