Baby skin conditions - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Baby skin conditions

An infant’s skin has many functions – it protects the body against ultraviolet radiation, provides a barrier against bacteria and toxins entering the body, and also prevents fluid and electrolyte loss from the body. The skin enables the baby to experience the sense of touch. The pre-term infant has a more sensitive skin to that of a full term baby, as many of the skins’ layers are under-developed. Even in a full term baby, much of the elastin fibres of the skin are formed after birth, and it may take 3 years before they are fully formed. The most common rashes in infancy are usually found on the face and nappy area. Contact Dermatitis Most rashes are caused by direct damage to the skin from substances such as soaps or lotions. A red rash in the nappy area is usually due to the presence of ammonia released by the breakdown of urine. Keep the nappy area clean and dry. Environmental Factors Dry winters can cause skin dryness; and extreme heat and humidity in summer can cause excessive sweating, especially in the nappy area, in ankle and knee folds, and at the back of the neck. Newborns have less pigment (melanin production), and will burn if exposed to direct sunlight, so keep babies out of the sun. Infantile Acne This is a common condition, and is usually found on the face, behind the ears and in the neck area. These pustules resemble acne, and may be exacerbated by heat. The intensity may vary from day to day. This acne is usually as a result of maternal hormones, and usually fades by 3 months of age. This rash causes no discomfort to the baby, and should not affect sleeping patterns in any way Infections Many skin disorders in newborns are caused by fungal or bacterial infections. Candida or thrush, is caused by a fungal infection which causes a red nappy rash, over the genital area, and extending into the folds of the groin. Many little satellite spots are found in the area. Treatment is with an antifungal cream applied to the rash, and oral probiotics. Impetigo is a bacterial infection which results in skin erosions, usually on the face, and nappy area, always covered with honey coloured crusts. Antibiotic treatment is required. Seek medical advice if you suspect your baby may have a skin infection. Itching related to dermatitis or eczema If your child has sensitive skin and is prone to rashes and itches, this may contribute greatly to restless nights. Dermatitis and eczema simply means that your child’s skin is irritated because it is dry and itchy. It may also be red and scaly, sometimes with little blisters or thickened skin. It’s not hard to guess that this will cause her to be very unhappy, especially at night. Most dermatitis is caused by sensitivity to detergent or skin products, occurring in an individual who has an underlying predisposition, for example in Atopic Eczema which may occur if there is a family history of allergies such as asthma or allergic rhinitis. Hints to help ease your baby’s discomfort Rinse your baby’s clothes well to remove detergents and fabric softeners. Avoid the use of soap, rather wash your baby with aqueous cream Avoid bubble baths, and perfumed baby products Add soluble bath oil (not baby oil) to your baby’s bath water – it ‘moisturises’ the water Avoid wool or synthetic fabrics next to the skin – try to dress your baby in clothing that is made with 100 % cotton. The same applies to her bedding Avoid over-heating your baby – it will make the itching worse After a bath, dry your baby well Keep the skin well hydrated with appropriate body moisturisers (ask your pharmacist for advice) – not aqueous cream, this will dry the skin further. Look out for creams that say “ointment” on the label. Be prepared for this to be a long term condition that needs on going management In severe cases your doctor may prescribe an anti-histamine to reduce itching Most babies have skin that is smooth and soft. From birth, the skin is able to fulfill most of its functions, providing that it remains intact. Damaged skin, due to whatever reason, is obviously more sensitive, so it is important that only skin products specially formulated for babies be used to prevent complications. By Ann Richardson
Nanny Sense - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Baby Care

