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Working mums: Do you feel comfortable leaving baby at home to be taken care by DH?

  1. #1
    vivianhui is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong

    Working mums: Do you feel comfortable leaving baby at home to be taken care by DH?

    I am a new mum and will return to work pretty soon. I just want to get advice/experience sharing from working mums who have to leave the baby at home to be taken care of solely by DH.

    My helper seems very caring to my baby. She is also older so I think I can trust her more. But still, I don't know how I will feel/cope once I start working again in 3 weeks' time.

    Are there anything I can do to have a better control over the situation? Will installing IP cams help?

  2. #2
    snagito is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    It's really a tough call..But I wouldn't install a webcam thingy. I think you need to be able to trust the person who is with your LO all day. Things that helped us -- drawing up a schedule of how we wanted the day to look, and have our nanny write down what had actually happened - ie: brief notes - what time did baby nap, how much did they eat - I used to also leave all the milk feeds and meals prepared so that all she had to do was heat them up so that way I felt I had control over the feeding albeit from a distance!

    Also list of emergency numbers to call, and make sure the helper knows where to run in an emergency.

    Another thing that helped me (I was calling the nanny every couple of hours my first week back at work!) was to ask her to call me when baby was taking a nap so that I could be briefed at least twice during the working day on how things were going.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your return to work.

  3. #3
    vivianhui is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Hong Kong
    Thanks!! I think it's a good idea to have the DH call me to report back whenever the baby goes to sleep...

    The reason why I want to install the IP cam is not to spy on the helper, but more for me to be able to see my baby when I am at work. I just think that I will miss him terribly once I go back to work....

  4. #4
    ELT is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    My husband and I both work full time and this is our first baby (and first helper) so we went through the same worries and struggles as you are now.

    Totally agree with snagito about web cam (if you use them, you will never be able to concentrate at work), emergency numbers and having a schedule.

    In addition, I think it is important to manage the DH the same way you would want to be managed, like:

    1) set the expectations right

    The DH needs to know your priorities and you need to spell things out so there's no misunderstanding. E.g., if caring for the baby is more important than household work, you better tell her that it is ok to not mop the floor everyday.

    2) give feedback

    Not just feedback when she is wrong but also when she has done something you want her to keep doing. Reinforce the right behaviors is very important.

    And when giving negative feedback, make sure you don't 'scold' or look unhappy (I know, this is hard!). You would want her to feel comfortable in telling you anything. She would keep things from you and even start lying about your baby if she fears that you would be unhappy to hear bad news.

    3) family help

    We lived with my parents during first month so we can all learn how to care for the baby the 'family's way'. Now that we are back in our own home, my parents would still come over when my husband is on long trips. Frankly, they don't help much but it just give me a peace of mind knowing there is someone in case the DH needs help.

    4) trust

    it takes time to build trust and it is ok. Don't force yourself to trust her completely (you shouldn't anyway) especially at first months of her arrival. Don't feel bad if you had to observe her work or call home to check that things are in order. It took me a few months to trust the DH to bath the baby on her own.

    5) focus on the outcome not process

    Giving clear instruction is one thing, but insisting on the DH doing things your way is another (of course unless it is crucial matter such as burping the baby before putting her down in her cot). Who cares whether she mops the floor in the morning or afternoon. Believe me, if she's good, after a few months, you will find yourself letting her run things her way. And you should otherwise you'd go crazy!

    6) make sure she has enough rest

    if you are going to leave the baby alone with the DH during the day, make sure she has enough sleep at night. My husband and I sleep with the baby and she sometimes nap with him during the day. We don't question her how she spends her time as long as she delivers what we asked.

  5. #5
    slamdunk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Great advice from ELT. Trusting your helper is important for the first steps and in the run up before I went back to work, I started leaving feeds for our helper and running errands (or going for a facial!) to get used to 'leaving baby at home'. Asking your helper to call when the baby is napping to give you an update is good, as it saves you calling home and limits the calls back. I usually give a guideline of what food my baby is eating (if its anything new), but trust my helper to adjust amounts and timings around my baby's appetite and sleep pattern.

    I agree with snagito that it is better not to install the IP webcam. For me, it would be distracting at work , but make me miss baby more (as I would want a cuddle!).

    My first couple of weeks were tough but now I am comfortable. I do allow some flexibility (like when the bathroom gets cleaned, laundry gets done etc) as I understand that 100% childcare is a LOT harder on time management than any office job and totally agree that it is the outcome that is important. My baby is responsive, sleeps and eats well and showing great development so we are all happy.

  6. #6
    josoo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong

    Working mums: Do you feel comfortable leaving baby at home to be take care by DH?

    It's not easy leaving the baby home...I totally agree. Here are some additional ideas for you to explore:

    1) Lunch at home - how far is your office from home? If its not too far, you can consider going home every now and then. I often do "surprise check-ups" twice a week during lunch. In the beginning, when my daughter was a new born, I would go home four times a week, but obviously its harder your schedule's tight.

    2) Lunch at the office with the baby and DH - if you feel comfortable for your DH to bring your baby into work, this could work very well. It'll be good for your baby and DH to go out every now and then, but it depends if your company is baby-friendly. Some bosses hate this kind of set-up. I mean playgroups are great, but mother-child contact is vital.

    3) Relatives - my mother comes and spends time with my daughter once a week, so she can get to know each other a little more. It keeps my mother busy and she loves it, it can be another relative as well, is this possible?

    Try to think in a positive mind-set...after all it is about trust. It'll be hard for the first couple of months, but do take it easy. Don't beat yourself up about it too much....

  7. #7
    HappyV is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Also, maybe it doesn;t help to think of your DH as the 'sole' carer - think of her as looking after the baby while you;re gone: once you;re back - the baby should be cared for by Mummy.

  8. #8
    capital is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I think, no matter whether your children are in a day home, daycare, or you have a DH, or what, it is always hard to leave your children, especially at first. The key is do you trust them? I wish my day home provider had a webcam set up, I would love to be able to see what my children are doing. You miss so many things. My day home provider would write me note everyday in the beggining, that said what they ate, diapers changes, what they did, cute things they said, what they palyed with and I loved that, because that was what I missed most, knowing all the little details.

    I know this may not work in a DH situation, but the agency my provider is with requires a written report for every injury. The first provider we had, my child fell down the stairs while my husband was there. The gate was not secure and he leaned on it, he only fell about 4 steps and my husband caught him, so he was not injured, but the lady refused to install a proper gate bolted to the wall, did not notify the agency (I did), or do any of the paperwork, needless to say we switched proveders. The lady I have now (for 2 years) tells me, and records every tiny little thing, that is barely an injury, she would reprot a stubbed toe! but I do trust that she will let me know anything, whereas the first lady, who knows, maybe there were incidents that we never even knew about because she didn't tell us or report anything. I would make sure the DH knows you want to know everything that happens. Because things will happen, no matter how careful your DH is.

    The first few weeks will be the hardest, but it will get easier and you will really enjoy the time you have with your chidlren even more.

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