The arrival of a baby is a blessing for every parent. But it can also be a source of anxiety, especially if you need to return to work. Living in a busy city like Hong Kong, new parents usually find it difficult to strike the balance between work life and baby care. Therefore, many families seek external help — foreign domestic helper. However, for new parents who have not had much experience in hiring helpers, they might find it stressful in hiring the right one.
When selecting the perfect helper to take care of your newborn or toddlers, you should look for someone with the following skills:
- A trustworthy and caring personality
Putting trust in foreign domestic helper to take care of the household is not easy, not to mention your little one. If you're entrusting your baby to a helper, making sure your baby is in a pair of safe hand is the most important. Since the helper will need to take most of the responsibilities to take care of the baby in your absence, it is essential to hire someone having a caring and loving charisma, as well as a trustworthy and responsible personality, so that your baby would feel safe and comfortable with this person.
- Experiences in baby care
Your helper needs to have experiences in working with babies or kids because it means that she should know how to take care of young children without a lot of help from you. You wouldn't want your children being taken care of by an amateur. If you are looking for baby care, your helper should have at least have these skills:
– how to hold your baby properly and comfortably;
– how to swaddle a baby;
– how to burp and administer CPR to a baby;
– how to feed a baby;
– how to bathe a baby;
– how to get the baby to sleep;
– how to change diapers.
When screening the candidates of helper, you should consider someone with a qualification of childcare or nursing, if not, she should be at least qualified to provide first aid care in case of emergency. Having a childcare or nursing qualification indicates that the helper should have the knowledge of how to provide a suitable and balanced diet to babies or young children, and she should be capable of taking care of your little one adequately. If they are missing the above skills or qualifications, you can consider signing up some relevant recognized courses offered by reputable organizations for your helper, so that she can learn some necessary skills along the way. Here are some recommended and credible organizations that offer childcare and first aid courses: The Family Zone , Matilda and Annerly (for employers based in Hong Kong), SEED institute (for employers based in Singapore).
- An attentive mind
Your helper should have an attentive mind in remembering your baby's or toddler's daily pattern for sleeping, feeding, learning, playing and bathing. When it comes to baby care, more details should be bear in mind, such as the optimal temperature of milk, baby's reaction while feeding and burping, personal hygiene, and many more. You can communicate the pattern and daily tasks with your helper to work out a perfect plan for both of you and the baby.
- Good communication skills
Your helper should be a good listener and communicator.
Every child is a special individual and has different needs. Therefore, it is understandable for you to leave special requirements for your helper. Don't forget to communicate with your helper clearly and nicely about how you would like the helper to help you with, how you would like your child to be taken care, and how to deal with an emergency. Your helper needs to have an adequate understanding of your expectations and your child's needs. Apart from your side, communication is a two-way process. Since babies and toddlers are too young to speak for themselves regarding what they want and need, your helper should be able to speak to you honestly about how the day was and how your child behaves while you are away. Therefore, you can get some insights and perhaps adjust the regular daily schedule for your little one accordingly. Remember your helper is here to help you and solve the problems. Make sure she understands your concerns and be able to talk about hers too. Don't put her down if any misunderstanding occurs or it will be harder to build a positive communication tie in the future.
- Good organizational skills
The helper needs to have good organizational skills since the responsibility of your helper is not only taking care of the baby but also the household. You might want her to be able to keep the house clean and prepare meals for your family. Therefore, your helper should be able to organise her time efficiently, from taking care of your child's needs to the basic household matter. To do this, you could try to discuss with her how to prioritize the tasks and make good use of her time. However, it is not recommended to delegate your helper too many tasks in one time because it might overload her working capacity and divide her much needed attention to your child.
Sometimes, it is not easy to get the perfect helper who checks all the boxes. What's good is that there are many certified courses offered by recognized organizations to help your helper equip with the babycare skills you need. If you are new parents and having troubles screening and interviewing candidates of foreign domestic helpers, check out our “Hacks for Conducting a Domestic Helper Interview” for some inspirations.
If you have already hired a helper to take care of your little one but do not know how to start, this article “Six Steps to Make Your Domestic Helper Ready to Care for Your Baby will give you some tips about how to get prepared for this new challenge.