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RoseRed135

The NEW Tips for Grandparent/Relative Caregivers & Babysitters

23 posts in this topic

Starting a new thread of tips/advice for GP/relative babysitters and "nannies." Please feel free to ask any questions or give your advice below. You might also want to respond to the (old) GP.com article about babysitting GC/relative kids: http://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/caring-for-children/10-ways-to-be-the-best-babysitter

Edited by RoseRed135
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@newsun - Welcome! Unfortunately, your post had to be removed. I've sent you a PM (personal/private message). To find it, just click on the Messenger button w/ the envelope on it in the upper right corner. Thank you.

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Here are some of what I think are the most important tips for those watching their GC  (or other relative kids), whether as the frequent caregiver or occasional babysitter, etc ( these all happen to be at least touched on in the article, too, in one way or another):

1. Emergency Phone Numbers - Make sure you have a list of emergency phone numbers, as suggested in the article - pediatrician, a friend or neighbor who can help out in a crisis, etc. Often parents will give you (general) these the first time you watch their kids. But if not - or if you've babysat before but lost the list - please ask. Also, it's a good idea, IMO, to check for updates of these as the kids get older.

2.  Food Allergies, Etc. - Chances are, you already know about any food allergies, etc., your GC have. If not, the parents will probably tell you, especially if you're watching the kids at your house (b/c, most likely, they don't keep the allergens at theirs). But if there's any doubt, again, please ask. And while it may seem like a no-brainer that you would adhere to what the parents say about such allergies, now and then, GPs/relatives have been known to pooh-pooh allergies they never heard of before or to treat them less seriously, thinking it "won't hurt" if their GC has "just one peanut" or whatever the offending food is - often leading to disastrous results! So please follow the parents instructions about food allergies (or any allergies, for that matter) exactly.

3. Rules & Routines -  The article recommends that you find out the parents' rules (if you don't know them already), check w/ them to see which ones are "non-negotiable" and feel free to bend the rest. However, for some parents are more lenient about this than others. IOWs, while some don't mind if you give their kids an extra snack or let them stay up a little past their bedtime, for others, there are no "negotiable" rules/rules you can break/bend. Also, IMO, the more frequently you watch the kids, the more important it is for you to stick to parental rules. It may be ok for a visiting GM to let the kids watch "just one more TV show" if she's babysitting them one night during her visit (and if the parents are cool w/ this). But if you watch your GC/relative kids every day after school, breaking/bending rules can cause some serious problems for their family.

I would add that it's also important to follow their regular routines.. (Some of this overlaps w/ rules.) IOWs, if the parents tell you they eat dinner at 6, have them eat at that same time when you're watching them, barring extenuating circumstances. Again, if  you would like to bend this/that routine a little, I suggest you check w/ the parents first.

4. Special Toys, Books, Treats -  GP/relative babysitters/caregivers often have a few toys or books at their home if that's where they watch the kids. Those who are watching them at their (the kids'/parents') house sometimes bring "a bag of tricks" w/ them, as described in the article. It's great, IMO, to have some items that the kids look forward to enjoying  when GM (or GF or aunt, etc) comes to babysit. Makes it easier on all when parents are leaving, etc.

Once again, however, I believe it's a good idea to check w/ parents to make sure you're not providing any toys they don't want their kids to play w/ or don't think they're ready for. And, of course, make sure that any "treats" pass parental muster. Also, some parents (and no surprise, some kids) have a problem w/ you're taking home w/ you a book or toy that a child really enjoyed. So, IMO, you should be prepared to leave one or two w/ the grands. Same w/ toys/books you keep at your home - I suggest being ready to let your grands take certain items home when they leave.

Thoughts? Other tips?

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Its nice! Senior care is so much important but its not an easy thing.so i get some tips from a daycare website. it will be helpful.Give me your suggestions too.

Edited by RoseRed135
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Welcome New Member! Glad you decided to come in and talk w/ us!

If those are your actual first and last names in your username, we recommend that you change your username for greater privacy. To find out how to do so, please see the following thread in the MIL Anon forum:

Also, I'm sending you a PM (private/personal message). To find it, just click on the Messenger button w/ the envelope on it in the upper right corner of this page. Thank you. :)

Edited by RoseRed135
to fix link

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Good tips. I disagree with giving up GP toys. I wouldn't encourage the gimmees. 

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I need some advice… 1st time gm I'm daycare for my daughter due to financial situation. She works in a bakery and her hours can range from 6am - 10pm. In 8 to 9 hour shifts and the bakery is open seven days a week.I have been doing this for the past 3 months and have requested multiple times she talk to her employer about some kind of a regular shift. I will be with the baby until she goes to bed and my daughter get home after 10 and then the next morning the baby wakes up to me because my daughter starts at 6am. I love seeing my gd and spending all this time with her but I'm pooped. When I bring it up my daughter and I fight. I don't know what to do.