Nanny Sense

You have been happily living with a part time domestic worker who comes in twice a week and manages to keep your home perfectly in order. Now the time has come when you are blessed with a little one on the way and you would like to leave your precious bundle at home when you go back to work – TERROR strikes as you realize that you have to find someone to take care of her and you are not sure if your domestic worker is the right person for the job! When is the best time to hire my nanny? As soon as possible as you have no guarantee that “Mary Poppins” will be the first one through the door. You may have to try a few people before you find the person that you like and trust and feel is up to the huge task of looking after your child in your absence. What should I look for in my nanny? Hire someone who is honest and reliable and train them. We often look for the perfect nanny – someone who is totally reliable, extremely hard working, knows all there is to know about caring for your little one and is able to keep up with all the housework. All without complaining or getting tired – This is hardly ever achievable – rather look for someone who is honest, reliable and keen to learn - then teach them your way. I’ve hired a wonderful lady, but she just doesn’t do it right! There is more than one way to do it. Remember that the person your nanny worked for before you may have had very different standards and ways of doing things. Make time to explain, and where possible demonstrate how you like things done. Write task lists and give feedback – when she does it right as well as when there is need for improvement. I am worried that she will leave my baby in order to get through all the house work and don’t want my child to be neglected. Detail your priorities clearly. Your nanny wants to please you and as such may be overwhelmed by the daunting task of keeping up with the house work as well as taking care of your precious baby. It is your responsibility to set the priorities and communicate these clearly. e.g. “Please give Sarah all your attention and do what you can when she is sleeping” OR “Please make sure that the kitchen is tidy and the beds are made before you do any other house work” I am almost ready to go back to work and have not left my nanny alone with my baby yet, how do I know she will cope? Give her a chance to get to know your baby and learn what needs to be done. Start by letting her change your baby’s nappy – show her how to do this first, then let her do it herself. Slowly start adding responsibilities such as washing and sterilizing bottles, feeding your baby and winding her. Once you are comfortable she can do this. Start popping out to the shops or to meet you friends for a quick cup of coffee – without your baby. Begin by leaving at a time that you know your baby will be restful or in a good mood and leave your contact numbers incase she needs you. Remember that it is very important that your baby has had time to get used to your nanny before you go back to work so that your baby also trusts her and both are relaxed. I have worked hard to get my baby into a routine and want to be sure that my nanny sticks to it, what can I do? Write up a list of important activities and times and let her watch you through the day, until she understands how it is done – show her more than once and talk about everything as you go along. The list may include sleep time, feed time and wake times. Create a sheet for her to log against these during the day and include notes such as nappy changes and “what was in the nappy”. That way you will know how much your baby ate, slept and played in the day, as well as whether there are any areas of concern. Remember that babies routines change according to age, mood and a number of less predictable circumstances, make it clear that you would like your nanny to stick to your routine, but encourage her to discuss any issues with you so that you can adapt the routine appropriately e.g. cut down on snooze time, introduce more solids etc. My nanny is very sweet and nurturing, but does not know how to stimulate my child, which is becoming a concern as my baby grows. Give her ideas for the week. There are many wonderful websites, books and training courses that will give your nanny many ideas of age appropriate developmental activities she can do with your child. In addition to helping your child develop, your nanny will love the change in routine and the opportunity to do something fun during her day. Remember to say Thank you We all appreciate thanks, even when we are just doing our job! By Meg Faure
Make your New Year’s resolutions happen - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>Mom & Dad

Make your New Year’s resolutions happen

At the start of each new year, many of us make resolutions; promises or intentions to do something better or to stop something that we feel holds us back. Being a parent adds a new slant to our annual resolutions and for many of us our resolutions are intentions for the year ahead to be a better parent. 1. Establish a routine for my baby.Routines are something many of us long for, to create a little order and predictability in our days. You can start a sleep routine based on Awake Times that are age appropriate for your baby from the first week of life. Don’t be rigid but follow the guidelines in Baby Sense for when to settle your little one to sleep each day. 2. Listen to my intuition.In an age of too much information, it becomes hard to listen to your intuition. The best way to do so is to choose only two voices and one book or website to consider. Make sure your source of advice has similar values and ideals as you do so that when you hear advice it makes sense to you. 3. To have more patience and stay calm. Every parent has those days when they just loose their cool and shout or yell. While there is nothing wrong with feeling stressed, if you don’t stay calm things usually get worse - when you are stressed, your baby will become more winey or clingy or demanding which does no one any good at all. If you are feeling at the end of your tether: put your little one in a safe space with a safe toy, go outside and take a deep breath or three. If you don’t feel better, call a neighbor or someone who can support you and go for a jog or at least have some time alone. And whatever you do don’t feel guilty. We’ve all been there. 4. Spend more time outdoors.As soon as you see you have a sunny day coming up, plan an outdoor activity. A great idea is to get a large plastic sandpit and fill it will different things every few weeks – in summer, water play is great and in cooler weather, a sandpit or ball pond makes great outdoor activity. Just be sure to put up an umbrella over the play area to prevent sunburn. 5. To create firmer boundaries, especially around bedtime. There is a simple three step approach to creating boundaries: A – Acknowledge what your little one wants “I know you want to …” B – Boundaries need to be firm and consistent “…but we can’t….” C – Choices are presented that are on your terms: “…. instead you can have X or we can rather do Y.” Once this is laid out, be consistent and always follow through. 6. To remember I am a woman and have some ‘me time’ and get my body into shape. Almost every mum forgets herself in the process of becoming a mother. If you have a nanny or some help, go to gym or for a run twice a week. If like most mums you have to do this with your baby, schedule a walking group (or partner) three times a week. Pop your baby in a pram (stroller) or sling and go for a power walk. Not only will you feel better with a little ‘me time’ but you will get fit too! 7. To read to my baby every night and only allow 30 minutes of TV a day. Use TV as an emergency baby-sitter – for instance if you have a toddler and a new baby and need to feed and settle the new baby, there is nothing wrong with putting your toddler in front of the TV for a short time. Try not to sit your toddler in front of TV for hours on end. Rather create a sensory basket – a container with household objects each with a different sensory texture that your baby can explore. This will keep him occupied and grow his brain! 8. Not to stress about things that are out of my control.If you find yourself stressing about small things, ask these three questions: a. Will my baby be injured by this decision or this action? b. Can I change this situation? c. Can I just accept this situation for the next 15 minutes These questions will give you time to measure the situation and will diffuse the feelings of stress. 9. To forgive myself for my shortcomings.Every day, forgive your self for the things your did or didn’t you. You are not perfect and being an imperfect but ‘good-enough’ mum is way better for your baby than a perfect parent (which really doesn’t exist). Research has shown that small failings help babies to adjust well to life and to become more secure in their interactions and relationships. 10. To tell my baby I love her everyday. Simply say the words – its really not that hard: I love you! By Meg Faure
Love them… keep them safe - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

