Hiring Baby Care Help
Postpartum Doulas and Lactation Consultants
Two other specialists that new parents may hire are postpartum doulas and lactation consultants.
“The postpartum doula’s role is to provide education and support to new parents during the ‘fourth trimester’ or the baby’s first few months,” says Jessica English, a birth doula and public relations director for DONA International, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization for doulas. Postpartum doulas may assist with newborn care, family adjustment to a new baby, meal preparation, and light household tasks.
A lactation consultant promotes breastfeeding success. Lactation consultants help nursing moms figure out proper latch techniques and good breastfeeding positions and help fix breastfeeding problems.
The Interview Process
Placing your trust in someone else to care for and nurture your baby is no small task. Your interview and decision process may vary depending on the type of professional you want to hire. These questions can be a great starting point.
- Why did you become a newborn care specialist/baby nurse/nanny/au pair?
- What experience do you have caring for children, specifically newborns?
- How many children are you comfortable watching at one time?
- What type of family do you like to work for?
- What medical training do you have (first aid, infant CPR, and other skills)?
- Which, if any, household chores are you willing to do in addition to the ones directly related to the children?
- How would you describe yourself? What are your interests and hobbies?
- Are you willing to undergo a background check including a check of your driving record?
- Are you a take-charge kind of person or are you more comfortable when someone directs you?
- What will you do, or how will you handle it, if your way of doing things and the family’s are different?
- Can you provide us with referrals?
Preparing for a Specialist’s Arrival
After you choose your child care specialist, make sure you both are clear about house rules and job expectations. Having a written agreement is a good idea. A newborn care specialist is there to help make your home baby-friendly, which means you don’t have to do a lot of prep work before her arrival. But she will need a place to rest that is close to the nursery if she will be spending the night. An au pair or live-in nanny needs her own bedroom, and preferably her own bathroom. If you have older children, enlist their help in decorating the room. It’s also nice to find out the types of drinks and snacks your child care provider prefers so you can have a few on hand to make her feel at home. Remember, you are the employer, as well as the parent. It is up to you to guide your employee so that your children receive the loving care they deserve and you get the help that you need.