You have lots of new questions now that you are parents.
To help you get a clearer picture and make the right decisions, here is some useful information on childcare options for your baby and on protecting her against household hazards.
My baby has a childminder
Whether it is for an hour or a day, like it or not, you will soon need to leave your little one with someone else, the first of many milestones towards her independence!
Will it be with a relative? An early childhood professional? A nursery?
Take your time to choose the most appropriate childcare solution for your family and for your baby to get to know a new face or a new place. Sensing your own confidence will reassure her and help her feel positive about the change.
Being around other children will develop her social skills, and teach her new games and discoveries. All changes in your baby’s life are learning opportunities, especially if you ensure a smooth transition.
Good to know: Tell your child that you will be back soon, even if she doesn’t seem to understand.
Try not to let her feel that you are nervous about leaving her in someone else’s care.
Give her something from her home environment, such as her favourite soft toy, and a worn t-shirt that still has your scent on it. She will find sleep more easily with the reassurance of these smells.
Explain why she should be careful and why you are trying to protect her from getting hurt. Allow her to touch certain objects under your supervision so she can understand what the danger is.
Be patient: always use the same words and gestures when warning her.
Household accidents are a leading cause of hospitalisations in young children.
- Never leave your child alone without adult supervision.
- Make sure that her changing table is stable, as well as other surfaces where you put her down, to avoid falls.
- Check the bath temperature and never leave her alone in the bath, even in just a few centimetres of water.
- Make sure that pot handles are not sticking out from the cooker, baby-proof your oven, and keep your iron out of her reach.
- Put socket covers on all power outlets and get childproof extension leads.
- Don’t leave any bottles of detergent or medicine lying around, along with anything that she might put in her mouth.
- Put baby gates at the tops of stairs and dangerous areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- Ask everyone to wash their hands when they come home, and don’t forget to wash them again before feeding your baby, to avoid all sorts of digestive upset.
Your vigilance is your child’s only real protection.
- Be mindful of her attraction to water swimming pools, the seaside, lakes. Never take your eyes off your child.
- Teach her not to put everything in her mouth, such as soil or insects. Get her sturdy shoes that will provide good ankle support when you go walking.
- In the street: remember that her range of vision is not as wide as yours. She cannot see dangers and will impulsively run after her ball or her friend. Hold her hand firmly, even if she complains.