Love them… keep them safe

For those who’s lives have never been touched by the tragedy of and child injured, it is difficult to understand the turmoil associated with it. To most people childhood injuries are merely a newspaper headline and far removed from their own lives. A home is a very special place. It is the place where children should feel safe and comfortable. Unfortunately this is not the case in many homes as the majority of children’s injuries occur in and around the child's own home. The good news is that you as parents can protect toddlers and small children from harm. Surely we can’t keep our babies or children in a padded room or a glass cage: no, this is neither practical nor desirable. Indeed, children should be allowed to have some mishaps from time to time, as it is an unavoidable and integral part of growing up, but there are simple ways to prevent fatal or other serious accidents. As a parent, you can prevent injuries by creating a safe environment for your child. And the more you know about how injuries can happen, the better able you will be to prevent them. What poses a danger to babies, toddlers and older children? It depends on their age and their abilities. In general, though, the biggest dangers to children are: Car injuries Falls Burns Drowning Poisoning Choking Injuries most often happen when: You’re not paying attention. Small children, especially under 3 years, need to be watched all the time Children acquire a new skill: Children learn as they grow – rolling over, climbing, crawling. If parents aren’t ready, these explorations can result in injuries Children are hungry or tired: Before they eat and before bedtime, children may be less likely to pay attention to what they’re doing Children are somewhere new: Injuries are more likely to happen when children are in a place they’re not familiar with You can help prevent injuries: Just use the following steps to make your home child safe. Spot the hazard. Go through your home room for room and identify dangers Decide how to deal with the hazard Remove the hazard Guard the hazard Last resort is to watch your child within grabbing distance Make the change. Do this as soon as possible / straight away Just remember it is no use having created a physical safe home without applying safe behaviour and good habits. Hazards change in the home according to the child’s age and development. Therefore you need to create a safe home for children looking at different risks at different age groups. Look at your home from a child’s point of view. It is advisable to go down on your knees (level of a baby and toddler), to see the hidden dangers in ones home. Do you see drawers that small children could open? Things within reach that they could choke on? Things they could pull down on top of them? Anticipate children’s new skills. Take precautions before a danger presents itself: For instance, put child-resistant locks on cupboards and drawers. Place safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs before children are able to crawl No pre-school child can take responsibility for his or her own safety. It is therefore the caregivers and parent’s responsibility to create an as safe as possible environment for children. Some safety tips: Falls Warning! Most accidents at nappy changing time happen when the baby falls off the changing unit or raised surface!!! Babies can roll off changing tables or beds. Have everything you need to use close by when changing your baby Use safety gates at stairways and at open doors with steps Never leave your baby alone on any high surface (bed, chair, high chair, table) While carrying baby, take care that you don't fall Burns Warning! A burn takes a second to occur, but a lifetime to overcome and can leave permanent scars!!! Always fill the bath with cold water first and then add hot water. Test the temperature Put hot drinks well out of reach of grabbing hands. A cup of tea could scar for life. Therefore don't hold your baby and a hot drink at the same time Put tablecloths away, they can be pulled. Use place mats instead Turn pot handles towards the back of the stove and where possible use the back plates of your stove Always test the temperature of food and drinks. Be careful if you heat food in the microwave over, it could be very hot Keep candles, paraffin stoves and heaters well away from baby All fires should be properly guarded Place kettle cords out of baby's reach Electricity Warning! Electrical outlets, appliances and cords can be hazardous for your baby!!! Avoid using an electric blanket for your baby Always cover unused electrical outlets/sockets with safety plugs Keep appliances unplugged when not in use Replace frayed electrical cords and keep cords out of your baby's reach Choking/Suffocation Warning! Small children put everything into their mouths!!! Always stay with your baby at meal times or when eating or drinking. Keep small objects such as buttons, beads, coins, peanuts and balloons out of reach Never use drawstrings or ribbons that tie tightly around head or necklines, they can easily pull tight Remove bib before baby goes to sleep Poisoning Warning! Most poisoning accidents occur to children under 5 years. They like to put everything into their mouths, but they don't know the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous substances!!! Lock dangerous items such as medicines, cleaners, bleaches and paraffin out of baby's reach. Use child safety latches on cupboards if locks are not available Buy dangerous/poisonous substances in child-resistant packaging if available Use child safety caps on containers such as medication, household cleaners and paraffin Keep products in their original containers if possible Re-close dangerous products properly when not in use If you think your baby has swallowed something poisonous, phone your Poisons Information Centre if possible Beware of poisonous plants in the garden Drowning Warning! Small children can drown in as little as four centimeters of water!!! Never leave small children unattended near any of the following: Swimming pools/baby pools Toilets Baths Nappy buckets Fish ponds Never leave baby alone in the bath, even if he/she can sit up Empty water from bath/buckets when not in use Use non-slip bath mats to prevent baby from slipping Fence all swimming pools, and use a pool net for safety Baby Walkers Warning! Baby walkers are not always safe and causes a lot of accidents!!! Baby walkers let babies move very fast and makes them difficult to supervise These are not recommended as babies are injured by falling and reaching dangerous things such as stoves, plugs and stairs There is no evidence that babies would benefit from using a baby walker Prams and High Chairs Warning! Baby can fall out if not properly secured!!! Make sure the pram has brakes that work Always use a harness (safety straps) in high chairs and prams Make sure they do not have sharp edges or finger straps Never leave your baby alone in a pram or high chair Toys Warning! Baby can choke on small toys!!! Always check safety messages on packaging, e.g. recommended age Keep toys for older children away from younger ones Always remove plastic coverings Throw broken toys away and always tidy up all toys. Dummies Warning! Accidents can occur when baby chokes on a piece of dummy or teat!!! Check dummies and teats regularly for holes and tears Dummies and teethers should not be hung around a baby's neck on a cord or string, because of the risk of strangulation Use a safe strong dummy that won't come apart. Safety in the Car Warning! An adults lap is not safe when traveling!!! Your baby should travel in a car seat from the very first car ride following birth Make sure you buy a car seat that fits correctly in your car and follow the manufacturers instructions for use Always use your child's car seat, even for short trips Use the correct car seat for your child's weight Never leave your baby alone in the car, even for a minute Infants car seats should face the rear of the car Safe Baby-sitting Make sure you know your baby-sitter well and that they know where and how to contact you as well as the emergency services when necessary Take the recommended precautions to make your home a safe place!!! First Aid It is important to learn first-aid. Resuscitation should be known by every parent or child-minder. Prevention is so much better than cure. Take a few minutes of your time check your home from room to r
Kangaroo Mother Care for the premature baby - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Baby Care

