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10 Considerations for your Hospital Birth Childcare Plan

10 Considerations for your Hospital Birth Childcare Plan

A subsequent birth is exciting! Your family is growing and it's time to make room and arrangements for yet another little. At first it might seem like a rinse and repeat situation, but one plan you didn't have to make last time was for your firstborn's care while you were away giving birth.

Creating a thoughtful childcare plan for the soon-to-be-big brother or sister while you're in the hospital for the subsequent baby's birth involves quite a bit of pre-planning and the consideration of various logistics. Not sure where to begin? Our top ten considerations are going to make this a lot easier for you to knock out this plan with confidence.

1. Childcare Provider: Identify who could ideally take care of your child whenever the time comes for you to go to the hospital overnight. This could be a family member, a close friend, a familiar babysitter or a professional childcare provider. Ensure that the chosen caregiver is available and willing to commit to the timeframe needed, well in advance.

2. The Backup Plan: Yes, have a backup childcare plan in the event the originally planned-for caregiver becomes unavailable unexpectedly. Having a list of alternate caregivers "on stand-by" who can step in if called upon is wise. Better to have this pre-arranged and not have to call on it, than be surprised and left without a care plan altogether. Scrambling for childcare is the last thing you need to be configuring amidst labor.

3. Duration of Care: Determine how long you'll need care for your little during your hospital birth-stay. Consider the factors that could affect how long you're away from home. If you've already completed your birth plan, you could use that as a guide. For example, most vaginal births require only a one to two night stay, while a c-section birth usually requires a three to four night stay, pending any potential complications in recovery. 

4. The Communication Plan: Establish a communication plan between you, your partner and the assigned caregiver(s). Do you prefer regular check-ins via phone calls, text messages, or video calls. Do you and your partner want to offer updates on the your birth status? Will it add to your ultimate peace of mind to get a pulse on your child's well-being at home? Do you want them to come visit you in the hospital once the baby is born? Write down your preferences so everyone's on the same page. 

5. Your Child's Routine: Provide detailed information about your child's daily routine, including meal times, nap schedule, favorite activities, bedtime routine, and any special needs or preferences. If it's an unfamiliar caregiver, then this will help them maintain continuity and consistency in their day and overnight care.

6. Emergency Contact Information: Ensure that the caregiver has access to emergency contact information, including phone numbers for the parents, pediatrician, and any other relevant contacts. Provide clear instructions on what to do in case of emergencies or medical concerns.

7. Child's Preferences and Comfort Items: Share information about your child's likes, dislikes, favorite toys, comfort items, and any special rituals or routines that help them feel comfortable and secure, particularly in your extended absence. This gives the caregiver every opportunity to create an ideal environment for your little at home.

8. Parenting Instructions: Consider providing guidance on your own parenting approach, any disciplinary strategies as well as any specific rules or boundaries that the caregiver should follow while caring for your child. This of course ensures consistency in parenting practices and can help the child feel secure in your absence. 

9. Medical Information: Provide any pertinent information about your child's medical history, allergies, current medications, and any ongoing health concerns. Ensure that the caregiver knows how to access any necessary medical records and seek medical assistance if needed in your absence.

10. Special Considerations: Consider any special needs or considerations that your firstborn may have, such as dietary restrictions, allergies or sensory sensitivities. Provide clear instructions on how to accommodate these needs, if the caregiver isn't already familiar.

By addressing these logistics and providing thoughtful guidance to the caregiver, you can ensure that your firstborn receives attentive and nurturing care while you're in the hospital for your subsequent baby's birth. This helps minimize your amount of stress and can ensure a smooth transition for the entire family. You've got this!

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