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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
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- Zappos – 28,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off kids’ camp styles; extra 50% off select sale
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- Hanna Andersson – Up to 50% off summer pajamas; up to 50% off all baby styles (semi-annual baby event!)
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- Target – Kids’ swim from $8; summer accessories from $10
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Ideal childcare help says
I’m due with my first child early next year, and H and I are both biglaw partners. H travels a lot (avg. once a week for two days, but could be gone an entire week) and I travel maybe 3x/month. No family nearby. Live in big Midwest city in an apartment with our dog.
If money were no object, what would your ideal care and housekeeping situation be? We’d both like to maximize baby time versus housework/errands, and I’d like to make sure I have enough coverage with his travel so that me/my career doesn’t suffer at the expense of his.
We’ve contemplated a lot of combos – daycare + pickup nanny (get baby from daycare, feed baby, stay an hour while one of us is home to do light cleanup work and pack baby’s things for the next day), full-time nanny + part-time housekeeper (laundry, errands, light cleaning), one of the above plus a weekend sitter (for either a date or work). Currently have dog walker and every other week cleaner and will keep both. Open to any thoughts or ideas on this – we have some time given maternity leave but it’s difficult to figure out what will work best since this is our first time.
Er… what is the plan for the baby when you are both on work travel? Do you have enough room for a live-in nanny or au pair?
Sadly not. Plan is likely to schedule around each other (generally possible and what we do now for the dog), fly in a retired grandparent or arrange with a very good friend who is an overnight nanny (and pay her!) if needed. I agree it’s tough and I’m a bit overwhelmed by it!
Just a quick note of reassurance for you: my husband and I have similar levels of work travel to what you described above. But because we are both at a point in our careers that we have some power over the schedule, we have been able schedule around each other so that we’ve only had an unavoidable double-travel twice in 2 years. We flew in an out-of-town grandparent to watch kiddo both times. You can make it work.
Agreed on the notes above about having a back-up care plan (really regardless of whether you go nanny or daycare). Do you have access to back-up care through work? That’s been a lifesaver for sick days when one of us had a meeting they could not miss but the other was traveling out of town and unable to cover childcare.
Thank you for this! It’s crazy, you push in your career, try for a baby and think… ok how is this supposed to work out??
We have back-up care through work but it’s daycare through one of the national chains and I’ve heard it’s pretty good, but if baby is sick it wouldn’t be an option. We may need to work with an agency to sign up for back-up nanny care privately (hoping this is a thing). I hadn’t thought as much about back-up care but will definitely do so now.
OP, backup nanny care is definitely a thing! We’re in the DC metro area but several regular nanny agencies I looked at also offered “backup” care services. Basically you pay a yearly membership fee then when you use it, pay the nanny an hourly rate and a commission to the agency. It can get expensive but if you need it then you need it!
Great – definitely looking into this, thank you!
Are you sure your backup care option through work doesn’t also include nanny service? Mine does — we can use drop in at Bright Horizons (if there is space available, so dicey), OR they work with an agency and will send a nanny to our house. Price to me is the same either way. I’ve only used it a couple times, but it was pretty easy.
Agreed, husband and I both travel and we make it work. Is it hectic? Yes. Impossible? No.
We have family in the area, which helps a lot, but also have close relationships with babysitters who would stay over if we needed.
To your original point, full time day care + nanny in the evenings would be my preference. You could just do a FT nanny who is totally fine working overtime and doing some housework as well, but maybe not as likely to find that?
Yes, I think you need to look into live in help honestly given all the work travel. Plus babies get sick A LOT their first year (or more) in daycare. I’d say au pair, or live in nanny if you’re more comfortable with an older more experienced caretaker.
We also have no local help, and with travel in the mix an au pair is the only solution that works for us at a (slightly lower) cost than a live in nanny.
We have friends with au pairs and it seems like a terrific solution. We’re in a 2 bedroom apartment unfortunately, and don’t plan to move for a bit (I really like our apartment in general) so it’s been tough — part of me thinks we’ll wind up moving sooner than we originally anticipated in order to get an au pair or live-in help in the future.
I’d move immediately. And get a weekly housekeeper. If you both want to keep doing the jobs that pay you buckets of money for buying all of your time, this is what you spend it on. Weekly housekeeper who does laundry, au pair, plus day care.
+1 Move before the baby comes (I’ve moved with a 7 month old baby and again with a toddler while heavily pregnant and I desperately wish I had moved before either kid was born) so you can get a live-in nanny. It is really the only thing that will give you the flexibility to work biglaw hours and travel regardless of whether your husband is travelling or your baby is sick. Keep your overnight nanny friend as a backup (because you’ll need one) for when your live-in nanny is sick or on vacation or quits. Also hire a weekly housekeeping service and get an Amazon Prime account and you should be fine.
Buddy Holly says
Can you rent another apartment in your building? I don’t know if that would make sense, but if you like the apartment and don’t want to move, that could be part of the nanny’s comp. If money were truly no object, that is what I would do. Hire two nannies that could work together to cover all the hours you need for childcare and household management and rent another 2 bedroom in your complex for them to live in.
We love our au pair, but I’d never ever do an au pair with an infant. They just don’t have the experience to deal with a small baby. I’d do a nanny (perhaps live in) or double nanny for the first year. An au pair is great with a 1 or 2 yo, but not with an infant. (My recollection is that they can’t even care for infants less than 3 months…)
I’d skip daycare for the first year if you can avoid it. You’ll avoid so, so, so many illnesses that just make your life harder. There’s no benefit to “socialization” for a little one. Wait to do daycare/preschool until they’re closer to 2.
+1! Au pair and infant seems like a recipe for disaster to me. Au pairs also don’t work very long hours and can’t do a lot of cleaning, so I don’t think they’re a great solution for two Big Law partners who need lots of hours of childcare and lots of household help.
As a counterpoint – we have an au pair with our 5 month old and she’s fantastic. She’s 20 years old and spent her first year as an au pair with another family taking care of an infant and a toddler. I’m more concerned about the right fit for the next au pair (arrives when baby is over 1) because infant needs seem more simple (nap, eat bottles, tummy time) and less intense than toddler needs (more language development, need socialization, eating real food), but obviously I don’t know that yet.
It’s true that an au pair cannot take care of a baby younger than 3 months. In OP’s situation I might consider an au pair in conjunction with day care to be on the evening shift/backup care. Au pair cannot stay overnight with children, so you’d still need grandparent for that.
Agreed, except we don’t actually have an au pair, but very close friends do. I think au pairs are best suited for older preschoolers through elementary aged kids. And as a later poster mentioned, they have strict hours requirements.
I haven’t read the full thread, so someone else may have similar recommendations, but in your shoes OP, if you really do not want to move to a bigger place that could accommodate a live in nanny, I would hire two nannies, so you have regular coverage from say 7am until 9pm every weekday (or later, you know your schedules better than any of us) and a few hours each weekend day. For travel, try to schedule around each other, and fly in family (or eventually, use a nanny once you have built a relationship with one) in the event you really both have to be gone at the same time.
