Your Post-Partum Body
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Every woman goes through various physical changes after giving birth to a baby. Click here to find out what they are and how to deal with your post-partum body.
Transcript: You expected to lose weight after your baby was born, but not your hair... After you give birth, you'll...
You expected to lose weight after your baby was born, but not your hair... After you give birth, you'll notice a lot of changes! For starters, even though you won't lose all your pregnancy weight immediately, your body will get you off to a good start. Immediately following the birth, on average, you will shed a seven-pound baby, two pounds of placenta, and two pounds of amniotic fluid. Plus, all the extra water that you retained during your pregnancy will now be looking for a way out. For this reason, you'll produce a HUGE three quarts of urine a day, causing more weight loss. Because you're producing so much urine, you'll probably urinate more often than you're used to, although this won't last for long. Post baby, you may also notice that you're losing a lot of hair-even handfuls of it! Rest assured, however, that this temporary side effect is just the result of your decreasing pregnancy hormones. The first couple of months with your new baby can require a real adjustment. Hang in there though -most of the post partum effects will subside within the first year.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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There are some very significant changes your body will go through postpartum . The most heavily affected body organs will be your vagina and breasts. Learn more in the video.
Transcript: No part of your body is harder hit by giving birth than your vagina and breasts. In the several days...
No part of your body is harder hit by giving birth than your vagina and breasts. In the several days following birth, your breasts will produce a yellowish fluid called colostrum. In the several days following birth, your breasts will produce a yellowish fluid called colostrum. When your infant suckles, it will cause the release of hormones that trigger your milk. However, even if you choose not to nurse, your breasts will produce milk for several days to a week. If you want the milk to stop flowing, you shouldn't allow your baby to nurse, nor should you remove the milk in any other manner. However, these drugs come with additional health risks to the mother, so they are not commonly prescribed. You will notice discharge known as lochia from your vagina. This occurs as cells from the lining of your uterus slough off. Lochia starts out as bright red blood, then tapers off before finally stopping. After you give birth, your uterus is 15 times heavier than it was when you got pregnant! For this reason, you'll be able to feel it a few finger widths below the top of your belly button. But by six weeks after delivery, your uterus will return to its old size. Having a baby definitely changes your body, but take comfort in the fact that most alterations are only temporary.More »
Last Modified: 2014-02-03 | Tags »
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There will be changes in your sex lives after you become parents but it doesn’t have to be any less exciting. Click here for more details about your post-partum sex life.
Transcript: Saying hello to a new baby does not mean saying goodbye to a great sex life! Immediately after a vaginal...
Saying hello to a new baby does not mean saying goodbye to a great sex life! Immediately after a vaginal delivery, your vagina will be stretched out, sore and bruised. Because you need time to heal, most doctors recommend waiting until your six-week checkup before resuming intercourse. When you do get back in the bedroom, you may notice that you produce less lubrication than you did pre-baby. This is due to lower levels of estrogen in your body, something which will be even more pronounced if you're breastfeeding. Luckily, a water-based lubricant will help with vaginal dryness. If things still feel "stretched out" post delivery, you can tighten up with Kegel exercises. To do a Kegel, imagine that you're trying to stop a flow of urine midstream. If you repeat it often, that squeeze and lift will tighten your vagina. Once you work past these early difficulties, though, note that you will need to use birth control. Your period won't start right away - it could take two months to a full year post-baby - but that doesn't mean you're not ovulating! Most doctors recommend using a condom, as a diaphragm can slip around inside your post-pregnancy vagina, and an IUD can't be installed until you've healed. In addition, hormonal birth control is not encouraged if you're breastfeeding, because the hormones can contradict milk production. Getting used to sex post-baby may take some time. But, just like when you were making your baby, practice will make perfect!More »
Last Modified: 2012-09-26 | Tags »
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If you have a new baby there are tips for new moms on how to relax. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: "Being a mother is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be a bit scary at first. Dr. Mom is a physician...
