Auntemma’s Blog

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Filed under: NANNY CHARACTERISTICS FOR HIRE — auntemma @ 10:23 pm

Hiring a nanny is one of the greatest responsibilities one has as a parent. It’s well said that the child’s first two years are crucial in determining its physical and psychological growth. So this tells me that the nanny you choose has a potential of leaving a great impact on your child’s life. So I hereby cannot stress enough how important this is for you to pay close attention to the characteristics of the nanny you choose to hire to care for your child/children.  The following are some helpful characteristics you really want to pay attention to when interviewing.


-Happy, does she exude a sense of joy in the atmosphere? That’s one of the things to weigh when engaging in a conversation with the nanny, or is her countenance not drawing the confidence you need. The feeling of happiness is contagious and will be a great plus to share with your child. Well of course the nanny is entitled to stumbling across some “ not-so-good-days” but, at least 80% of the time your nanny needs to show some sort of appreciation to being alive. Don’t go with the  “eeyore-minded” person where everything seems to doom and gloom? Happiness does create a positive environment in the home that can help psychologically with children’s growth.


-Approachable– Does the nanny make it easy for you to talk to? You want to be reassured that you and your child can easily approach the nanny for anything, and not feel intimidated by the nanny. Make sure the nanny does not carry the do-not-disturb sign on her forehead. I have witnessed some scenarios where the children seem to be intimidated by the nanny and feel less sure on how to express themselves to the nanny. Hiring a nanny that is approachable makes it easier for both you and the child to express and communicate needs


-Honest– Is there sincerity to her life story? An honest and open character is what you must look for when interviewing a nanny. Listen closely and pay attention to the details of the interview and please take notes.

You need a nanny that is not afraid of letting you know she made a mistake, at least she was honest about it.


– Responsible-do you see a trend of responsibility in her personal life? You want a nanny that is proactive in their thinking. One that can give good judgments when it comes to making instant decisions when caring for your child. Things such as making sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather, diaper is changed regularly, sunscreen is applied as needed and so forth is very important. If she seems to be irresponsible in her own life, more than likely she will not show responsibility when caring for your children.


– Witty– It may sound a little silly, but your children can always use a little laugh. Getting someone too serious might have your child feeling bored with a lack of creativity. According to the kids health Nemours Foundation, the January 2006 article  states that, Children with a well-developed sense of humor are happier and more optimistic, have higher self-esteem, and can handle differences (their own and others’) well. Humor chases away the blues and can go a long way with your child’s emotional behaviors.


-Patient- is one of the key characteristics a nanny has to acquire  especially when caring for children. You don’t need a nanny who loses their cool at a moment’s notice. When interviewing the nanny, make sure to bring up real-life scenarios like, what would she do if the baby would have an inconsolable cry, or what would she do if the child would decide to throw a temper tantrum in public? Or what how would you react when your toddler poos on his or her pants? Find out her views and depending on her answers, she will definitely expose just how much patience she would have with children.


-Can-do-attitude, hire someone who is willing to learn something new. One who shows confidence in what they do. That’s an attitude your child can learn to adapt, someone who looks at life’s challenges and still see a way out. An encouraging nanny to a child who seems to be distressed or frustrated with a toy or puzzle is a big winner, and not one who shows signs of giving up easily.





Filed under: FIRST DAY ADVICE — auntemma @ 10:55 pm

It is normal to feel some sort of anxiety the first time you leave your child with the nanny. Try not to stalk your nanny with phone calls throughout the day. You can arrange a time with your new nanny whereby you can both communicate on how the day is going. DO NOT STALK HER WITH PHONECALLS, every other hour. This can typically offset a bad start in your relationship, you have to reassure yourself that you did make the right choice and try not to impose your insecurities on the nanny. Constant phone calls throughout the day tend to make the nanny feel that you have no confidence in her and can raise a question on her part of whether she made the right choice of accepting this position.



Filed under: NANNY TRIAL AND TRAINING — auntemma @ 10:19 pm



Before you confirm on hiring a nanny, make sure you offer trial days.

