Dear Bundoo: My daughter prefers the babysitter over me!
One mother returned to work only to have her daughter eventually prefer the babysitter to her! Another new mom wants to know how dangerous the spread of measles is and discovers the true meaning of “airborne.” See what our experts say this week in Dear Bundoo.
I had to return to work about 8 weeks after my baby was born, and it was extremely hard on me. While I wish I could still be home with my daughter, my husband and I hired a wonderful babysitter that has been with us the last 18 months during the day while we are both at work. My issue is that for the last few months, my child has made it a point to tell us she only wants “Jessica” to help bathe and dress her—even if it’s long after she has left for the evening. When she arrives every morning, my daughter rushes to her in complete joy and elation. When I come home, I barely get a hello, let alone a loving toddler hug. How do I handle my child loving the babysitter more than me?
Dear Ignored Mother,
You are in good—albeit jealous—company with working moms everywhere. Keep in mind this phase is temporary. The babysitter is not a permanent fixture in her life; you are. The reason this occurs is because your babysitter is doing exactly what you are paying her to do. Babysitters are expected to care for, play with, and give your child their undivided attention. The time she spends with her babysitter is fun. It is possible the time she spends with you is all business and could be a hurried and harried experience at times. You likely have a lot to do when you are home and little time to do it. It is not about the amount of time we spend with our children but the quality of time spent. Time with your daughter should be intentional and all about her. Make sure when you are home your daughter, she knows she is your priority. For example, the dishes won’t go anywhere. They will be there after she goes to bed. You can easily combat this by giving your undivided attention to your daughter and make the most of those precious moments together.
—Answered by Raquel Anderson, Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist
It seems like all I’m reading about now is the measles outbreak, but I don’t really understand what they’re talking about when they say it’s “airborne” or “droplet spread.” If a disease like the measles is airborne, does that mean it just floats around in the air until someone breathes it? Is that the same for the flu and regular colds? I live in an area where we have new measles cases. My daughter hasn’t been vaccinated yet because she’s too young.
—Stop Spreading Measles
Dear Stop Spreading Measles,
With measles, the germ can be transmitted two ways: by droplet and airborne. Droplet means that if a contagious person coughs or sneezes, the germ is released onto surfaces inside a droplet of fluid. A passerby touches that surface, touches their own mouth or nose, and becomes infected. Airborne means the contagious individual coughs or sneezes, and a microscopic bit of germ is left suspended in the air. A person entering the room can effectively inhale the organism and become infected. The most common way we are infected with measles is by droplet spread as measles lives for up to two hours outside the body on doorknobs, table tops, etc. Measles is contagious beginning from four days prior to the rash and for four days after the rash appears, so people can unknowingly spread it before they are aware they are infected.
—Answered by Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician
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