"Being a mother is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be a bit scary at first. Dr. Mom is a physician and has also raised two children. Here are Dr. Mom's top three tips for new mothers:First of all, she should take a deep breath and relax. Babies are not fragile, they get sick, they have rashes, they have earaches, they cry. All of which can be handled usually at home, with no unusual measures. You need to be aware that a doctor may be needed, but don't jump to the worst conclusions. Breastfeeding is really good it's nice for the mom and for the baby, but it's not absolutely the only way to feed your baby. Even if you breastfeed, it's very important to get your baby ready to take a bottle. You need the time and the flexibility that having somebody else feed your baby occasionally will allow you. The most important advice I can give new mothers is: remember you are your baby's lifeline and you need to take care of yourself. That means taking some downtime, getting some rest, getting proper nutrition, occasionally leaving the baby and entertaining yourself with a movie or a book or friends. You're still a partner, you're still a member of the social world, and you still have interests outside the house. Take care of yourself and be good to your baby."More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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If you've just had a baby and you're feeling less than ecstatic, be on the lookout for post-partum depression! Learn the signs.
Transcript: You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar,...
You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar, know that you aren't alone...as many as 80 percent of new moms experience some sadness postpartum. In most cases, these "baby blues" are a passing state of emotions that only last a few days or weeks after delivery. Moms who experience postpartum blues may feel irritable or sad, and have trouble sleeping. Normal post-baby sadness doesn't interfere with a woman's ability to care for her baby. In about 10 to 20 percent of new moms, however, the baby blues are more severe. Postpartum depression is a condition that DOES interfere with a mom's ability to care for her child. This illness was brought into the spotlight in 2005, when model and actress, Brooke Shields came forward to discuss her struggles with postpartum depression. Shields even wrote a book, "Down Came the Rain," to publicize the condition. The symptoms of postpartum depression include frequent crying jags, sleep disturbances, thoughts of suicide, weight and energy loss, lack of interest in anything, and feelings of guilt. An even more serious postpartum disorder is known as postpartum psychosis. This rare condition leads to psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, following a baby's birth. Moms with postpartum psychosis are more likely to have obsessive thoughts about their babies and may act upon ideas of hurting them. No matter what postpartum condition a new mom has, a hormone imbalance is thought to play a role. That's because levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol fall rapidly in the 48 hours after delivery. Women who develop a postpartum disorder are more sensitive to these changes. Women with a history of depression or other mental illnesses, women experiencing relationship problems, and moms who have had a previous postpartum condition, are all more likely to develop one of these illness. But there is help for postpartum disorders! Moms who have the "baby blues," may find that being surrounded with a support network, talking to other mothers, and getting more rest will usually lead to an abating of symptoms in a few short weeks. Women experiencing postpartum depression, however, will probably need a little extra help. Your doctor may suggest psychological counseling, or group therapy. She may also prescribe an anti-depressant medication, like Paxil or Prozac, which will help regulate hormone imbalances. If you're breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about medications that are safe for you AND your baby. If your doctor diagnoses you with postpartum psychosis, your treatment will involve more intense therapy and an anti-psychotic medication. If you are among the women who experience postpartum sadness, remember that you are not alone and that you WILL recover. Above all, do not be embarrassed about this common condition! Please, see your doctor if you are concerned about post-partum depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-23 | Tags »
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Getting busy after baby might seem impossible. The road back might seem rocky but it will be worth it. Find out more about this by watching this video.
Transcript: You've got a new baby to cuddle and hold...but what about cuddling and holding your partner? Even if...
