Guest Author - Julixa Newman
Going back to work after your maternity leave can be a very upsetting experience, both for you and your multiples. Before even considering it you have to find a daycare provider or center that will work with you at keeping your twins happy and safe. If you're twins are already on some type of schedule you want to make sure that it is honored when you're not around.
When interviewing a daycare provider or a babysitter in his/her home, make sure that the area where your children will spend their time is a clean and well lit. Remember that although you will only be visiting for a while, your babies will be in that environment for most of the day. You want to make sure you go over YOUR schedule with the provider and that he/she can assure you that they will do their best to maintain it. Don't be upset if it takes a while. Keep in mind that your babies have to get used to this person and environment. This might take a couple of weeks in many cases.
If your twins have any type of allergy, it is always very important that you discuss this with your provider. Leaving emergency contact information and even a copy of their insurance cards is always a good way to go. Make sure they are prepared in case your child eats or is in contact with the allergen.
Always make sure that your provider knows who will be dropping off and picking up your twins. If different people will be picking up the twins and they are not a part of the interviewing process, it is always a good idea to bring along recent pictures to leave behind. The morning or afternoon that the twins will be picked up by someone other than yourself you can always refer to that person's picture.
Even though you might think that your provider is a pro at what they do, it is always important to discuss how and when you put your twins down for a nap. They might have a specific way of being rocked or a special blanket that they use. Whatever it may be, it is better to be upfront than have your provider wondering why your twins are crying but won't fall asleep. I have also found that leaving two shirts with my smell helps the twins find a little comfort in a strange environment. This is an important situation that can make the difference between a happy caretaker and a very stressed one.
Look around at the other children in the center. Are they happy? Dirty? Afraid? Do you smell a lot of unchanged babies? You can tell a lot by just looking at a child. If these children are all in play pens for most of your visit, then the odds of your twins being in one are very high. You want to make sure that there is room to play and comfortable objects around. Look at the outlets, are they covered? Don't be ashamed about speaking up if something concerns you. This will more than likely be your twin's second home. You want to make sure it's as safe as yours!
Last but not least, follow your gut. If for any reason something just does not feel right, just thank the person for their time and move on. There is nothing stronger than a mother's intuition.