Kangaroo Mother Care for the premature baby

There is no better incubator and home for a fetus to develop than within his/her mommy’s tummy. However, sadly for some babies who are born too early, technology needs to play a role in keeping a baby warm and creating a space to continue developing. Even full term babies born by caesarean section are placed in incubators to warm them up. Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) reminds us of how marsupials or kangaroos take care of their young. The infant kangaroo is always born prematurely. When the little kangaroo is born, it crawls into the maternal pouch where it receives warmth, safety and food, until maturation. Similar to the kangaroo mother, the human mother provides a safe, warm environment and frequent feeding opportunities for her premature baby, when she cares for her using the KMC method. This can be seen as the continuation of a pregnancy that has been disrupted. KMC is an innovative method of taking care of premature babies. It can however also be used for full-term babies until they become uncomfortable in the KMC position. KMC has a list of benefits and is a relatively simple and novel method of caring for premmies. KMC refers to the continuous nursing of a baby skin-to-skin on the mother’s or father’s chest. The baby is dressed only in a nappy and then placed on the mother’s naked chest between her breasts with the head underneath her chin. Continuous KMC is skin-to-skin care practiced for 24 hours, day and night. The baby is removed from the position, only when the mother takes a bath. Alternatively, intermittent KMC can be practiced. The baby is held skin-to-skin for a shorter period of time when the mother or father is unable to be with their infant for 24 hours. In this case parents can practice KMC for a few hours per day and still experience the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. KMC and birth A mother’s temperature rises by one degree Celsius during pregnancy. If her baby is cold when placed onto her mother’s chest, mom’s temperature will rise by another two degrees Celsius, and if the baby is too warm her temperature will drop by one degree Celsius, to help cool her baby. Amazingly, this is even evident in twins – when twins are placed in skin-to-skin, each breast will change temperature to suit the temperature needs of the baby on that breast. Unfortunately, dads do not have this temperature regulating ability, but the baby on dad’s chest will help regulate her own temperature by extending a limb to cool herself. For dad’s skin-to-skin care is a great way of bonding. Other effects of KMC Benefits to the baby include maintenance of adequate body temperature, less crying, more quiet sleep periods, less energy consuming movements resulting in satisfactory weight gain, better milk supply and sleep synchrony, as well as less infection. KMC babies can also be discharged to home sooner. Babies born by caesarean section or who came too early may suffer from breathing difficulties and skin-to-skin care is the most effective technique used to decrease the baby’s oxygen needs, stabilises heart rate and breathing and even blood pressure. Benefits to the parents include an increased sense of bonding with their baby, an increased confidence in caring for their baby, continuation of the interrupted nurturing role as a mother and the empowerment to become the primary caregiver again. Skin–to-skin care also enables both fathers and mothers to participate in their infants’ care; the closeness improves bonding between parents and their infants. Kangaroo discharge refers to the fact that many low birth-weight babies can be discharged earlier. Discharge irrespective of weight is possible once the infant is feeding satisfactorily and weight gain is maintained. KMC is continued at home until the baby reaches a weight of 2 - 3 kg or when the baby becomes restless and protests when tied in the KMC position. KMC at home Even older babies can be cared for in skin-to-skin as long as she finds it comfortable. This is especially helpful if you take your baby home during the winter and need to help her control her temperature. Try to KMC your baby for 90 minutes at a time, allowing her to cycle through the sleep states and enjoy a longer period of sleep. In preemie babies, to have the most benefit from skin-to-skin care, it should be practiced as often as possible for as long a period as possible. If you could not start at birth, start as soon as possible thereafter – it is never too late. Some parents continue with skin-to-skin care even until toddler age, which is great for parent and child. By Welma Lubbe; Nursing sister specialised in Neonatal ICU care
Kangaroo mother care - the way nature intended - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Baby Care

