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AIBU not to want to look after one year old while parents are abroad for 4 d.

(137 Posts)
vegansrock Sun 23-Feb-20 10:36:10

I’ll try to keep this dilemma short. I’ve got 7 gorgeous GC, I’ve looked after them all in holiday times and even take the older ones away without their parents. The youngest is just over one year old. I look after this child regularly and he eats and sleeps happily in my house one day per week till 6 pm. Mum has just gone back to work. He is their first child. The rest of the week he goes to a nursery where he hasn’t easily settled ( doesn’t eat or sleep well and cries a lot there). The parents ( DD and SiL) have asked me whether I could look after the baby for 4 days in May as they have been invited to a wedding abroad and baby is not invited. I know he will be a bit older by then but will still be a baby and he has not adjusted well to mum going back to work. I think the parents feel (hope) he’ll have got used to it by then. But several things worry me - he’s fine at our house, but at about 4 pm he will often sit by the front door as if to say “ I’ve had enough of you lot. I want to go now”. He sleeps in a cot at ours, but co sleeps with mum at home and breastfeeds at night. I don’t know if she intends to stop this before the planned trip and don’t feel I can ask( might be too much like putting my oar in). DD thinks it will be fine if he stays at my house as he is used to it and won’t expect mum to be there. My fear is he will get distressed and feel she’s never coming to get him and this may make him upset when he comes to me in the future. Plus having a baby for 4 nights who may be distressed and crying will be wearing and exhausting. AIBU to say no?

Callistemon Sun 23-Feb-20 10:44:46

hmm a tricky one.

Presumably your DD will stop breastfeeding by then but, if she wants to continue, perhaps she could ask if they can take the little one to the wedding - many people specify no children but a child being breastfed could be an exception.
However, he will be 17 months or so by then and if she has gone back to work, probably weaned.

How far away is the wedding, can they go just for a couple of nights and how do you feel about the responsibility? Do you have backup?

He will probably be absolutely fine but be prepared to find things to distract him if he frets.

I know how you feel! And four days is quite a long time.

Riverwalk Sun 23-Feb-20 10:47:38

I think it is very reasonable for you to ask whether the co-sleeping and breastfeeding will have stopped by then, after all this will play a major part in how he reacts to staying with you for four days and nights.

I really don't know why parents tiptoe around adult children when such a big favour has been requested.

Callistemon Sun 23-Feb-20 10:53:42

Do you know what?

I know SAHM or D are looked down on by some and are considered economically inactive but, if they can afford to stay at home, they are doing an invaluable job.

I know many can't afford to. But the thought of leaving a baby crying at nursery would upset me so much although he will probably settle.

GagaJo Sun 23-Feb-20 10:54:35

I think you should agree on the CONDITION that the co-sleeping and breast feeding have stopped by then. There are 3 months for them to resolve those issues. Switch to a bottle at night as a half-way measure maybe?

That way, you're being REALLY helpful but still making sure you can actually keep the little lad happy while he's at yours. No one would want him to be miserable, not even his mum.

That way, she can either chose to make it workable .


1) GO to the wedding with him having stopped breastfeeding and cosleeping so he can stay with you.
2) Take him and have him looked after by someone for the day of the wedding.
3) Not go.
4) Maybe take you, pay for you, and you can have him daytime in Spain, while he sleeps with her at night (plus you get a free hol!).

4 would be MY choice!

Callistemon Sun 23-Feb-20 10:58:02

Is it Spain? I must have missed that.

4) Going with them and looking after him while they are at the wedding sounds like a good idea, GagaJo

MissAdventure Sun 23-Feb-20 11:00:28

I would definitely ask what the sleeping and breastfeeding arrangements are, for a start, and would say no if there are no plans to change the current night time routine.

GagaJo Sun 23-Feb-20 11:00:50

Dunno WHERE I got Spain from Callistemon.

Callistemon Sun 23-Feb-20 11:02:47

Sounds nice, though, in May.

It could be Iceland of course!

Urmstongran Sun 23-Feb-20 11:03:16

4 days with a baby is a big ask. What if he becomes unwell with a high temperature? I’d worry because it’s a huge responsibility. Not so bad if you have backup?

I didn’t spot the reference to Spain either!

Urmstongran Sun 23-Feb-20 11:03:54

X posts GagaJo. Not Spain then!

