First Day With The Nanny

Parents share how they made the first few days with their nanny a flying success.

nanny-kid

 

Original poster:

 

“I'm going back to work on Monday and our nanny starts tomorrow (Thursday). We'll have two days of overlap and I've been brainstorming on the most important ways to spend those two days. Obviously I'll show her where everything is, go over the baby's routine (aka what I wish were the baby's routine but is barely ever the case!), and I'd like to make sure the baby takes the bottle from her. I'll also want to make sure she's familiar with paced bottle feeding.
I'm planning to try to go out tomorrow afternoon and not be there for at least one feeding, then will try to do a longer stretch on Friday - including going to my workplace and doing a practice pumping session there.
What other tips do you guys have for this transition period? Would love any and all thoughts, best practices, etc!”

 

Replies:

 

1. Spend time building a relationship with the nanny:

“Sit down and start to get to know each other. Show her your personality (I'm super easy going and funny as an employer, maybe you are happy, yet firm; maybe you are shy, but excited; work it out). Know her kids' names and ages. Hear about her family, husband, and how she gets to work (a huge deal).  Get to know how SHE wants to work, her ideas about future play dates. A great nanny knows all the "stuff" and will figure out your house. What's the most important is getting to know each other, how you want to communicate and how to alleviate your stress. If you have "absolutes" talk about them right away, and bring them up again in the future.
If you do have a sitter that needs more initial guidance, be open, direct and clear. Say, "when I'm home and you have 30 minutes left of your day, you're still in charge of my kid because I need to shower or work or whatever".
In my opinion, the more you get to really know your sitter, the better.
you got this!”

“Spend as much time as you can with just the three of you (do you have to go into work Fri? Can she come-by again on Sat?). You've got this. And work will be a piece of cake once you get this relationship settled.”

…and respect the professional boundaries in getting to know one another:

“You both are there to insure the well being (security, comfort, safety and growth) of your Baby. Your Nanny is a professional caregiver. You are not there to 'make friends'. However, you absolutely must share your feelings about your baby and being a Mom. And learn about her feelings and experience with being a Mom (if she has children) as well as her experience as a caregiver.

“I also remind myself that part of my own job satisfaction is having some autonomy, so I want to provide the same for my employee.  And like someone else said, remember that she is your employee, not your friend.  Be friendly, but not a friend. It's hard to go back once you cross that line.”

 

2. Talk about parenting philosophy:

“I also communicated about my general approach to child development - the end goal is a kid who is curious, kind and careful. Take her out and explore, let her look at things, let her struggle a bit, socialize and GO HAVE FUN!”

 

3. Show the nanny around the neighborhood:

“Cruise around the neighborhood with her and basically doing what you might want her to do when she's alone. I found it very informative to see how she interacts with my baby (and socially) in classes (if you guys do that), at the playground, around other nannies, etc. I felt more reassured seeing how safe she was navigating in public (thought it was great she waited for the crossing light to change!).”

“Introduce her to neighborhood spots, classes you and your Babe enjoy. Thoughts you might have about other resources.”

 

4. Take the nanny to the pediatrician's office:

“I also walked by our pediatrician's office (I actually went in and completed the consent they need in case she needed to take her) to make sure she knew where her doctor is located.

 

5. Coach the nanny through a nap routine:

“I also made sure she learned our nap routine and had her put her down for a nap while I was out (I actually also stayed out of the house when she woke to see how she did with not seeing me there).”

 

6. Pay attention to attune the nanny is with your child:

“But more importantly, it was good to see how present she was with my little one, how attuned she was to her needs, how she played and interacted with her.  She'll pick up on your baby's schedule and routine with time by being well attuned to your little one.”

 

7. Some moms had their nanny shadow them and their daily schedule with the baby:

"What was pretty key to establishing our relationship between myself and (the very dear woman that cares for our baby) my daughter's nanny was the three of us spending time. She needs to get to know both you and your babe. Definitely go through your (you and your Babe's) daily schedule with her for a full day 2 or 3 days. Warts and all, let her observe you guys, offer her some opportunities to take over and stay close to be sure that both your Babe and Nanny know you are there to help them get to know each other. She needs to see the 'schedule' you hope to make happen with your Babe (ha!), how far you all have progressed and where you feel more attention is needed.”

While others prefered to shadow the nanny:

“I spent the first day shadowing our nanny and then the following days I would come check in every few hours. I was able to meet them while they were out on walks and visiting other nanny friends in the park. It really helped me build trust and wrap my head around the change.

 

8. Teach the nanny how to share photos:

“I also found it helpful to have her practice sending me updates & photos. I started back to work today and it has already been a lifesaver.”

“We use Tiny Beans for photosharing - she uploads photos and they go to everyone I've granted access (my husband, parents, sisters, best friends). We get photos every day. My nanny can also see what we upload...I love when she comes in on Monday and asks my 11 month old about her weekend: How was the beach? Did you have fun at the birthday party?”

 

9. Do a tour of the house:

“Walk and talk around your home.”

 

10. Take the time to do “you” stuff:

“As a type A person, I found it really helpful to just take a breath. It was hard for me to let go after being with my daughter 24/7 for her entire life up to that point. I got lunch with friends and got a bunch of things done that I knew I wouldn't get to once I got back. I food prepped! The few times when I wanted to point something out or ask my nanny to do something differently, I waited a bit. For some things, we just did it differently, and I would decide it was fine. For some things, I asked her to do something specific. But by giving myself a minute to decide, it helped me balance being too nit picky and making sure things were happening as I wanted. Fast forward four months, and I am SO HAPPY with our nanny. I realized that my kid isn't a robot, so my nanny will have to make game time decisions, but the most important things are being handled how I would.

Similarly:

“I might be in the minority, but didn't spend a TON of time with my nanny when she started and I was very hands-off, which is a huge departure from my personal and professional life.  Having been preschool teacher, a soccer coach and babysitter for many, many years, I never felt like myself when parents were hovering and while it was important for me and my nanny to connect and get on the same page, I also wanted my 3 months old to be comfortable without me around.  I was nearby, but not on top of them, so we had 3 overlapping days, but I was in and out of the house during that time. I took a walk to the park with them, but then left them at the park and went to the gym! Also important to get yourself prepared for returning to work, so I spent time organizing myself, my clothes, my house.  

 

11. Use time to prepare key information needed for the nanny:

“I also made sure I had my nanny binder in order - daily logs, emergency info, timesheets, calendar of activities, etc. (Happy to share my log with anyone who needs one.).”

 

Finally, some moms just hit the ground running:

“I had zero overlap. Nanny came and met baby once when I was on maternity leave. Would have been too hard on all of us to hang around together. Same nanny is with us 10 years later so must have done something right .”