Kangaroo mother care - the way nature intended

There is no better incubator and home for a fetus to develop than within his/her mommy’s tummy. But sadly for some babies who are born too early, technology needs to play a role in keeping a baby warm and creating a space to continue developing. Even full term babies born by caesarean section are placed in incubators to warm them up. But this foreign world is so far from the comforting sensory world of the womb. Welma Lubbe, Clinical Nurse specialist and founder of Little Steps, tells us a little about kangaroo mother care (KMC) as a wonderful sensory alternative to care for medically stable premature babies, those born by caesar and even full term babies. KMC or more scientifically known as skin-to-skin care refers to the continuous nursing of a baby skin-to-skin on the mother’s or father’s chest. The baby is dressed only in a nappy and then placed on the mother’s naked chest between her breasts with the head underneath her chin. KMC and birth A mother’s temperature rises by one degree Celsius during pregnancy. If her baby is cold when placed onto her mother’s chest, mom’s temperature will rise by another two degrees Celsius, and if the baby is too warm her temperature will drop by one degree Celsius, to help cool her baby. Amazingly, this is even evident in twins – when twins are placed in skin-to-skin, each breast will change temperature to suit the temperature needs of the baby on that breast. Unfortunately dads do not have this temperature regulating ability, but the baby on dad’s chest will help regulate her own temperature by extending a limb to cool herself. For dad’s skin-to-skin care is a great way of bonding. Other effects of KMC Baby’s who receive skin-to-skin care as often as possible are more alert, sleep better, absorb their feeds better and therefore grows better and cry less at six month of age. Skin-to-skin care further contributes to better milk supply and sleep synchrony, as well as less infection. Babies born by caesarean section or who came too early may suffer from breathing difficulties and skin-to-skin care is the most effective technique used to decrease the baby’s oxygen needs, stabilises heart rate and breathing and even blood pressure. KMC at home Even older babies can be cared for in skin-to-skin as long as she finds it comfortable. This is especially helpful if you take your baby home during the winter and need to help her control her temperature. Try to KMC your baby for 90 minutes at a time, allowing her to cycle through the sleep states and enjoy a longer period of sleep. In preemie babies, to have the most benefit from skin-to-skin care, it should be practiced as often as possible for as long a period as possible. If you could not start at birth, start as soon as possible thereafter – it is never too late. Some parents continue with skin-to-skin care even until toddler age, which is great for parent and child. By Welma Lubbe The primary source of information included in this article is the work of Dr Nils Bergman. More information on his work can be found on his website www.kangaroomothercare.com. About the author: Welma Lubbe is a Clinical Nursing Specialist and Educator with a masters degree in Nursing. She is currently busy with her PhD on Neurodevelopmental Supportive Care. Welma is the founder and owner of Little Steps and president of SANITSA.
Interviewing and selecting the perfect nanny - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Baby Talk>Baby Care

Interviewing and selecting the perfect nanny

The process of interviewing and selecting the prefect nanny is potentially very challenging, there are many wonderful women (and men) with a passion for children looking for work as nannies. The key is to find the perfect nanny for your family and home. When looking for a potential nanny, there are a few considerations to make before you brief placement agencies or prepare to source potential candidates in order to set up interviews. Ask yourself the following questions, many of which are not entirely politically correct, however one needs to be honest with oneself when looking for someone to care for your baby, be in your home and share your space. It makes it much easier for the agencies to select suitable candidates if they have all the information. Do I have a preferred age group that I would like to have working for me? Would I prefer a person of specific religious or cultural background? Do I mind if the person is loud and energetic or would I prefer a quieter person? Do I want the nanny to live in or live out? Would I be comfortable with a man caring for my children? Is it essential that the candidate has training, or am I willing to train them myself? Answering each of these questions honestly will help make your first impression a good one, allowing you to focus on the interview. When the time comes to interview the candidates, there are many questions that need to be answered, below are some that may be