One other thing. I realize you said you love your apartment , but if money REALLY is no object, I would start looking for a bigger place immediately. Obviously lots and lots (and lots) of people live in two bedrooms with kids, but if you can afford it, having some extra space is really nice.
Thank you! I’m definitely keeping these all in mind – particularly the ones voting for a bigger apartment because it isn’t really something we had thought about, and it’s keeping it at top of mind for me.
I don’t think daycare will work with these constraints since you have to keep the baby home every time the baby’s sick (which is a lot in the beginning).
Thanks, that’s helpful. We really like some of the daycares we’ve seen but I was concerned about illness and it’s helpful to hear that is a real thing to worry about especially in the first year.
Very real thing. Without a doubt we were called out 1x/week every other week and then had to stay home that dreaded additional day when there was a fever or puking. From Thanksgiving (5 months) to April (12 months) it was h-e-l-l. I don’t say that to scare you and I think DD was particularly ill relative to other day care kids, but it’s real and you need to plan for it.
Yeah, we definitely need a better plan for back-up care, whether we go with daycare or nanny/nannies. This whole thread is making me realize we will need to look into that much more. Thank you!
But a sick day every other week from Thanksgiving to late April (which is a lot, my kid got sick about half that amount her first year) is still only what…12 days? An individual nanny will typically take much more than 12 days off/year. Daycare is 100% reliable unless your child is puking or running a fever. Nannies aren’t.
Also I imagine as a Big Law partner you have significant flexibility to work from home? It’s much easier to work from home with a sick child who spends most of the day sleeping than it is with a healthy child who is home because her nanny is unavailable. My kid is in daycare now and when she’s out sick, I typically work from home and get in a pretty decent workday even without backup care. Much harder to do that if you’re home with a healthy child (especially past infancy when they’re napping less).
Our pediatrician told us to expect two illnesses per month year-round for the first two years of group care or community exposure, which turned out to be spot on. Keep in mind that if you are called to pick up a feverish or vomiting child, you will not be able to bring her back to day care the next day–she has to go a full 24 hours without fever, vomiting, or diarrhea before she will be accepted back. If she has a bacterial infection, she will need to be on antibiotics for a full 24 hours before returning.
In addition to arranging multiple layers of backup care, you need to plan to be sick yourself. I usually got sicker than my kid.
Ugh, I hadn’t even thought of getting sick myself, but you’re right I’m sure that will be an issue.
I do have more flexibility to work from home in the event needed, but 2x/month at the last minute would be a lot, and I can see some resentment building towards H (who generally shoulders much of the emotional labor/scheduling/tasks in our household currently) if he can’t help so I’ll need a back-up plan either way I think.
As a counterpoint, my daughter had at least half a dozen, maybe even a dozen, colds her first year, many of which I caught, but only two illnesses that would have required her to stay home: a viral illness with high fever that caused her to miss three days of care (she was sick for two days, plus the 24 hour fever rule) and a vomiting bug that was over a weekend and didn’t result in any missed daycare. The fever was immediately after she started daycare (plan on this! many of my friends had the same experience) and the vomiting bug was the following spring. Winter was just colds that didn’t require her to stay home, although we did sometimes keep her home so she could catch up on sleep. You should have backup care in place but getting sick enough to miss daycare twice/month year round really sounds like a lot.
I mean, I get the math and counting days but I’m telling you as someone who is a relatively new partner in Big Finance with the alleged flexibility you describe, it was absolutely brutal. And we had local grandparents to offer support.
Being sent home from daycare meant being out for that day (leaving work early) and for sure the next day if not multiple days depending on the fever or pukiness. It also meant pedi appointments sometimes (depending on ailment) and often follow ups. Again, DD seemed to have it particularly bad but we even had a multiple night hospital stay. We had hand foot mouth (no local grandparent wanted to care for that), we had conjunctivitis. We had ear infections that lead to tubes (which she got in April – when the clouds parted and the sun finally shined through). We were supposed to have the tubes sooner but then she got croup the week before it was scheduled and evidently respiratory-related infections box you out from “surgery” for six weeks. I don’t wish our year one on anyone but for someone in a demanding job + travel like OP, you’ve just got to consider your back up plans thoughtfully.
I’d be cautious about assuming you can work from home and get a lot done. It is so dependent on your baby. My oldest was an ‘easy’ baby and colds rarely resulted in sinus infections. My youngest almost always had a hard time with his sinuses when sick, especially when laid on his back. He was very needy around being held when sick so he would only nap in an upright position in a baby carrier. I couldn’t even take calls easily because he was a light sleeper.
Even if you don’t get sick a lot now, when you have a young baby and your immune system is worn down from not sleeping so much, it’s easier to get sick. I was sick enough to need to take a sick day for myself about every second time baby was sick in the first year.
Our kid had a fairly abnormal amount of illness his first 18 months (4-5 ear infections, plus viral tummy bugs, plus croup, Hand/Foot/Mouth, conjunctivitis, roseola, surgery for tubes, etc.) What really gets you are the days you’re home from daycare with the remnants of a fever AND the recheck doctor’s appointments. So – you get the call from daycare that baby is sick, take them home, get them to the pediatrician, get meds (all 1 day off), then one day home to recover, then one more day for a re-check or for the fever to truly go away. That’s easily 2-3 days for a mild illness. Something like HFM or Roseola can easily be 4-5 days home.
The first year of daycare is just HARD. I don’t say that to scaremonger, but truly, I wish someone had broken it down for me because I nearly quit my job at least 3 times in the first 2 years because of how hard it was, and that was WITH supportive bosses who were parents.
Yes, all good points! I’m not sure I could take 2x/month to work from home at the last minute, I’m sure resentment would build towards H if I had to shoulder most of that, and who knows how much work I’d actually be able to get done depending on the illness and baby. If we went the daycare route I think we’d need a much better combo of backup options (the daycare backup that my firm provides, paying for a backup nanny agency service as someone mentioned above, and potentially some others if I can think of any, since flying in a grandparent at the last minute for illness likely isn’t a great option).
Daycare provides coverage for a 9-5 workday, but not more than that. Getting your kid “ready” for daycare and dropping them off will take up more time than you assume, so how early you can get to work/get to the airport will no longer be a function of when you can get up and how quickly you can get ready for work. If you have a nanny, you can leave the house as soon as you’re ready regardless of whether the baby is sleeping/in their pajamas/needs a bottle/needs a diaper change/whatever.
What these responses are getting at is that you just don’t know what kind of kid you get (prone to illness or not) until they’re here. Our first started at daycare at four months and never went home sick. Not once. She was sometimes a little sniffly, but never ran a fever. Our second had hand foot and mouth, the flu, and a random stomach bug, and missed probably 3-4 days a month for his first six months of daycare.
We had an education grad student “on call” who covered for a lot of those illness days. We paid her above market rate, and so because of that she was almost always willing to come in a pinch. I think it is definitely doable, even with a prone-to-illness kid, as long as you have a deep stable of backup options. And they don’t have to be professional nannies.
