If you're an older mum-to-be and this will be your first baby, here are some suggestions to remember.
Consider getting at-home childcare help until your baby is ready for daycare
Even if you won't be working for many months after having your baby (or won't be returning to work at all), you should still consider hiring either an au pair or a nanny to help you out during the first year or so, before your child is old enough for daycare.
Whilst there are many great things about being an older mum (for example, you have lots of life experience that can enhance your parenting skills and are probably in a better financial position than many younger mums), there are downsides, too. For instance, you may be less energetic than younger mums and might, therefore, find being woken by your newborn every night to be very tough. If you end up with any of the complications that are more common in older pregnant mothers (such as problems during labour), it may take you a little longer to recover after the birth as well.
Having a child-care professional in your home could be hugely helpful, as they can take care of your newborn for a few hours during the day and let you catch up on the sleep you missed out on the previous night when feeding your baby, or allow you to do some pampering that will help you to feel less psychologically drained. Getting enough rest could also aid your postpartum recovery.
Start looking at childcare facilities now
As an older mum-to-be, you might not want or be able to have more children after this one. As such, your child won't have siblings in their home to socialise with. Because of this, daycare will be particularly important for them, as it will allow them to socialise regularly.
If, like many mums, you won't be putting your child into daycare until they're at least a year old, then you might think that you have lots of time to select one. However, it would be wise to start visiting daycare facilities' websites and looking at other parents' reviews of these facilities now, before you've had the baby.
The top daycare facilities can get booked up very quickly. Whilst you might think you'll have all the time in the world to select one after you have had your baby, the reality is that even with the help of an au pair or nanny, you'll be frazzled, fatigued and busy, and you'll probably keep putting the task of finding, visiting and booking a spot at a daycare facility on the backburner. This might result in you not being able to find a daycare that you feel happy with and you may need to compromise and pick one that you don't think is ideal for your child. Given this, it's best to start looking now, when you do not yet have any childcare responsibilities.
For more information, reach out to local childcare centres.
We have the trickiest time finding childcare for our baby, as we both do shift work. My husband is a police officer, and I'm a doctor, so we always seem to struggling to get someone to look after our son when we are at work at nights. We want to know that he is being loved and cared for even when we are not there. Luckily we have a great childcare service that is flexible, and sometimes we can leave our son longer if we need to work later or if emergencies arise. This blog is about juggling childcare for shift workers.