This should only be for the top three candidates of your choice, not every one that comes to the interview. Trial days are anywhere from one day to three days.

Trial days are good and can help you settle on the nanny of your choice. There are things to look for when having a nanny over for a trial for example.

–       Is the nanny attentive to the child’s needs?

–       Does the nanny listen to your instructions or does she argue them by comparing with her past experiences?

–       Does she get down and dirty with the children?

–       Does she show concern to the children’s safety?


These are vital signs you need to check off before you can hire a nanny. So many parents overlook these concerns which can end up becoming a major problem in the long run. Take your time in the experience of hiring a nanny, because it is one of the major decisions that you can make in your child’s life.



Congratulations! You have now hired your new nanny, your happy with your trial days, you figured out the pay, signed the contract, settled the holiday pay and so forth! How can you now ensure the longevity of this match made in heaven?


  • On her first day, don’t hand over the child to the nanny upon her arrival, slowly let the child/infant get acclimated to the nanny’s voice, smell and touch. For the first 1/2 hour hold your the baby but allow the nanny be close by,  let the nanny touch and talk to the baby while you hold the baby, then slowly hand the baby over. If you have a toddler, allow the nanny in her own way to befriend the child when you are still around, so that the toddler does not associate the nanny as a sign of abandonment. As soon as you can sense confidence in both the child and nanny, begin to drift away and don’t keep showing up to ask the child if he or she is ok, unless you know the child is not. Asking the child if it’s ok often sends a message of insecurity. Allow the nanny and child to establish their trust with each other.


  • Show the nanny around the house- you probably did that on the interview, but give her a refresher course with thorough details of the house. Letting the nanny know her surroundings gives her a better feel of what your family is about and helps ease with the transition. Show her where the emergency kits are placed, diapers, clothes, baby care kits, laundry, laundry soap, food, toys and diaper bag and go over the contents in the diaper bag.


  • Go over feeding the schedule- make sure you let nanny know of any food allergies. Go over your children’s nutrition and what you expect of your child’s diet. Both parent and nanny have to be consistent when it comes to rules on what to eat or what not to eat. Some parents /nannies tend to bend the rules which only leaves the child somewhat confused and undisciplined when it comes to eating habits.


  • Recite sleeping procedures and times- Most families tend to not yet  have a sleeping schedule laid out especially if it is a newborn (3-4months old) . Sleeping schedules are a life-saver, it helps the parent and nanny plan out the day effectively and to be more organized. I personally recommend a sleep schedule of some sort, go over with your nanny what you think can work and stick with it.


  • Visit neighborhood parks- show her or map out different routes on how to get around (especially if she is not familiar with the area).  Introduce her to neighbors if possible, or give her a ran down on the people around your hood such as who she can go to for help if at all anything happens or which neighbors dog she should be cautious of. Go over nearest hospital routes and let the nanny know of the nearest police station and fire station in your area. Feel free to go over emergency drills such as fire escapes and earthquake drills.


  • Go over Emergency numbers- Always make sure you leave your nanny with CURRENT information of emergency numbers, doctors numbers, all your office numbers and cell phone numbers of where you can be reached. There are often situations where parents sometimes forget to update the information when they acquire new numbers. Look over and update your information every six months and remember to update information once numbers have changed.


  • Daily activities, go over play activities (depending on the age of the child) encourage the nanny to participate in allowing the child to be active. Suggest classes such as music, story time, indoor play areas, play dates. Play dates are important for both the child and nanny.  Nanny networking is healthy, nannies can learn from each other plus your child can develop interactive skills with other children cared for by nannies.  Some families can be somewhat skeptical on play dates, but they can help make the day go by faster for the nanny at the same time exciting for your child . At the same time it is important to be familiar with whom the play dates are. Being a nanny can be pretty dull or lonely if such activities are not encouraged.


Filed under: COMPENSATION FOR A SLEEP OVER NANNY — auntemma @ 6:22 am

Countless times I have had mothers/nannies ask me about compensation on a sleep over. Nannies can be asked to spend the night so that the parents can take a break and celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or maybe both parents just happen to be out on business trips. Whatever the case, it’s  not that common to find a nanny that will usually give of herself to this kind of service on a regular basis, mainly because some nannies have families and would much rather be with their own family.  So finding a nanny you can trust that does or can do a sleep over is usually a goldmine, so you want to make sure the compensation is worth her while incase you do decide you need that kind of service again.