I billed 88 hours the first month my kid was in daycare (although he ended up at home more than at daycare). 88.
Re: illness and working from home. If you’re home with your sick baby don’t count on working from home because your baby will probably want to be held constantly or nap on you or not nap at all. Having a nanny solves this problem (and reduces the number of illnesses anyway).
Your child will get sick a ton their first year in group childcare, whether that’s daycare as an infant, preschool as a 3 year old or kindergarten as a 5 year old. If you get a nanny now, all you’re doing is postponing the constant illness thing until later, you’re not avoiding it. Personally, I think it’s better to get that out of the way in infancy because people are a lot more understanding of the parent of an infant missing work than they would be of the parent of a kindergartner missing work. But YMMV.
Anon at 11:00 has a very good point. My sister kept her younger child home until he started K, and he missed SO MUCH school in K and 1st grade because he was constantly sick. In our school district, he’d have been held back both years as a result of all the absences. Her older child also caught many of his illnesses, which hurt her school attendance too.
I don’t know if I really agree with anon at 11:00. I was raised by an SAHM and I asked my mom if we just got sick once we went to K and she said no, we would get an occasional small illness here or there as we started getting exposed to more people and esp kids, but both my brother and I were totally healthy once we started school and were around kids all day. I went with a nanny for my son for this reason – even if it is true that he will get sick once he starts preschool, I’d rather have him be sick when he’s slightly older as opposed to infancy, for all of our sakes.
Some kids don’t get sick much in daycare either. Kids who are sickness-prone will get sick a lot until they build immunity, and that may happen to them in kindergarten. It’s scary when newborns are sick but once they’re 3 months or so, I found having a sick infant a lot easier than a sick toddler, actually – when she was an infant she bounced back faster and didn’t seem fazed by the illness (just wanted to sleep all day) whereas now that she’s a toddler there’s a lot more grumpiness and tantruming involved.
We’ve been in a nanny share and now starting preschool, we’ll see how the sickness goes. But my child did get sick — HFM x2 (different strains!), runny noses, etc. — although I’m sure less than daycare & our arrangement was more flexible so she was able to be in the share when she might not have been allowed back at daycare. However, if we’re in for frequent illnesses regardless of when we start, I’d rather deal with them when kid is a little older — immune system more developed, have more med options, hopefully less prone to things like frequent ear infections.
Echoing that kids get sick but adults get sick too! My DH had barely been sick in a decade and the daycare germs absolutely flattened him multiple times. (Less so me, I guess because I take the subway and am exposed to more?) Just be prepared to be flexible.
^This. When I married my husband, I had a 4-year-old child. He (my husband) was constantly sick for a year because he was not used to the germs coming home!
I think a lot of this depends on the timing, though. I had two early in the new year babies who started daycare in April and didn’t get sick until the following January when they were a year old. When your kid is starting daycare for the first time in the fall I think the illness level goes up.
Mine started day care in the summer and had her first ear infection within three weeks.
Mine started in June and got sick immediately with a viral illness with high fever (doc suspected roseola but she never got the rash). I have friends with May and July start dates whose babies also got sick with fevers immediately. It was like their were just germs hanging out in the room that they had to build immunity to. The first winter was not that bad for us though, just a lot of colds and thankfully my kid is not prone to ear infections.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Probably two nannies – one to do the first half of the week and another to do the second half, or one that does mornings and one that does evenings, with one or both covering weekends as well. Ideally ones who do housework as well as part of the job. I think the only way daycare will work is if you have a back-up available at all times for any sick days/closures. And you’ll still need the nanny or maybe an aupair after daycare ends.
I listen to the Best of Both Worlds podcast and one of the hosts has a traveling job, with a husband in a consulting traveling job – they have more kids but they have one nanny who does 8-8 M-Thurs, another nanny on Fridays and for weekends. I believe one of the nannies has the ability to stay overnight as well.
Thank you, this is helpful (as is the podcast rec!). We don’t have room for live in right now (2 bedroom) so two nannies may be the way we need to go. Would love to develop a relationship with a nanny who can stay overnight but know I can’t count on that in the beginning.
Strategy mom says
With a good nanny you should be ok to leave them for overnights pretty quickly. Nannies give you a ton of time back – they’ll hep cook/clean/run errands/etc. they wash and prep bottles (a big pain with daycare). I’d suggest hiring a great nanny who doesn’t have young kids (so they can do overnights and can stay late if work is running late). They can have kiddos din prepped when you get home from work so you can focus on baby. We do Cleaning lady 2x per month and that has worked well. We have similar jobs/ priorities to what you described. Nannies solve the sick baby problem very effectively and I’ve learned that would be really hard with my job. I want to save my flexibility for going to school events, not staying home for minor colds
Yeah I would say part-time daycare plus full-time live-in nanny who agrees to work X houses a week that can be distributed across childcare and light cleaning is your best bet. That way on weeks that parents are very busy or traveling or kid is sick you can have more childcare coverage but on normal weeks you can get a little extra household help. Plus also a weekly cleaner.
Perhaps I’m in the minority and/or we did not have a great nanny, but we had more days where we had to scramble for childcare with a nanny than we did in daycare, even during the first daycare winter where you get all the illnesses out of the way. A nanny will want to take vacations at times of her own choosing and will have family emergencies and her own sick days. Our nanny got pregnant while working for us and needed a lot of time off for prenatal appointments in her home city 1.5 hours away. All of that added up to more than the child sick days from daycare.
I think what you need is a nanny or daycare (my preference is daycare, but it’s a very personal choice) and good backup care, plus perhaps regular weekend babysitting if you regularly do work on weekends. I’d also point out that most daycares offer 55-60 hours/week of coverage included in the base price, whereas you have to pay a nanny overtime for anything over 40 and it may be hard to find a single nanny willing to work 55-60 hours/week. I’m not in Big Law, am usually in my office for <40 hours/week (I wfh some) and we rarely use more than 45 hours/week of care, but when we had a nanny for 40 hours only it was a real struggle (had to make sure we didn't both have a 9 am meeting, etc.) I like the flexible of the extended daycare hours.
+1 for daycare plus a part-time evening nanny if necessary. Day care is 100% more reliable than an individual person. In some areas, there are special drop-in day care centers just for sick kids. I never used one because I was afraid of exposure to additional germs and because I generally caught whatever the baby had within 24 hours and was home sick too, but they do exist.
Thank you! We were originally considering daycare because we were concerned about how to get a nanny to work the hours we needed without putting undue stress on the nanny or us (considering 2 nannies for that reason). From all of these responses I’m realizing our biggest issues are likely the lack of backup childcare and lack of a solid plan for overnight care–we’ll have to investigate options for both of those in our city more.
We use a daycare with 6:30am to 6pm hours. We plan travel around each other and fly in help when needed.
We have three young kids and are a year into the travel schedules, but have always worked 50-60 hours per week. Daycare has worked really well for us and while ymmv, only one of the three kids was sick all the time until we had tubes put in.
