‘Will the babysitter/ nanny we have hired, take good care of our child’- This is the question which strikes every parent’s mind when leaving their child with nanny/babysitter. No matter how much we trust our caregivers, it is natural to worry – especially when we are away most of the day – and wonder whether our child is cared for. As an extreme measure, we can resort to using nanny cams, but these can have negative effects on the psyche of the Helpers, and jeopardize our relationship with them. Know how to build a trusting relationship with your helper here.
Here are some tell-tale signs to help you know that your helper is not taking good care of your child:
A sudden change in your child’s behaviour: A child’s behaviour and body language are good indicators of how they feel when the helper is around. But: Don’t get too carried away with these indicators as children need some time to adjust to a new caregiver. If even after about 2-3 months, which is a relatively fair & sufficient adjustment period, your child still doesn’t want to be left alone with your helper or cries every time you leave them together, this might indicate that something is not right. If you find any sudden behavioural changes or signs of sadness, anxiety or fear, it is worth your while to look into it more closely. Then it is time for you to try to find out more about the matter. If your child is old enough to communicate, don’t hesitate to probe for feedback. If nothing works out, it is feasible to find a babysitter who suits your child’s character.
Your child’s interaction with the Care Giver is not pleasant: Children tend to get attached & develop bonds with people when they feel safe, comfortable & well nurtured for. Keep an eye on how they react to your helper’s presence. If they give a big smile every time he/she passes by, then that’s a good sign, but if no bond is being developed after quite some time, you might want to take a closer look. Many times, kids need an adjustment period to get used to a new caregiver and sometimes there is no chemistry between them. It can also mean that something is just not right.
The CareGiver seems secretive about your kid’s daily routine: You should know or have an overall idea regarding how your child and caregiver spend their time – it shouldn’t be a secret. Helper’s answers – or lack of them should be able to tell you plenty. Your caregiver should share the routine with you as much as possible – no matter how limited his/her communication skills are. A good caregiver will understand why you want to learn more about the ups and downs of your child’s day. If he/she is reluctant to share details or appears to be secretive about certain episodes, you might want to look into the matter more closely.
Your child has met with too many easily avoidable accidents: A nanny/ babysitter must always keep an eye on the child. Frequent accidents indicate that helper is not keeping an eye on the child as he/she should and might even leave the kid unattended on occasions. Be vigilant as in some cases, frequent accidents, injuries and bruises might point out to neglect, mistreatment or even abuse. You can also think of baby proofing your house to avoid accidents. If you have any reason to believe that your child is being mistreated or abused in any way, you must contact local authorities.
The CareGiver isn’t following your requests: Both of you are working together to care for your child, so a caregiver shouldn’t act as if he/she knows more about raising your child than you do. You are obviously the parent and he/she should follow your instructions once you both have reached a consensus on that.
Your child is consistently hungry and tired and feels sleepy: If your child feels exhausted or overly tired & hungry, it might be a clue that your kid is not being fed properly or put to sleep at regular times. The caregiver may not be following regular mealtimes or nap times. Question your helper about it and observe his/her reaction.
Your child’s clothes, diapers, skin and toys look dirty: Kids tend to get dirty & messy when they play but that’s no reason to leave them dirty and unkempt. If your child consistently has food from lunch on his fingers & clothes at the end of the day or always needs changing when you pick him up, that’s a problem. If your little one’s caregiver can’t take care of the basics, it can give you the hint regarding whether she can meet your child’s need.
If your gut is telling you that something is not right or you get a bad feeling about the caregiver, it might be a wise idea to talk to your helper to find out what’s going on when you are away or consider hiring another helper.
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