 Different nannies charge different amounts but the average amount ranges on this scale, from the time the child is awake to the time the child goes to sleep (day hours), it’s usually the regular hourly rate you pay your nanny. Sleep hours (night hours) have a flat charge ranging from $100-$300 depending on how frequent your child wakes up during the night, how many children and the ages of the children. For example infants tend to wake up more frequently than 4year olds, so the compensation of an infant during night hours is usually more. But also there are some 2- 4 year olds that have a habit of having broken sleep nights and if that seems to be the case, then the charge can be just as much as an infant.  It’s just a matter of knowing the behavior of your children/child and compensating fairly based upon all of the above.



Filed under: COMPENSATION FOR TRAVELING NANNY — auntemma @ 6:21 am

I think this has been the most compromised issue in the nanny industry, simply because there just seems to be misunderstandings way of how to get it done the right way.  Before you can decide on whether you want to take your nanny to a family vacation, there are some few things that need to be talked over, understood, agreed and possibly put on paper.


A nanny once shared with me her situation of where by she was invited by the family she works for to accompany them on a family vacation. She hesitated at first due to the horror stories from other nannies, but after much thought, decided to take the chance. Yes they sat down and discussed the logistics and made sure they had crossed every T and dotted every i on the regulations. But to her utmost surprise, nothing seemed to be as they had discussed, she actually had completely no time off, and worked the whole time she was there, and was not allowed to leave the premises, which was not part of the agreement, she was horrified by her experience and vowed never to do it again. Obviously the family lost another opportunity of having the luxury of the accompaniment of their very own nanny. Such instances are avoidable.

First of all, you need to know that your nanny will not be on vacation, she will be working, so even though you feel like you have privileged her with an opportunity to see the world, the truth is that she would much rather do in her own time.

If the position you have created requires a nanny that travels, it of course must discussed with the nanny the number of times and if possible, the time frames of those times you would need her, just incase she has her own family, she can if she is willing, to plan herself ahead of time. You will always come across some nannies that really enjoy the idea of traveling with the family, especially if they have no commitment to a family or  children and also to no school commitments. That category of nannies are much more flexible when it comes to traveling.

Taking the nanny with you can be quite expensive, because you are required to pay for her travel fees such as visa fees and ticket fees, vaccination shots (if required), lodging expenses and food. Most families take their nannies just for the fact the peace of mind, plus for the flexibility of the parents having to be on their own on date nights while on vacation. Parents say at peace knowing that the children are with a person they already know versus a hotel nanny, plus they don’t have to worry about the child/children throwing tantrums because they have been left with someone they are not familiar with considering the children are not in a familiar place.


Even though you decide on taking your regular caretaker, it ends up becoming more challenging for her because it’s more likely you are going to a place where there will probably be a difference of time which of course plays a big part on regular sleeping patterns that the child/children are used to. Eating habits can also become an issue because most children don’t eat too well when traveling outside of their comfort zones. All of these play a major factor and can end up becoming more of a task even for the professionals.


Before the time of travel, make sure you and your nanny discuss what is to be expected from her during the travel and if possible, discuss the scheduling of what activities your family intends on participating in during this travel. This usually gives the nanny a rough idea of what to expect as far as her conduct with the children. Discuss workload, hours, nanny time off and compensation.


Nannies are usually compensated double pay or time and a half on the nanny’s weekly salary for travel. You have to consider that you are taking your nanny away from her everyday out of work responsibilities, so there has to be an incentive for her to agree to come with you. I recommend you make sure your nanny have some alone time within the vacation time just so you don’t overburden her leaving her extremely burnt out after you get back home.

 Some families have the habit of having the nanny share a room with the kids, if this agreement seems suitable between you and your nanny then great, but this always seems to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the nanny.


Hello world! May 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntemma @ 2:43 am

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