Choosing someone to provide care for your child when you are away can be a very difficult process. Few caregivers will match your preferences exactly, but it is important that you get an overall feeling that your child is in safe, capable hands. Visiting a number of nurseries is wise as each will display individual strengths and weaknesses, so after spending time with the care-giving staff at a few locations, you’ll begin to get a feel for what is ‘normal’ in the industry and which nurseries most closely reflect your vision of appropriate care.
Regulations do provide for the Sleep Safety Of Babies and young children, requiring that carers adhere to the current recommendations for reducing incidents of cot death. For example, babies who are placed in cots to nap must be laid on their backs, never on their tummies. Additionally, cots are to be fitted with firm mattresses and can contain no pillows, fluffy blankets or stuffed toys.
Babies must be placed in cots ‘feet to foot’ meaning that their feet are situated near the end of the mattress to minimise the chance that they will slip down beneath the covers. A lightweight blanket or sheet may be used, but should ride no higher than the baby’s shoulders and is to be tucked firmly along the sides of the mattress so that it does not shift or tangle. Finally, sleeping babies in nurseries must be monitored regularly by staff members, further increasing the safety factor.
While current regulations do not expressly prohibit nursery staff from allowing babies to sleep in buggies or bouncers, you can ask that your baby be placed in a cot for all nap times, and staff members should be expected to honour your request. As all parents know, babies do sometimes fall asleep while resting in a bouncer chair or swing, and may awaken if they are disturbed. It would seem reasonable to leave an infant in such a location on occasion, but for regular naps, they should be placed into clean, safely prepared cots, if for no other reason than their comfort.
Touring nurseries can provide you with a great deal of insight as to standards of care and can help you to locate a place where you feel confident that your child will not only be safe, but treated with gentleness and consideration. In the end, I recommend that you trust your instincts and base your final decision on a combination of solid reputation and an overall good feeling. There are plenty of Quality Caregivers To Choose From, so there is no need to settle for care that makes you hesitate.