It doesn’t matter at what age it happens, the decision to leave your baby with another person is one that is fraught with anxiety and maybe even guilt. To allay these two negative emotions and make the transition easier for you and your little one, make the right choice for your baby.

These are the guidelines you should bear in mind as you make your choice:

  • Your baby adores you and you are the best person to care for your baby but sometimes ‘life happens’ and due to work and financial pressures, you need to find someone else to care for your little one. If this is your reason for seeking childcare, you must know that it will not hamper your relationship with your baby and having someone else care for your baby can be a positive experience for you and your little one.
  • A caring and consistent family member is a wonderful surrogate mom or dad while you are at work. Having extended family interactions can enrich babies’ lives and so a caring granny or loving aunty are wonderful solutions for childcare, or even just to give you respite and a little free time.
  • Babies can be very happy and continue to develop wonderfully with a caring nanny. Living in Africa affords us the privilege of fabulous and not exorbitant childcare options. A nanny in your baby’s familiar environment (his home) is a brilliant option for little babies – it means he won’t be exposed to too many germs and you can keep his familiar sleep routine and space consistent with the weekends too.
  • If you place your baby or toddler in a crèche, there should be a ratio of no more than 4 babies to one carer until your little one is at least 3 years old. Try to introduce the carers to your baby’s signals and preferences as well as his daily routine.
  • Any carer needs to be trained in childcare and/or be an experienced parent themselves. Doing a CPR course is invaluable for any mom, aunty nanny or crèche teacher.