Whether you’re hiring a daytime nanny, postpartum night nurse or occasional babysitter, the most important thing is that you have the right person for your family. This means going on your gut feeling, but also checking references and asking questions. Here are four questions that can help you figure out if the caregiver you’re interviewing is the right one for your baby. With every interview question and background check in place, your parental instinct is the final and major factor in choosing child care. The person who will become your family’s partner in care should feel “right” and positive in your home.
Do you have your flu shot and vaccinations?
Because babies cannot receive a flu shot themselves before 6 months, they are especially vulnerable to influenza. For this reason, parents should know that the American Academy of Pediatrics calls the immunization of all healthcare personnel “ethical, just, and necessary.” Additionally, the vaccinations a newborn care provider had as a child should be updated and documented. Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis often called “TDaP,” is especially important to update as an adult because according to the CDC, “Infants are most at risk for severe, life-threatening complications from pertussis.”
What kind of experience do you have?
Two areas of expertise should be a given for all nannies and postpartum caregivers:
1) Infant First Aid/CPR Certification
2) SIDS and Safe Sleep
Additionally, the person should have experience in a variety of care situations, so they are both knowledgeable and comfortable in a way that can only be learned from previous “on the job” training.
Can I call your references?
Potential caregivers may come to you with written references—which is great! You want to actually speak with a reference so they can share specific examples of care and tell you why the nanny is no longer working with them. An ideal reference wants to help their former caregiver get another wonderful family to work with and you’ll hear that in their voice. In addition to references a potential newborn nanny should also be able to present a current background check.
How will you help support our family’s care decisions?
You’re the expert in your baby and family. You may feel it’s best that your child not go out into crowded play areas until a certain age. So you’ll want a nanny who is comfortable with 1 on 1 playdates. If giving baby breastmilk is a priority, someone who understands breastmilk storage and preparation is needed. If you choose formula or bottle feeding, you’ll want a nanny who won’t make you feel guilty. An experienced infant caregiver can give you tips and support from all over the baby care spectrum. They understand that every little baby is different and needs their own special style of care.
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