When a new baby arrives, your life is changed completely. Although the love and joy will overwhelm you, the stress of being responsible for a new life can be overwhelming too
Everyone will advise you that you should get some help but exactly what type of help is suitable for you? For some, help is a luxury and for others it’s a necessity.
Help comes in many forms, it can be full time or part time. It can be live in or live out. There is paid help and family help.
Each family is different, so look at your own circumstances and decide from there. I always advise moms to start looking for staff in their last trimester: babies can make their appearance at any time and the last thing you need is to be worrying about who will assist you when you return home with you new bundle of joy.
Always my first recommendation, because if mom and dad get some good shut eye, then it’s easier to manage during the day. A night nanny or night nurse can work any number of nights a week. This is normally a 12 hour shift from 7pm to 7am or 6pm to 6am.
The night nanny will wear a care worker uniform, have completed a first aid and a sleep course, taught by a certified sleep consultant. She will sit in the room with your baby and feed her and put her back to sleep.
A mom who is breastfeeding can also make use of a night nanny, as she will attend to the burping, nappy changing and settling the babies back in the cot after a feed, allowing the mom more time to sleep.
Also referred to as a nanny, she can live in or live out. She (or he) will have a first aid certificate and a childcare certificate as a basic requirement. Working hours are normally a 45-hour week plus overtime if needed. The childminder will do everything that relates to your baby in terms of caring, and as she/he gets a bit older, a professional childminder can be expected to stimulate your child in an age-appropriate manner. Some childminders will progress to getting a drivers licence as the children get older and needs to be transported.
This type of employee will clean the house and take care of the babies. She can live in or live out. However, caring for a tiny baby can be a full-time job on its own, so you might have to let housework take a back seat here. They will generally clean while the babies are sleeping and may do some ironing while they have tummy time. They will also work a 45-hour week plus overtime. Qualifications will include first aid, basic childcare and a housekeeping certificate. Some families also require a cooking certificate.
Probably the most expensive form of childcare, an Aupair will have her own car and licence, have completed a childcare course, an aupair course, and know first aid. A top calibre candidate will have some type of teaching qualification and experience. They generally work in the afternoons, collecting children from school, assisting with homework and running errands. They can work full day and assist with the management of a household, do the shopping etc.
A family member is always great to have if they live close by. If granny lives in, this helps financially and it’s someone who understands the family dynamics. New moms worry that Granny will spoil the babies, but when was too much love and cuddling detrimental to a baby?
The first two or three months can mean some serious sleep deprivation and if there are other children in the home, don’t forget to arrange for some alone time to take the child/children out for a day of some fun.
Tip: Remember to delegate and arrange your help so that you can rest properly too.