By Aruni Gunasegaram, President and Founder of Babble Soft Excerpt of article written for the International Nanny Association Spring 2008 newsletter. When a new mom leaves her infant in the care of a nanny or newborn care specialist, what are her concerns? What does she want to know? How can a nanny help her feel more connected to her baby and help her deal with possible feelings of guilt over leaving her baby? A new mom's perspective As a new mom, I was so concerned about leaving my baby with anyone else ? even my husband! When I returned, I wanted to know when he ate, if he slept, and practically everything he did. Now that I have two kids, I still ask their teachers and care providers what they did during the day. It's so comforting to have an idea of how their day went. I sent our son to a home care on a part-time basis when he was a baby.
I felt frustrated by the vague answers I received when I asked about the details of his day; but I bit my tongue, felt guilty, and walked away wondering what I had missed. What moms want to know? In the "old days," moms had no choice but to stay at home. They could get advice and make decisions based on one-on-one face time with baby, family members, and friends.
Nowadays, moms rely on their nannies to communicate their baby's daily activities, issues, fussy periods, smiles, and schedules. When moms are not present, having the opportunity to review their baby's activities at a glance in a daily journal or report is not only powerful, it helps them and their nanny make better baby care decisions. It is also a great way to provide records for their pediatricians, which can aid in making medical decisions. Here are more examples that illustrate the importance of keeping a daily journal: ? A new mom misses important milestones. While she is at work, baby shows off her biggest smile or makes a first attempt at crawling. Imagine a caregiver who captures the moment via a picture, includes a milestone caption, and emails it to the mom.
What a way to brighten her day. ? An infant spits up often but with no discernible pattern. Both the mom and nanny are busy and jot down handwritten notes, which might be stained or misplaced by the next day! Maintaining an online daily record of the baby's feedings (with corresponding spit-up times) can help to establish a pattern of feeding times and a correlation between the feeding quantity and spit-up periods. The mom can forward the reports to the doctor to aid in a decision regarding whether her baby needs medicine for acid reflux or if there is a need to simply change the baby's feeding schedule.
? A baby has difficulty sleeping. Mom (or dad) puts the baby down in a specific manner and in a specific place during the weekends. The nanny arrives and puts the baby down in a different manner, thus she witnesses a different outcome. The baby appears confused, which results in additional stress for both the nanny and family.
One solution is to review online reports that are designed to track a baby's sleep patterns and reveal how the baby was put to sleep. The reports can serve as physical proof that specific baby sleep positions or methods work better than others for the baby. ? A baby needs regular medications. Administering medications is a critical part of providing childcare. Therefore, it is beneficial to have a central place where medicine doses are recorded.
This procedure can allow both the mom and nanny to ensure medicine doses, reactions, and duration are properly recorded and timed. Proper daily record keeping can help to avoid accidental overdoses and ensure a dose is not missed. ? The nanny runs out of expressed breast milk for baby. If the mom keeps daily pumping records and both the nanny and mom keep daily bottle-feeding records, Mom can adjust her breastfeeding and pumping schedule to ensure there is enough expressed milk for her baby.
There are many more sound reasons to keep daily records. However, the most important reasons in my opinion, are for the health and well-being of the baby, and improved communication between the nanny and family. Although moms today have many more opportunities than they did in the past, they also have more decisions to make and more balls to juggle. Keeping daily records of an infant's activities helps nannies and moms make better baby care decisions ? and it helps moms feel more connected to their baby. A happy mom means a happier baby!.
The author of this article, Aruni Gunasegaram, is the President/Founder of Babble Soft, which offers web and mobile software applications that facilitate communication between caregivers by helping them with breastfeeding support bottle feedings, mom's pumping, baby sleep patterns, diapers, immunizations and medicine doses as well as baby's first year photo album.