Preparing for a New Caregiver
Has the time come to hire a full-time nanny so you can return to work or do you simply need a babysitter for the occasional day of errands or date night?
Either way, it is imperative to help your new caregiver get started on the right foot to ensure a successful, long-term relationship. Entrusting your child to a new caregiver can be a nerve-wracking experience, but there are ways to ease the transition and ensure a positive experience for everyone.
Here are some suggestions for setting your caregiver and child up for success:
Introduce child and caregiver without time constraints
Allow plenty of time for your child and caregiver to get acquainted for the first time while you are still present in the home so your child will feel safer and you can observe your child’s comfort level.
Give the caregiver a tour of the home
Show them where diapers and wipes are, favorite mealtime dishes, show child’s favorite toys and books (especially if they need a specific one for bedtime.)
Stock up on supplies
Ensure there is plenty of milk, formula, snacks, diapers, etc. in your home.
Provide a schedule
Children thrive in routine so provide the caregiver a written copy of your typical daily schedule of mealtimes, naptimes, playtimes, and bedtime.
Discuss screen time limits
Set guidelines for your caregiver about the content and amount of screen time your child is allowed to have.
Discuss diapering/toilet training
Explain your child’s toilet training level and how best to take care of their needs, whether it’s to use a changing table or help them do it themselves by climbing on a step stool, with a child-size toilet seat.
Discuss meal and snack times
Discuss whether your child needs to be fed or enjoys being more independent, whether they eat in a highchair or at the table. Alert the caregiver about any allergies.
Leave a contact list for the caregiver to use in case of an emergency including your pediatrician as well as a close neighbor, friend or family member who can assist them if you are not reachable.
Review your childproofing efforts
Although there is no substitute for adult supervision, your home should be child proofed with furniture anchors, outlet covers and potentially dangerous items placed out of your child’s reach to help make the environment as safe as possible.
It is also important to provide a safe place such as a playpen or gated, childproofed room for caregivers to leave your child for short periods of time when they need to use the restroom or prepare meals. Our Mayfair Converta 3 in 1 is a wonderful playpen option, it provides a large, sturdy play area and can be set up anywhere in the home.
Finding a trusted caregiver benefits both you and your child. Caregivers allow you the freedom and flexibility to attend to other areas of your life while offering your child the chance to learn from and connect with another trustworthy adult.
Setting your caregiver and child up for success from the start by enlisting the tips above will help to build a strong foundation for these important helpers in your family’s life.