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.