This is the time of year when many new Mums are going back to work after maternity leave, and facing the reality of leaving their precious child with a childminder. Chances are both Mum and the baby will be anxious – particularly if it’s the first child. How can you help with this major transition? Here are some helpful tips:
1. Encourage Mum to bring the baby over and spend some time getting to know them. Find out all about the child’s likes and dislikes and routines. Observe how Mother and child interact, and ask her for any tips about how to settle or soothe the baby and so on. This helps you establish a relationship with the baby and Mum and also lets the baby see you and Mum are friends. You may need to do this more than once, depending on the personalities involved.
2. Have the baby spend short periods of time with you, without Mum – gradually increasing the time from an hour up to four hours. At this point, you should charge for these hours. Again, if possible do this a few times and help both the baby and Mum to relax about coming to you.
3. Have a really positive attitude about all the fun the child is going to have! Once started, be available to take a call or answer a text as quickly as possible – particularly in the early days.
4. It can help to develop a routine about going home at the end of the day, where you can make a fuss of Mum’s arrival and teach the child to welcome her back. Don’t let Mum feel ‘hurt’ if the child LOVES being with you. Ideally, a secondary attachment will form – the best thing for the child when Mum’s not there. But you can reassure her, children always know who Mum is! http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616730701711516