So You've Found the Perfect Nanny: Now What?

Written by: Jessica Minahan

Congratulations! Your search is over, and you’ve found your perfect Mary Poppins! So why aren’t things going smoothly? Relax; there’s a transition that needs to happen, and you may encounter some speed bumps along the way.

Wouldn’t it be glorious if your child instantly warmed up to her new nanny? In real life, we want our children to have a healthy wariness of new people. To your child, your new nanny is teetering on the brink of stranger-hood. Having a new caregiver spending many hours solo with your little one is a huge change. Your nanny would love a smile and hug in the morning instead of your child insisting “Mommy stay” while throwing a ginormous tantrum! It can take time for your kiddo to warm up to the nanny, trust her and welcome her as part of the family.

Once you’re out the door, you should feel comfortable and relaxed with your kids in good hands, yet you can’t help but wonder how things are going. Your nanny won’t mind if you give her a call, shoot her a text or ask her to send a picture text of your smiling babies. Try not to be overbearing by checking in every hour, but don’t feel like you are bothering the nanny if you want to check in. In time you will feel more confident that everything is running smoothly, but it’s normal to be a little apprehensive at first, even if your new nanny came with a five star reference!

Is your new nanny engaging in enough fun activities with your child? Is she trekking your kids all over the city, more than you’re comfortable with? Her last family may have given her complete autonomy to head out to a museum, a new park or a craft store. Or she may have had to follow a detailed written schedule with every outing pre-approved.

If you’d like your nanny to balance fun educational activities at home, such as arts/crafts, reading and imaginative play, with fresh air and exploration—tell her! Tell her what you are and are not comfortable with. Suggest places she can visit with your kiddos, and let her know how much discretion she has to plan each day. These arrangements may change as your relationship with your nanny grows.

What about the little extras around the house that make your life easier? In her interview, your nanny promised to do your kids’ laundry, organize the toys and have the kitchen spic and span when you arrive home. Instead, you’ve got cars in the ball bin, shrinking sweaters in the dryer—and why does she always leave her water glass on the counter? Your nanny is trying her best to adapt to the way you run your household. Her previous family may have handled things differently, and she may not realize the way she folds your laundry drives you bonkers! Start the relationship with open communication and tell her how you’d like things done. Your nanny will appreciate your straightforwardness, and she won’t be left guessing if she’s doing things right.

Your new nanny is excited about her new position and wants to make this work just as much as you do. Be patient with her, your kids and yourself through this transitional period. Offer open, honest feedback from the start. If you see this person becoming important in helping raise your children, stick with it—and in no time, she will become an irreplaceable part of your daily life!

Jessica Minahan is an NPN Board Member, and a proud new mom who has 10 years of nanny experience. Check out Olive.You.Nanny and www.nannysharechicago

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 6:37 PM