Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Worried to death!

(40 Posts)
inthefields Thu 18-Apr-13 10:10:08

Hi all -

I am new here, and hoping for some reassurance from experienced grans.

I am very lucky that I spend very regular time with my DD and 3 mth old first grandchild. I help out a couple of times a week with caring for him, while daughter tries to study and/or catch up on chores(she is in last year of a mature student degree programme).

She and DSIL have paid me the huge compliment of asking if I will look after DGS in June while they are at a wedding. They plan to stay over night so they can both let their hair down a little for the first time since his birth.

Help!!!! I have no worries about the everyday care, but am terrified that tiredness will see me doze on the sofa and not wake up (it does seem to happen these days). Or worse, that I simply won't hear him in the night (I do sleep like the dead). Currently have (secret) plan to sleep on the nursery floor! I have nightmares that they will decide to come home after all (DD b/feeds so its just possible she will decide to not drink and come home to feed) and appear back at 2am to find exhausted granny dead to the world, and a screaming baby with his needs not met.

Have you done the 24 hour "sit"? was it OK? did you wake up when needed?
I so badly want to get this right so would appreciate any input
B

sunseeker Thu 18-Apr-13 10:18:31

Welcome inthefields, I don't have grandchildren so haven't the experience you are looking for but, when your DD was a baby I am sure there where times when you were exhausted but still managed to look after her. Other experienced grans will probably be able to give you practical advice but I would say try to relax and enjoy your DGS

glassortwo Thu 18-Apr-13 10:23:41

Welcome to GN inthefields dont worry your DD will have a baby moniter and believe me the first time you have the baby overnight you hear every little sound, I would not worry about not hearing the baby. Its nerve racking the first time you have an overnighter but it is lovely to have the baby to yourself. sunshine

gracesmum Thu 18-Apr-13 10:48:35

It is an awesome responsibility to have them over night but you will be FINE (even if you go back to bed as soon as they leave again!) We had GS for a "sleepover" when he was just 3 months old and SIL wanted to take DD away for a night's "peace" I had copious instruction, bottles of expressed milk, every eventuality was covered and like you I was terrified!! However it went so well that it was repeated on more than one occasion and 2 years later DH and I were "volunteered" to look after GS and his little brother (27 months and 9 months) for a long (4 day) weekend when they went to New York. THAT was another matter, but we all survived - just.
You will almost certainly sleep with one ear open, baby monitors and brilliant, but you will be checking that the baby is breathing (I used to poke him!)
Have a lovely time - I hope the weather is nice so that you can wheel him out in the sunshine and show him off to all your friends!!

Butty Thu 18-Apr-13 10:56:49

Inthefields. A couple of years ago I flew to America, and 48 hrs. later I was babysitting a 3 mth old and a lively two and a half year old for a day and a night. Their parents were attending a wedding out of state.
Yes, I was reasonably anxious, but jet lag and adrenaline kept me going. I put aside all thoughts of 'routine' and went with the flow. I was just so delighted to be with them. It was fine.

When the parents returned, I went to bed and slept for a very long time.

Gorki Thu 18-Apr-13 11:05:05

Relax inthefields thinking about it is much much worse than actually doing it. We took over the care of our twin grandchildren when they were 6 days old and I did not have time to worry about it (and I can worry for England !!).The responsibility of it will ensure you stay awake in the evening and will facilitate you sleeping much more lightly than you usually do.I did not expect DH who was still working to help out at night so he slept soundly and rarely heard them.I,on the other hand, seemed to wake up just before one of them did just as I used to when my own children were babies.It all comes back to you really and it is like being transported back in time. I hope you enjoy the experience. It is an excellent way to form that extra bonding

Ariadne Thu 18-Apr-13 11:20:28

When I babysat my first DGC for the first time, I actually slept in the same room, because I was so worried about the responsibility, and I was only 50 then!

But, like Gorki, I soon found that the response to a whimpering or crying baby is inbuilt, just as it seemed to be when mine were small. Anyone, or anything else that wakes me up is in for a hard time, but not with babies.

