It's normal to have mixed feelings the first time you leave your baby with a babysitter. Naturally, you might be nervous and maybe feeling guilty. To have your baby's time with a sitter go as smoothly as possible, here are some ways you can prepare your baby and yourself and the babysitter.
- It's important to get your baby accustomed to being cared for by others. And starting this process relatively early – before separation anxiety sets in – makes things easier for everyone. Start with short periods of time away, about 15 minutes to start. Then gradually work up to longer periods. This helps your child get used to being without you.
- If possible, let another person handle a feeding while you leave the home for a little while. This also helps others the bond with your baby. And if you're breastfeeding, it means teaching your baby to take a bottle of pumped or expressed breast milk – something that can make it possible for you to be away longer in the future.
- How do I make the separation easier?
- There's no one method to make the separation easy on your baby, but here are a few tips that may help:
- Try not to let your child pick up on any feelings of apprehension. If you're worried, your anxiety will be noticed and felt.
- Treat brief separations coolly. When it's time to go, don't linger over saying goodbye.
- Make sure your child is well rested and fed before you go out. A child is more likely to have a hard time when you leave if tired or hungry.
- It's a good idea to arrange for the sitter to come over for an hour or two a couple of days before you plan to go out. That way, the sitter can get to know your baby, and you can see how they get along.
- Don't sneak out without saying goodbye. However, make sure your child is enjoying a new toy or fun activity with the sitter when you're ready to leave. Then say goodbye and leave promptly.
Remember, you not only deserve to have a little time to yourself, you also need it. (Time spent at work doesn't count as time spent alone.) Even if you work outside the house, you'll still need occasional time away to exercise, see friends, or spend an evening with your spouse or friends.
Leaving is generally harder for parents than children
Given that babies are experts on the heart-wrenching cry, and toddlers are capable of clinging to you with desperate grasp, it can be easy to think that leaving your baby or child with a babysitter is harder on them than it is for you. Actually, they are worthy of an Oscar performance, it is generally harder for the parents than the child.
How do I know my child will be well cared for?
There is nothing more nerve-wracking than leaving your precious little one in someone else’s care, particularly if you are doing so for the first time or with a new babysitter. Finding a babysitter you can trust is the first step in ensuring a safe environment for your child when you are away. You'll also want to clearly communicate your expectations and house rules with anyone who will be caring for your children.
When you choose to use professional childcare services, look no further than T’s Learning Center, the premier daycare provider in Jacksonville and surrounding areas. Our staff is trained to care for your child in a loving, nurturing and SAFE environment. We listen to you and are guided by you. After all, you know your child best and know what is best for your child.