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Welcome Nona. 

Are you saying your daughter works 6 am to 10pm, seven days a week?

On the days she doesn't work, are you still expected to watch the baby so you never get a chance to rest or do your errands?

 

Edited by SueSTx
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Nona, when you and your daughter fight what do you fight about?

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SueSTx: Thank you for reading… No she can work an 8 - 9 hour shift within those time frames. For example Mon 6 - 3:30 Tues 1pm - 9:30 Wed 6a -3:30. 

Komoerbi ty as well. Well mainly two topics. I agreed to part time hours and I'm over at her house between 38 - 45 hours per week. It's not good the baby doesn't have a set schedule as she fights going down at night. Sometimes I add that I'm old and can't do the whole get home after 10:30 and be up by 4:30am to return the next day for her to be at work. 

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Nona,

im sorry this is happening. You need to set boundaries with your daughter and stand by them. Let her know the general hours per week and time frame when you can be available to her and that's it.

also, I've had a job like your daughters and oftent he employer is entirely unwilling to give set, regular schedules to hourly employees bc its more work and most states don't force them to do it. I'm sure she is entirely overwhelmed and hates this arrangement too. I'm sure she'd much rather be with her baby on a consistent schedule than work those kinds of insanely shifting hours. It sounds like baby's dad is not helping, so she must feel really overwhelmed.

Next time you discuss it, maybe start with asking her how she feels about things. Is she happy in her job? Does she feel like she can't find something better? Can you help her with that, somehow? 

Even just listening will help diffuse the situation and then it will be easier to set your bundaries. 

 

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3 hours ago, Nonamoma said:

SueSTx: Thank you for reading… No she can work an 8 - 9 hour shift within those time frames. For example Mon 6 - 3:30 Tues 1pm - 9:30 Wed 6a -3:30. 

Komoerbi ty as well. Well mainly two topics. I agreed to part time hours and I'm over at her house between 38 - 45 hours per week. It's not good the baby doesn't have a set schedule as she fights going down at night. Sometimes I add that I'm old and can't do the whole get home after 10:30 and be up by 4:30am to return the next day for her to be at work. 

You're welcome- So mutual agreement to part time hours, no set schedule for the baby and your age and energy level- I won't prioritize these issues, but perhaps you can pick which first needs to be addressed before tackling the next- But I will say that if you can afford your place and your daughter can afford hers then an alternate babysitter can also be paid for by either of you or both of you if together you and she can reach an agreement on that matter- By doing so she can continue to work without having to give up her hours and you can get some much needed rest-

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Nona, have you or your daughter checked to see if there is any assistance for child care expenses in your county/state?  Your local DSS might be a good place to start.  They'd be able to help with seeing if she qualifies and directing her toward child care providers who accept it.  Even if she can't find someone to cover the whole amount of time she needs, she could probably find someone to take the child part of the time and you could fill in with the rest.  It could help to ease some of the burden you've taken on.   

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I might be wrong, but I think that part of the problem is the erratic hours that Mom has.  And the inability to have set work hours.  In this area, day care providors charge a set amount, and you pay that whether or not the child is there.  So, if Mom's hours change by the day/week, they probably wouldn't be able to find someone that would agree to that.  I do believe that some areas have drop in day care, which might work, but that is probably also more expensive?

The ideal thing would seem to be to have someone to share the child care with Nona, but from what she is describing, it might be tough to find that person, even if they can afford to pay for it.

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Maybe a "mothers helper" a couple of mornings or afternoons a week.  Sometime students are willing to work 3 or 4 hours at a time in between classes etc.  Just plan on using them whether or not the daughter/mom is working or not that particular day to keep your slot open.

My daughter did this one summer when neighbors with small children wanted to do yard work or go shopping without worrying about their kids.

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2 hours ago, Debs53 said:

I might be wrong, but I think that part of the problem is the erratic hours that Mom has.  And the inability to have set work hours.  In this area, day care providors charge a set amount, and you pay that whether or not the child is there.  So, if Mom's hours change by the day/week, they probably wouldn't be able to find someone that would agree to that.  I do believe that some areas have drop in day care, which might work, but that is probably also more expensive?

The ideal thing would seem to be to have someone to share the child care with Nona, but from what she is describing, it might be tough to find that person, even if they can afford to pay for it.

That, and as someone that worked in health care, finding a sitter to do anything but a reg dayshift is very, VERY difficult.

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Love the "mother's helper" idea....

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Debs & Imp do make good points.  It is difficult to find childcare providers after "traditional" hours (after 6pm).  

However, IME in the childcare field, many folks do work swing shifts and are able to make it work by using a full-time child care slot and having family or friends fill in on the hours the caregiver isn't available.  