helpful. There is no need to go through them all, however you may find that its worth it to get all the information you need. Remember that an interview is stressful and even more so for someone who does not speak your language as a home language, so be patient, be kind and make the person feel safe to answer the questions to the best of their ability, There are no trick questions. The most important thing is to listen carefully to what she says and watch what she does, how she interacts with your child. Be attuned to your own emotional responses, as well: How at comfortable do you feel with her? How easy is it to communicate with her? And whatever you do, don't dominate the conversation – let her do most of the talking. Your objective is to give her a sense of the job, but more than anything, get to know her and whether she'll fit in with your family. Try to have your child around at some point during the interview – or even throughout – so you can observe how the candidate interacts with your child and how your child interacts with her. Nanny Interview Questions How long have you been a nanny? What was your last job caring for children like? How old were the children? What was the family like? What were your responsibilities? What hours did you work? Why did the job end? Why are you looking for a new position? What would a typical day be for you with a child my child's age? What kinds of activities would you plan to do? Why are you a nanny? What do you enjoy most about taking care of children? What do you like least about it? Are you looking for a live-in position? If not, where do you live and how do you plan to get back and forth to work? What do you think children like best about you? What do you consider to be your most important responsibility when you're taking care of children? What sorts of challenges have you encountered with kids you've been taking care of and how have you handled them? How do you discipline children? Can you give me some examples? How do you comfort a child who is upset about something? How do you deal with separation anxiety? Have you ever had to handle an emergency on the job or in your home? Can you tell me what happened and how you dealt with it? What would you do if my child got sick or had an accident? What sorts of routines have you had to follow in your past jobs – morning routines, naptime routines – and how have you handled them? How do you deal with being asked to follow rules or disciplining/comforting strategies that might be different from your own? If I'm working at home, how would you keep my child happy and engaged without involving me? Have you taken care of children in a situation in which a parent has been working and around? Can you cook? Can you tell me what kinds of food you can cook. If you cannot cook, would you like to learn? Can you read and write? Can you drive? Can you swim? How do you feel about performing housekeeping chores? How flexible is your schedule? Are you willing to work evenings and weekends? If we need to stay at work later than expected from time to time or go out of town, would you be willing and able to accommodate that, provided we pay you for the extra hours? Do you smoke? Do you have any dependants? If so, how many, how old are they and where do they live. If they are school going age or younger, who cares for them during the day? Where do you live and how long does it take you to get here? What transport do you use to get here and what does it cost (taxi, train etc) Who do you live with? What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any child care/ nanny training? Do you have child-CPR or first-aid training? When last did you do this (it is recommended that one does a refresher every 2 years) Would you be interested in taking childcare, First Aid or development courses, if we paid for them? What are your salary expectations? When do you usually take holidays and do you go away for the holidays? If so, where do you go? When would you be able to start working? Would you mind if I ran a background check on you? Can you give me the names and numbers of former employers I can call as references? About Sugar and Spice Nanny Training: Sugar & Spice Nanny Training offers childcare courses for nannies and childminders in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Our primary focus is on empowering Domestic Workers working in family homes as nannies and house keepers with all the essential knowledge, practical skills and real confidence they need to take care of children and babies from birth upwards. Our nanny training course has been running since January 2003 and in this time we have given more than 1000 nannies the confidence and essential tools to take care of and stimulate the babies and young children they love and are responsible for - both at work and in their communities. By Kirsten McIntosh from www.nannytraining.co.za
To give a dummy or not - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>1-3 Months

