While caring for toddlers and older children is not without its challenges, providing care for newborns introduces an entirely separate set of requirements and needs. Childcare providers should know how to properly meet the needs of newborns to promote healthy development while discouraging the spread of illness, reducing risk and keeping newborns safe.
While teething is a painful rite of passage for infants, it can also create a stressful environment for childcare providers. This especially holds true for those who aren’t allowed to administer over-the-counter medications, or choose not to assume the risk of medication for something as non-threatening as teething. Numbing agents like benzocaine are often used in commercial teething gels, and while they can eliminate infants’ discomfort, the numb sensation can easily spread to the rest of the mouth and throat. Throat numbness, in particular, can increase the chances of gagging and choking for small children, which is another reason childcare providers may want to eliminate these products from their medication stores.
Great childcare providers fill their available slots quickly, which means expecting parents may need to start searching out their newborn childcare providers before the baby even arrives. The pressure of finding a caregiver in time for parents to return to work on schedule can be rattling, especially for your first child, when you’re not quite sure what to look for in terms of infant care providers.
Newborns and young infants spend much of the day sleeping, making safe sleep tactics and essential skill set for childcare providers. Neglecting the basic tenets of safe sleep can place infants under one year of age at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which occurs with no warning signs while a baby sleeps. Since the American public, including parents and childcare providers, began to widely adopt the safe sleeping rules set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the SIDS rate in the United States has plummeted by more than fifty percent. Still, one in five deaths attributed to SIDS occurs when a child is place in the care of someone other than a parent, like daycare or with an in-home childcare provider.