Help..I don't want 84yr. grandma to watch my baby — The Bump
Special Needs

Help..I don't want 84yr. grandma to watch my baby

I'm so worried about my husbands 84 year old grandma watching our preemie. She's in ok health and is so excited to watch him when I go back to work in March. But what really scared me is when I had her take a CPR class with me the NICU nurse suggested us taking a small CPR class.We took the class together and she couldn't even do CPR because of her arthritis!!! Even the nurse made a commit to me when grandma was in the other room. The nurse asked if grandma was going to watch my son. I told her yes. Then she had this worried look on her face and said that she's going to have a problem doing CPR on my son if anything happens. I was so scared after that. My husband and I had agreed when I was pregnant to have great grandma baby sit my son when he was born. She's the only closest relative that will be able to. that Cody was born at 30 weeks with kidney problems and he will be on dialysis 10 hours a day for 3 years, I'm having nightmares of ANYONE watching him now. I'm now looking into quiting my job, but haven't told my husband yet. I heard that I may be able to collect social security for my son and other assistance while I take care of him. Now I have to talk to my hubby about this (which I'm sure he'll be worried if I'm not working) and break the news to great grandma. Do you think I may be over reacting?? I need opinions please :)

Re: Help..I don't want 84yr. grandma to watch my baby

  • You're not overreacting at all.  I think it would be way too much for anyone that age to take care of a young infant, much less an infant with special needs.  Your son may be eligible for a form of social security called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, but I believe it will depend on how much income your family makes.  I'm posting a link to the Social Security Administration's website so you can check to see if your family is eligible to receive these benefits:



  • I would be concerned with someone that age taking care of an infant, especially an infant with real medical needs.  I definitely think you need to voice your concerns to your husband ASAP.  You'll have to delicately break this to great grandma.  She may be hurt.
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  • I don't think you are over reacting at all. While she is excited to watch your son at 84 years of age, she has needs too. When I say that I mean that I am 30 and EXHAUSTED. There are days that I wonder how I am going to make it through.

    After Cash was born I quit working and diagnosed I quit working. He needs round the clock care and is vent dependent while sleeping. I wish income wise that I still worked things are hard and alot if adjustments have been made, bt we are doing it. Cody more than likely will get nursing coverage, that's if you find a nurse that you and DH are comfortable with and can work the hours that you need. This may enable you to work PT. We receive SSI for Cash but it does not cover what I made, but it helps, every little bit helps.

    If you want you can email me. I know that nanakaz is from CA so she may be able to help you with state laws better than I could, but apply for SSI now and have the NICU social worker help you to have nursing set up before you go home. It's stressful, but they are there to help. My email is [email protected]

  • Have you thought about getting a mother's helper? Basically a teenager (during school vacations) ?or college student who would be able to do the "work" and let your gran enjoy the time tgoether, Also if they had CPR training then it really wouldn't matter if she didn't.?

    I totally see where you're coming from and it might be tricky being diplomatic if she's adamant she can cope, but it could get you peace of mind and wouldn't cost anything like a nanny.

    I looked into it for us because my Gran also wanted to mind DS when we moved back near her, but he was already a toddler and obviously beyond her ability to run after him. It didn't work out because she got cancer 6 months before we moved so she is now far too sick to mind him. But I thought it was a viable idea.

    I would trust a relative a million more times with most aspects of minding a child. You hear these terrible stories of babysitters neglect and carelessness and I know that no relative would ever be like that, but they aren't always as physically able as a sitter. So both is a really nice combo.


  • image-auntie-:

    I had a false sense of security with family, but it was random kids from the neighborhood and friend's kids who turned out to be better for DS.

    OK OK I should have said "sane, law-abiding family". In all fairness I'll say you have just as much chance of hiring a sitter ?who did that.?

    I don't think that's what the OP is worried about. Or what I worried about with my Gran.

    On the other hand my Gran could be totally lying I guess. She doesn't have cancer and she's in a wheelchair due to gangland violence? Hmmmm...?

  • I don?t think you are overreacting at all.   I would also be very worried if I were in your situation.   I really feel for you and I hope that you and your DH will be able to figure out a solution for your predicament, while also not hurting grandma?s feelings too much.  

    A PP mentioned a mother?s helper, and that is actually not a terrible idea.  You could hire a mother?s helper to do most of the physical tasks that grandma may not be able to handle, and grandma could be around to supervise, in a way.  

    Is there any way you can extend your leave from work so that you have more time to figure this all out?  If you do hire someone to watch your son, make sure you have enough time off so you could train the person and also get a sense of how good of a caretaker he/she will be with your son.  If there is a way that you could SAH with your DS, that would be great, but it?s not always possible.  I hope it will be a possibility for you.

    Good luck to you and I will definitely keep you in my prayers.  These are hard decisions to make.  Hang in there and let us know how things are going.

  • Is there anyway you could check in on her at the get go to ease your mind? I would see if she can pick him up and up him down since she has arthitits. Babies get heavy fast.?

    Hope everything works out for you.?

  • PMQ on the other hand I WAS a special needs child raised nearly entirely by my grandparents (and both had health issues). Also some things are relevant for all parents.
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