Going to work after having a baby is challenging on it`s own, but when you have to leave your child at home with some random person you will require all the strength in the world! Unlike our home countries we rarely have our parents living with us in Dubai, so having a nanny is not a novelty for most families. Choosing a good nanny can be both good luck and some serious interview process. The truth in my opinion is that despite asking million questions before you hire a babysitter, you can never be sure that the person is responsible and caring. I put together some directions and tips that I experienced myself. I have nanny looking after Poppy since she was three months old, so my tips might be helpful for parents with baby or toddler 🙂
Understand that no one will be as good as you in looking after your child
I honestly think that some people look to hire second mother, not a nanny. The love and care that you and your husband are ready to give to your child 24/7 can hardly be given from someone else. The bond between parent and child is so unique that should not be expected from anyone else. Respect the effort your nanny is ready to put, and insist of good care and devotion, but do not expect miracles or unconditional love. The latter is for the parents to give 🙂
Do not fear to give instructions
Some nannies have no children, some of them have but they are already adults. Taking care of a baby is very overwhelming at first, so keep in mind that the nanny might need to be guided of how to prepare formula bottles or use the high tech thermometer you have at home. If you like to establish healthy routine for the feeding and sleep, do not hesitate to ask nanny to do it as she is there to help. I can`t thank my caregiver enough for how well she established Poppy`s nap routine! You can also discuss with her that it is okay for the child to cry a little if she wants something that she can`t have – junk food, or constant carrying around the house. If you have certain rules, let her know and insist of following them.
Invest in good home camera
The long working hours might feel like ages, and having the ability to have a look at your home at any moment of the day feels good. It is very important to let your nanny know that there is a camera in the house. If you have very small baby you might even ask her to make sure the child is always in certain room so you can see her at all times (I did that when Poppy was a small baby).
Pay her enough
Everyone work for money, and so is your nanny. She is having the huge responsibility to look after the most precious thing in your world-your child. Pay her well, so she doesn`t have to worry about unpaid bills, food etc.
Be the boss
There are too many nannies out here that will think they know better than you in how to raise your child. Whether they are right or wrong, you have to remind them that you are their employer and things should be done your way. Do not fear to have conversation about authority, but always be polite and kind. Once again- she is looking after the most precious thing in your world!
Do not be afraid to let her go
We are at nanny number 4 now! It might sound unfortunate, but I personally think that they are things where I cannot compromise in life and this is one of them. I had nanny who let my daughter sleep for hours on her high chair as she was too lazy to pay attention to her, I had a nanny who will barely speak or engage Poppy in any games or activities, so I let her go too. Try not to be too picky, but also concentrate on the important things.
Help your nanny even when you are out at work
Baby/child proofing your house will give you peace of mind when you are not at home. Creating a play room or corner, where all toys are organized and collected will give both child and nanny a chance to spend good few hours in play activities. Do not be shy to ask her to have dedicated time to read stories, do painting play with playdoh etc. Helping your nanny to fill her day with kids activities will help develop your child and reduce the chances of boredom.
Teach her safety
There are many cases of people asking nannies to hand them the baby or child on the streets these days. This is terrifying moment for every parent. Speak to nanny and tell her that only you or your husband have the right to take the child from her. Make sure she knows the police number in case of an emergency. Provide her with materials (preferably in her native language) of how to give first aid if needed and make sure she has your and your husband`s mobile numbers saved.
Send her home if she is sick
We are all people and we get sick sometimes. Make sure she understand how important is not to be around your child if she is feeling unwell or has fever. This wouldn`t do anyone a favor. Look for alternative or take day off, but keep your child in safety environment.
Give her enough time to rest
Looking after an energetic toddler or small crying baby is such hard work and we all know that. Do not think that your nanny cannot feel tired too. Make sure she has proper day off at least once a week. When people are well rested they have more energy and high level on concentration and that is what you need from the person who will spend 8 or more hours a days with your child.