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Looking after baby

(48 Posts)
Pampoen Wed 24-Mar-21 13:02:08

I live with my daughtet and her family and help look after her 1 year old. She expects me to sut and play with baby and keep her occupied. I think it is quite adequate to sit and read while she is occupied with toys etc. Of course I like to play with her but not all the time. Am I unreasonable?

trisher Wed 24-Mar-21 13:08:39

I've never known a 1 year old who could be successfully occupied with toys. And if I tried to read or anything else that's when they would try sampling the contents of a plant pot or start heading for the stairs.

EllanVannin Wed 24-Mar-21 13:12:13

Good luck with sitting quietly and reading grin Unheard of.

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:14:57


Lucca Wed 24-Mar-21 13:19:06


Good luck with sitting quietly and reading grin Unheard of.

My thoughts exactly!

Redhead56 Wed 24-Mar-21 13:29:05

I helped look after I our twins for over two years all I can say is it aged me ten years! There is no such thing as sitting or being quiet and reading at all.

SueDonim Wed 24-Mar-21 13:29:34

It depends on the child. My oldest never liked anyone playing with him. If anyone joined in, he’d quietly slip away, take some toys behind the sofa and play there.

One of my GC hates anyone joining his games. His ‘joining in’ consists of giving you a car, or whatever he’s playing with, to hold, then you have to sit quietly while he plays. You’re not allowed to actually do anything or talk about the game!

jacqrose Wed 24-Mar-21 13:31:45

I also look after my daughter’s one year old and if she would just sit and play alone happily with toys I’d be amazed. My grandaughter just wants to walk and climb all the time! You can’t really afford to take your eyes off them as it only takes a minute and they can put something in their mouth or up their nose. Best not to risk it. Save your reading time for when you can really enjoy it.

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:32:33

A 1 year old is highly mobile and need supervision 100% of the time.

Reading can easily get you distracted. Accidents happen in a second.

Pampoen Wed 24-Mar-21 13:33:10

Of course I mean reading when we are in the nursery a safe space where she cant get hurt. Would never do it if she was roaming the house

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:34:00


Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:34:43

You would be surprise how unsafe safe places are.

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:34:58

Surprised.. arggg

Grandmabatty Wed 24-Mar-21 13:39:26

It seems that you and your daughter are on different pages regarding expectations. How long are you expected to look after your granddaughter? Does your dd work and you provide childcare? A one year old child requires distractions, play, learning etc. The reality is you cannot expect her to play quietly at one year old while you read. You need eyes in the back of your head most of the time. I provide childcare for my grandson who is two and it's full on. I read when he goes for a nap. Isn't that a feasible idea for you? If physically you can't play with her or watch her for long, then you need to let your daughter know. It's not fair on her or your granddaughter.

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 13:39:39

I also think your daughter follows a more active interactive role while you follow a passive one

Different parenting styles

BrightandBreezy Wed 24-Mar-21 13:41:19

One year old's need a lot of attention and interactive play. If you are helping to look after baby I think, at that point in the day, it is reasonable to give baby full attention. However I certainly think it would be unreasonable to expect you to do this all the time baby is awake unless you are full time paid Nanny.

If you live with your daughter you need down time as much [or more as you are older] than anybody else in the household. Maybe a discussion with dd of exactly how much full on child care you are willing and able to do.

We all love our dgc but as my dmi used to say 'nice to see them, nice to see them go'. I think it must be very difficult to negotiate some 'me' time for you if you are all living together flowers

SueDonim Wed 24-Mar-21 13:41:24

It’s not always possible to give 100% attention to a baby, though. One of my nieces had four under four, twins being the youngest. A friend’s relative has baby triplets! Though admittedly not a lot of book reading went on in those situations. grin

Riverwalk Wed 24-Mar-21 13:58:37

I don't think the OP needs reminding that babies require supervision! And what is your daughter doing whilst you're keeping baby occupied?

Helping with childcare doesn't make you a full-time Nanny.

This is why I would never live with either of my sons - I wouldn't like to be given orders!

JackyB Wed 24-Mar-21 14:31:18

It depends on the child, as has been said. Our DGS no. 2 is quite happy at 14 months playing on his own and "talking" to himself. When he does this none of us are going to blunder in and force other toys or games in him. It is a good thing that he can concentrate at this age and he can, and should, be left to his own devices.

His older brother (now 6yrs) needed constant stimulation and attention, so this baby is a very welcome rst!

Hithere Wed 24-Mar-21 14:32:25

Apparently she does need reminding if she is willing to engage in an activity that is not suitable when taking care of a baby.

Babysitting = nanny care as you are fully responsible for the child
If you are not willing to do so, the parents of the child should make other arrangements.

Insinuating that the parents of the child should also take care of the child while Op is babysitting defeats the purpose

MissAdventure Wed 24-Mar-21 14:39:28

I think it's fine not to tailor every minute to hovering over a baby.
As long as you are tuned in to what is going on, and are in the same room.

Sarnia Wed 24-Mar-21 14:47:28

I live with my youngest daughter and her family (2 GD's aged 6 & 7). They lived with me for 10 years while they saved up for their wedding and a sizeable deposit for a house and had their 2 daughters in that time. We get on well. It is not a set-up for everyone. You need to have a chat about what you and your daughter expect from your situation. I love spending time with my grand-daughters but need some 'me' time as well. There has to be give and take on both sides.

wildswan16 Wed 24-Mar-21 15:13:15

Even a one year old baby needs a variety of different "play". She will enjoy playing with you, and it is an opportunity to help their development in all kinds of ways. But I always felt that if they were content sitting playing by themselves for a while then I certainly left them to it.

Learning to amuse themselves is a very useful skill for all children to learn.

Some children need a lot more attention than others though - you just have to follow their lead.

Grannytwoshoes Fri 26-Mar-21 10:56:15

No! She’s jolly lucky to have you there! Perhaps a chat over a cup of tea when the baby is asleep. Communication is the name of the game and we are not mind readers! Wish I could get it right!

greenlady102 Fri 26-Mar-21 10:56:35

I think it depends on what the deal is between you and your daughter...what do you get in return for the childcare?