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Leaving Your Baby in the Care of Others

Most parents, at least at some point in their baby’s life, will find that they need to leave their infant with someone else. Whether it’s a temporary need or a long-term arrangement, it’s important that you make the right decision for your child’s wellbeing.

Temporary or one-off childcare favours can come in the form of a friend or relative. Long-term childcare services however, would probably involve a childcare provider that has a small business in his/her home or, a childcare center where there are a lot of children, a large facility and many employees. Sometimes, a relative such as a grandparent or aunt may also be a long-term childcare provider.

Many parents worry about leaving their baby alone with someone else, especially when it is someone they do not know very well. The best way to be sure you have selected the right person to care for your baby is to get to know them well. Find out how much experience they have caring for children of different ages, such as:

  • How well do they handle stress, particularly stress from a crying baby?
  • Are they known to provide adequate childcare?

You want to be sure you are making the best decision for your baby by selecting someone who can attend to the needs of your child and not panic in stressful situations.

Childcare centers

Childcare centers are generally establishments with professionally trained staff. The venue is mostly large and roomy with child-care facilities. There will be a number of staff at hand to help with stressful situations, like an inconsolable crying baby.

Also, childcare centers have a number of staff, which means opportunities for abuse and/or neglect are very unlikely.

The downside of large childcare centers however, is the fact that it may be difficult for a child to thrive emotionally, especially on bonding with any of the care providers, because caregivers may work on rotation. On that same note, it’s not easy to find a childcare center willing to accommodate parent’s needs when it comes to the emotional development of their children.

Small childcare centers are also an option. They are usually set up in an individual’s home and offer smaller groups sizes which may be desirable for some infants, because it permits them more one on one interaction with the care provider. The homely settings of many smaller care facilities can help a baby or toddler feel more safe and comfortable.

As these kind of smaller centers carry a more ‘personal’ service, it also provides you more opportunities to be selective with who you choose to take care of your precious child.

Sometimes though, the ratio of children to caregivers may be higher than what is desirable. It can be very difficult for one person to provide adequate care for six to eight little children! Hence, it’s important to take this into consideration too and ensure that there is a good balance of younger and older children in the group.

Another fact to keep in mind is that there is a possibility that the provider might take on additional workload in the form of more kids. If the small center currently has only two infants, but decides later on to take on an additional three, it could become difficult for your child to receive the care that was promised. Hence, do inquire if she has any intention of doing so and request that you be informed of this earlier in all fairness so that you can explore other options.

On top of it all, providers running a small care center don’t usually have the option of handing off a child or baby who is frustrating them to someone else, so it is important to make sure you select someone who has a long fuse and can handle stress well.

The nanny @ home

In many households, a sitter is hired to look after a child in the hirer’s own home. The great thing about this arrangement is that your little one gets the full attention of a trusted adult, for it is highly likely that you already have a good relationship with this person. It could be a parent, grandparent, sibling, or a good friend, as long as it’s a trusted and capable individual. Your child also remains in your home, which is a familiar setting and it’s much more comfortable for them.

It is important to remember that when choosing someone to come into your home and take care of your infant, you should be very particular in the choice you make. You want someone who is known to be calm, cool and collected in their ways, and who is able to handle stress well. Remember, taking care of an infant or small child can be very challenging at times and you want the person caring for your baby to remain composed when faced with difficult situations.

It’s ok to call!

Whoever’s taking care of your baby should know that it’s perfectly okay to call you anytime they feel overwhelmed. Many caregivers feel obligated to continue to care for a little child despite feeling frustrated at their crying, etc, because they are being paid to do so. Of course, it’s not what parents want! Most parents would definitely want to be notified if their child is being particularly difficult or when the caregiver is feeling overwhelmed. So, do make this clear to your caregiver.


Have A Trial Run Or Two!

Before you assign an individual to the task of caring for your child, have short trial runs of a few hours. Make sure that the person caring for your child can handle small amounts of time with your child before you leave them for long periods of time.

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