Thank you! It is always reassuring to hear that other people have worked this out…
Those hours were something that sounded great before I had kids. Now I realize that a kid really can’t handle 11.5 hours in daycare. You should only expect to use 9 hours at most at a time, and even that is a really long day.
I think it depends on the kid’s personality. My toddler appears to be an introvert like her mom – she loves other kids but she unwinds by playing alone – and she couldn’t handle more than 9 hours in group care. We stagger our schedules and aim for more like 7.5-8, and we can tell when she’s been there the full 9 because it’s meltdown city as soon as we leave school. But my best friend’s kid goes for the full 12 and seems completely happy and well-adjusted. You won’t know this until you meet your child though, so I agree it’s good to consider other options, and if you’re getting an evening nanny anyway, it definitely makes sense for the nanny to do an early daycare pickup so the child has some downtime at home in the late afternoon.
In my experience the kids who are dropped off early are also picked up early – like a 7-4 schedule or something. I can’t think of any kids there longer than 9 hrs on a regular basis (sign in sheets have drop off and pick up times listed).
yeah i had to keep my boys home sick from daycare a few times, but nothing like some of the people described above. it wasn’t every week by any means.
I would do either move and get an aupair + daycare, or do two nannies with one doing MT 1/2 W and the other doing 1/2W and THF. If you are paying them a full time salary, they will likely not work for anyone else on their off days and would be available for back up.
DH and I did daycare but we both have almost zero travel so it’s possible for either of us to pick up for illness and cover a half day with the other person then covering the other half day or the next day. It’s much easier to take a half day vs full day off work. Daycare illness will be at least 1-2 times a month. If one of you is travelling that means you have no ability to trade off the day off. E.g. baby gets sent home at 11am on a Tuesday, earliest possible time to go back at some daycares is either lunchtime on the Wednesday or Thursday morning. If you are the only one in the city, you will have to leave whatever meeting you are in to go do pick up every time.
Getting baby ready for drop off at daycare in the morning is a time burner, as is the drop-off itself. It’s easily 20mins – 30 mins to get baby’s stuff ready and 20 mins to drop off. That’s almost an hour you could be billing if you can leave the baby in pjs with the nanny and go to work.
Thank you – we probably won’t move in the near future, I said above that I liked our apartment but the truth is that I love it (the space, the neighborhood, the location, the building) and it’s pretty unique for our area so I probably won’t want to give that up without at least trying another option. This sounds crazy, but we’ve thought about buying a separate 2 bedroom apartment in the building or nearby for grandparents/live-in, and that may be something we need to more seriously consider if we both really want to stay in our apartment and think the flexibility/level of help would be required (and I imagine it would be an attractive proposition for a nanny who was willing to be a live-in, though likely rules out an au pair since I think they need to live with you?).
The baby drop off is something I’ve thought about in terms of a time burner, so glad you mentioned it. That does seem like where it would be ideal to have an au pair-type person with flexible hours.
It’s a really helpful exercise to write out what your daily schedule would look like for each option, and that can help you decide what will work best. E.g.how long your commute is, who will pack/restock the daycare bag/wash pump parts etc. Like on the evenings DH is traveling, you would have to budget time to wash bottles/pump parts and repack the daycare bag so you’d have less time to bill in the evening, but you could probably budget more time for evening work on days that your DH is home. Also strongly recommend Walmart’s autoship service for diapers/wipes. You don’t have to re-order, they just ship at regular intervals that you can adjust based on your needs.
DH and I have a set schedule for kid related tasks and pick ups/drop offs which is really helpful to know which evenings I can work later until right before supper or when I will be able to work after the kids are in bed. Schedules/task division is so key.
Another thing to flag that I didn’t think about before having my daughter — after the first few months babies tend to need to go to bed really early (usually 7/7:30). Our daycare went until 7, but 6 was the absolute latest I could possibly pick her up to get her to sleep by 7. She was such as mess if we kept her up later. If you suddenly need to stay late a nanny with a flexible schedule can be paid to stay late and get the baby ready for bed, which you can’t do with a daycare, even if they have long hours.
I think having a second apt is a great idea to make it easier to have out-of-town family stay. If you can swing the $$ and there is one available, sounds awesome.
Yes, the second apartment is something we’re considering! Right now trying to decide if family would agree to come enough to make it all worth it, and would rather not do it until we have some more firm commitments on that point.
If not, would it be a desirable Airbnb?
With in home care there are some hidden benefits – doing the kid’s laundry and cleaning up kid stuff around the house. By far the best advantage in my mind is not having to get the baby out of the house in the morning.
Only thing I would add is that I really preferred nanny for a baby while in biglaw. I got lucky – she didn’t miss a Day our first year, took vacation when we took vacation… it was amazing. And baby got sick less although they still did socialize (library, music class etc.) It’s so nice not having to get kid packed up and out the door in the morning (nor wuality time) and being able to stay later than 6:00 if needed.
+1 We had a nanny while I was in BigLaw and it was really nice having someone come to you (no pick up/drop off), clean bottles, do baby laundry, make homemade baby food, etc. Granted, our nanny did miss days and we had to scramble for backup care a handful of times, but we didn’t have a sick baby very often and the nanny would still care for her when she was sick (whereas a daycare would make you take the baby home and you will likely get NO work done when home with a sick baby, or a baby generally if no backup care available). She took her to the children’s museum daily and music/gym class once a week. Also, we could be late getting home and it wasn’t a huge issue, whereas daycares are pretty strict about when you pick the kid up.
Also, as someone who used to live with her husband and dog in an amazing 2-bedroom apartment in a part of the city that I absolutely loved and thought we would live in for years even after our baby’s arrival – we recently bought a new house in the burbs (something we never thought we’d do) and I absolutely love it. Our daughter quickly outgrew the apartment and absolutely loves the space we have now. So just consider that your priorities/desires may change when the little one arrives.
I think if you can find a good nanny it can make your life so much easier. We had a nanny for over 2 years, who eventually watched two kids, and I think there were maybe two days we had to scramble for care due to weather not illness. Babies who stay at home do not get sick as often that first year, and when they were ill the nanny would still watch the baby/kid. Our nanny was older and she basically helped us learn how to take care of our kids and would even suggest activities/books/art projects as the kids grew. Be prepared to spend some time vetting candidates, but if you can find a good one I think it can make life so much more pleasant. Good luck!
The only way I’ve seen it work with 2 parents in demanding jobs is to have a full-time care option plus at least a part-time care option. So, in your situation, my ideal, money-is-no-object childcare arrangement would be 2 nannies for the first year, then daycare + 2nd nanny after the first year. An au pair’s hours will be limited, so even with an au pair (assuming you’d have the space), you’ll need additional care.
