Have you ever experienced this heart-wrenching story? When your one-year old child is sleepy or hurt or hungry, they don't cry for you to kiss their boo-boo's. No. They cry for the babysitter! So how do you regain the emotional bond with your child and stop the awful feeling that your child loves the babysitter more than you?
Try one of the following suggestions to help work things out.
Be Thankful That You Found Child Care Your Child Loves
You are lucky that that your child has an adult they love and trust as much as they do.
Their relationship can be a source of nurturing and support that could last a lifetime. Think of all the reasons why you are thankful for your babysitter.
Spend Quality Cuddle Time with Your Child When You Can
It's vital for children to form a secure attachment to their mothers in order to build a stable emotional foundation for life. The earlier this can happen, the better.
Does your child look to you for comfort and to have their needs met when the babysitter is gone? Do you have plenty of loving cuddle time together? If so, you don't need to worry if they love the babysitter more than you because you can clearly meet their need and this is probably just a phase.
Just to be sure though, keep up the good effort on snuggling your little one close. Tight hugs and affection can do wonders for a child and a mother.
Reestablish Yourself As The Primary Caregiver, If Needed
But if your child rejects you, even after the babysitter has been gone for hours, you need to reestablish yourself as the primary caregiver.
You must proceed gradually to avoid triggering separation anxiety or making him/her feel abandoned by the babysitter they love.
At this point, your babysitter knows the routines and how to soothe him/her. Spend some time with both of them so you can see how signals are sent for being tired, hungry or bored.
Set aside any feelings of guilt or jealousy you may have and just focus on the present moment. Learn everything you can from your babysitter about your child's needs. Don't try to take control from her. Create a low-stress environment of fun and special play so that your child enjoys spending time with both of you.
Take Time Off To Be With Your Child
After you've connected with the babysitter give them a day off. Take responsibility for all your child's needs like eating, diapering, soothing and playing. This may feel overwhelming at first, but don't worry, all new moms feel this way. Look for ways to build attachment such as cuddling and reading together. Then repeat this exercise as needed.
Be Patient Because Things Never Happen Overnight
This transition may take a while so try to be patience. Keep in mind that you will have 17 more years (at least) with your child at home to cement those mother-child bonds. After all, only you are the mother, and it's your job to guide your child into adulthood with confidence and love.
Then Try To Stop Worrying About This
When you first turn over your child to another caregiver, you may worry whether the babysitter will love your baby as much as you do.
But then when that bond forms securely you start to worry that your child loves the babysitter more than you. Sometimes it feels like you just can't win! There will always be something to worry about when it comes to child care. Have faith that there's only one you in this world and you are the best mother and care taker for your child. Period. Then release the worrying by saying a mantra like, "I am their mother and I will always know best and love best".
Edited by Elizabeth McGrory