September 2013

Leaving your infant at home? How to work best with your nanny

September 17, 2013 by Roger Bravo   Comments (0)


Nobody likes leaving their precious bundle of joy with a stranger but there are times when we don’t have an option. The lucky among us have loving family members who can babysit for us, but the vast majority of women in big urban centers don’t have that luxury. We need to hire nannies, which comes with its own set of problems.


It need not be all that problematic though. Start with hiring well, and stay on top of a fast-changing scenario with the following tips.


(*We know nannies could be male or female but for the sake of this post and to keep matters simple, we will refer to them as she.)


Non-negotiable traits in a nanny


• Dependability


She should always be on time (unless in case of a personal emergency that we assume won’t come calling too often). She should know her job well and be reliable.


• A cheerful demeanor


Nobody should put up with a sulking face looking after their kids, especially if you are paying them. Nannies as a rule should not just be good with children but love being around them. Watch her body language around your baby. Do her eyes light up kind and happy?


• An impressive background


Do a background check on her. Cross-check the references, and only hire from agencies you trust.


• Quick on her feet


Since being a nanny is all about being in charge of a situation, you need a person who is a quick thinker. Gauge the nanny’s present-mindedness by running a few hypothetical scenarios past her.


How to work best with your nanny


• Make the nanny feel welcome


Treat her as a well-meaning friend than hired help. Tell her you are available whenever she needs you. Leave home with all the important information that your nanny may need. That includes your contact details, list of emergency contacts in case you are not available, their numbers, the contact details of your baby’s doctor.


• Maintain baby’s routine charts


Provide the nanny with a well thought-out and properly presented routine chart of your baby. From the time the baby gets up to its first meal, then progressive nap timings, meal timings, poop timings, the list of toys it likes and are safe to be given to the baby. That’s the best way for the nanny to know your baby’s schedule and work around it.


Ask the nanny to maintain a similar chart herself so you can keep an eye on how your baby is doing.


• Keep the supplies well-stocked


If you want the nanny to use something, it should be handy. Keep the supplies well-stocked and handy. Encourage the nanny to check for bum rash when changing the diapers and accordingly apply a soothing cream.


• Keep checking on the baby every hour


Try to be home as soon as you can but in case you get delayed, keep yourself in the loop about what’s going on at home.


• Regulate your time away from kids


Never leave your infant alone with the nanny for long, regardless of how great she is. Two or three hours, max, especially if your child is less than a year old.


• Invest in electronic surveillance


This need not reek of desperation or paranoia. Purchasing a home security camera system will have many benefits to it if you have young children at home and you are often required to be away. You can keep tabs on what’s going on at home behind your back, which will keep your mind at peace.


If you don’t have the dollars to spend on a proper home security system, turn to home security smartphone apps. Many of them give you all the basic benefits of a full-fledged system at little to no cost. You will be able to remotely monitor your home, your children, and your nanny via your smartphone. Look up the laws in your state regarding this, and if you do install the cameras don’t forget to let your nanny know about them.


You need to keep the nanny happy, too.


Dealing with people is always a two-way street. The more considerate you are toward the nanny, the more likely will she be to reciprocate with consideration toward you, your situation, your child, and your family.


• Be punctual


If you want her to be on time, you will have to show the same regard for her time as well. Show up on your scheduled hour and release the nanny on time.


• Be structured and communicate clearly


Create a structure for yourself and for the nanny and stick to it. Be upfront about your expectations of her and make sure the nanny understands her duties well. The clearer you are in this respect, the lesser scope there will be for misunderstandings.


• Pay her on time


It drives us mad if our salaries at work are even slightly delayed. Why should the nanny react any differently? You keep your end of the bargain and she’ll keep hers.


• Check if you have trust issues


We understand it is normal for new mothers to feel anxious about leaving their children in the care of a stranger, but you don’t have to make that very obvious. Trust is of paramount importance in the mother-nanny relationship. If you absolutely cannot trust your child with anybody, we suggest don’t leave him or her alone in the first place. Take time off, as much as is necessary, and be there for them all the time.

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