Childcare: Who Will Watch the Baby?

One of the biggest dilemmas facing new parents is: WHO will take care of our precious new baby when we return to work?! Which is why expectant parents need to be researching, interviewing, having field trips to childcare centers before the baby is born. One the baby has arrived, new family households are extremely busy while adjusting to parenthood.

This is why we underscore: utilize the time before the baby comes to identify just the right childcare situation for your family. In order to return to work, be productive on the job, and have your mind at ease, you must start during the pregnancy, as there will be a lot of unexpected questions and decisions to be made.

A few tips to help make the decision on WHO will care for your baby when you return to work:

  • Treat childcare research as if you were looking for your dream assistant: reliable, loyal, well groomed, trust-worthy, dependable, and able to have wide-open communication.
  • Even after you have chosen care that seems just right, you’ll still worry and feel anxious for the first several weeks. After all, that’s your baby! Plan to drop in unannounced to get an uncensored view of the childcare setting.
  • A family member may be heaven-sent – or not! Be sure that the arrangement works for everyone and that emotions are not stirred because you’re related.
  • Consider decreasing stress by leaving some of your baby’s gear with the childcare provider vs. lugging all your baby’s gear every trip.
  • Provide the daycare or sitter with everything they need: detailed instructions about your child’s habits and preferences, your wishes, and any pertinent medical information. It also includes any products your baby needs to eat, sleep and play.
  • Safety first! Where will the baby be napping? The sleep environment should work to reduce the risk of SIDS as much as possible and keep your baby secure and safe. If you use a special swaddle, white noise machine, or your Slumber Sleeper, leave one with the sitter so you know it’s always ready.
  • There’s a lot of misinformation out there about sleep accidents, so be sure to make your point very Tell the sitter or daycare how you expect your baby to sleep all the time.

Whatever childcare situation you have arranged, from nanny share, au pair, or childcare center: the people/person you charge with caring for your baby is now an extension of your family. This needs to be a trusted and respected working relationship that includes lots of appreciation and acknowledgment for caring for your prized possession in your absence.

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Labor & Delivery nurse, childbirth educator, author, mom of two, and triathlete!

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