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  1. #1
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    Default Clingy baby and an anxious return to work

    I'm heading back to work in 3 weeks and am already extremely anxious about leaving my clingy almost 11 month old DS.
    I'll be doing 3 days/week and bub will be looked after by MIL.
    DS is a massive mummy sook and even DP struggles to deal with him, Settling/sleeping/calming are all done by me otherwise he just loses the plot and gets so worked up.
    We have literally not been apart for more than 3 hours at a time.
    We're also having a tough time with his sleep and are waiting to get into Karitane, although we're quickly running out of time so I'm also worried we'll miss out.
    The in-laws have been off travelling for the last few months to make the most of their freedom before taking on DS so he hasn't spent a huge amount of time with them, but they're now back home.
    My question is, how should we proceed from here?
    Obviously he needs to spend more time with them, but do we have enough time to build up to a full day without pushing DS too much?
    Have you been in the same situation and it ended up being ok?
    I have a knot in my stomach thinking about all of this.
    Sorry this is a bit long and thanks so much for your help!

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    coco123  (25-06-2014)

  3. #2
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    Hi there
    I hear you, my DS1 was a lot like this. He hated even being held by someone other than me or DH for a long time. We had sleep issues too and I was cosleeping so he was with me basically 24 hours a day. I was so worried about going back to work too. I didn't know if he would nap or if he would just scream all day but he really adjusted to it okay. They learn that things are done this way at home and a different way at grandma's house. I found after a work day DS would be particularly clingy and grizzly but it eventually settled, and he started to become excited when my mum showed up to pick him up.

    I would suggest starting to leave bub with your in-laws now, start with half a day maybe, then a whole day.It will take all of you a while to adjust so be kind to yourself.

    ETA: get your MIL to text you through the day to let you know he's okay. I found that I didn't want to ring all the time but if mum sent a quick text, it made me feel better.

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  5. #3
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    I'd suggest to be as progressive as possible but more importantly as positive as possible.

    I understand how difficult and heart breaking it must be for you. I think babies feed a lot from of the emotional energy from their carers. If they feel you being stressed, tensed, etc they will know that something is wrong and get worried themselves.
    Not trying to put more pressure on you as you must already be pressured enough!!
    But fake it until you make it and make the good byes as short and cheerful as possible if he feels you are secured in your emotions and understand that you will get back together in a short while it will be easier.

    Where will your ILs look after bub? I'd start getting together at the place where bub will be minded by the ILs. Then leave bub there for 1 hour or so a few times. Next step is play + a feed. Then I'd try play + feed + nap. If you get that right then he will be fine for a full day.

    Good luck, it must feel so daunting. Ask for ILs to send you lots of pics! it helps a lot

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  7. #4
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    I returned to work full time when DD was 5mo. What worked for us was that I had MIL spend increasing amounts of time with her (without me) so that she could get the hang of feeding her and putting her down for naps, she had observed the techniques I had used too.

    I still make a habit of not actually saying goodbyes, or a big fuss when I get home.

    MIL minds DD in our home, so things are familiar and comfortable for DD.

    There was only two instances (once with MIL, once with a babysitter) when DD wouldn't take a bottle from them and I had to duck home. I could tell when MIL hadn't stuck to the feed/nap routine as DD would be very unsettled that night, MIL just needed a few reminders....

    We always had a few distraction techniques ready to go, such as an old pram by the back door so that MIL could take DD for walks, a stack of toys out, all food/snacks made up etc

    There were some times when DD was clingy or upset but I am glad that I bit the bullet and did things this way as DD is now fairly easy going about being left with family/friends or few hour stints at daycare.

    Good luck!

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  9. #5
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    I know your anxiety. When I returned to work when dd was 12 months I was terrified. She was very much a mummy's girl, clingy and dependant, still breastfeeding frequently and had not spent much time alone with anyone else including my mum who was going to care for her.

    When it came to the day it was such a non issue! She was completely fine lol! Babies have an amazing ability to adapt. I rang her like 3 times the first day and she was having a great time. Mum was able to rock her to sleep too which I had never been able to do - and she had never liked mum even holding her before
    She would get upset when I was leaving and cling to me but as soon as I was out the door she was over it.

    It breaks your heart thinking they're missing you, but trust me, he will adapt and it will be such a relief knowing he is not completely reliant on mummy

    Good luck, I know the feeling, once the first days over you'll feel so much better xxxx
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 26-06-2014 at 05:45.

