My husband and I made a lot of mistakes in caring for our son with acid reflux. One of the biggest mistakes we made early on was not taking more breaks from our role as caregivers in order to care of ourselves. Hindsight really is 20/20.
Like many of you, we had a lot of good reasons not to let someone else take care of our baby while we took a much needed break. For one, there was never a long line of people waiting to help us care for him. He mostly screamed in pain, and almost never slept. We didn't have any family nearby, and when we brought in an outside baby sitter, she was usually "busy" the next time we called. Another good reason we didn't take as many breaks as we should have, is that we were just too sleep deprived to even KNOW what we needed. The days just blurred, one into another, with small breaks now and again when our son would try a new formula or reflux medicine and it would actually work for a day or two.
Many of you probably know why taking a break is important for you as a caregiver - your emotional and physical health may be at risk otherwise. But did you also know that bringing in outside caregivers is also good for your baby? Research supports the idea that "outside" or non-family relationships may have some very important influences on how your baby develops socially. A baby's social and emotional tendencies do not come from parents alone. In fact several studies suggest that relationships with non-parent caregivers are MORE predictive of later social skills than are relationships with parents!
So, as difficult as it may be to bring in an outside caregiver, you have to try - not just for you, but also for your baby.
For more information on caring for a child with acid reflux disease, check out Tracy's three part costs of cargiving series:
Published On: May 07, 2008