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Grandparenting

Looking after DGD for first time overnight

(20 Posts)
glammagran Sun 26-May-19 21:56:08

Our DD and her partner are going to a big posh wedding in second week of June. No children are invited and we have been asked to look after DGD overnight who is 9 months old and has never been left for more than an hour away from her mother. We really want to do this but are very concerned as to how she will react when her parents don’t return. Any tips from other grandparents? 😲

GrandmaKT Sun 26-May-19 22:21:10

We looked after our 10 month old DGS when our DS and DIL went away for a weekend. We were pretty worried as, living 250 miles away, we had only seen him a couple of times! We went down there a couple of days before so that he could get used to us and we could see his routine (which at that age there wasn't much of really).
It all turned out well; they are much easier to look after at this age than when they get a bit older and more attached to their parents and their routines. He obviously knew that something was different, and looked a bit quiet and puzzled most of the time, but other than that, plain sailing!
Good luck!

Luckygirl Sun 26-May-19 22:38:26

That's a big ask for the little lass herself - prime separation anxiety age! How well does she know you? I think that is the most important factor. Have you looked after her before?

I would suggest that you accumulate lots of her own things around her; and maybe some things that smell of Mum.

I remember the first time I looked after my DGD at about the same age - not overnight - but the first day her Mum returned to work and the start of my care duties. She sat still on my lap for over an hour; then she ventured off for a moment and came straight back; and so on for quite a long time. I just sat tight and let her do that for as long as she wanted' and I did not venture very far from her at all that first day.

Lots of her own toys and books around is what is needed. It will be a challenge; but I am sure you will rise to it.

I did similar for my first DGS at about the same age - he did not know me at all well and unfortunately he started being sick during the evening and I was mopping up and taking temp etc. Between bouts he just wanted his bottle and had real "food rage" when I did not give it to him!

I am sure all will be well for you!

agnurse Mon 27-May-19 03:47:07

You may like to ask if DD or her partner could provide a used shirt that has not been washed. You can button it around a pillow and place it next to DGD. The scent of her parent may be helpful.

Starlady Mon 27-May-19 03:57:41

How beautiful, glammagran, that DD and her partner trust you and DH enough to leave a 9-month-old baby w/ you overnight! Not all parents would, even w/ GPs. And how wonderful that you're willing and able to take care of DGD and give the parents a chance to enjoy a wedding and some time to themselves!

IMO, you've been given some excellent advice. I just want to add the suggestion to keep DGD as busy as possible, maybe take her for a walk in her pushchair or stroller, if that's ok w/ the parents. Hopefully, these things will help keep her mind off her parents and, maybe, cause her to fall asleep a little earlier, which should make things easier for you.

I'm certain it will all work out well. Good luck and enjoy!

Alima Mon 27-May-19 05:36:03

As long as you know her routine it will all be fine! I had two such periods of looking after DGD2 when she was seven months old then 9 months old. The worst bit for me was boredom as she slept so much. Enjoy your time with her and don’t let the doom mongers get you down!

glammagran Mon 27-May-19 08:31:35

DGD lives only 15 minutes drive from us so we have seen them once or twice a week since birth. DD is quite an anxious first time mum having to contend with awful colic and reflux for first 12 weeks and DGD can be clingy. She seems very happy to be with us though but we just play with her. She will sleep in her travel cot.
Thanks for the advice. I will request an item of clothing.

Bibbity Mon 27-May-19 08:46:49

Is there any chance you could build up to it before The day.
So take her for a full day for a few days.
Then take her over night.

DoraMarr Mon 27-May-19 09:29:34

I have been to weddings where the grandparents stayed in the same hotel as the parents, so the parents could leave the reception for a time to put the baby to bed, and were on hand if the baby really couldn’t settle. It worked well for the families I saw- would that be an option?

shysal Mon 27-May-19 09:41:21

Good advice already given, but I would add that it is helpful to be given a lesson in folding/unfolding the stroller and use of car seat if you are to need them! It can be rather like the Krypton Factor TV challenge! I also used to need written TV/Sky instructions as I only had a basic old set myself. In a year or so your GD will be able to operate them herself!
Hope it all works out well and that you enjoy the precious time together.

