Author Topic: Best combination of child care for 2 LOs  (Read 2098 times)

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Offline katerinask

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Best combination of child care for 2 LOs
« on: February 09, 2018, 21:01:24 pm »
Hi everyone and sorry for the long post, which is more of an of my internal struggles :)

We're facing some huge dilemmas regarding our two LOs and I was hoping to get some second and third opinions, because I feel really torn! Here are the facts of our situation:

- We have 2 DDs, 27 months and 8 months old. DD1 has had a nanny at home since 3 months old when I started returning to work (first part time then full again). When DD2 was born (and DD1 was 19 months), I stopped again and have been at home, together with the nanny ever since.
- I am self employed and have made arrangements so that I can return when I want and for as many hours as I want. Right now I feel like I can't / don't want to go back full time, but I would like to ideally have some part time work (e.g. twice a week). But, as I said, this isn't something i HAVE to do, rather something I would like to do.
- Since being at home for the past 8 months, DD1 and I have become very attached, to the point where it feels like I am there predominantly for her and that the nanny takes care of DD2. I love spending time with DD1 now that she is in this fantastic phase of imaginary play and has all these newfound interests. She is a super little girl, we go out every day on various outings, and play constantly. She loves all sorts of role playing (doctor, builder, shop keeper, mummy, teacher, pilot... everything), playing with Legos and Playmobiles, painting, Play doh, playing with dry pasta and containers, sticking stuff... she seems to genuinely enjoy everything. She is VERY sociable with adults and also with most children. Especially ones she knows and likes, who she actually plays WITH rather than just next to. I feel like she would really take to a pre-school program, where there is a lot of stimulation and new stuff to learn and do. On the other hand, we do so much together that I really feel the main difference would be socializing and becoming more independent.
- As far as DD2 is concerned I feel tremendously guilty, because she is not getting much one-to-one mummy time, due to DD1 being so attached and not really accepting to stay with the nanny while I do something with DD2. I don't try to make that happen too much tbh, because I always end up saying to myself that it's a shame to keep DD1 indoors now that she is so active, but that's unfair for DD2 who spends most of her days at home with the nanny, while I'm out and about. Even when at home, there are many hours of her playing alone on the floor or the play pen, while we are doing something else with DD1. Of course I try to include both the girls in some games, e.g. take DD2 with me while we role play something and talk to her as if she understands and is part of the sketch, but that doesn't happen all day long. On the other hand I say to myself that maybe its just normal mum-guilt, since DD1 was home alone at the same age with the same nanny.
- Our current nanny will be stopping shortly, so we are considering various different scenarios... Here are some combinations:

1. DD1 goes to preschool, while I stay at home with DD2 and make up for lost time. We could also consider a part time nanny to take care of DD2 if I want to work on some days. This is a great set up for DD2, but not sure about DD1... I'm worried her attachement to me will make the transition hard, especially if she feels I'm sending her off to stay at home with DD2. What do you think? Is this the right time to send her to nursery/preschool?
2. Replace the nanny with another one, focusing on finding someone who could provide the stimulation DD1 needs and someone she would like to spend time with, so that I can better divide my time between the two LOs. This of course is an ideal (but costly) situation... not sure we would find someone like this.

What do you think? When is the right time to send DD1 to school? Will it be too hard for her due to us having another baby at home? How can I balance my time between the two and give them both what they need? Which solution would you recommend?

THANK YOU for reading this far  ;D

Offline eva026

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Re: Best combination of child care for 2 LOs
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 06:53:24 am »
Personally Id send DD1 to nursery school for a few hours a day to start. My dd LOVED it, all the kids and toys and fun activities, when Id come pick her up shed refuse to go home. That being said, there were some tears at the beginning when she realized Id be leaving her there. Thats totally normal and when Id listen by the window, shed have stopped crying within 5mintues. I reckon, shell have to go through it at some point anyway, so why not now? In the hours shes at nursery you can have 1-1 time with DD2 and if you can, get a nanny for your two days of work. They come in useful when kiddies get colds and stuff and you have work that day.

Can you trial nursery school for a month and see how it goes? You may be pleasantly surprised how well she takes to it.

Offline creations

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Re: Best combination of child care for 2 LOs
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2018, 10:23:48 am »
Hi there
My DS is an only child so I didn't have this experience of splitting my time between LOs but I used to take him to toddler groups every week where I saw others with more than one LO. The most common thing amongst that group was a 2 or 3yo going to nursery for 15hrs per week (either 5 mornings of 3hrs or 2.5 full days for instance), this is common because all 3yos in the UK get these hours free, some 2yo do too depending on circumstances.  On the days they had both LOs they took them both out to baby/toddler groups together (rather than one being with a nanny).
My DS started when he turned 3yo and he had been with be full time until then. He wanted to be at the nursery for the toys and fun but he didn't really want to be without me. I eased him in with shorter days, beginning with visiting together for an hour, then him staying on his own for an hour then increasing.  When he struggled with being left alone there I went back in to visit a couple of times and he felt more in control and more empowered by that.  For instance he was struggling with having lunch there so I popped in a couple of times to spend the lunch time there, sat just outside the lunch room, gave him a cuddle before and after he ate and this resulted in him staying happily the full day.  If you are not working you have greater flexibility to help DD1 settle in without it being 'forced'.

It sounds like you have a wonderful time together - I think you will enjoy your one to one time with DD2 just as much just with slightly different games and activities.
There are ways you can help DD1 not feel left out - sometimes even just saying you will be at home doing something boring whilst she is at the nursery is enough to feel they are not missing out, "I'm going to go home with DD2 and put her down for a nap and then I'll clean the house.  Then we will come back to get you" kind of thing.  My DS really needed to know where I would be (I always said at home tidying as this was an easy image for him to picture).

Maybe check with the nursery how they fill places and take fees for the year, is it term by term for instance.  You might not necessarily be locked into a full year of fees if it turned out it just isn't the right time for DD1 and you want to take her out after a good trial period.  Knowing how they work and visiting some places might help you make your decision.