Leaving your child for the first time can be a stressful experience. While some families expose their children to many people from the time they are infants, others only have close family involved in childcare. No matter which way works best for your family there are a few things you can do to ease the stress of the first sitter.
Arrange a test run
Do you have an appointment you can’t miss next Wednesday? Try booking the sitter on Monday for a test run. Stay at home but in a different room. Take a bath or catch up on your book. This way you and your child can get used to the new sitter without the separation anxiety.
Kids take cues from their parents. If you are relaxed they are more likely to be relaxed. Treat it as if it is no big deal and it won’t be.
Trust the person you hired
It is much easier to leave your child with a person you feel is safe, fun and loving so you can be assured your child will be will take care of. A child will be much happier with a sitter who plays with them and reads to them.
Leave when you plan to leave
If your child begins to cry when you leave, say your goodbyes and tell them when you will be home. Then get up and go. If you choose you can have an agreement with the sitter that if your child cries for 30 minutes they should call you. Usually children settle down within a couple of minutes.
Never sneak away
Always tell your child where you are going and when you will be back even if they may not be old enough to understand.
Have something special
Does your child have a favorite new toy or a special food? Save these things for a night when there is going to be a sitter. A small distraction can be enough to make a big difference.
Leaving your child with someone new for the first time will be hard, not matter how smoothly the event goes. With these points in mind, you can hope for the most stress free experience possible!
In 2001, Michelle launched a small nanny referral service with one pager, five nannies and a determination to never find herself without reliable childcare. Nannies on Call is now a bi-coastal company with over 400 nannies.
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