Franbern Mon 27-May-19 10:01:34

Try to relax and enjoy. Probably first of many future times. Is it going to be in your home, or theirs? Easier for baby if she is in her own home, but as you mention sleeping in travel cot, sounds more likely it is going to be in your home. Just a warning, whereas baby is likely to settle down and sleep normally, do not expect for yourselves to have a good night sleep. As you will be on edge and anxious the whole night.
I brought up seven children, fostered nearly forty babies and toddlers, yet the first time I had a g.child with me overnight was a nightmare for me. More anxious than any first-time Mum!!! She was in travel cot in room next door to mine (both doors left open), yet about every hour during the night I went in there to check on her (think she was about six months old at the time - and was used to me and my house, as I looked after her two days each week).
I needed to check she was breathing, stroking her cheek to get a reaction. Totally daft!!!
Of course, she survived (in the middle of GCSE exams at present). And I survived also.

glammagran Mon 27-May-19 13:12:19

Doramarr I had thought of that myself. It’s a high end hotel in the Cotswolds and the bride’s parents have taken over hotel and are paying for all the guests too! So it’s not an option. Baby will be staying at our house and I shall take on board tips given. Parents certainly deserve a night off. I did not have any help with babies when I had mine - my mother was simply not interested.

BradfordLass72 Tue 28-May-19 10:40:42

I agree with Luckygirl

Ask for several tops worn by your DD but not washed, so you can drape them over your shoulder or front and smell like Mummy. It's a huge comfort to fretful babies.

I'm sure you'll be just fine. Mum may be more anxious than baby - I bet you'll get texts and calls. smile

Nannarose Tue 28-May-19 12:58:51

I would consider either you staying at their house, so everything else is familiar. Or, as we did, have baby and one or both parents for an overnight a bit beforehand, so you can gestured tohow it works at your home.

glammagran Sun 09-Jun-19 17:27:53

Well we had 9 month old DGD and survived! Just a shame poor weather kept us from being out with the pushchair for long yesterday. She was great fun but I’d forgotten not realised how hard it is taking care of babies. Only bad point was when I gave her the cotton sheet smelling of her mother just before I put her to bed in travel cot at 7pm. She had a complete meltdown for 20 minutes. So I think this may only work for younger babies. Anyway she slept till 5:45 (😱) and woke in an excellent mood. Took little notice of parents when they returned at lunchtime. DD just texted to say she won’t smile at her or let her cuddle her (only Dad) so she’s being “punished” for the abandonment.

aonk Wed 26-Jun-19 12:04:07

I think you’re worrying needlessly here. I have 7 grandchildren and have been in your situation. It’s only one night after all. Do some practice visits if possible or even stay at the baby’s house where all is familiar. The most important thing is to tire the child out. Plenty of activity and fresh air!

HildaW Wed 26-Jun-19 12:17:11

Honestly, do not make too much of a thing about it, the more you worry the more stress you will create. At 9 months what's the worse that could happen....she does not settle at all so you spend all night with a baby in your bed? To some that would be an idea of sheer heaven.
There are a couple of practical steps....one of those collapsible travel cots are very useful and if it can be purchased early and used for the odd nap at home in the weeks to come it will have a familiar smell If its also made up with her usual bedding and cuddlies she should feel reasonably settled.
Its pretty much standard to be a bit more (a lot in my case) nervy about caring for grandchildren - somehow there is a double layer of worry. We all tended to blindly cope with our own children and just lurch from one thing or another but when you are the Grandparents you do feel a bit more anxious....my mind would always think about disappointing the SIL (daft really we are such good friends now).
Take on board any 'instructions' from the parents....make all the right noises about any dos and don'ts (even if you think them daft) and then just do the best you can and enjoy some wonderful time together.

Anja Wed 26-Jun-19 12:24:37

Well done Glamma 👍🏽

GrandmaKT Wed 26-Jun-19 12:59:14

Well done! Hope you've recovered! Nice when the OP comes back and lets us know how things turned out smile

Norah Fri 05-Jul-19 14:11:13

I'm sorry she felt abandoned. She really was too young to my sense, but at least it ended happy to you.