In most Indian households, usually a relative helps take care of your baby. You are at peace knowing that your baby is being taken care of by someone you know personally and trust a great deal. Also, in such an arrangement your baby is more likely to get one-to-one attention. You have a sense of security knowing that your baby is not with a stranger but someone she knows and is comfortable with.
Factors to consider
There are still certain aspects for you to consider before deciding on the care by a relative. These include your relative’s readiness for the job, their interest, their patience and fitness among others.
Readiness for responsibility. Your mother-in-law or other relative may say yes to baby-care if you ask them. However, you need to find out if your relative is actually ready and willing to take on the responsibility or not. If not, it may not be the ideal situation for either your baby or that person.
Baby care needs patience. Taking care of a baby goes well beyond hugging and cuddling her. In fact, what matters more than these is patience. Baby care is a real test of patience and therefore you need to consider factors like your relative’s patience, dealing tactics and experience in baby-care before letting her take care of your baby.
Babies like energetic people. Babies by nature are highly energetic and often need an equally energetic person to take care of them. Hence, try to be judicious. For example, the baby’s grandparents may be quite willing to look after her. But do not keep your baby with them if they are not physically fit enough, or if they are suffering from illness, since this tire out both them and your baby.
Constant availability is a must. It is very important to check if the relative is always available or not.
Flexibility of thought. Understanding is a very crucial factor in baby care. Sometimes your ideas may not match with your relative. For instance, in many cases elderly people tend to think that their notion about baby care is perfect, while you may actually have a different notion about it. In situations like this both you and your relative should be flexible and open to ideas.
Show some gratitude. Be grateful to your relative. You can do so by offering her money. If it is a family affair and talking about money is awkward then look for other ways to show your appreciation. You can also give them occasional gifts, or gift vouchers, or whatever is right. Just do convey the feeling that you are grateful.
Look for signs of boredom. Doing the same odd job day in and day out may make your relative feel pretty bored at times. Give them break in between. Suggest to them going out for evening walks or dinners. You can also offer them an occasional day off for shopping or just let them be idle. They are going to appreciate your efforts and co-operation.
Lack of interest. If you feel at any time that your relative is not interested in your baby any more be open to the idea of a day care center or hiring a nanny. Do not hesitate in talking to the relative about it. You can even seek her help in looking out for the same.
Don’t put unwilling burden. Keep yourself open to the ideas of looking out for other options if you feel that you are putting an unwilling burden on your relative.
Putting your baby under the care of a relative has its own pros and cons. Just weight them out before deciding on whether or not you want to put your baby under her care.