Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Project Babysitter

I was always going to be an independent mum. I coud never understand those mums that wouldn't leave their babies with a sitter to have a night out, or shock horror, a weekend away! Fast forward six months and here I am, a mummy who has only left her babies in the care of someone other than myself and Young Daddy for about two hours. How did this happen?! Obviously it's a bit more difficult when there are two babies involved, as I think this is pretty intimidating for a lot of prospective sitters. But I do feel like a bit of a control freak about the whole thing - convinced that only Young Daddy and I are up to the challenge.

With a big birthday coming up in about seven weeks' time, I have realised that we need to take action now to get these babies babysitter-ready so that we can stay out past 11pm. The first main challenge to Project Babysitter is that Miss E and Mr A still have to be fully swaddled to go to sleep. They've almost outgrown their swaddle blankets, and get themselves unswaddled every night (eventually). We have fine-tuned our swaddling technique to address this, but I don't think anyone else would be brave enough to swaddle as tightly as we do.

The second big hurdle is Miss E. Miss E is a little madam extraordinaire, who only likes me to give her her bottle at 11pm. Now this could be because I breastfeed her all day so she can't get her head round being fed by anyone else, but I suspect it's more about her asserting her own character. We've had mixed success with Young Daddy feeding her, and have never attempted to get anyone else to feed her. So if we want to be out past 11pm we're going to have to solve this, and I guess the only way is to get some guest feeders in to give it a go so she gets used to the idea of someone else doing the job.

When I wrote my last post about swaddling, Sabina at Mummy Matters gave me some top tips about getting the babies to go to sleep in Gro-bags. She suggested swaddling them with one arm free for their daytime naps, then progressing to both arms free for daytime naps and then to the Gro-bag. So I'm going for it this week and have had mixed results so far. Yesterday they napped well with one arm free, but today they had a meltdown. I'll stick with it though, as I'm determined to get the job done...


  1. I happily leave my children with any of my family - including over night - but they don't live near us so it doesn't happen often.

    But I'm not at all good about leaving my children with a babysitter, even if it is a friend. It's not really because I worry about them but because I find it such a stress to sort out and get everything ready for.

    But my experience from when I have left my children with babysitters was always that they were so much easier and better behaved for the babysitter than they ever were for me! It was more with Freyja when she was a baby that I would do it, but I would usually worry all night while I was out and then come home to find she hadn't made a peep!

    Good luck!

  2. Ahhhh swaddling! The ONLY way to get them to sleep in the same cot - Jasper became quite the Houdini in the end. We swapped ours to gro-bags as soon as we separated them, with no problems at all.

    Reading your 'favourite things' posts I can't believe how similar ours are. Perhaps it's a boy/girl thing?

    Good luck with the babysitter prep :) x

  3. Oh, you know how I feel on the subject. I never swaddled mine so I can't give you any advice on that one. The only thing I know is that sleeping bags (I don't call them Gro-Bags because I never had a genuine Grobag) are great! I used to have them brought from France 7 years ago when I had my first one because you couldn't find them here! Good luck with the search!

  4. I'm definitely not use and can't offer any advice whatsoever! Being very unmaternal even when Amy was born, I went through a phase where I wouldn't leave her with anyone, even my mum. It's hard isn't it, but there does come a time when you have to do it, for their sake as much as your own.

    CJ xx

  5. I was a mother's help for twin newborns when I was 16/17. Getting used to them is not as hard as you think and they will react differently to another care giver. Having said that, I've never left my two mostly because we've never needed to. The 11 o'clock feed might not be necessary a couple of months down the line either.

  6. You are only in London, I'll come and babysit for you - used to twins - tick, has a little madam of her own - tick! swaddled tightly - tick! lol Mich x

  7. Thanks all. Today was a good nap day, so we'll get there in the end.

    RebaMc - every time I read your blog I think how similar yours sound to mine! Could be a boy/girl thing, and they're only 11/12 days apart age-wise too...

    Kat - I'm sure someone else would cope admirably - I need to toughen up and brave it. We're going to start weaning in less than a month so you're right, the 11pm feed might not be around for that much longer...

    Bless you Mich! Will send out a smoke signal/flare/SOS if needed!

  8. I had an au pair (from Cultural Care) as an assistant for helping me cope with the long nights and hours of being a mom. We developed a relationship and then and only then, could I trust someone else to take care of my children. I have multiples and before my au pair, I did not have an ounce of energy left! I only know of my local person in San Diego but you can talk to her if you need help. She has a website so I'll just leave it at that. http://ksix.aupairnews.com

  9. Re swaddling, my daughter was absolutely addicted to it, and we just went cold turkey at 7 months when she was fighting her way out of it so often it had ceased to really help. We just put her down with the swaddle loosely around her middle for a couple of nights and gave her a muslin to hold. She fussed and fussed but eventually went down after lots of cuddles. After 4 nights of this she was fine going down in a grobag. I think if you're ready for a few nights of pain, it will be fine.

  10. Good advice Thalia, thank you. I know we just need to brave it and face the nights of pain. If only I could stock up on some sleep first....


Thanks a lot, I love getting your comments!


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