Jan 23, 2015

How Do I Choose Childcare for My Baby

Category: Infants
Posted By: Anna

Question: We are currently in the middle of trying to figure out childcare for our newborn baby, and are torn on which option is best; having a nanny come in 4 days a week or having grandparents stay with the child 1 day, having a nanny come in for 2, and working from home the other two days. The first option seems to offer the kind of routine babies generally thrive on, but the other option is more.

Answer: Dear Anna, Thank you for your question, it is such an important thing to get right.  I just want to say that it is difficult to be certain about these things without having talked it through properly.  For example it will depend on what work you are doing at home, how reliable the grandmother is able to be, etc.

I can really see your dilemma, on the face of it the routine does seem like a good option, however, I think it is worth weighing this up carefully against how important parental care is to both baby and parents.  I don’t know if you have worked away from your baby before or if your baby is born yet but it can be very hard to leave your baby.  Having said that, depending on your work it can be extremely difficult to look after a newborn baby while working from home.  I think you would have to be prepared to spend a lot of the time with your baby during the day and then getting work done once your partner comes home to take over childcare.

In all I think that the answer really lies in what is best for the parents as if you are stressed by having to work and look after your baby then that will cause difficulty.  However, if you are distressed by leaving your baby four days a week then that is likely to cause difficulty too.

The other advantages to having care from the grandmother is that your baby will build a close relationship to the grandmother which can be lovely for both of them.  Relatives are often able to allow themselves a closer relationship with babies as they are aware that this is a relationship that will go on forever as opposed to a job that will end and the relationship along with it.

It is a difficult balance but overall, without further facts, I think that I would advise that as long as it doesn’t cause stress to the family then the option of having more family care would cause the least stress to your baby.

The last word of advise I would give is to choose the nanny very carefully as whether it is two of four days they will be very important to your baby and you want someone who is able to care for and comfort your baby well.  Perhaps having a nanny just two days a week would allow you to pay for someone more experienced and help in this way also.

I really wish you well with your plans,


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