You've got a new baby to cuddle and hold...but what about cuddling and holding your partner? Even if sex seems like nothing but a memory, you will have it again. After all, most of us have siblings! Before you get busy, you will need to wait the amount of time your doctor recommends-usually about six weeks. This allows for any tears to heal, post-partum bleeding to stop, and your cervix to close. Other than the required wait, however, you should let your emotions and body guide you. Some women are ready to have sex very quickly, while others deal with shifting body image, general fatigue, or postpartum depression that puts them off sex. When you do decide you're ready, go slow and be easy on yourself. Oh, and don't worry about sex feeling different after baby. Enlist a few Kegel exercises and you'll be back to normal in no time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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Are you worried about those ugly stretch marks on your body? There are a number of ways in which you can get rid of these marks. Watch our video to learn more.
Transcript: Having a baby may be your biggest accomplishment yet, but that doesn't mean you'll want a physical reminder...
Having a baby may be your biggest accomplishment yet, but that doesn't mean you'll want a physical reminder of the experience! During pregnancy, the skin on your belly is stretched and pulled to accommodate your growing baby. Skin does not bounce back if it's been stretched by rapid growth due to pregnancy, weight gain, or extreme weight loss. But there are other factors that affect the integrity of the skin, like: genetics, nutrition, overall health, and whether or not you are a smoker.Instead, it can become decorated by a form of scarring called stretch marks, or striae. Stretch marks often start off as reddish or purplish in color, and then fade to glossy skin that appears streaked in silver or white.Research has shown that the formation of stretch marks begins with a breakdown and stretching of collagen located beneath the top layer of skin. When a person experiences the skin being stretched over a short period of time, the natural order of collagen fibers is disrupted. The fibers are stretched, and we see what we know as stretch marks--small, depressed streaks on the skin, which affect more than 50% of pregnant women. While most women notice them on their stomachs, you may also see stretch marks on your buttocks, hips, thighs, or breasts. Although the marks initially appear pink, reddish or dark brown, they WILL start to fade within 6 to 12 months of your baby's birth. Unfortunately though, stretch marks never COMPLETELY disappear, which may be why so many women seek to prevent them in the first place. While there is no proven way to do so, it can help to not gain excessive weight during your pregnancy, and to make sure to drink a lot of fluids and to exercise regularly. Some women also swear by over-the-counter stretch mark prevention lotions, like Reviva, while other women rave about cocoa butter and Vitamin E oil! Please remember though, that there is no conclusive scientific proof that any of these creams work. Still, rubbing lotion into your belly each night WILL prevent itching, and may improve elasticity! Several factors play into the development of stretch marks. So even your best attempts to prevent them, after you have already become pregnant, may minimize, but not completely avoid this issue. Luckily, you may be able to reduce the appearance of the scars by applying a topical ointment, like Retin-A, post-pregnancy. But be sure to discuss this with your doctor if you're breastfeeding.And if your stretch marks REALLY bother you, you might consider laser treatments to help restore skin's elasticity and alter the color of the marks to better match your skin. But because these costly treatments are considered to be cosmetic, they are rarely covered by insurance. That's why most women choose to let time do its effective fading work on their stretch marks.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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Have you just had your baby and ready to get back to your old self? Be patient about shedding the baby weight! Learn more about post-partum weight loss in this video.
Transcript: Supermodel Heidi Klum had a baby, then almost immediately slimmed down to her pre-pregnancy weight, and...
