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Caring for grandchild.

(57 Posts)
Wren5 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:33:13

Hello there,
After some advice please . I'm a new Grandmother, my Grandson has just gone 1 year old, his mam has decided to go back to work part-time, one day a week so I have offered to look after GS. I'm just concerned how GS will be without his mam around, I have looked after him before but only for a short period of time, say couple of hours. He get's very fretful when he can't see his mother or father, he point's to the door to search the house for them, I can normally comfort him , try to distract him with playing, etc, but I will be spending at least 9 hour's without his mam or dad being there & I know I will be really upset if I cannot get him to settle, any advice appreciated, thank you.

Buffybee Sat 09-Feb-19 15:47:02

Hello Wren, I've looked after all my Grandchildren from 12 months on, when Daughter went back to work.
The best thing that I did was find Play Groups, the ones in Church Halls, run by volunteers. There's usually quite a few but if you can't find one on the right day in your area and you drive, try another area.
You can get a list of them from the Local Authority usually but ask other Mum's and Grans as there are sometimes ones not on the list.
I had mine full time, so I found them for every morning, usually 9.30 to 11.30, they're usually only about a pound of two.
Then home for lunch and hopefully they might nap for an hour and day nearly gone by then.
I found, if they fret, it's better to get them out of their home environment, even if you only take them in the bus to the Shopping Centre. It distracts them and they soon look forward to going out with Gran.
Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine. smile

Madgran77 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:47:12

I would suggest that longer periods are built up with you before his parents go back to work...initially with them around and in and out; then with you for say 2 hours ...4 hours ...6 hours and so on

Use those times to build up some little routines together; particular toys/baby jigsaws/ books or whatever that are new to him and therefore connected in his mind to time with you. Little meals together (with mine it was toast fingers when mum and dad left) and so on.

I would also suggest talking to his parents about routines and expectations re food, sleeping. etc to avoid any misunderstanding. Enjoy! Its good fun.

Wren5 Sat 09-Feb-19 15:58:03

Thank you for advice & suggestions Buffybee & Madgran77 , I appreciate any helpful advice. I'm feeling a bit nervous about looking after my GS, he is getting to the stage now where he is walking & getting into all sorts, as toddlers do, I just hope that he won't be so fretful that he cry's all the time he's with me. He's great with me when his mam is around but lately if she leaves the room, he's toddling after her crying. And I used to be able to soothe him to sleep but now he look's for his mother or father when he get's tired & he seem's to fight having a nap as much as he can, I suppose that's a normal toddler thing though.

Wren5 Sat 09-Feb-19 16:04:33

Madgran77 Yes, thats good advice about finding out about routines, food, etc.. I'm sure it will be fine. I've only ever had one child, his dad, he's 35 now 7 throughout the years have never had much contact with looking after babies, so this really is all very new to me, I just want to get every thing right I

M0nica Sat 09-Feb-19 19:15:29

Some babies can go through a clingy patch around a year. It lasts a couple of month but passes. I think madgran's suggestion about getting him used to longer periods with you ahead of mum going back to work is very sensible.

He may well be crysome for the first few weeks, but will soon get used to it and it will just become part of his usual routine.

Urmstongran Sat 09-Feb-19 19:59:25

What a sweet grandma you are Wren
I’m sure all will be fine. Distracting them is good, as is taking them outside.

cornergran Sat 09-Feb-19 20:14:05

Don’t worry too much wren your grandson is just behaving in an age appropriate way. Totally agree with others, build up the time you have with him, whether at your home or his. Understand his routine food likes and dislikes, favourite toys, routine for naps. If he comes to your home ask his Mum or Dad to chat happily with him about staying with you while Mummy goes to work. You obviously care deeply for him and want him to be happy, your instincts are sound, please try not to be overly anxious around him as he will react to your anxiety. If you relax with him I’m sure your grandson will be happy once he is used to his new routine.

fourormore Sat 09-Feb-19 20:14:48

Like Urmstongran says you sound like a lovely Grandma Wren5.
Just a thought but do you have a free bus pass yet?
Odd question I know, but when we started looking after two of our GC we used to take them out for a ride on a bus! It was an adventure for them as they travel everywhere by car these days.
It also meant that DH and I didn't have too much carrying of heavy children or their accompanying equipment!
Until the age of five they travel free so bus rides cost us nothing meaning we could stop off for the occasional ice cream etc. without it becoming a financial problem as well.
Good luck - I am sure you will be fine. Baby will soon gets used to it and a world of adventures awaits you! flowers

Wren5 Sat 09-Feb-19 20:22:35

Thank you all for your messages, I really appreciate all your sound advice, I will take onboard all your suggestions & not get to anxious if my GS doe's get a little fretful at first, as you all say, it's going to be a different experience for him being looked after for a long period of time by Nanny but there are thing's we can start introducing up until his mother return's to work, thank you all for taking the time to reply x

Madgran77 Sat 09-Feb-19 21:11:15

Ooh yes, bus rides were always a great success as my GC always went by car with their parents.

Wren I am sure it will be fine, he'll soon get used to the routines.

