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Thread: 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

    Hi everyone!

    I haven't posted for awhile. Things have been going well.

    I have recently decided that I really want to become a doula, so I've started on the certification requirements. In November I will be at a training workshop an hour from home, which goes from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM for 4 days in a row. I'm a full-time SAHM, so we don't have daycare or anything, but it's over a weekend (Friday to Monday), and my husband is willing to take the two workdays off and watch the kids for the 4 days.

    I'm not worried about the 4-year-old at all. But baby will be 16 months old at that point, and so far we haven't had too much luck with her being happy with Daddy, even for a few hours. It's odd - it seems to depend on a lot of things, but sometimes she'll be fine if I go out for 3 hours and she'll go to sleep for bedtime with him carrying her in the Ergo, but sometimes she'll fuss and cry almost the whole time I'm gone (up to about an hour and 10 minutes apparently). That breaks my heart - she is just so attached to ME (which is an obvious consequence of how I have mothered her thus far, I think). But I really do want to do this, so I'm just looking for tips on how to kind of prepare her for it. I don't want it to be a big trauma for her if I can avoid that.

    It is an hour from our place, but a family member lives 5 minutes from the workshop and would let hubby and kids have her place as a home base for those 4 days. She can come to me any time really, as they're obviously very baby-friendly! But there are 3 actual breaks that my husband would probably bring her to me to nurse during. The lunch break is even an hour long, so I could get a bit of time with her. My husband wonders though if it would be better for them just to stay home (I would then have to hand-express during breaks because I'm prone to plugged ducts, but I'm not worried about the logistics of that). He thinks perhaps it would be less traumatic for her that way because she would be in familiar surroundings plus she wouldn't be taken away from me 4 times every day. Thoughts? She has never gone that long without nursing, but she eats lots of food and drinks water and almond milk, and I know she wouldn't be *hungry,* she would just miss her neenee. I don't know if she'd take or want a bottle of breastmilk - haven't tried since she was 6 weeks old.

    And THEN, after the workshop, with any luck there will be births to attend! At random unexpected times! Which may be very long!

    I know there are lots of similar threads about this kind of thing, but to be honest I never paid much attention because I thought I'd just stay home with her until she was older anyway. But I'm realizing how important this doula thing is to me, so I do want to get started on it. I'm not going to want a ton of clients, I just want to do it because I love it, but I do want it to be very part-time, perhaps one client at a time. It's just the length and unexpectedness of births that might be hard for baby I guess. Thoughts and ideas?

    Thanks so much for reading my long post!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

    Hi satin.mama! I guess one question I have is, when you say she is not happy with daddy, is that when you are around? Have you tried leaving your LO with daddy when you're NOT around? Because I think if you are around, she's going to prefer you, and that's normal (I work outside the home, so my 17-month-old LO is used to having other caregivers, but when I'm home she's glued to me!) So one idea would be to do some test-drives where you go out for a few hours and leave little one home with daddy, and see how that goes.

    In terms of taking the family or not to the training - I see DH's point about familiar surroundings, but another argument could be that maybe in familiar surroundings, LO will have a greater expectation for you to be there. Whereas in new surroundings, she'll be excited by the novelty and maybe that will distract her from the fact that she is not with you all day long. In terms of whether she should go back and forth to see you during the day, versus seeing you only in the morning/evening/night - I think that depends. If you think it's going to be a major tantrum if he brings her to you and then takes her away again, then maybe not. But if it gives her a chance to "recharge" with mommy, then consider.

    I wouldn't worry about her not nursing during the day. Most work-outside-the-home moms stop giving their toddlers breastmilk at around a year and just nurse mornings/evenings/nights. I don't think you have to worry about bottles of breastmilk. But I definitely agree with your plan to hand express if you get full.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

    i think that since dad is the one who's going to be caring for her most of the time, you should defer to him on what he thinks will be best. even if she fusses for him some, they will fall into a routine, and i think it's important for dads to have say in how their interactions with babies go, rather than always deferring to moms. i try to do this - especially since my DH is a SAHD - but it's hard! but worth it because even if he didn't end up making the best/easiest choice, it was HIS choice and thus HIS responsibility to figure it out when i was gone. and they've always done fine. and yours will too! have fun at the training!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

    Thank you both! She is usually unhappy with Daddy both when I am there and when I'm out, but I think it's worse when I'm there! Apparently she does look for me when I'm not home, and is sad that she can't find me. However, today she went 7 hours without nursing (!) - I just never offered because I am in some pain with an open sore on my nipple, and she never asked. One time I got too full and had to express some, which I put in a cup and she drank at snack time. But it didn't seem to make her remember that she wanted to nurse or anything! So I guess if that is possible for her, I know she'll be OK as far as not nursing. It's just that she will miss me. But thank you for the tips. I think you're right auderey, and I should let my husband decide where to have the kids and just let them figure it out together. If she can go 7 hours without nursing, I'm sure she can go 10.5 or so. I think. Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: 4-day workshop when baby is 16 months old

    At 18 months mine usually are better about staying with daddy more. So she may be ok by then.

    I have to agree about different place though may be the trick.

    I took a workshop for 3 days when my DS was 9 months. (I'm a SAHM too) now this workshop was only like 3 hours a day though. But, still at 9 months I was worried. Day 1 DH brought him to the workshop with me and it was awful. Day 2 and 3 I left him at my mom's (only about 5 minutes from the workshop) and my mom said he did just fine there! No crying, no upset. (he cried the whole time at the workshop and wanted to nurse the whole time he was there!). So knowing you aren't there, and being in a different place may just be the trick. My DS up to that point had never been to grandma's by himself!

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