You will be fine, but I do understand. We have six grandchildren now, and there is always something to worry about....flowers

elizabethsbarefoot Thu 18-Apr-13 11:27:16

I must confess....deep breath i put my darling Oliver in a ditch when he was two weeks old. We were out walking and i had the buggy in one hand and a large labrador in the other,the labrador went one way and the beautiful baby and buggy went the other! he lived to tell the tale was fine but nanny is still traumatised! as long as you stay in you will be fine xx

nanaej Thu 18-Apr-13 11:27:56

I have my 2 x DGS tonight..aged 4 yrs and the other 10 months but have looked after them & their cousins b4. You will be fine! In the end, as others have said, you will be made extra alert because of the worry!

I am OK now but first time was far more twitchy. Your DD & SiL obviously have a lot of confidence in you as a grandmother or would not have considered it!

Have fun!

gillybob Thu 18-Apr-13 11:29:09

Welcome to Gransnet inthefields

I have taken care of my three grandchildren for over 7 years now and do at least one overnight every week (sometimes 2 depending on parents shift patterns). I hope other grans will agree with me when I say that when you have the little one for the first time overnight, something just kicks in. Its almost like an inner instinct takes over and you just know that the little one is dependant on you. The first night you will probably sleep like a paratrooper waiting to go into battle with one eye open and one eye shut (kind of thing) almost hovering between being awake and asleep. They say you never forget how to ride a bike..... well I don't think you ever forget how to look after a baby either. I wish you good luck although I am sure you won't need it. Just try and relax and enjoy the wonderful experience which hopefully will be the beginning of many more. smile

petra Thu 18-Apr-13 11:37:09

Why do we feel like this? We have all had children but I don't ever remember feeling the terror I felt when I was asked to look after my DD young baby and young one at school for two days.
I analyse these feelings all the time. I am constantly on alert even when I am in my DDs house with the children. My DD says " they are ok Mum"
I don't remember constantly going up to my DDs bedroom to see if she was ok.
Any psychologists out there.

inthefields Thu 18-Apr-13 11:39:13

Thank you everyone. I have been confident up until now that caring for GS has been (as gillybob so rightly said) like riding a bike ....you just don't forget how to handle a baby! Think I have just been panicking about the whole waking up thing, so am very very reassured that those same instincts do indeed kick in.

elizabethsbarefoot thank you so much for my loudest "out loud laugh" in a long time!! I have a loopy spaniel, so could not only picture the scene but see myself in it. Cheered me up enormously :-)

moomin Thu 18-Apr-13 11:42:35

Hi inthefields, you'll have probably guessed by now that we all know you will survive and live to tell the tale! I had my DGS to stay overnight when he was about 4 weeks old and there is no way I wouldn't have heard even a murmer from him (and this is someone who is being constantly reminded by my DC that I'm going deaf!).

I don't think you need to sleep on the nursery floor, if you are anything like me you'll hardly sleep anyway just waiting to hear a small stirring from the cot. As has already been said, have the baby-alarm and you'll be fine, look forward to having him all to yourself and obviously your DD and DSiL have faith in your abilities smile

inthefields Thu 18-Apr-13 11:51:43

Petra ... thank you for highlighting worry complex as commonplace in grannies! was worried its just me :-(

I am just as bad with my god-daughters two, who are now old enough to sit on counters to "help" Mum ....and will busily chew on the end of a wooden spoon while doing it.
My heart is in my mouth the whole time! ...... all I can think of is what might happen if they fell .....every movement has me twitching to catch them! ......BUT I did exactly the same thing with my girls, and never turned a hair.

Older and wiser, now? seen more, so more aware of dangers?
No .....I'm with you.... its paranoia! could you share the psychs number when you find it.

gracesmum Thu 18-Apr-13 13:20:36

To listen to us you'd never believe we brought up children of our own and they lived to tell the tale! But it is true that you feel MUCH more responsible for somebody ele's child.