Supermodel Heidi Klum had a baby, then almost immediately slimmed down to her pre-pregnancy weight, and was back on the runway in six weeks flat! If you're thinking you could be like Heidi, RELAX. You're a new mom and a normal person and your weight loss goals should reflect that! While it's admirable to want to shed baby weight, your doctor may ask that you hold off on slimming down until after your six week postpartum checkup. If you delivered vaginally, however, the American Academy of OBGYNs says that you can GRADUALLY begin exercising as soon as YOU feel up to it. Note that women who gave birth via c-section do NOT usually have this option and must wait six to eight weeks to begin an exercise program. Regardless, once you decide it's time to begin a fitness routine, the number one rule is to go SLOW. Try gentle aerobic activity, like brisk walking, swimming, or biking, to lose those pounds quickly and safely. In addition, avoid sit-ups or other exercises that could strain your abdominal muscles post-pregnancy. If you're like most women, you developed a gap in those muscles while you were expecting, and you'll need to go easy on the area for at least eight weeks. As you begin your regimen, have realistic goals-just because Angelina Jolie was back in skinny jeans in eight weeks doesn't mean you have to be, at all! In fact, it's not even SAFE to lose more than a pound or two a week, according to most doctors. You should expect it to take ten months to a full year to lose the 25 or more pounds you put on during pregnancy. This is especially true if you're breastfeeding, as rapid weight loss can release bad-for-baby toxins normally stored in body fat into your milk. But the good news for breastfeeding moms is that nursing will help you lose weight. That's because, during your pregnancy, your body was busy storing up nourishing fat to feed your baby once he or she arrived. Now that your little one is here, your baby will be taking this fat directly from your body, in turn helping you reach your weight loss goals! Also, you require about 500 calories a day simply to produce breast milk. You can use those extra 500 calories to add more healthy food to your diet, or to help you lose that extra baby weight. In fact, svelte celebs like Christina Aguilera and Gwyneth Paltrow credit their rapid weight loss in part to having made the choice to breastfeed. And Jodi Foster even said she "just couldn't stop losing weight" while nursing! Remember, though, that you shouldn't CUT calories while you're breastfeeding, EVEN IF weight loss is your goal. Instead, make sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and calcium-rich foods. Remember that every woman's weight loss goals and post-pregnancy body will be different, so it's best to consult your doctor before beginning ANY kind of weight loss plan.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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Getting the whole family ready for a new baby can take some advance planning. Check out these tips on preparing children for a new baby.
Transcript: Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love....
Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love. In the weeks following the birth of your newborn, try to involve your oldest in the new daily routine as much as possible. Make a point to ask for your child's opinion: "Do you think the baby wants to wear a red shirt or a blue shirt?" If he wants to "help," allow him to fetch diapers, hold the baby , tell a story, or any other age-appropriate task. Even if the "helping" actually slows you down, it's an important way for the big brother or sister to feel useful and special. Then again, if your child just doesn't seem interested in his new sibling, don't force the issue... as the bonding process can take some time. Even more common than disinterest are feelings of anger, sadness, or even resentment toward the new baby. Know that this can happen EVEN if your oldest was excited about the PROSPECT of a new baby brother or sister. And your child may express these emotions in a variety of ways. It is common for a toddler or preschool-aged child to regress and act like a baby. Regression may include forgetting potty training skills, using baby talk, asking for a bottle, or trying to use the baby's things. Indulge this short-lived stage with good-natured humor and love, while reminding your child of all the things "big kids" can do, that babies can't. If your child is a bit older, however... he may misbehave, throw temper tantrums, or refuse to eat, all in an effort to engage your attention. While you should make it clear that such behavior is unacceptable... you can and SHOULD make a point to talk to your child about his feelings. Explain that it's OK to feel sad or angry, and ask him to tell you about these emotions. Encourage your child to talk with you about these feelings by asking very specific and pointed questions, rather than open-ended ones. Above all, it's vital that you reserve a chunk of time daily to spend with JUST your older child, no baby allowed! Even an extra bedtime story, a private snuggle, or a trip to the grocery store count. This one-on-one time is the best way to remind your child that he is just as important to you as he has ALWAYS been!More »
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Preparing your child for a new sibling can be challenging -- especially when that child is the firstborn. Feelings of jealousy aren't unusual. Use these tips to make your child feel loved and secure and help cultivate a positive sibling relationship.
Transcript: Is your child going to become a big brother or sister? Preparing your child for this change-and preparing...