Everyone’s focused on childcare, but once you sort that out, I highly recommend grocery delivery (if you like to cook) or if you don’t like to cook, find a meal service that delivers freshly prepped meals for you. If money were no object, the only additional thing I would add for me personally would be having someone to do the folding. I don’t mind doing the laundry, and I’m particular about what goes in the dryer vs. doesn’t, but then it all comes out and is piled on the guestbed into a 5+ foot tall mountain until I buckle down and get around to folding it every few weeks. For us, it’s fine, not ideal – people have clean (albeit wrinkled) clothes, but I would love to be able to pile it all up and then have someone come in for a few hours to fold it and put it all away. My current cleaning service doesn’t do that (not sure why) but we like them enough not to switch, and I haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to have someone come in just for that.
yes, this. spend NO time doing chores.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
I think you bring up an interesting point – which is to basically outsource what you can afford and don’t like doing – and one I think is critical.
I know a lot of folks here swear by grocery delivery, and I do the occasional grocery delivery (busy weekends, when we are on travel), but I actually really enjoy grocery shopping/cooking. Laundry, I haaaaaaaaaaaaate but DH and I have figured out a system that works for us (we don’t have it in unit, which makes it more logistically fraught in a way).
So Anon says
One other thought: If you have the resources, if there is a nanny placement agency in your area, it may be worth the extra to go through a service. The services in our area will vet the nanny, send you resumes, guarantee employment for 6+ months, and offer a back-up service. They may also be able to point you to a household manager type, who will not only provide childcare but also coordinate appointments, errands, etc. Also, hire a weekly (or more often) housecleaner.
thank you! We’ve heard the same about going through an agency so I’ll have to look into that.
We used a placement agency for our nanny and 100% recommend that route. Unless you know of a contact with a nanny who needs a job, it’s way too time consuming to find one yourself.
The suggestions above are all good ones. Additionally, can you cut back on your travel schedule at least for the first year? I know there are people who make this kind of thing work, but truthfully it seems unsustainable to me with a baby.
You won’t know how you feel about it until the baby is actually here, and maybe it will be fine – but keep an open mind and realize you might have to lean back somewhat at work.
Also remember if you choose daycare to carefully look at their holiday list. Some take all the Federal holidays and/or a week in December and/or a week in the summer. We’ve only made it through year one of a baby by using all of two sets of vacation time, sick time, and a liberal work from home policy to cover his illnesses. (FWIW, 1-2 a month for the first six months, since then less frequent but longer duration – the last two viruses gave him fevers for a week. Nothing to do but wait it out.)
Also, research where there are pediatric urgent cares near you, pediatricians with evening and weekend sick appointments, and 24 hour pharmacies. You don’t want to lose another day once they are sent home waiting for the appointment if it turns out they need antibiotics.
It’s rough, and another reason to not jump jobs when pregnant / infant if you can help it – I need all the goodwill I can get to explain yet another absence with no notice.
Yes, the travel is a bit of a bone of contention. I’m a new biglaw partner (H has been one for 2ish years) and am going to feel some pressure not to turn down so many travel opportunities. At the same time, my firm is generally pretty good about giving space to new moms so I anticipate a bit less travel in my immediate return to work. I’d love for H to cut back on his travel in the first year I’m back at work; he’s trying but his job is much more travel-dependent so it may be less feasible.
Part of the struggle is that I think I will need to lean back at work somewhat (and likely will want to once baby is here!) but I suspect that I’ll be leaning back more than H due to his travel–and that would be a very new dynamic in our relationship and I can see it leading to resentment. I really, really struggle with that and haven’t found a great solution yet (and from reading this board for years, suspect I’m not alone in this particular struggle…)
Definitely not alone. It’s so frustrating. But I also think you can’t know how you will feel until the baby is here – I HATED when people said that, but it ended up being true for me. I think you’re doing all the right things by lining up extra child care. But just be kind to yourself too and keep an open mind about adjusting your travel schedule and workload when the time comes.
Thank you, I really appreciate this! Definitely keeping in mind that we’re a team trying to work this out together and will need to be kind to myself and H as we figure this one out.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I think one of the best things for our marriage and parenting life has been for my husband to take part of his leave after I went back to work. If you’re both in biglaw, you both should have pretty good leave policies, so I would strongly strongly encourage your husband to do this, if he’s not already planning to. Yes, he may get some pushback from his firm, but change has to start somewhere. Firms need to see men as equally involved caregivers.
On another point of daycare sicknesses above – my kids got sick but not overly sick and they started daycare at 4-6 months. However, my now 3.5 year old hardly ever gets sick – like, I don’t think he’s missed a day for illness in at least a year. My husband and I get sick more than he does. So, once you get through that awful first year, it gets so much better!
Yes, having your DH spend a period of time (2 weeks – a month, minimum) as the person solely responsible for the baby during the day is a huge game changer. I highly recommend this!!!
Yep I’ve said this before. My husband took a long paternity leave, much longer than my mat leave, and it was great for our marriage, his relationship with our daughter and me not feeling like I’m doing everything at home. He’s a good guy in general and I don’t believe he would have intentionally let me do the bulk of the childcare and housework, but I think him being solely responsible for a 12 week old made him 1) much more appreciative of how much work it is and 2) much more independent and able to do things without instruction from me, which saves us both time.
Yes, this is a great point. My H feels very strongly about this and he will be taking time to care for the baby solo after I go back to work. I think it will be great for us and for his bond with baby.
Just chiming in again to say it can work, and being equal partners is the key. We schedule our trips with the other parent as soon as they are even a remote possibility, so they know not to schedule their own trip during that time. Family and babysitters make it work – there are many times when I have left in the morning on a trip and husband has relieved babysitter in the evening when he lands from his trip. Obviously, this means you need to be super comfortable with the babysitter in case of flight delays or have backup-backup (which we do). But it is possible!
One suggestion that hasn’t been made yet is to consider a nannyshare for one or both kids. We did one with our first and it was great for many reasons:
(1) More people were dropping in and out all day so I felt like the nanny was better supervised.
(2) We really got to know another family with a baby the same age so we had that emotional support
(3) Our kid had a built in friend as they became a toddler
(4) Help managing the nanny, who is your employee and needs ongoing input into how she’s doing
(5) The families would cover for each other if the nanny was out so there were four parents (plus, in our case, four grandparents) capable of providing coverage for the two kids
(6) Reduced cost
It may be possible to find another family that also needs extended hours, such that you could have 80 hours of coverage for the price of 45-50 hours. This would give you lots of flexibility with drop off times or pick up times. You can also stagger so the nanny picks up your kid at your house and walks to the share house, or vice versa, so you don’t have to get the baby ready. The nanny can also be at your home with baby at the end of the day, saving you tons of time. When logistics work, it can be awesome.
Correction: “…one or both nannies…”
On the issue of doing anything to facilitate family help like buying the second apartment, I would definitely wait until the baby is here and you see how much your family is actually helping. It sounds like you’re not rushing into anything as far as that goes, but I’d go beyond waiting for a firm commitment and actually wait until they implement that commitment. I and lots of friends have been disappointed by retired grandparents who promised lots of care/moving to our city/visiting all the time and didn’t follow through. I’m somewhat resentful of my parents for not following through on what they promised and I think I’d be about a million times more resentful if I’d bought them an apartment near me to live in! Even if it can be AirBNBed or whatever, you don’t need a physical reminder of what you don’t have.