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  11. #6
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    Thank you all so much, I can't tell you how much better all of your replies have made me feel.
    Electric Boogaloo we cosleep too so we're barely ever apart. I think getting MIL to text would be best too, if I heard DS crying or grizzling I'd just get upset myself.
    You are so right ExcuseMyFrench about babies feeding off their carers' emotions. I tend to be a bit anxious sometimes and it's only natural DS would get my vibes. Fake it til you make it - I love that!
    The ILs will have him at their place, I'm going around tomorrow to nut out a plan of attack with them. They have one of their other grandchildren 1 day/week which will be great for DS.
    Que Sera it must have been so hard going back to work when bub was 5 months, I feel so lucky to have had such a long run with DS.
    I'm going to take on your calm goodbyes and return home rather than make a big fuss, that's an awesome idea.
    Little Miss Sunshine I hope DS ends of taking it in his stride like your DD, that would be such a relief. It would be so wonderful to feel comfortable leaving him, DP & I might even be able to go on a date without him at some point!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help, I feel much more hopeful!
    xxx

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    Agree with pp's apart from not actually saying goodbye.

    After witnessing first hand with other kids how it affected them when their parents left without saying goodbye and just snuck out. It got to the point that even if they went to the toilet the kids freaked out thinking they left.

    With DS we make a point of always giving him a kiss, saying goodbye and we love him and then leaving. In the early days of me going back to work he would cry but I would say goodbye and leave (he was with my mum at home so I knew he would be fine and she would comfort him).

    There were days I would drive down the street and pull over and have a cry because it was heartbreaking leaving him like that. But you know what, mum always distracted him with something and he was fine within a couple minutes.

    And it did get easier. He adapted to doing things with grandma her way on those days, but we always found having him at our place with her rather than her place better because he was in his own environment.

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

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    Agree with Donna. Always say goodbyes and definitely say when you will be back ie after nap, dinner etc.

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  16. #9
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    Agreed! It's so important to say good bye without making a fuss though.

    I explain everything to my 6mo when we transferred him to childcare FT. What mummy was doing, what he will do and where he would be and what made it so great and exciting.

    He loves going to childcare and always has. It's his second home
    I believe the fact that he sees his parents happy, relaxed and confident with the schedule makes him happy relaxed and confident too.

    I think the transition to care/work is 1000x harder on parents than on babies!!

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)

  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Que Sera View Post
    I returned to work full time when DD was 5mo. What worked for us was that I had MIL spend increasing amounts of time with her (without me) so that she could get the hang of feeding her and putting her down for naps, she had observed the techniques I had used too.

    I still make a habit of not actually saying goodbyes, or a big fuss when I get home.

    MIL minds DD in our home, so things are familiar and comfortable for DD.

    There was only two instances (once with MIL, once with a babysitter) when DD wouldn't take a bottle from them and I had to duck home. I could tell when MIL hadn't stuck to the feed/nap routine as DD would be very unsettled that night, MIL just needed a few reminders....

    We always had a few distraction techniques ready to go, such as an old pram by the back door so that MIL could take DD for walks, a stack of toys out, all food/snacks made up etc

    There were some times when DD was clingy or upset but I am glad that I bit the bullet and did things this way as DD is now fairly easy going about being left with family/friends or few hour stints at daycare.

    Good luck!
    Hi, I totally agree with this. I went back to work 2 days per week when my DD was 8mo. She is a total Klingon! (Although we don't co-sleep). Before I went back to work she only had to so much as look at someone else and she would burst into tears!

    I agree with slowly building up time. My mum and my FIL do one day each with DD. They mind her at our house which I think makes it a lot easier on DD as the surroundings are familiar.

    My mum and FIL both spent a day with me and DD before I went back to work so I could show them how I feed, settle her etc. This really helped as I was there for them to ask any questions. I also wrote up a daily schedule with approximate times for eating, sleeping etc.

    it is now going really well, I am loving being back at work and I think it has been really good for DD. it has made our lives so much easier on weekends etc. too as we now have people who she is familiar with who can babysit her. Before me going back to work we couldn't go anywhere without her! It has also been really great to see her developing such a close bond with her grandparents.

    Totslly agree too with not making a big fuss over leaving or arriving home.
    Sorry for the long reply! I hope everything goes well for you
    Last edited by MillieMollyMandy; 26-06-2014 at 12:57.

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    calicocat  (26-06-2014)


 

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