Choosing a child care provider is a big decision, and that is why taking your time and asking the right questions is so important. Doing your homework will make you feel confident in your choice, and it could save you headaches down the road.
Your baby’s feeding habits will be established by the time she is 3 years old, so you’ll want to make sure everyone who is caring for her is on the same team with these five questions.
- Do you feed on schedule or on demand?
We recommend feeding on demand so your baby eats based on her hunger cues.
- How do you bottle-feed?
You'll want your caregiver to hold your baby when she feeds her, not prop the bottle or give her a bottle in her crib.
- Will you provide any food or drinks other than what I’ve set aside?
For the first 4 to 6 months, your child care provider should give your baby only breastmilk or iron-fortified formula.
- When a baby is ready to starts solids, what foods do you provide?
Make sure the child care provider offers nutritious foods such as fruits, veggies and proteins, and that you receive a list of what your baby eats (and doesn’t eat) each day.
- What are your thoughts on juice?
Even though it’s still early, it’s good to let your caregiver know that you do not want your child to have juice or anything with added sugar. Let her know you are following the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of no juice before age 1 and the American Heart Association’s recommendation of no added sugar before 2 years of age.
More than anything, you want to feel comfortable and confident that if you make a request on behalf of your baby’s health, your child care provider will be more than willing to accommodate you.