Thank you! I have been lurking on this board for a few years and have seen a lot of stories about grandparents who commit verbally but then don’t follow through, so we will not do anything until the baby is here and see how often grandparents are coming to stay with us, offering to stay with us, etc. Since we’re staggering our leaves we’ll have about 7 months to see how it’s going and can likely judge then whether it would be a good move.
Coach Laura says
Lots of good ideas here.
If you don’t move and can’t have live in and don’t have a money issue, I’d suggest one of the following:
Full-time day care plus nanny/major domo who oversees everything. The nanny could pick up at day care, come home and start dinner and cover baby sick days, and offer some pre-arranged weekend care/date night care. They could also send-out/pick-up dry-cleaning, Prescriptions, schedule deliveries and repair people. This person could also stay at your house to cover overnights if you’re comfortable with them. You would probably have to pay full time salary but the back-up potential is great.
Or two nannies one for Mon-Wednesday and the other Thursday-Sunday from 7-8 or 8-9 weekdays, as needed on weekends. They would agree to be backups for each other if one is sick or on vacation and cover overnights if you’re both travelling.
In addition, I’d have a twice weekly or three-times weekly housecleaner who would wash sheets, towels, clean house, order/buy/prep food and dinner, clean the refrigerator, change lightbulbs, take out trash, load the dishwasher and anything else that you can think of like dry cleaning and errands if the nanny doesn’t do that. That might not be an 8-hour day each time but I can see someone starting dinner while the laundry dries and even things like cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables so you can snack or eat without prep. And then there is sorting/disposing of old, stained or outgrown baby clothes that they could take to Goodwill or arrange for a pickup. This person might be harder to find than a pure housekeeper but I have one who loves to cook. If they don’t want to cook from scratch, they could cook the Blue Apron food and leave it for you to reheat in the microwave or get ready-to-eat entrees at Whole Foods. I could have survived if I had someone like that given your schedule. Basically, you want to be able to spend every free minute with your baby, your spouse or on self-care/sleep and not have to manage the household at all in your non-work hours.
Lots of good advice here. I’d optimize for solutions that are likely to work for a long time because finding new childcare in a pinch is super stressful.
I think you need at least one full-time, long-term household employee who is willing do work overtime as needed, plus additional care. You’re in a great position to work with a top agency to get someone great because you look like you’ll need help for a long time.
I’d get either a housekeeper to do everything at home and do some childcare or a nanny who is open to doing some household tasks as the kid gets older and goes to preschool. With a housekeeper, you could have a schedule like: you take kid to daycare in the morning, housekeeper arrives at noon and does dishes, meal prep, laundry, and errands as time allows until around 4, when housekeeper picks up kiddo at daycare and stays until you get home around 8. Housekeepers skilled at housekeeping and childcare and willing to do both are easy to find in some markets and next to impossible to find in others.
If kiddo is sick, housekeeper can come in early and skip chores that day. If housekeeper is out, you still have daycare (and can use a backup service in a pinch). I love great backup care when it’s absolutely necessary, but I would rather not have someone unknown caring for my sick kid.
We have a daily part-time housekeeper (3hrs/day) who takes care of 80% of our house stuff and cooks us dinner. She does the major cleaning on roughly a weekly basis, and also tidies and cleans up the kitchen daily, and does a daily load of laundry. We fold laundry and clean up the dining room after dinner. We pay $20/hr for this in a MCOL and it is worth every penny if you can afford it. It’s our big life luxury – we share a 12 year-old car and take camping vacations to be able to swing it.
It did take us awhile to find the right person, and we ended up paying more than we initially anticipated (for comparison, nannies in our city are about $18/hr for two kids).
We don’t earn biglaw salaries (or work biglaw hours); if we did, I’d probably keep the kids in daycare and try to get my housekeeper to go full-time, using the extra hours to pick up the kids from daycare and deal with evening stuff until we got home. I prefer daycare to nannies generally, even at baby ages, but you may feel differently, in which case I’d try to find one full-time nanny, and one housekeeper/nanny combo (assuming money is no object here). With one or both willing to do occasional overnight care if you do both need to travel at the same time – or even if one of you needs to travel while the other has a big-deal work event.
I hope I’m not too late for you to see this but I’d suggest when trying to schedule travel, have your assistant coordinate with DH’s assistant and vice versa. There is such a major time suck in finding when you are available to travel. At least at my law firm, my assistant schedules things like depositions. So if she were scheduling an out of state deposition, she’d check my schedule, opposing counsel’s schedule, client’s schedule and in your case, your DH’s schedule via his assistant so not bothering him. That way you would know proposed travel is not on one of his travel days and vice versa. You of course still want to confirm with each other prior to booking but as far as finding days that work for everyone, he should be included in “everyone” since it is contingency that effects your availability.
Definitely doing this – thank you! Would not have thought of it.
Thank you to everyone for all of your considerate and thorough replies! It’s a lot to think through but I really appreciate the many ideas I had not thought of and hearing about everyone’s experiences here. Feeling very grateful for this board as we start to navigate these issues.
I would love to find the Reformation original, but the link goes to a long list of dresses, none of which is a blue floral wrap.
Lana Del Raygun says
I dunno, the shape of the neckline looks to me like you bought a dress you thought was too low-cut and then safety-pinned it.
Yes, wrap dresses with a closure at the neckline always look this way to me. I think a safety pin or a snap you sewed in yourself would actually be less obvious. At least then it would be in the right spot for your figure and there would be less pulling.
Agree. I am small of bust and always sew in a snap or two so the top or dress sits the right way on my body. Not always perfect, but prevents clothing malfunctions!
I bought some ON wrap dresses when I became pregnant about 4.5 years ago. The quality and material were just horrible. Hopefully it is better now, but I doubt it.
Who do people list for references for their next job when they are working at their first job with relevant experience? I’m currently at a 20 attorney firm and interested in applying for a legal position at a local university. The online system requires me to list all contact details for three references (so I can’t say they’ll be provided later), but I do not want my current firm to know I’m looking. There are partners who’d give me a good recommendation, but I don’t want to ask them unless I’m very far into the process. I’m a senior associate– can I list associates I’ve supervised? I’ve been out of law school for 8 years and didn’t keep in touch with professors, so I’m not sure who else to ask.
Is there anyone who recently left your firm who you are still in touch with? That’s what I did in this situation. If not maybe a peer you can confide in?
Some applications also have a box you can check as to whether you consent to have your references contacted at this time – I almost always check no, it can be waived later in the process, and I recently got a new job doing this so they apparently didn’t hold it against me.
I work in higher ed in a staff role, and ugh this struggle is real. Last time I changed jobs I used peers and a faculty person who was familiar with my work (basically someone who outranked me but didn’t work with my boss / wouldn’t tell him I was applying elsewhere). I don’t work in law, but I would think in your case using some associates you’ve supervised and maybe one peer or higher level person who has moved on would work. I don’t think you need to worry about your reference list being perfect right now – they likely won’t call your references unless you’re a finalist, and you can always give them an updated references list if you make it to the final interview round.
