Who's Watching Your Child? Childcare & Parenting Tips With Jill Ceder! by Donna John
Bummed about babysitters? Curious about childcare? 30Second Mom contributor Jill Ceder, psychotherapist, mom and childcare expert for About.com, recently joined us (and the savviest moms on Twitter!) to share her tips and chat about the highs and lows that come with others watching your kids!
Q: When you returned to work, what was the hardest part? What tips would you give new moms?
- Be patient with your emotions and allow yourself to feel.
- Go back to work midweek, if possible.
- Bring pictures of your baby to work. I made a collage for me and my husband.
- Talk to coworkers or friends who are also moms for support.
- Wait before making any big changes and figuring out what you want.
“Anyone relieved and happy to return? It is OK to admit that! Newborns are harder than an office job!” tweeted Jill.
Q: Do you and most caregivers follow routines? What routines are most important?
- Sleeping. Establish nap and bedtime rituals early on that both you and caregiver follow.
- Eating. Most important is that the child is fed three meals (with or without snack) at similar times each day.
- Discipline. Be specific about discipline methods and make sure caregivers are aware and on the same page.
Q: What is most important to you in choosing a babysitter or nanny?
- Open and honest communication and feeling comfortable to bring up concerns is vital to the relationship.
- You must trust the person who is watching the most important person. Use good judgement and trust your gut.
- Hiring someone who has experience working with kids before may be important, especially a newborn or twins.
- This is a business relationship. Discuss cost, payment on/off books and schedule during a phone interview.
“There isn’t a ‘right’ answer. Honesty, communication, trust, experience and cost are all important factors,” tweets Jill. “Is age important to you? Someone with little kids, grown kids? Lives nearby? Tons of factors to think about.”
Q: Does your child behave for caregivers but not for you? Here are some reasons why:
- When kids misbehave, it’s not because he/she forgot the rules. It’s because they think that’s how they can get needs met.
- When children lack power, they feel helpless and try to assert themselves or control others. Give some power.
- Nannies, sitters and teachers follow routines. Try not to alter your kids routine a lot – kids like predictability.
Q: What is the biggest struggle with being a working parent?
- Missing time with kids. Set aside special time – 15 minutes alone with your kid each night. No distractions!
- Finding and trusting good affordable childcare. Giving up the control and allowing others to help raise my kids
- Finding “me” time. Don’t forget about you! Go to gym, get a manicure, have dinner with friends. Happy wife, happy life.
Q: Does your child have goodbye meltdowns when you leave? What can you do?
- Remember their behavior is normal. Separation anxiety starts as early as 8 months.
- By 6 months introduce other caregivers so baby can practice being without the parent.
- Start goodbyes and rituals at a young age. A quick goodbye is ideal. Rituals signal that it’s time for you to go.
- Remind your child that parents always return. Check out the Daniel Tiger episode with a cute song, “Grownups Come Back.”
- Don’t sneak out! It sends a confusing message. Make a plan with the caregiver to redirect your child’s attention
- Try not to come back in when your kid starts crying. Coming back gives your kid an incentive to cry harder and longer.
Q: What are your childcare options for the summer?
- Enroll in camp. Choose a traditional day camp or one that focuses on a particular sport, skill or activity.
- Find a sitter/nanny. Look for one that has a specialty in an area your kid is interested in.
- Enroll in specialized classes. Less commitment than day camp and kids can try out a variety of classes.
- Try a combo. Get a sitter two days and classes three days. Set up playdates with friends or have a tutor a few hours a week.