When a woman waits for a child, her fantasy paints idyllic pictures: how, together with the baby, they learn the first words, read colorful books, play, laugh – and everything is like a fairy tale. But the reality looks a little different: the young mother really needs help in caring for the child. In addition, sometime after the appearance of a new family member, many mothers have to go back to work. And then the question arises: who can help take care of the baby? In such a situation many women start looking for a babysitter.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring a Babysitter
In General, There are a Lot of Advantages:
- Mom can finally relax. A child takes away a lot of power. In the first year of life, mother is always near her child. A babysitter will help to remove some of the worries from the shoulders of the mother.
- Ability to go back to work.
- Mom has the opportunity for self-realization.
- Child development with the right choice of a babysitter will be full and successful.
- Regardless of the cost of the services of a worker, this requires a deduction from the family budget. Not everyone can afford the extra expenses, having a small child.
- A stranger. When hiring an outsider, the family must understand that they let a stranger into their home. Not everyone is willing to do so.
- Depending on the type of babysitter, she will take an active part in the life and upbringing of the child, which can strongly affect the mother’s feelings.
- One more disadvantage is when the mother is categorically “against” of hiring a babysitter. She may be afraid that the baby will become too attached to this woman, or that suddenly something will happen to the child in her absence, etc. This is a purely psychological problem.
If the parents did decide to hire a babysitter, then, if possible, the listed disadvantages should be excluded.
How to Cope With Cons?
A hired babysitter can be expensive. If you are already going to invite her into the house, then get ready to cut other expenses (this is especially true if you have financial problems).
The next moment is the presence of a stranger. It is almost impossible to protect your family from leakage of confidential information. What you can do is put a video camera in the apartment. This will help you monitor the activities of the nanny when you are not at home.
It will be more difficult to deal with the behavior of the mother of the baby. This psychological barrier is very difficult to cross. But to take a female assistant into the house is a general decision and the mother should try to make the atmosphere in the house comfortable, not conflict. This is primarily done for the child.
Decide what type of Babysitter you Need
For what Period of time tou Need a Babysitter
- only for walking outside;
- just for a few hours while mom is busy;
- for all day;
- for an indefinite period, depending on your need;
- full day with possible work at night, on weekends, and accompanying on vacation.
A young child needs a mother. The physical presence of a calm, loving mother satisfies a number of basic needs of the child.
In the first year of life, prolonged separation from the mother is not recommended.
In the second year of life, the child understands and realizes a lot. The baby distinguishes well between “family” and “strangers”, and can acutely experience the moment of separation.
Therefore, it is better to quietly and imperceptibly leave the child in order not to provoke prolonged crying. A child of the third year of life, with harmonious communication with a nanny, can quietly stay without mom for a longer period (6–8 hours). At this age, a child can let the mother go without tears.
It is very important not to dramatize and not to delay the moment of separation. In the period of absence of the mother, the usual mode of life is built with a nanny, rituals and traditions appear.
Is the Babysitter a Hired Professional or A Relative (Grandmother, Niece, Aunt, Sister, Etc.)?
In the situation of hiring a professional, a “stranger” person is allowed to the child. But then we have the opportunity to invite a specialist who can be a godsend for the family – to give a good upbringing and education. But here we are taking a risk because it is likely that the invited nanny will not meet expectations.
In the situation of inviting relatives, as a rule, trust in them is initially greater, but it is possible to face unresolved issues of payment and subordination, which can provoke conflicts.
Age of the Babysitter
It can be different. From a teenager to a woman of retirement age.
The advantages of a young nanny are in her emotional closeness to the child, immediacy, and ease of communication. Cons – lack of experience, knowledge, and responsibility. Cons of an elderly babysitter are in her, possibly, low activity. Pros – experience, maturity, responsibility. When inviting a babysitter of the age of early or medium maturity, you will have to take into account her possible professional or family occupation.
Desirable character traits will be goodwill, responsibility, decency, flexibility, optimism. Maternal and pedagogical experience in the development, education, and care of children will be a great benefit. Unacceptable traits: aggressiveness, dishonesty, deceit, emotional disturbances.
As a rule, on the labor market, babysitters with pedagogical and medical education are in demand. In determining the professional qualities of a nanny, it is important to determine priorities. There is no need to rest on pedagogical or medical education if the main task of the nanny is a walk or a short-term presence with the child during sleep.
If the baby has an impaired state of health, nursing, or paramedic education, all the more, medical education will be very helpful.
Experienced teachers of kindergartens, psychologists, special education teachers will be able to organize educational activities, behavior, speech, and cognitive skills correction much better than babysitters without such experience.
The State of Health of the Babysitter
Of course, it is better that the babysitter doesn’t have any disabilities, at least in line with the stated objectives. And yet, allowing the nanny to the child, ask her to pass tests for major infections.
Where to Look for a Babysitter?
Method one: through the agency. As a rule, they offer a choice of several babysitters with or without work experience, who have been tested and visited internal courses on the basics of the developmental psychology and psychology of early development, the basics of medical knowledge, peculiarities of nanny activities in the family, etc.
Naturally, by inviting a babysitter from an agency, you pay for the work done by the agency (recruitment, testing, training, etc.).
Method two: through friends. Ask your friends and relatives whether they know good babysitters. Thus, you get a babysitter from the recommendations of the people you can trust.
Method three: “headhunting.” It is realized when you find the person suitable for the job and make her/him a corresponding offer.
Method four: the casting. You are advertising in the media, where you set the necessary criteria. Then choose the right person. Before inviting candidates, make a list of questions, some of which you can ask by phone, so as not to waste time at the interview.
Meeting the Candidate
During a meeting with a candidate for the role of the babysitter, pay attention to the particular contact between the nanny and the child. It is rightly said that it is difficult to deceive the child.
It is clear that in order to create good contact with the child, time is needed. And open, friendly communication may depend not only on the babysitter but also on the child himself. Therefore, it is important to observe how the relationship with the babysitter will be built up for a certain time.
Discuss the Contract with the Babysitter
- non-disclosure of confidential intra-family information (personal life, income, issues of financial and personal safety of the family);
- babysitter role and responsibilities in the family.
The babysitter should not wholly obey the whims of the child. She must establish the rules and limits of what is permitted for the child. She takes care of the baby and his/her development. In the family system, the mother is more important than the babysitter.
And one more tip. The mother should pay enough attention to her baby. Play and talk to your child. Give warmth and love. After all, this is your child! And you are the main person in his/her life. Please, keep in mind that even the most wonderful babysitter can’t replace the mother.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.