Any ideas to help baby get enough sleep?
Baby (12 mo) recently had to switch to daycare that offers only one nap. For a variety of reasons it is by far the best choice and switching daycares or to a nanny is not an option. Baby was doing great with two naps of 1.5 h and was sleeping approx 7-7 at night- occasionally had to settle her around 5:30 but usually not. With the switch to one nap, baby is waking at 5:30 and will not go back to sleep. This morning my spouse gave up and gave her milk at 6:15 and then she did go beck to sleep – hasn’t had a night bottle in months. Nap is 2-3.5 hours at home, 1.5-2 at daycare. I hope that will extend as she gets used to the daycare. We are putting her down between 6:30 and 6:45, which is realistically about as early as we can — could try 6:15 but we only get home st 5:40 and need to eat. Is there ANYTHING we are missing here?? Daycare is not able to put her down for a late afternoon second nap.
Sounds like she’s waking up hungry. Have there been other schedule changes, such as an earlier dinner, associated with the day care switch?
I’d switch back to the 7pm bedtime. 1 nap a day is pretty common at 1 year and 7pm is a reasonable bedtime. I’d even think about 7:30pm. At 1 year they only need 11-14 hrs a day total so 1.5-2 hr nap at daycare means only 9.5 – 12.5. If you put her to bed at 6:30pm then by 5:30am she’s had enough sleep and she’s ready to go. If she needed 14, then she’d still be sleepinig 7-7 in addition to the daycare nap.
Poor kid is DYING with exhaustion if the nap is only 1.5-2 hours— cry cry cry, eye rubbing, etc. I appreciate the suggestion but it’s hard to see how we could keep her up later! FWIW older kid kept two long naps till 18 mo.
Baby carrier was key for us at that age. Baby was tired and wanted to be held after all day at daycare. Keeping her on my back while I prepped supper meant I could get us fed and start putting the kids to be sooner. Resting in the carrier also helped revive baby a bit.
If you’re all eating dinner earlier because she needs to go to bed, that may be causing the early wakeup from hunger. (Also just to add that I am thoroughly jealous your child likes sleep so much – my children hate sleep and sleep 12-13h a day max at that age, including naps.) You’re right that this may be a temporary problem – as she gets older she will be more truly biologically ready for one nap, and hopefully the nap will extend as she gets used to daycare. How recent is the switch?
I think she’s overtired and it’s disrupting her sleep. What time is the nap at daycare? When my LO was transitioning to one nap instead of two, we had a period where he was going down for a nap around 11:30 or so, and then going to bed earlier. Eventually (like in a few weeks) he was able to go to sleep at 1 and take a good 3 hr nap. Is that possible at daycare? If not, maybe see if they can do quiet time when her morning or afternoon nap wouldn’t have been – read stories instead of playing with lots of stimulating objects, for instance.
It’s at 12, and due to staffing they can’t really change it (use a separate room for nap). I know it’s a temporary problem but everyone in our house is so tired right now!!
Is she waking up hungry? I’d feed her whatever is fastest and try to have her go back to sleep until 7. I have a similar kid who was a 12 hour at night sleeper and a two 1.5 hour naps sleeper at that age. She’s in a daycare toddler room that only does one nap – it’s 2 hours max (they turn on the lights after two hours) and children are usually awake after an hour or less, so my kid rarely naps for more than 1 hour total at daycare (sorry to tell you it hasn’t gotten better as she’s adjusted). She’s dealt with it by extending her nighttime – went from an 8:30ish bedtime when she started daycare to a 6:30/7ish bedtime now, so her night is now 13-13.5 hours.
I meant to add that we feed her a really big snack (usually a huge quantity of yogurt) immediately before bed. I don’t think she’d be able to do 13+ hours if she didn’t go to bed on a really full belly.
Most kids consolidate to one nap at 15 months so 12 months is not insanely early for that and hopefully this is a short term problem. In the meantime, maybe encourage a cat nap in the car on the way home from daycare (give a bottle or soother or lovey to encourage the nap) and then go back to the 7pm bedtime. You could also try an okay-to-wake clock – I am still amazed that it worked on my 12 month old who insisted on waking up at 5:30am every morning for months.
+1 to nap on the way home from daycare. there was about a month when I either kept driving to give her a full 45 min/hour, or picked her up in the stroller and took the long way home to get her a good nap. then dinner and back to bed by 7. at somepoint this transitioned into just nursing/snuggles after daycare for 45 min or so. She really needed rest/quiet time after daycare until maybe 22 months? I really wish daycares would keep 2 naps until at least 15 months.
I wish! We live a 3 min drive from daycare (1 mile). We often walk in the morning but due to work schedules definitely need to do a driving pickup.
You’re doing everything right! Do BIG feeds before bed (plenty of milk, whatever her favorite solids are). Keep the early bedtime. And absolutely worth trying an OK To Wake clock; that worked to get my baby an extra hour of AM sleep at around that age.
And this is definitely a short-term problem — she will adjust on her own. Just give her plenty of opportunities to sleep and she will figure it out (we went through the exact same thing when my son was forced to switch too early to a single-nap schedule, and within a month he was making up the sleep at night and sleeping 2+ hours at daycare).
When we went through this stage, we still did two naps on weeks for a couple months. That might help with the overall sleep picture. But I agree that she is probably tired. My kiddo has always been on the high end of the sleep requirements, too.
OP here – thanks everyone! Tried extra milk last night at bedtime but might try extra snack – she wasn’t very hungry for dinner but maybe today will be different. I know it’s temporary but it’s hard to see her so exhausted and cranky, and obviously we are tired too. And at 5:30 she’s definitely not up s d happy – she’s lying there trying really hard to sleep but fussing every few minutes until 7. Just breaks my heart we can’t offer her enough sleep even if it’s for a few months!
Good luck! I have a really high sleep needs kid too and the struggle is real. I would definitely try milk at the 5:30 wakeup too if you’re not already. When my kid is tired and lying in her crib trying to sleep but not able to fall asleep, she’s usually either hungry or teething.
If giving her milk in the morning helped, why not just do that?
We might! Adding back in a “night”feed seemed crazy since she dropped them many months ago, and her doctor really wants milk cut back by now, but it might be worth it to get us through this. Hoping she can get back to 12 hours overnight somehow…
Most peds recommend 16-24 oz of milk for a toddler. If she’s getting more than that, I’d cut it out of her daytime feeds and give her the milk in the morning. Or pouches if you want a fast meal that isn’t milk?
When people talk about “dropping night feeds” they mean that a child this age should be able to should sleep 9-10 hours uninterrupted. It’s perfectly normal for a 1 year old to not be able to go more than 11.5 hours without a feed, particularly if her bedtime has recently been moved up and she’s eating less calories during the day. My ped is absolutely amazed that my daughter sleeps 13 hours without waking up to eat, and that’s only possible because she eats like a horse all day and has a giant bedtime snack. I don’t think it’s fair to expect her to go 6:30 pm to 7 am without a feed.
