Does My Child Like the Babysitter More Than Me?

mom handing infant over to babysitter

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Have you ever experienced this heart-wrenching feeling that arises when your child is sleepy, hurt, or hungry, and they cry for the babysitter to comfort them rather than you? How do you regain the emotional bond with your child? How can you stop the awful feeling that your child likes the babysitter more than you?

Try one of the following suggestions to help work things out between you and your child.

Be Thankful That You Found a Babysitter Who Loves Your Child

You are lucky that your child has an adult they love and trust as much as they do. Their relationship can be a source of love and support that could last for many years. Think of all the reasons why you are thankful for your babysitter when you are feeling that tinge of jealousy. Your child obviously loves you and luckily you picked someone who your child loves, too.

Practice feeling thankful for your babysitter. Write down five reasons why they are doing an awesome job. Then, be sure to share this with your babysitter. Why not spread the love all around. It'll make your sitter feel happier and more satisfied in their role as a result.

Spend Quality Cuddle Time With Your Child When You Can

It's vital for children to form a secure attachment to their mother. It helps build a stable emotional foundation for life. The earlier this can happen, the better for a child's development.

Does your child look to you for comfort and to have their needs met when the babysitter is gone? Do you have plenty of loving cuddle time together? If so, you don't need to worry that they might love the babysitter more than you because you meet all of their basic needs. It's probably just a phase they are going through.

Just to be sure though, keep up the good effort on snuggling with your little one. Tight hugs and affection can do wonders for a child and a mother. Plus, it just feels good to do that after a long day. It makes all your hard work worthwhile.

Re-Establish Yourself as the Primary Caregiver, If Needed

If your child rejects you hours after the babysitter is gone, do not despair. You'll need to reestablish yourself as the primary caregiver as well as avoid any triggering separation anxiety that would make your child feel abandoned by the babysitter they love so dearly.

First, you need to spend time analyzing the relationship between your babysitter and your child. Your babysitter knows the routines and how to soothe your child. Spend some time with both of them so you can see how signals are sent for being tired, hungry, or bored. Set aside any feelings of guilt or jealousy you may have and just focus on the present moment. 

Learn everything you can from your babysitter about your child's needs when you're not around. Try not to step on your babysitter's toes and undermine their expertise. Create a low-stress environment so that your child enjoys spending time with both of you.

Take Time off to Be With Your Child

After you've connected with the babysitter, give them a day off. Take responsibility for all your child's needs like eating, diapering, soothing, and playing. This may feel overwhelming at first, but don't worry, all new moms feel this way.

Look for ways to build attachment such as cuddling and reading together. Then repeat this exercise as needed.

Be Patient Because Things Never Happen Overnight

This transition may take a while so try to be patient. Keep in mind that you probably have 17 more years (at least) with your child at home to cement those mother-child bonds.

After all, only you are the mother, and it's your job to guide your child into adulthood with confidence and love.

Try to Stop Worrying

When you first turn over your child to another caregiver, you may worry whether the babysitter will love your baby as much as you do. But then when that bond forms securely you may start to worry that your child loves the babysitter more than you. Sometimes it feels like you just can't win! The thing is, there will always be something to worry about when it comes to childcare—but spending time worrying about it doesn't help make it any better!

Have faith that there's only one you in this world and you are the best mother and caretaker for your child. Period. Then release the worrying by saying a mantra like, "I am their mother, and I will always know best and love best."

Edited by Elizabeth McGrory

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Katherine Lewis
Katherine Reynolds Lewis is a journalist, author, speaker, and certified parent educator who writes about modern parenting and discipline.