To give a dummy or not

A dilemma that faces many new parents is whether to allow their baby to have a dummy or not. Prior to having a baby many parents swear their babe will never use a dummy. This line of reason is frequently linked to a dislike of seeing toddlers wondering around with dummies in their mouths. Let’s look at the reasons to use and not to use a dummy by answering two frequently asked dummy questions: “Before my baby was born, I swore he would never use a dummy. Now he is three weeks old, he is crying and unsettled for a lot of the day. My sister-in-law says he needs to suck on a dummy. Should I give him one or am I starting a habit that will be hard to break?” It is true that sucking really helps to calm young babies. Some babies learn to suck on their own hands from very early on. Encourage this as self-calming is the first very clever, independent skill your baby learns. Your life will be easier if your baby can calm himself, especially at sleep time. However, like many babies under three months, your baby is not self-calming efficiently so needs your help. The startle and moro reflexes move the arms outwards when young babies are distressed, making it very hard to self calm while crying. Help your baby find his hands to suck on, so that he can learn to self-calm, by swaddling his hands close to his face. Frequently this won’t be enough and a dummy can be used to calm your baby. On a sensory level, a baby needs to suck in order to be calm, and if he is not doing it himself (i.e. sucking his hands or thumb) a dummy is a very effective tool. Getting rid of the dummy is a bridge you can cross later. It will depend on your baby – some just reject the dummy naturally in the first year, others need to be rewarded for giving it up in the toddler years. Remember the first three months of your baby’s life is a period of huge adjustment. Try not to set yourself too many unrealistic goals (such as getting through the crying with no dummy). “My baby is 9 months old and he wakes every 45 minutes at night to have his dummy replace in his mouth. His eyes are still closed and I know there are no other problems, he just has a dummy habit – how to we get through this one and get a good nights sleep?” You are right your baby is waking at night to have the sensory calmer of a dummy replaced. At 9 months old, this is something he should be doing independently. There are three steps to getting him to use him dummy independently at night: In the next few days, keep putting in his dummy when he cries at night, but during the day never put the dummy in his mouth only into his hand so he learns to pop it in himself in daylight hours. Once he has achieved daytime independence, do the same at night – never place it in his mouth, rather put the dummy into his hand or attach it to a sleep blanky and put that in his hand so he must do the final step of putting the dummy in his mouth on his own. When he has advanced to that stage (usually within a few days if he is older than 8 months), stop placing the dummy in his hand and guide his hand to the dummy in the dark. The next night put every dummy in the house into his cot giving him the maximum chance of finding the calming object. What you are looking for in a calming object is whether your baby will be able use it independently. A dummy is certainly something you can train your baby to use independently. If your baby is finding his thumb or finger and is a happy chap encourage that self calming method. The important message is that your baby needs something to suck and you need to guide your baby to use his self calming tool independently. By Meg Faure
How to get rid of the dummy (pacifier) - Babysense
Category_Advice & Tips>Baby>Ages & Stages>3-6 Months

How to get rid of the dummy (pacifier)