Is your child going to become a big brother or sister? Preparing your child for this change-and preparing YOURSELF for your child's reactions-is vital! Setting the scene for a positive interaction between your children starts BEFORE you even tell your oldest about the impending arrival. It can be helpful to watch movies or read books in which siblings play a prominent, positive role. Or spend time with bigger families, so your little one gets used to the sibling dynamic. Eventually, you'll need to break the baby news, but most experts recommend waiting until AFTER your first trimester... And if you've decided to do genetic testing, like CVS or amniocentesis, it's smart to wait until you've gotten the results and are certain that things are as you'd like them to be with your pregnancy. Pick a time when both you and your partner can be present...and use clear, concise terms, like, "There's a baby growing in Mommy's tummy, and her belly will keep growing, and when it gets really big, a baby will come out, and you will have a little sister or brother!" If your child is upset, tell her that it's OK to feel sad or confused, and explain that talking about these feelings can help. If she doesn't seem to want more information, let it go for now. She'll probably have questions later. If she wants to know how the baby got inside of you, you can simply say that, "Daddy put it there." Often, simplistic explanations like these satisfy little minds. If not, answer your child's questions as directly and straightforwardly as you can. In the coming months, keep all talk about the new baby light and positive, even when you experience pregnancy symptoms. By simply saying, "Mommy doesn't feel well today," you'll ensure that your child does not associate the new baby with your sickness. If your child seems interested, allow her to help with preparations for the baby, like picking rompers or arranging the nursery. And speaking of nurseries, if you need to move your older child out of a crib or to a different room, do so as soon as you can so she doesn't feel displaced by the baby. Try to avoid any other major changes during this time, such as potty training or starting a new school. And above all, continue to shower your little one with love, affection and reassurance. These are the best ways to ensure she reacts positively to the new baby when it arrives!More »
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Even pets get jealous when a new baby enters the house! Preparing your dog or cat for a new baby is necessary to keep your newborn safe. Use these easy pet training tools to create harmony between baby and pet.
Transcript: There's no reason that Spot or Fluffy can't get along with your family's newest addition! You love your...
There's no reason that Spot or Fluffy can't get along with your family's newest addition! You love your pet, and want harmony when baby comes, so it makes sense to start preparing your pet early on in your pregnancy for the family's new arrival. Set up a cozy, special spot for your pet, and encourage your pet to spend time there. Stock it with a blanket, water, food, favorite toys, and a litter box for a cat. However, a pregnant woman should avoid handling a dirty litter box completely, as cat feces can contain certain germs that are very dangerous to a developing fetus. This offers your animal a safe retreat when over-stimulated by the baby... If there will be a new set of rules, like no sleeping in Mommy and Daddy's bed, for instance, introduce them in the second trimester so that your pet won't associate the potential feeling of rejection with the baby's arrival. This also gets your pet accustomed to spending occasional time alone and out of the way. Begin by desensitizing your pet to the rough handling your kids can dole out. Places to touch your pet to acclimate them include between the paw pads, on the face, tail, and in the ears and mouth. Do this daily and offer treats for cooperation. Next, you'll want to familiarize your pet with baby sounds and smells. To do it, buy a disc of baby noises, or borrow a friend's infant and tape her laughing and crying. Play the recordings around your pet at increasingly higher volumes, so he becomes accustomed to the noise. To help your pet accept a baby's scent, start wearing baby lotion or powder daily. And after the baby is born, ask a friend to bring home a blanket that the baby has been sleeping in. Introduce your infant's smell to your pet in a positive way-by allowing him to sleep on the baby-scented linen. Before the birth, you can also ask a friend with an infant to visit, which allows your pet to experience a real baby. Some experts also recommend that you occasionally carry a bundle of blankets, or-even better-a moving, talking baby doll. You may feel silly doing it, but this gets your pet used to the idea of your hands and attention being otherwise occupied. If you have a dog, use the time before the birth to reinforce his basic training commands, including, "sit" and "stay." And if your pet is a jumper, discourage the habit by placing double stick tape on the baby's changing table and crib. Once your baby is ready to come home from the hospital, have someone else carry your infant so that you can greet your excited pet. To further ensure that your animal doesn't feel threatened, pick a neutral spot, like the front yard, or the lobby of your building, to make the introduction to the newest member of your family. It may take your infant some time to get used to your pet too, particularly if you have a dog. If your baby is bothered by barking, keep a white-noise machine or fan in the nursery. And use that private space you've carved out for the dog to keep the two apart for now. Remember, though, that your baby has been hearing barking since before she was born, so your little one may not give it a second thought! And while your pet and baby get acquainted, be mindful that your animal may feel neglected by the new arrival. Keep up your routine and... Carve out a few minutes to spend with your sweet pet every day, and you'll help ensure harmony in your newly expanded family.More »
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Even before your newborn arrives, you'll have childcare on your mind. And there are so many childcare choices for your baby to choose from. Watch this video to learn about the options, from family childcare to day care centers.
