February 16, 2012

Finding A Great Nanny

Photo by: healingdream
When it was time for me to go back to work, Micah was 4 months old and I wanted him to be safe and well cared for. After all, daycare is comforting since they are usually licensed, and many eyes are watching. But I didn't like the 4-1 baby to caretaker ratio that applies for all babies under 18 months old. Since I was going to work part-time, we decided that hiring a nanny was the best option for us. But how to find someone we trust?

Having someone work in home can be a bit intimidating to say the least. Will she be honest and trustworthy? Will she treat my child like her own? Will she be experienced enough to make the right judgement calls?

Fortunately, we had fantastic experiences with the nannies we've worked with. Here are the steps we took to identify and build relationships with our awesome nannies:
  • Use a site like Sittercity or Care.com to browse nanny profiles. Sign up and contact nannies you are interested in, about 1 month before you need services to begin. It typically costs $15-$30 for a monthly subscription in order to access their contact information. It's free to browse though. I would cancel the subscription when you've found someone you like.  Don't forget to also ask friends for references of great nannies they know or have worked with.
  • Setup phone and in-home interviews, call references. See how they interact with your baby. Ask relevant questions regarding ages of children they have worked with, tasks they are comfortable performing (feeding, changing diapers, laundry, cooking, etc.), hourly/weekly rates. 
  • Hire promising candidates as a mother's helper before you need to return to work. This time will allow you to show them specifics regarding your baby's temperament and schedule. You will also have a better idea if the person is a good fit for your family.
  • Set the expectations clearly. If you need the nanny to arrive at your house by a certain time, sharp, tell her so. Likewise, give her a realistic time that you will return from work, and stick to it. You may choose to ask your nanny to make notes regarding your child's day, such as naptimes, diaper changes, feeding schedule. Clear expectations on both sides will help you avoid disappointment later on.
  • Continue to build your relationship by keeping your nanny posted on new developments, such as new skills your baby has learned, new foods he/she can try, and new nap schedules. Always appreciate her hard work, and show that you care by doing what you can to make her job easier. Open communication and mutual respect goes a long way. 
Hope this article helps you in your search for a fantastic nanny. Do you have a nanny experience you want to share? Post a comment below!


  1. Sittercity is perfect for newborn babies. You can get babysitters with professional background. Newborn babies need special handling. No parent would ever want to entrust their newborn to just anybody.

  2. Very true JustGoodHealth! Doing your research pays off for sure!


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