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Signs of a Bad Caregiver

  • Your baby isn’t happy to see the caregiver and has become anxious and withdrawn. A caregiver can never replace Mom or Dad, but a baby needs to trust and love the caregiver. Perhaps your child and caregiver haven’t bonded, or the caregiver just isn’t providing the kind of warmth and comfort your child needs. (If you suspect something more serious is wrong, educate yourself about the signs of child abuse.)

  • The caregiver seems secretive about how they spent the day. How your baby and his or her caregiver spend their time should not be a secret. When you come home, you’re probably eager to hear about your child and what happened while you were apart. If your caregiver is not forthcoming about the day, either he or she is not a good at communicator or he or she has something to hide. Even a caregiver whose English is limited should be able to convey the ups and downs of your baby’s day and should understand why you want to know.

  • Your baby has been involved in multiple accidents that could have easily been avoided. A caregiver must keep his or her eye on your child and know what he or she is doing at all times to prevent injury. The caregiver may be leaving your child unattended as he or she sleeps or plays.

  • You notice your requests aren’t followed. Both of you are working together to care for your child, so a caregiver shouldn’t act as if they know more about your child and child-rearing than you do.

  • The caregiver often shows up late. Find someone who you know is committed to the job and considerate of your needs. Tardiness and unexplained absences may mean she’s unreliable in other ways as well.

  • Your baby often looks unkempt and dirty. If your child’s caregiver cannot take care of the basics, it may be a sign that he or she is not able to meet your child’s needs.

  • Stories don’t add up. Never tolerate someone who steals, lies, or deceives you in any way. You have to be able to trust your caregiver for the relationship to work.

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