Nelliemoser Thu 18-Apr-13 14:03:17

inthe I also think your maternal instincts will kick back in and you will be tuned in to a baby crying or murmuring or just rolling over in bed.

elizabethsbarefoot I am assuming you are his Nanna. Did you tell his mum? wink

I was in charge of DGS on Tuesday in department store. When I stopped to buy something. As usual I was keeping a firm hand on my purse, my credit card and DGS's pushchair which was right beside me. I felt afraid to even let go of the pushchair!

goldengirl Thu 18-Apr-13 15:19:01

Don't worry! If you're anything like me you will wake up at the slightest movement. At first I woke up in case she woke up - and gave her a poke to make sure all was well. I found it a helluva responsibility but was very pleased to be able to do it. Needless to say she survived my ministrations and we have a lovely relationship.

Anne09 Thu 18-Apr-13 15:42:53

You will will hear him. I have five grandsons and have watched them overnight and believe me you will wake up. Pat on the back for being asked she must trust you she will be nervous as well. A night out will do her the world of good. Not just mum wife a real person having a chance to enjoy time away . I have our grandchildren over quite often good sleepers but early risers. They are so happy to wake up in the morning and all they want is breakfast. Good luck keep us posted . Anne09

jeanie99 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:20:38

I don't have grandchildren but I would think you'll slip back into mum mode it's like riding a bike I would think.

Have a practice run if you are worried, before the day when your daughter is there just take over the responsibility for your grandchild and anyway she should be sleeping thru the night by the time of the wedding.

If you take medication and think you may oversleep ask your son to take a mattress into the nursery it would give you peace of mind.

Best of luck

harrigran Thu 18-Apr-13 23:22:29

I looked after my first GD for a weekend when she was three months old, she was absolutely fine but I am not sure I slept much. The baby monitors are very good but you hear every snuffle. If our DC deem us capable and trust us not to throw the baby out with the bath water then we should be honoured.

Ella46 Fri 19-Apr-13 08:07:30

I had my youngest dgd overnight when she was only 2 weeks old.
I heard every snuffle, and if I couldn't hear anything, I got up to check she was still breathing! grin

shysal Fri 19-Apr-13 09:02:38

Sorry to tell you this inthefields, but you will always worry, whatever their age! Next week I have an overnight stay at DD2's while they are away from Friday to Saturday. The 3 GSs are 9,11 and 13. The oldest is allowed to go alone to the rec up the road to kick a ball with friends, and the younger ones play in the road on bikes and scooters. If I offer to take them out somewhere they are not interested. They are sensible and well behaved, but I am scared to death that one of them gets run over or injures himself. I expect it embarrasses them when I continually hover!
I agree with the other posters that you will not miss a sound from your little one, and yes you will also worry if there is no sound! I hope it goes well for you.

dorsetpennt Fri 19-Apr-13 09:35:57

Being a mother/grandmother is a lifetime of worry - sometimes for the silliest of reasons. Why not have a trial run, parents to go to bed and you
have the night care of the little one.
sunseeker you are very welcome on this forum, I'm just curious as to why as you say you are not a grandparent. Are you one-in-waiting or just that we are such an interesting bunch? smile

shysal Fri 19-Apr-13 09:48:03

sunseeker is a valuable contributor to GN, as are you dorsetpennt. Not being a grandparent doesn't matter one bit, we are not on here just to discuss our GCs! The title is more about our age group.

inthefields Fri 19-Apr-13 18:32:20

Many many thanks for all your reassurances, which have helped hugely smile. What a wonderful resource Gransnet is!

I am very confident with DGS's day to day care, it was mostly just the sleeping thing which worried me ....and she & I discussed it today, along with my absolute terror that he might stop breathing on my watch (I lost a son many many years ago - not through SIDS, but fear doesn't seem to be logical).

As ever, honesty was the best policy ..... her wonderful practicality and trust in me have smoothed away worries, and am sure I will be fine (though possibly insomniac on the night in question lol)

Thank you to everyone who responded (and I am still laughing about the 'ditch' incident!!)