After Maternity Leave ??? 
Nightmares for Moms ?

For many working women, going back to work after maternity leave means facing a very real dilemma of choosing a caregiver for the baby. HighReach is trying to help you with some effective options .

CHILD CARE CENTER

As new trend in Jakarta or other big cities, especially where most parents both are working, there are lots of TPA (Tempat Penitipan Anak) raised. Child Care centers which specialize for babies and have the requisite staffs to ensure a high level of care. Due to this, the cost of putting a child in such places is relatively high. But for parents who do not have family to rely on and are loathe to hire a domestic helper to care for their newborns, Child Care centers are a huge relief.

Advantages

Good Child Care center especially for babies have mix of activities to teach different skills. Activities such as storytelling, dancing and singing help your child to learn rather than just allowing him or her to play all day. Kids also get to socialize with their peers in Child Care centers. The children who have attended these facilities generally ease into school without fuss and tend to be more independent. Lastly, centers are stable and consistent, they can arrange a substitute caregiver to watch over your child when his/ her usual teacher falls ill .

Disadvantages

No matter how low the baby-nurse ratio is, a child assistant will still need to take care of at lease three babies in most child care centers. This means your child is not going to get one-on-one attention. Another big consideration is that your baby is more likely to get sick he or she is constantly exposed to germs from other kids. Your child may also find it difficult to bond with a new caregiver if a staff member leaves.  Some child care center cost higher than the others due to more services / competitive advantages that they are offering . Another problem is the fixed timing of child care center, mostly close around 18.00 pm and some even impose a late fee. Plus you will need to make alternative care arrangements if you baby is unwell because child care will not accept sick child .

 
CHOOSING A CHILD / BABY CARE CENTER

The main criterion is that your baby is able to form an emotional bond and a trusting relationship with her/ his potential caregiver. A good center should also be flexible enough to accommodate your child\92s needs.  Here are some tips on what to look for when visiting a child/baby care center :

  • Observe the interactions of the children with each other and with adults. Watch how child assistant respond to tears and under stress.

  • Check if infants/ babies are allowed to take naps whenever it feels right for them. Unlike older children, babies have a harder time being treated as part of a group and need to follow their own inner schedules.

  • Examine the toys. Are they safe and age appropriate ? They should also look clean.

  • Make sure the child assistants are interacting with the babies. Are the child assistants smiling at the babies and do they hold or hug them ?

  • What type of food is offered during meal times and what type of snacks are available ? Ask how child assistants handle the babies special needs. How will food allergies be dealt with, for instance ?

  • Check the qualifications and credentials of the Child Care Center resources. Degrees in early childhood education provide good starting points, while experience with very young children is a must.

  • Get the contact details of other parents who have kids at the center. Call and ask how old their children are, how long the facility has taken care of their kids and if they would recommend the center .

 

HIRING A BABY SITTER

A baby sitter is usually a third party who takes care of other children to supplement their income. While families hired baby sitter through word of mouth in the past, it is a more organized business nowadays . Some agencies export this to outside Indonesia due to the high demand.

Advantages

Baby sitter provides child care both in your own home and others. Most they will stay and eat in your house and they are kind of back up mother for the baby. Baby Sitter is a good option for children until they are about 18 months of old.

Disadvantages

Most baby sitters are qualified by experiences rather than by certification. Some agencies developed their own training program but is not standardized. If you get very good baby sitter, sometimes the baby feel closed with the baby sitter rather than with their own mother . And the fact that through agencies, you need to pay administration fees, baby sitter meals, baby sitter uniform/clothes, leave allowance , this option could get more expensive.

Choosing a Baby Sitter

Parents should observe the interaction between their child and potential baby sitter before making any decision. Some tips for you are following :

  • Show warmth and support to infants/ babies throughout the day, making eye contact and talking to them about what is going on.

  • Stay alert to babies cues, hold infants or help move them to a new place or position if it is more comfortable for the child.

  • Pay close attention and talk to children during everyday routines such as changing diapers, feeding meals and bathing.

  • Talk, sing and read to babies so they will become more familiar with the language.

  • Allow babies to eat and sleep whenever they want and consider infant\92s individual preferences for types of food and style of eating.

  • Follow standards for health and safety including proper hand washing to limit the spread of infectious diseases.

  • Can see and hear infants/ babies at all times

 

GRANDPARENTS AS CAREGIVER and MAIDS

The next best thing to sliced bread, as par as parents are concerned ! In such an arrangement , grandparents essentially act as surrogate parents. In addition, it is common amongst Indonesia families to have a domestic helpers supplement the grandparents work in taking care of the baby.

Advantages

The trust elements is extremely high as grandparents naturally love and nurture their grandchildren and have a vested interest in bringing them up well . It also provides a chance for your baby to bond with her/ his grandparents.

Disadvantages

Differing parenting styles and lack of boundaries with the kids may lead to disagreements between parents and grandparents, hence causing tension in the family. Caring for your children is also physically exhausting and some grandparents may find it difficult to cope.

Some tips when using Grandparents/ back up by maids :

  • Have a family meetings at least once a month to clarify expectations, discuss issues that crop up and come to some agreement

  • Let grandparents know what  your rules are on issues such as disciplines, television usage, as well as feeding and sleeping schedule. And let the grandparents monitor the maids to make sure this will be implemented.

  • Make plans for alternative care as your parents may need some time off to rest and re-charge.

  • Agree on safety issues such as precautions in indoor and outdoor areas and what they should do in an emergency. With old folk, medication is always around, so discuss safety measures especially in giving medication.

Hope the above tips helps all of mothers when they return back from maternity leaves.