Taking care of 2 babies without someone's head exploding?
December 7, 2013 7:21 PM Subscribe
When I got pregnant, my brother and sister-in-law immediately offered SIL as our daycare provider as she'd be at home with their baby anyway. Sweet! Now I'm 2 months from going back to work, however, and she's getting (understandable) cold feet about the idea of caring for 2 babies at the same time. Not sweet. :( Looking for suggestions on how our families can make this work, because trying to figure out a different daycare/nanny option in the next 2 months is giving me hives (plus I'd love for my son to be cared for by family if possible). Wall o' relevant details inside...
posted by laeren to Human Relations (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hope this covers the relevant/helpful stuff...
* Her daughter is exactly 7 months older than my son; when I go back to work, he'll be about 5 months old and she'll be almost exactly 1 year
* Both babies are breastfed; she's only nursing a few times a day these days and instead is eating a lot of solids, whereas my kidlet will still be breastmilk only for at least a while after the arrangement starts (he definitely takes a bottle, from my husband at least; she's never done bottles at all)
* She has childcare experience, but hasn't dealt with multiple infants before (she worked with preschoolers and up)
* Her daughter is a stubborn but sunny child; my son is something of a cranky fussbudget (sigh)
* Her daughter is already confidently standing and crawling around like crazy and is very likely to be walking by the time I go back to work
* Son would be dropped off at her house around 9AM and not picked up until around 5:00PM, so we're talking a good 40 hours a week
The general suite of questions are: What can I do with my son in the next 2 months to help him be as easy on SIL as possible? Tips for her on managing 2 babies at once (keeping them entertained, good activities to take them out to, napping schedules, feeding schedules, etc.)? Thoughts on fair compensation for her time (we live in Seattle) or other ways we can show our appreciation for what she's doing?
Some various thoughts husband and I have already had (although tips/advice related to any of this would be very welcome, as is advice on which of these would be the most useful):
* Make sure son will take a bottle from someone not my husband and have husband show SIL how to bottle-feed
* Work on getting son to nap in a pack 'n play (currently almost all of his naps are on me while I walk with him in a wrap, or danced/bounced to sleep in a sling and then I hold him while I read or watch TV)
* Work on getting son to nap longer (currently almost all of his naps he wakes up after about 45 minutes, unless I'm holding him in a sling and the stars align for me to ease him through the sleep cycle transition.. which doesn't always work)... but maybe by 5 months this will happen semi-naturally?
* Work on extending son's daily cycles (currently he tends to wake up, eat for about 20-30 minutes, be awake for about 45 minutes, and then sleep for about 45 minutes, for a 2 hour cycle overall... it's kind of grueling on just me and I can't imagine her managing that kind of breakneck pace while also juggling a one-year-old!)... but maybe by 5 months this will happen semi-naturally?
* Bring son over to their house often during the remainder of my leave so he's used to being over there (particularly napping over there, but also used to his aunt and cousin)
* Get her a double stroller so she can walk out with both kids, and buy an extra carseat base for her to use
* Hire some sort of helper for her either full/part time
* Any time that they need a baby sitter for an evening, we volunteer unless we absolutely aren't available
* One of us periodically takes days off work and take both kids so that she can have a complete day off baby-care
Advice us, o hive mind?