Transcript: When it comes to care for your new baby, you want the very best. But what does that mean when it comes...
When it comes to care for your new baby, you want the very best. But what does that mean when it comes to childcare for your baby? Before you start looking for childcare, you'll have to determine how much you can spend on it! If your budget is minimal, you may decide to leave your child in the care of a close relative, like your mother-in-law or sibling, if that's possible. About 20% of new parents go with this option, which is often a free one. Plus, relative care ensures that your baby gets exclusive attention from someone personally invested in her. On the flipside, it can be difficult to offer child-rearing pointers and constructive criticism to a family member! For reasons like this, many people decide that the best "relative" for the childcare role is mom or dad. Stay-at-home parenting is the care choice of almost 50% of parents with children under the age of two. The pluses to staying home are obvious: You retain full control of your child's care...and you get to be with your baby at every developmental milestone. But cutting the family's income by foregoing the stay-at-home parent's salary, can be difficult financially. As well, the parent staying home may miss the role they once inhabited in the work place, which can lead to resentment and unhappiness. To combat this potential issue, some parents who work in more flexible fields, are sharing stay-at-home status, trading days depending on their respective schedules. This more even-handed co-parenting is becoming more and more popular. If staying at home is not a real option, why not look into hiring a full-time nanny? A nanny provides exclusive, intimate care for your child...from attending to basic needs, to encouraging mental and physical development. But one-on-one attention does NOT come cheap! Expect to pay upwards of $500 a week for a nanny's services. And know ahead of time, that there is a lot of legal paperwork if you are employing him or her. Also, before you hire anyone to take care of your child, ask for several references, and in addition, you may want to do a background check, especially if you did not find your caregiver through an agency. If none of these home-based care choices works for you, a daycare-either in a center, OR in someone ELSE'S home-may be a good choice. About 30% of young children with working parents are put into some type of daycare program. Look for the type of daycare that works best with what you want for your child, as some offer classes like dance, and arts and crafts. If you choose a licensed daycare center, you can rest assured that it will be strictly regulated by the government...and is likely staffed with early childhood development experts. And while it's not one-on-one care, generally daycares staff one adult for every three to four children. Some caveats, though, are that due to the number of kids, colds and other illnesses tend to spread more easily, resulting in kids that get sick more often. And daycare centers won't provide care for sick children. And one must abide by a more structured schedule as pick up and drop off times are regimented. For this reason, some turn to the often more cost-friendly and intimate atmosphere of a home daycare. Home daycares can be wonderful, because they cater to children of other ages, which can make the environment reminiscent of a family setting. Home daycares may also be more flexible with pick up and drop off times, but bear in mind that they are not monitored by the government as closely as their counterparts. A benefit of BOTH types of daycare is that they allow your baby plenty of opportunities to socialize. With all of these facts to weigh in your childcare choice, you may worry that you'll make the "wrong" decision. But if you do your homework about any Nanny, Home daycare or Daycare Center you really needn't be overly concerned! A reputed National Institute of Child Health and Development study shows that it's not the type of care, but the quality of care, that really matters.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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