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Childcare options | Annabel Karmel

Friends and family are often queuing up soon after the birth and showing off baby can be fun, but exhausting. You and your newborn need help not hindrance so direct visitors to the kettle so they can make their own cuppa, and don’t be too proud to take up offers of help and hand baby over for some cuddle time if you fancy sneaking off for a bath.

Your bank balance and lifestyle will determine what sort of help, if any, you would like to consider moving forward. Here are some of the professionals that you might like to enlist:

Maternity nurse
Experienced in all aspects of newborn care and on duty 24 hours a day up to six days a week. They usually sleep in the same room as baby and wake mum at night if breastfeeding.

Night nanny
Usually on duty for 12 hours, allowing you to sleep while they guide baby into a routine. 

Live in or live out but typically working 40 hour weeks. Baby is their primary focus though household chores can sometimes be included in their duties, this would need to be agreed at interview stage.

Au pair
More extended family member than employee, traditionally undertaking light housework and childcare for five hours a day. They are not usually left in sole charge and will need to have their own room. 

Mother’s help
Varied role that offers assistance with all aspects of childcare, light housework, meal preparation and errands. Primarily works alongside the parent or care giver.

Provides emotional support and practical help to mum during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood.

Not strictly childcare but if delegating the dusting means you can focus on baby without the nagging guilt of housework then it might be worth considering!

Whoever you choose remember that they have the potential to become an integral part of your parenting team, an informal interview over a coffee is often a good way to establish rapport. If you feel uncomfortable making chit chat it is unlikely that they will fit in to your home environment.

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