What Your Babysitter Wishes You Knew
You don’t have to search far to discover tips on finding the right babysitter or nanny, but have you ever wondered what your child’s caregiver thinks of your parenting techniques? It’s time to turn the tables! Don’t worry, you’re not in for a complaint fest or a Nanny Diaries rehashing. Instead, take a look at what five experienced babysitters and nannies say they want parents to know.
Bottle Feeding: Make a Smooth Transition
No matter how well prepared you are, leaving your child with a babysitter or nanny for the first time is rarely tear-free—your tears not excluded. Khadyne (who requested we not include her last name) encourages breastfeeding mothers to make sure that the baby’s first experience with a bottle and a babysitter don’t happen on the same day.
Khadyne learned this lesson the hard way. During her first full-time job as a nanny, the mother worked at home and nursed the baby throughout the day. The only time the baby was exposed to a bottle was when the mother left for a meeting. It was a trying experience for Khadyne and one she will never forget.
“It’s really horrible for a nanny coming in with a baby for the first time, and [the baby] won’t feed at all,” says Khadyne, a nanny of three years who specializes in newborn care. “I’ve had babies [that] would just scream until they realize, ‘I’m not going to get anything else.’”
Some parents’ promises to introduce a bottle before a babysitter have come up empty, reports Khadyne. However, other parents have taken her advice to heart and later returned to thank her. “I think it works out better for everyone, not just myself,” Khadyne says of bottle use. “Dad can feed the baby the bottle. That way mom gets some rest.”
Rules: Stay on the Same Page
Another way to work toward a smooth experience for all is if the parents and caregiver are on the same page when it comes to rules, says Elaine Vandenburgh, a babysitter and nanny with several years of experience. “Children are very smart,” she says, explaining that kids can figure out how to get away with more when the rules aren’t consistent. “Let’s say the mom is more lenient than the nanny. Then, it makes it hard on [babysitters and nannies]. Or, if you have different rules for different people, the child gets confused.”
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