10 things to tell your maid when looking after your baby

Maids are of great help when it comes to taking care of your baby. Here are 10 things to tell your maid and ensure that they know.

Here in Singapore, we are lucky to be able to easily hire maids to help with household chores and look after our children. However, we may get complacent about certain things sometimes, especially in relation to how our maids care for our kids. 

With this in mind, we spoke to Maid Specialist Monica Leong, owner of Faith Employment Agency since 1981, to find out about the things to tell your maid when looking after your baby. 

Things to tell your maid when looking after your baby

Read on to to know this very useful information provided by Monica.

1. Does she know what to do in an emergency?

It's really important that your helper knows what to do in an emergency should you not be at home or easily contacted.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Enrol her in a first-aid course. Maid Specialist Monica Leong recommends enrolling your maid in a first-aid course offered especially for maids by Mother & Child, or Body with Soul.

2. If your maid is going to be accompanying your child to the swimming pool alone, consider enrolling your maid in a swimming class (if she can't already swim) in case of an emergency at the pool.

3. Have your contact number, as well as the contact numbers of anyone else she can call in an emergency should she be unable to get through to you, displayed in a prominent place. Also include Singapore emergency numbers on this list such as:

- Emergency Ambulance and Fire: 995

- Police Emergency: 999

4. One of the most important things to tell your maid when looking after your baby is to inform her about the hospital closest to your house and how to get there, should the need to take your child to hospital arise.

2. Your baby's safety is important at ALL times

Your maid must remember at all times that your baby's safety always comes first, whatever other chores she may have.

Remember to tell her even when she is taking a break to always keep an eye on your little one and to never leave baby alone even for a few minutes.

Before you step out of the house, always ask your maid if she needs to use the bathroom. It is also of the many essential things to tell your maid when looking after your baby. 

If she does have to use the bathroom after you go, instruct her to place the baby in a designated 'safe spot' that you have decided on (this could mean strapping your child in a bouncy chair, or placing him or her in a secure playpen).

Even if your maid does place the baby inside a playpen or in a baby chair, remind her to always check that there are no sharp objects inside the playpen or near the chair, or any other items such as dangling cords that could pose a safety hazard.

3. Cultivate good hygiene habits

Instruct your maid on all hygiene matters that are important to you in your household.

Here are some examples of hygiene-related instructions you could give your maid:

1. It is important that baby is always clean and diapers are changed as swiftly as possible, to prevent nasty nappy rash or UTI from developing.

2. Try to have a shower or at least change into clean clothes after cooking or cleaning the bathroom.

3. Always wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing the baby's diaper, and before feeding, picking up baby and preparing his food.

4. Ensure strict hygiene with baby's food, including its preparation and storage, and washing of utensils, e.g. milk bottles.

4. Ensure she is very careful when handling your baby

 

If you are entrusting your maid with caring for your newborn baby, do emphasize the fact that newborns are very fragile.

Show your helper how to pick up, carry, feed and bathe your infant, and get her to practice in your presence.

Instruct her to always support your newborn baby's head and neck when she is picking up, carrying or bathing your baby.

Also remember to give your maid clear instructions about your baby's sleep routine, including information on how to keep baby safe while sleeping — such as:

*monitoring the temperature in his/her room;

*ensuring there are no pillows or blankets that he/she could pull over his/her head;

*laying your baby flat on his/her back while sleeping;

*correct swaddling techniques, etc.

5. Teach your maid about time management

Time management is important when looking after a little one. Your helper should know how to prioritise her work and work around baby’s schedule.

For example, your maid should have a good understanding of when your baby's nap and meal times are, and plan her other chores around those times accordingly.

You could give your helper a schedule of her day's work to help her manage her time properly.

6. Instruct her to be conscientious and alert at all times

If your maid will be looking after your baby daily while you are away at work or running errands, she needs to be alert about things such as your baby's temperature, poo and urine output, behaviour, etc.

If she notices a change in any of these things, do tell her to inform you as soon as possible.

Your maid should also be conscientious about things like age-appropriate foods for your baby, foods that may cause an allergic reaction in your child, etc.

7. Patience is a virtue

As parents, we all know that we need bucketloads of patience when it comes to looking after kids, especially newborns, infants and toddlers.

Have a chat with your maid about a baby's common tendency to cry for no apparent reason at times.

Remind her that at times like this, if she is alone with your child, she should not lose her patience. Instead, she must do her best to settle your little one.

Teach her methods of settling a baby, such as rocking, patting, shushing or singing.

Explain to her that it's really important she does not lose her cool and vent it out on the baby.

Tell your helper to always remember that the baby does not know that she might be tired; neither is he/she purposely crying to get on your maid's nerves.

8. Is your maid responsible?

Handling and looking after another person's child — which is exactly what your maid will be doing — is a huge responsibility.

Talk to your helper about being responsible when it comes to her chores at home, including the care of your child.

For example, if she is accompanying your child to the park or playground, she should be mature and responsible enough to know that she needs to watch your child at all times and not chat with her friends or talk incessantly on her phone.

9. Does your maid love children?

helper

If your maid has a natural love for children, it's likely she will come to genuinely love your baby too.

Unfortunately, this is not one of things to tell your maid when looking after your baby. It is something you will only be able to observe over time.

If you are lucky to get a maid who genuinely loves your child, you can rest assured that it will be easier for her to overcome any hardships she may face when taking care of your baby.

In the end, go with your gut as a parent, and if you think your helper doesn't have a genuine fondness for your little one, you might want to consider looking for a new maid.

What would you add to this list of things to tell your maid when looking after your baby? Do let us know by leaving a comment below. 

Also read: Is it okay to let your maid discipline your kids?