Beau Sat 09-Feb-19 21:18:16

You'll be fine Wren - I looked after DGS for 5 x 11-12 hour days per week from the age of 4 months - my DD was born over 40 years ago so I was even more out of practice than you, it just comes naturally. He's 2 now but I have only just joined our first playgroup as it's not my scene at all but they have a lot of space and ride on toys so I can cope for 2 hours per week for his sake. I have always taken him to baby music classes once a week as that's more structured. He goes to nursery for 2 days a week now but I'm still his first port of call when he gets back. You will end up very close to him - probably the one day per week will gradually creep up anyway 😜

Madgran77 Sat 09-Feb-19 22:14:20

I have always firmly stuck to one day a week plus some occasional emergency cover. For me more than that would be too much I think. So do think carefully before taking on extra days if asked! You need to think about what is right for you. But enjoy the one day a week and see how it goes. Someone mentioned baby music classes.. Its worth doing a search in your local ara , there are often baby singing groups and such like plus toddler soft play. You can just pop in and pay as you go for many of them smile

Grammaretto Sat 09-Feb-19 22:21:01

All good advice here and taking him out for walks in the buggy. You both get fresh air and exercise then. You may meet other grans doing the same thing.

Wren5 Sun 10-Feb-19 04:15:37

Thank you all for all your messages, I so appreciate you taking the time to give me so much advice. Yes, I think one day a week at the moment will be enough, because I will be looking after GS at my son's house, which is about 45 minute's from where I live, also it involves driving over a mountain, which in bad weather can be a bit scary ( snow, rain, fog) there is no compromise with GS coming to my house so I have to travel there to babysit . I live in South East Wales & there are quite a lot of steep mountains/ Valleys to travel to reach son's house. Hopefully by the time baby sitting duties start, the weather will be much better wink

BlueBelle Sun 10-Feb-19 06:11:15

Wren don’t be nervous your nervousness will impinge on him,and a child, like an animal is better with a confident career he will pick up your anxieties and in turn he will feel anxious
Have a lot for him to do especially outside wrapped up warm a playpark, so he can toddle around with other kids, a ball if he s walking etc, feeding the ducks I found a big cardboard box or linen basket became a car a bus a spaceship babies love Peekaboo and blowing bubbles
He ll be in his own home so have familiar toys and surroundings and his own cot / bed to have naps in

You ll be completely fine and enjoy it, with all my grandkids teens now I can tell you it goes in a flash

BlueBelle Sun 10-Feb-19 06:14:40

Oh and best advice of all dont worry when he cries all baby’s cry its a normal way of communicating crying won’t harm him a cuddle and distraction are the answer

Wren5 Sun 10-Feb-19 08:52:02

Thank you BlueBelle, I will try my best to introduce fun, new things for us to do/play together, I love the sound of the big cardboard box for a car/spaceship smile & blowing bubbles, they will definately be on my fun list to do.

littleflo Sun 10-Feb-19 09:45:58

In the first couple of weeks I would make a time plan with your daughter to ensure that his mind is stimulated. Lots of outings, going on a bus, train, park, library or just for a walk. You don’t have to be out of the house for very long but I would go maybe twice a day just to begin with. If he gets fretful, pop him in his buggy and with an excited voice tell him where you are going. I find little ones are a bit like dogs, in that they don’t understand the words, but get their cues from tone and facial expression.

Ask your daughter if he has an easy coat to put on as some children hate getting dressed in outdoor clothes like snow suits. Anything that will minimise stress for you both.

Work out a daily routine for sleep, meals and playtime, make sure that you rest when he does. Don’t try to fit in jobs while he is resting. You might be surprised at how exhausted you feel.

At one year old, play time will be more sensory than than anything else. Get some play sand, put it in a washing up bowl with lots of different containers and this will amuse him. Similarly a bowl of water on the kitchen floor. Ask you daughter to provide plenty of changes of clothes. Lastly don’t underestimate the power of CBeebies. My GCs did not like going upstairs to rest, but a pillow and a bottle on the sofa with the night garden had them snoring in seconds.

I am sure that very soon he will be coming to you without fretting. The secret is routine and stimulation.

sarahcyn Sun 10-Feb-19 10:06:39

Watching this thread with interest as I hope to be doing a day a week grandchildcare in future!

deanswaydolly Sun 10-Feb-19 10:08:42

Hi I look after all my Grand children but I am a child minder so am used to it. I would suggest if it's possible to go over the night before and stay there. It will take away the stress of driving and worrying about being on time. Also will be better for little one seeing you there first thing. Good luck x

deanswaydolly Sun 10-Feb-19 10:11:33

Oh and I also suggest a regular place to go e.g. playgroup. One that you find he enjoys. Then it will be something he looks forward for doing with you each week. X

DotMH1901 Sun 10-Feb-19 10:24:02

Distraction is a huge help whilst you and DGS settle into a new routine. Try to have some 'new' things to do to take his mind off where Mum and Dad have gone - I had a blow up paddling pool in my living room filled with playballs - my DGS and DGD's loved playing in it and it kept them distracted, especially the whole process of getting it out of the cupboard, blowing it up, filling it with the balls. I read to them (still have some of their baby books) and sang nursery rhymes to them (saucepans and the metal lids along with a wooden spoon make great instruments) - there are lots of little things you can do to make the time pass by.

Greciangirl Sun 10-Feb-19 10:34:53

I look after my three year old dgs one day a week, and even now, sometimes he gets upset when it’s time to say goodbye to mum. This usually happens if he’s not feeling well for instance. But they all seem to go through clingy stages.
Occasionally, he cries for about half an hour, and no amount of hugs or distractions will soothe him.
It always passes though.
Of course, it’s distressing for us grans. And I get a bit stressed when I can’t console him. But usually they are ok.
As I know you will be, Wren5.

sarahcyn Sun 10-Feb-19 10:45:07

Wren5 my SIL drives 3 hours to her daughter's house every Sunday afternoon, spends Monday looking after toddler and baby grandsons, returns very early Tuesday morning. She's got a brilliant relationship with her grandchildren now.