Soothing a new baby can be a real challenge and if you are confronted with an unsettled little one, you will be looking for any tool to help you calm your baby. One of the tools available to us is a dummy or pacifier and although there is a heated debates on the merits of having or not having a dummy, for many parents it becomes a sanity saver. The reason that many of us swear by dummies (pacifier, binkies and soothers) is that many babies simply sooth best when sucking. This is true from a physiological perspective. Your baby’s mouth has more touch receptors than any other part of the body in the early days. For this reason, even in utero, babies derive great pleasure from sucking. In the womb, your baby may have sucked his hand, umbilical cord or simply sucked and swallowed the amniotic fluid. Once born, almost all babies love to suck and use their mouths to settle. There are really only three options you can offer your baby to suck on Their hand or thumb; Your nipple or a bottle; Simply a dummy (pacifier). Although some parents have the preconceived idea before birth that their baby will not have a dummy, suck their thumb or be fed to sooth, they usually find themselves caught short and urgently looking for a solution to help their fussy little one settle. In the early days many babies are unsettled and colicky. Some babies have reflux and/or mild lactose intolerance. All these babies really do benefit from non- nutritive sucking – e.g. sucking a dummy. This non-nutritive sucking is invaluable in those long niggly hours. Even older babies and toddlers may need to suck when tired and irritable. The big question is at what age and how can you ditch the dummy? There are two ages when you can relatively easily get rid of the dummy: If you have a settled little one who is not too irritable and is a good sleeper, you can get rid of the dummy at or before 6 months of age. At this time, you are certainly through the worst of the unsettledness and a dummy may not be necessary any more. For other slightly more needy little ones, a dummy is useful well into the toddler years. There is nothing wrong with this choice but toddler with a dummy does need to be managed slightly differently to younger babies. Getting rid of a dummy at or before 6 months At around 3 to 4 months of age, even the fussiest babies begin to settle significantly. If your baby is settled, only fusses briefly when hungry and is a good sleeper, this is a good time to ‘ditch the dummy’. It is also an easy age to get rid of any habits, as they really are not very firmly entrenched. To get rid of a dummy at this age, stop offering it at all during awake times and only offer the dummy just as your baby falls asleep for four days. Once he is a sleep, take the dummy from his mouth and do not offer it again at all at night. If your baby wakes and is unsettled at night and more than 5 hours have passed since a feed, feed him - don’t dummy him. During this time, encourage a different sleeper soother – such as a teddy or Taglet blanky. This will become your baby’s tool to fall asleep. Once this is set up, it is time to go cold turkey and loose the dummy altogether. You may find a few days of unsettled behaviour at sleep time but continue to encourage the ‘doodoo’ blanky or teddy as the tool to fall asleep. Managing and getting rid of a dummy in the toddler years There is nothing wrong with a toddler sucking a dummy, as long as it is done around sleep time and your toddler does not walk around with his dummy in his mouth all day. The main reason for this is that walking around with a dummy in his mouth all day is just not a pretty sight. In addition, some people do feel that dummies can affect speech and the pronunciation of some sounds. The fact is that most toddlers remove their dummies when speaking and so it should not hold them back but nonetheless, if your toddler is still using a dummy, I encourage you to only let him use it at bedtime. To ditch the dummy in the toddler years, follow these three steps: Only let him use the dummy in or around his bed. Even if he is really miserable, your toddler should have to go to his room if he needs a ‘quick suck’. Connect the dummy to his pillow with a dummy clip and create a boundary of dummy in bed only. Once he has accepted this and you have decided it is time to ditch the dummy, tell your toddler a story about his dummies – a story that revolves around something that simply needs the dummy more than he does. A great idea is to take him to a zoo and show him a tiny baby animal. Preferably an animal that makes a noise (we used a hyena). Tell your toddler that the animal’s baby really needs a dummy. Over the course of the next few days broach the idea that ‘it is time to give your dummies to the baby animal’. The offer a reward. Yip – good ol’ bribery! On the set date, take your toddler to the zoo or where ever it is and offer up the dummies. That night a reward – preferably of a soft toy animal similar to the animal he gave his dummies to will complete the story. Thereafter, a few nights of unsettledness may ensue. Use loads of love and a bit of water in a bottle to suck on if he is distressed. While ditching the dummy is not the easiest part of being a parent, neither is it rocket science. Hang in there and stick with calm, caring consistency for a few days. By Meg Faure

Explore Our Products

90-Day Money Back

Keep in Touch

Be the first to get our specials and useful tips