Agreed. 6:15am doesn’t really seem like a night feed to me. Just a little early breakfast snack!
Yeah I don’t understand this at all. You want her to go back to sleep, giving her milk will help her go back to sleep, why not do that? Soon enough she’ll either sleep longer at daycare or adjust to less sleep, but in the meantime, this seems like an incredibly simple fix.
Sometimes when our kiddo would wake up around 5:30 when we were trying to avoid overnight feedings, DH would go in and hold her and snooze in the rocker while he held her. She would go back to sleep with him holding her. At 12 months we weren’t too concerned about the dangers of that, but I certainly won’t downplay it. Maybe she just needs a loving reminder that it is still nighttime?
We’re looking at a move to Philly in the next few months (with 2.5 yo and infant) and just wondering if anyone has any experience or recs on good neighborhoods and childcare? It’s overwhelming! We’re thinking of Fishtown, but Center City seems to have many more daycares, though it looks to be more expensive…
I’m jealous, living in Philly was the best. I have a strong preference for South Philly/Passyunk area.
same sentiment re living in Philly being the best!
Philly Anon says
Agreed! I’m in South Philly/East Passyunk area with a 13 month old and 3 year old and it’s the best. Super family friendly, tons of parks and things to do, great community feel. We love it.
Aww all this Philly love is so cute. I’ve never lived there but we visit often and really love it – there’s so much kid-friendly stuff in the city and it seems like a much more manageable city to me than a lot of other big cities.
Are you planning on staying put in the same place for a few years, and are you planning on public school once kindergarten rolls around? If so, I’d focus first on what elementary school you’d want your kids in.
The first week of Kindergarten went really well. My daughter was excited about school, and tired, but happy about things at the end of the day. The second week (all two days of it) has been pretty awful. She’s had crying jags and everything was the ‘worst ever.’ She’s also convinced she’s the only one making mistakes at school.
Logical me says this is normal, since the adrenaline from the first week has worn off, and we just need to get into a new routine. I just need assurance from someone who’s been there and done that.
Totally normal. My oldest is in grade three and it was exactly like that. My twins just started K and it’s the same thing. First week is lots of excitement but after that the new routine uses up a lot of their executive functioning energy so they are worn out from trying to keep it together at school all day and let go in their safe space at home.
Lots of favorite foods for lunches and suppers, outdoor time for free play and early consistent bedtimes helped. Plus wine after she went to bed.
Totally normal. Totally, totally normal. K was a hard transition, and it took 4-6 weeks for my son to really get into a groove. Anecdotally from my friends with girls, they seemed to level out a little sooner, but still took a few weeks.
good luck! Plan on a tired, cranky kid, and keep evenings light for a while.
I agree — something like this. Or maybe daycare + a nanny who also does housework and maybe lives in or is at least okay staying overnight from time to time. I would say this person could be an au pair, but note that au pairs aren’t really supposed to do general housework, and definitely not deep-cleaning, etc. I also note that au pairs aren’t supposed to stay overnight with the kid when there is no parent home. You could maybe do this once or twice if it were really an exception, but I wouldn’t count on it. The benefit of the daycare + arrangement is that if and when baby gets sick, the nanny could just watch the kid and you could let the housework stuff get undone for a time. On the flip side, if nanny gets sick, you don’t have to scramble for coverage during the working hours. You could also do daycare + au pair + additional household cleaning, etc. help, but hiring that number of people seems like it could get unmanageable. Given your situation, I recommend buying more childcare than you think you need — worst case, you send the nanny home early from time to time if work is lighter than expected (or not heavier than expected!). I also generally recommend spending more than you currently are on household help, which is probably obvious.
Au Pair Issue says
THIS. People keep saying au pair but au pairs aren’t supposed to do overnights. It won’t get you what you’re looking for. I’d also prefer an au pair (who tend to be quite young) for older kids.
Anyone have thoughts on job changes in the first year as a parent? I’ve been with my company for almost five years but might have left earlier if I hadn’t been trying to get pregnant, pregnant, and then on leave. I’m about four months back from leave and simply do not have the motivation I once did. When combined with simply working less, I think there is a definite slip in my performance.
The real push is that I don’t think this place is the right fit for me — I don’t share leadership’s vision and as a very senior person in a small organization this creates some issues for me, I have trouble implementing and the role is very “manage up” which means a lot of energy spent on making simple decisions.
Mr. Laura is also looking and we are thinking about moving back to my home state. This would be big and disruptive and not easily reversible, and my worry is that I will get there and find out that my lack of motivation and patience is more related to motherhood (maybe PPD?) and that adjustment than my work.
Did anyone make a big career move the first year post-partum? Would love to hear stories of what worked, what didn’t.
I switched jobs during the first year with both my kids (both when they were 5-6 months old). Both switches ended up being good moves with no regrets.
The first move was planned when I was pregnant. I knew I needed to move on, so job searched while pregnant and started at the new job after an unpaid/unemployed maternity leave. The second was a surprise to me after I went back to work–something just dropped into my lap and I grabbed it.
I’d start looking. Don’t jump because you feel forced, but look for the right opportunity.
I changed jobs at 18 months, although I did some interviews (considered a drastic move that we did not end up doing) right around a year post-partum. It sounds like you know you want to leave, but you have the luxury of the seniority and goodwill you have built up over the past 5 years, so I would give yourself a little more time and be picky about your next opportunity. I think that having a few sessions with a therapist that specializes in post-partum could be helpful. The therapist that I saw on/off throughout TTC, pregnancy, post-partum was great and happened to be an ex-lawyer (I’m a lawyer). She certainly wasn’t a career coach or anything, but she did understand my career stuff pretty well and was a great person to talk to about it.
i started my own firm when my second son was 10 months old…. it was a little bit crazytown. I couldn’t have done it when he was 5 months but 10 months was ok. I have partners that are family so that really helps. I can lean on my brother more than I could lean on a non-family partner! It would have been hard if he was 18 months old…. i don’t think baby-life at 10 months was any “harder” than any child under 3. An understanding workplace is what is important with a move.
I don’t think I had PPD (I was euphoric about my baby and being a mom) but I really struggled with work until I was 18 months post-partum and I was glad I wasn’t trying to prove myself in a new role. Around 18 months, which is (perhaps not coincidentally?) also when I weaned, it was like a fog lifted and I could think clearly again, was motivated at work and was back to my rockstar self. In my first year back, I was so bored and unmotivated that I contemplated leaving to become a SAHM many times and am now very glad I didn’t. So I guess my advice would be not to do anything irreversible, like a cross-country move, when you’re feeling this way. That said, a lot of my friends didn’t suffer from the same postpartum ennui that I did and they made upward career moves in the first year with great success.
I changed jobs at 5-6 months, complete with cross country move. It was awesome. I basically went back to work after maternity leave, realized I didn’t want to be there much longer, applied to jobs, and then we were on our way a few months after. Of course big changes but all in all it was not nearly as stressful as I thought it would be, and we’re very happy on the other side.