Using the hours Nona gave as an example, 6am-3:30 Mon & Wed & 1-9:30 on Tuesday, a caregiver offering hours of 7-5 could help.  Nona's daughter could drop off the child at Nona's on her way to work Mon & Wed and Nona can bring the child to daycare when it opens and daughter can pick up child on her way home.  On Wed, daughter can drop child off at daycare on her way in to work and Nona can pick the child up at 5.  Even with a changing schedule from week to week, it could still work. It requires lots of communication with the caregivers, whether they are hired or family, but it can still work.  I've seen it happen.  

The biggest challenge I can see would be finding placement for the child.  Since Nona said the child was a "baby", I'm assuming the child is under 2.  Most caregivers (in my area anyway) are legally limited to how many children under the age of 2 they can take at a time. 

Edited by LilMommy
spelling correction..dang auto correct

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 9:08 PM, Nonamoma said:

I need some advice… 1st time gm I'm daycare for my daughter due to financial situation. She works in a bakery and her hours can range from 6am - 10pm. In 8 to 9 hour shifts and the bakery is open seven days a week.I have been doing this for the past 3 months and have requested multiple times she talk to her employer about some kind of a regular shift. I will be with the baby until she goes to bed and my daughter get home after 10 and then the next morning the baby wakes up to me because my daughter starts at 6am. I love seeing my gd and spending all this time with her but I'm pooped. When I bring it up my daughter and I fight. I don't know what to do.

Hi Nona! And congrats on being a 1st time GM!

I so know where you're coming from. I've been the "granny nanny" for my DD's (dear daughter's) children since the first one was born, and for a few years her hours were very erratic. It's not easy, I know, believe me! And I also know it can be very hard to find anyone else to fill in. My sympathies are w/ you.

IMO, PPs (previous posters) gave you excellent advice. At this point, I think you need to stop going over w/ your DD the reasons why you would like her to try to get a regular shift. She knows them - but as PPs have pointed out, she may simply not be able to get her employer to make this change. What you two need to focus on, IMO, is whether not it's possible to find/pay for additional/supplementary childcare for the hours you would rather not be doing it.

Also, I want to let you know that there is a "light at the end of the tunnel," so to speak. For one thing, sometimes, things change on their own. In my case, for example,  DD now goes to school but still works PT (part time), so her hours are better but still somewhat inconsistent. For another, kids get older, go to preschool and then school, etc. Using my situation as an example again , my DGC (dear grandchildren) are now in full day school during the year and in full day camp, most of the summer. So my hours are a lot better.

So, I agree w/ those who say to talk to DD about the possibilities, if any, of arranging for additional childcare. But don't let the conversation escalate, if it gets heated, and please be patient... things will not always be this way...

On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 10:05 AM, Nonamoma said:

SueSTx: Thank you for reading… No she can work an 8 - 9 hour shift within those time frames. For example Mon 6 - 3:30 Tues 1pm - 9:30 Wed 6a -3:30. 

Komoerbi ty as well. Well mainly two topics. I agreed to part time hours and I'm over at her house between 38 - 45 hours per week. It's not good the baby doesn't have a set schedule as she fights going down at night. Sometimes I add that I'm old and can't do the whole get home after 10:30 and be up by 4:30am to return the next day for her to be at work. 

 

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Copied and pasted from the Member Questions Forum where it was posted by error:

grandmabarb1212

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Do you ever have trouble unbuckling your grandkid's car seat?? That button is so hard to push! I have arthritis in my thumbs, so pushing with the right about of pressure to open is hard for me. Wish there was a solution. Anyone else have any tips?

Edited by RoseRed135

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@grandmabarb1212 - Hi again! Glad you found where I moved your question! No doubt, some carseats can be difficult to unlock! That's probably for extra safety (so the child doesn't manage to unlock it), but... grrr! My DGC (dear grandchildren) are in booster seats now, so just using the car's strap thankfully. But I recall that their carseats were, sometimes, hard to open, one kid's more than the other, for some reason.

Hopefully, someone here will have a suggestion to make it easier. Meanwhile, I'm wondering when and how often you drive your GC and if it can be avoided. Do you just drive them to and from their parents when you babysit? Or are you dropping the off at and/or picking them up from school or extracurricular activities (IDK how old your GC is)? Or taking them w/ you on errands when you watch them? Or taking your lucky GC on special outings?

I'm asking b/c in some of these cases, your driving might be avoided, thus solving the problem that way. In others, of course, it's not that simple.

Hope to hear back from you soon!

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I had trouble with the carseat my DGD has. The button was hard to push and I almost got a pair of plyers out to squeese the button but then it worked for me. Do you have a set of plyers? Maybe get a pair if you don't and try that. 

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bump

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