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Is your baby with hearing loss starting daycare or childcare with a caregiver? Parents often have unanswered questions about what to expect and how to prepare for this transition. But rest assured this is a positive experience for you and your baby, and an important milestone. There are few things you can do to help make the process as smooth as possible for you, your baby, and the adults and caregivers around them.
As you prepare to leave your baby in another person's care, whether you're using a nanny, family member, or daycare center, you'll want to make sure they feel comfortable and prepared.
Your child's caregivers don't necessarily need to have experience working with or caring for children with hearing loss, but they will need to be very comfortable with handling your child's hearing devices on their own. Remember — your child’s hearing devices are brain access devices and they need to be worn all waking hours!
Create a troubleshooting kit for your child's hearing technology including a simple guide or checklist for your child's hearing devices that they can keep at the daycare. You could even create a video on your phone and share how to check and put the hearing devices on. Then set up a time to meet and discuss so they can feel comfortable and prepared.
Try these tips:
A troubleshooting toolkit should include:
If your child uses a remote microphone, make sure your caregiver knows not just how to use it, but when to use it as well.
Talk to your caregiver about your goals or expectations for your child. This can include things like you want your child to play and fully engage in all the activities that surround them, and the importance of wear time for your baby. Go a step further and talk about eyes open, ears on. That means that hearing devices should be on all waking hours and even after nap time. Explain that your child needs access to all the sounds of speech and language throughout the day so that they can learn to listen and talk and interact with those around them.
If you pick up your child at the end of the day and they don't have their hearing devices on or they're not working, or if you have any concerns about your child’s wear time, talk to your caregiver immediately and explain the importance of continually keeping the hearing devices on and in working order.
You can also try using the All About Me worksheet! It is a great resource for helping your child’s caregiver to understand more about your child with hearing loss.
This is such an exciting time for you and your little one. They are on their way. They're off to great places, and it starts today. For more information on starting daycare click the video below!
Let’s Get Ready: Daycare for a Child with Hearing Loss
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Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Thousands of parents have been in your shoes. Find other parents who can share from experience, offer encouragement, and help your family reach your LSL goals.
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