Take my Baby, Please!
By Ellen Slotkin, Registered Dietitian
No surprise here, our survey found that moms who had more help caring for their children were more successful at losing the baby weight. Why so?
Time for exercise, time to de-stress, and time to simply run errands contributes to an improved state of mental and physical fitness. Asking for assistance does not make you a bad mother, in fact it can help you better care for your family!
1. Family First. No one is better trusted to care for your children than a close relative. Especially during infancy, relatives are more than willing to help, you simply need to ask. Make sure you create an emergency contact sheet of information and have it easily accessible for them. You may also want to encourage your relatives to attend an infant and child CPR class before babysitting.
2. Share the Work. Yes, offering to watch two babies is double the work, but in return swapping childcare, playdates or “co-sitting” can be a wonderful way to guarantee some alone time for yourself. Make sure to choose only individuals that you know well and trust.
3. Do your Research. If you will be seeking non-relative help, be sure to thoroughly research child care providers. Individuals should be certified in both infant and child CPR, and maintain up-to-date registration cards. Always ask for at least three non-relative references before hiring any individual. If you have the resources available, a CORI background check will expose any criminal history, if any. (They are usually available through your state attorney general’s office).
4. Be Practical! If you are opting for a child care center rather than an individual
it is important to inquire about the centers’ hours of operation, costs, social and educational activities and feeding practices. A useful resource is the National Association of Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRA). .You can access their website to find child care agencies in your local area.
Ellen Slotkin is a clinical dietitian in Bethesda, Maryland. She is a graduate of Simmons College Boston and completed her post-graduate education at Yale-New Haven Hospital, affiliate of Yale Medical School. Her areas of expertise include nutrition during pregnancy, weight management, and heart healthy nutrition.