Breast milk is the preferred feed for a baby and should be continued for as long as possible during the first year.
If your baby is on the bottle, teach the caretaker how to sterilize all equipment and prepare the baby’s feed. Emphasize hygiene and spend time training and supervising the caretaker.
Breast-feeding and working
Many women successfully combine work and breast feeding. You can breast-feed your baby before going to work, after coming back and at night. Some mothers can arrange to breast-feed during breaks at work. If you cannot, you must allow time for your baby to learn to take a supplemental feed from a bottle. Waiting until you and your baby have had 3 or 4 weeks of successful nursing before introducing the supplemental feed helps you keep your breast –milk supply full. If you need to supplement before this, consult your doctor for instructions.
By nursing frequently when you are at home, and expressing your milk at least once every 4 to 6 hours while you and your baby are apart, you can help keep your full milk supply.
Day care centers and crèches
If you are putting baby in a crèche or day-care center, see that it is well-located, clean and that the lady in charge likes to look after children. Take plenty of time to choose a suitable place. Make sure the crèche provides good facilities, such as:-
1) Interesting and appropriate toys for children
2) Good air, light and ample space for babies and adults
3) Staff who wash their hands with soap and water after changing nappies and before handling food.
4) High standards of safety, with at least one staff member trained in first aid and supplied with adequate first aid material
5) Retaining for each baby emergency phone numbers and medical information.
A good caretaker
The best caretaker for your child is an older member of the family, like your grandmother, an old aunt, etc. If you cannot avail of such help at home, be sure to find a suitable caretaker.
A good caretaker is happy, affectionate, enjoys being with your baby and shares your baby’s accomplishments with you.