Jane10 Sun 23-Feb-20 11:04:18

Just do it. The co sleeping will have stopped by then. Yes it'll be tiring but rewarding too. I found a similar experience hard work at the time but I missed him so much when he eventually went home.
Actually, just by asking this question, it seems like you don't want to do this. What are the risks if you say no? Your relationship with your DD will be affected. How would you feel about that?

GagaJo Sun 23-Feb-20 11:04:30

No, it was a figment of my imagination Urmstongran.

Riverwalk Sun 23-Feb-20 11:07:12

Jane10 where does it say that the co-sleeping will have stopped by then? Some families do it for years!

GagaJo Sun 23-Feb-20 11:09:18

I would jump at the chance of four straight days and nights with my beloved grandson. I've had him overnight lots of times and love it. He's a total joy, even if he does come in bed with me. I adore waking up to his little face, although only slightly less so at 5am!

Calendargirl Sun 23-Feb-20 11:15:40

I don’t think the parents should ask if they can take the child to the wedding. If the bride and groom wanted him there, he would have been invited.
Sets a precedent for others, and puts them in an awkward position.
Sounds like the baby’s mum and dad are looking forward to a few days off from parenting.

Bridgeit Sun 23-Feb-20 11:19:15

No I do t think you are being unreasonable, especially as they are going abroad .
They should decline invitation or take a child minder with them to care for the little one during the actual wedding .
It’s hard not to feel pressurised , if you really don’t feel you want to do this, tell them you are sorry but that it is too big an ask, and too much responsibility
Best wishes

notanan2 Sun 23-Feb-20 11:19:36

It would be a no from me. Under 2s go through so many phases and regressions and changes that its impossible to predict in advance how well he'll settle with you for that long at that time, so how can you commit to it in advance?

NotSpaghetti Sun 23-Feb-20 11:20:59

Jane10 we co-slept way past 17 months! It may not stop till the baby wants to move on. Likewise the breastfeeding.

I would say “no” but suggest the two obvious alternatives...

1) You go with them as someone else suggested. A wedding is NOT usually 4 days long unless it’s cultural in which case it’s unlikely to be a “leave baby at home” event.
You can stay with the little one for the actual wedding and then leave.


2) They do what we did with a wedding we didn’t want to miss that was child-free - one of us did the day, witnessed the ceremony, had the wedding breakfast and the other one did the evening. We had a hotel near the reception so the handover was easy. We went to the wedding because we loved them, it wasn’t for us. It worked perfectly well and everyone (especially our little one) was happy.

Good luck!

notanan2 Sun 23-Feb-20 11:21:48

But then as a mother, I would say no to the wedding all together for the above reason. I would worry that it would fall over a period of teething/growth spurt/sleep regression (those phases come quick n fast under 2) and it wouldnt be right to leave for 4 days if the child was having an unsettled phase, as children that size tend to do

notanan2 Sun 23-Feb-20 11:23:43

NotSpagetti DH and I "tag teamed" at child free events too and it worked well. We both got to go to the do, dress up & see everyone, we just stayed nearby with DD and swapped in shifts.

V3ra Sun 23-Feb-20 11:26:32

You have every right to ask if the co-sleeping and night-time breastfeeding will have stopped by then.
You can hardly offer the same, can you?!

If you're willing to help, then over the next few months they need to change their night-time practices in readiness.
Your grandson could stay for one night to see how you all get on.
Then a two night stay.
You and he need to be happy with him staying before they go out of the country.

You will also need the details of his GP and a letter from his parents authorising you to act on their behalf and seek medical attention if required.

Good luck whatever you decide x

NotSpaghetti Sun 23-Feb-20 11:40:11

notanan - I suppose neither of us wanted to leave our infants with anyone else in case they were miserable. 4 days must feel like forever for a toddler. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the wedding anyway if I wasn’t 100% confident that my child/children were happy. It seemed a “no-brainer” at the time.

Jane10 Sun 23-Feb-20 11:44:32

Habits can be person and location dependant. Our DGS still sleeps with his parents but is quite happy in his own bed when staying with us.
Other Grans have offered suggestions. Mine is to just do it.

Ellianne Sun 23-Feb-20 11:50:48

I don't think people are giving the child enough credit. He will know he isn't at home with his parents and he will adapt accordingly. I've done similar childminding for a wedding abroad and even a holiday. My GS was around 12 months and didn't seem to have any conception of the passing of time. You just muddle through at your own pace with your own rules. Yes, exhausting but very rewarding.