In the early stages of life, children learn the most and are shaped by one-on-one relationships. A primary caregiver also acts as a special teacher to the child and an exclusive expert on him or her. This is not just an easy job since the primary caregiver is also responsible for the child’s needs and progress, and parents entrust their precious child into somebody else’s hands. Here are some pieces of advice on how to be the best and highly reliable primary caregiver.
- Show love and sincerity in abundance. They nourish a child’s heart in a way that nothing else can. Children need love and sincerity from their parents and caregivers as much as they need to satisfy basic needs. If you care for a child in a more personal way and are concerned for the child’s overall welfare, it will show in the way that you attend to him or her. You will always do what’s best for the child and not put the child in jeopardy.
- Fill the child’s basic needs. Babies and young children always need to be vigilantly looked after. Babies in particular, need more intensive, focused care. And since they can only express themselves through crying and other signs of restlessness (either they may be hungry, thirsty, sleepy, uncomfortable, sick, need to be burped or a diaper change), you have to be able to catalogue and interpret the signs that they give away. They need to eat regularly, and eating times and frequency depend on a child’s age. Make sure the child eats healthy, balanced meals, and is properly hydrated. Clean, potable water should always be within reach. For babies and toddlers, change their diapers. Assist the child whenever he needs a visit to the potty. If the child is tired and sleepy, put him to bed right away.
- Establish and follow a schedule. There is a time for everything. Make sure the child always eats on time and has a schedule set for sleep, naps, playing and learning, etc. This is also one way of teaching a child how to stick to a routine and instilling discipline.
- Observe proper hygiene. This is one thing a primary caregiver should never forget. Always wash your hands thoroughly and be clean inside and out whenever you deal with kids. Also show the child how to wash hands properly and teach him how to always be clean to prevent sickness and germs from spreading.
- Safety is a priority. Never leave any child unattended at any time. Keep your eye on them like a hawk at all times, and especially when in the bath tub, outdoors, when playing or walking around. Times are different now and there are many dangers out there that even we could not predict. Keep sharp, dangerous objects away from their reach. Do not give a child small objects that he may accidentally swallow or choke on. Make the surrounding environment childproof.
- An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. If the child shows signs of discomfort or sickness, take necessary measures to prevent it. If symptoms worsen, take note of them then consult a physician right away. A primary caregiver should also take proactive measures in avoiding a child getting sick or preventing symptoms to get worse.
- Dress the child appropriately and comfortably. Dress the child in clothes appropriate for the season and weather. If it’s cold, make sure the child is snug and warm. In the summer, dress the child in clothes that let him breathe. When playing, the child should wear less constricting clothes.
- Introduce safe, fun, and appropriate educational activities. Play time is also quality time. Facilitate fun games and learning activities appropriate for the age and level of the child. Let the child play and interact with other children his age as well.
Being a primary caregiver to a child should be taken seriously. The relationship between a primary caregiver and a child plays a very important role to the child’s development, and comes a close second to the importance of parental and familial relationships.