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Nanny/AuPair 101

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12 years 9 months ago #47043 by tsunami
re: au pairs and live-in nannies

Hi all! Just want your input. I am going to be a 1st time mom in October. Is it required that au pairs and live-in nannies have their own rooms? I am in fellowship right now, and we live in a 2 BR condo. I'm expecting twins in October.

I have started looking into live-out nannies, and they are asking about $1000 a week to care for twin infants 55 hours/wk. (This is more than my fellow's salary) Going rate for nannies in my area is $15/hr for 1 child, so because I will have twin infants, its more work and they want to be paid more. In any case, I need to finish my training. my mother and my MIL (both who don't live nearby) feel that since I will be going back to fellowship soon after the babies are born, I will probably need help at night too. A live-in would be ideal, but we don't have an extra bedroom, and we can't really afford to buy another home right now, especially since my OB put me on bedrest at 21 wks and I have to be on UNPAID leave until I deliver.

I suppose an au pair would not work for me because we need more than 45 hours a week. I can't really say, "OK, I can't admit this patient right now. gotta go relieve my au pair" especially when I am in charge of the inpatient service.

My husband has made it clear that since he works full-time during the day, he needs his rest at night so that he can function at work, so he will not be helping. Can I take care of 2 newborns through the night and then work my normal 12 hr days and take call every 4th night? I cannot ask to cut down on my schedule because everyone takes turns covering the same service and they are already doing a favor by arranging my schedule so that I can take the time off for bedrest and maternity leave.

When do babies start sleeping through the night?

For those of you who had kids during your medical training, how did you finance childcare for your children when the nanny gets paid a significant amount more than your resident/fellow's salary? I suppose having 1 would have been easier because then, I could have just sent the 1 kid to daycare and hire a part-time nanny to pick up and watch kid until I get home. I only have another year to go once I get back to the training program from bed rest and maternity leave.

I suppose I can moonlight, but then I would never see my babies. I never thought 12 years ago that my decision to go to med school would make life so complicated. Even 7 years after graduating from medical school, I'm still in training earning peanuts to work long hours, and I can't find anyone to look after my children for more than 40 hr/wk without paying them more than I actually make.

How do people do it? I know as housestaff, we don't get paid much, but there are plenty of people in this country who earn less. How do they go to work and still have childcare? I suppose most people also don't have medical school loans that are as much as their mortgage.

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12 years 9 months ago #47044 by TLC
Most people also do not work the insane hours that physicians do, nor do they have q4d call.

On sleeping through the night...

My 7 month old has been sleeping through the night from day one. I have a busy schedule and the additional child really has not added much more chaos to my life. I'm away 6am - 6pm most days, longer some days for the summer (which is usually 6am - 10pm during the year) and I'm managing well.

However my 2 1/2 year old has just recently developed a rountine of sleeping through the night. Her first year I literary thought I would die of sleep depervation. :banghead: The first 2 months of her life she NEVER sleep more than 2 hours at a time, and neither did I.

If you are lucky enough that BOTH twins sleep through the night from the start, and neither have any health problems (horrible reflux, resp. problems, etc.) 12 hours day shifts may not be too hard. But the chances of that? I would plan for all the help you can get. Parenthood is a HUGE adjustment. Plus, post-partum depression alone could wear you down. You can always plan for lots of help, and then adjust the hours later. You will also want time with them. If you CAN afford it, there will probably be days that you will feel that your entire salary is worth 6 hours of sleep.

Congrats and good luck!

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12 years 9 months ago #47045 by Baby Einstein

Originally posted by tsunami:
My husband has made it clear that since he works full-time during the day, he needs his rest at night so that he can function at work, so he will not be helping. Can I take care of 2 newborns through the night and then work my normal 12 hr days and take call every 4th night?

Hello????!!! How is it any different for you? Why would YOU have to take care of them at night by yourself and then go to work? If you weren't going back to work, that would be a little different (maybe), but if you're working as well, he needs to participate in the nighttime duty equally. You are not going to be able to care for TWO newborns by yourself at night while working 12 hours in the day.

Rare are the babies who sleep through the night from day one. Very rare. You REALLY shouldn't count on it. If you get both babies to sleep through within 2-3 months, you should consider yourself very lucky. My son woke up every 2 hours for the first 2 months of his life, and then he would nurse for 40-45 minutes. So I only slept for 1h15mn at a time. I was exhausted, and that was with only one baby and I wasn't working.

I think you need to have a serious conversation with your husband... I don't think he realizes the amount of work caring for newborns will be. Can you have family come to help you for the first few months?

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12 years 9 months ago #47046 by AnnaM
Wow, you've really got a problem there. Some random thoughts:

When do babies sleep through the night? About half of them by 6 weeks of age, and most by 4 months. I was lucky (or maybe it's genetic--mom said we all slept through by 6 weeks). Mine all slept through by 6 weeks, but since twins are often born early, all bets are off. If at all possible, make sure you take at least 6 weeks of maternity leave postpartum. It's quite likely the babies will be born by c-section, and either way you will NOT feel ready to work long hours any earlier than that. See if you can get a relative (mother, MIL, or ANYONE) to come and stay after the birth for at least awhile.

Bedroom space: To begin with, babies do not need their own room. My parents raised 7 of us in a 3-bedroom house. The most recent baby slept in a corner of the hallway, behind a tri-fold screen. If your room is big enough, you could put them in a corner of your room. (My parents' room was barely big enough for a dresser and a bed.) That would free up a room for a live-in. Can you find a student who wants free room and board in exchange for being home on the nights you are on call? That's what we did when my husband took a job out of town that was supposed to last 6 weeks and lasted 18 months instead.

Husbands: I don't know your husband and I don't mean to be critical, but I think he's being unreasonable to say that he needs his sleep at night because he has to work the next day. When you go back to your fellowship, you will be working during the day AND night. What does your husband think about your need for sleep then? Twins require a LOT of time from BOTH parents.

Good luck to you. I know it all seems impossible from where you are right now (bored and bedrested with nothing to do with your time except worry), but it WILL work out somehow.

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12 years 9 months ago #47047 by TLC
I could not agree more with the previous poster about the bedrooms. Both of my kids are still in our bedroom, and our bed to be exact. We put the crib in our room, b/c even if my 7 month old did sleep in the crib instead of our bed I would still want him in the room with us. Otherwise I would be getting out of bed every hour to check on him. I can't speak for twins, but it was so nice to be able to have my infants in the bed with me, and to nurse and fall right back to sleep. There rooms are nothing more than decoration. In retro I would much rather have 4 people in my room and have help then to have a cute nursery.

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12 years 9 months ago #47048 by berkleyite
you guys are talking alot about APs and I like the price more than US nannies but i would like to hear about live out nannies also. i don't think that we want anyone livinig with us. If you've had a live out nanny did you use a nanny service? What have your experiences been with live out nannies?

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