So, you have booked your first session, and your nanny is arriving soon. How do you prepare yourself, your children, and your house for a smooth and successful babysitting session?
1) First things first: Establish Rapport
Ensure that you have established rapport and communications with your nanny! A good nanny agency would have linked you up and arranged at least one meeting beforehand. For example, an introductory online meeting or tea-time at a nearby cafe (sans your kids) would be ideal.
It would be great that you have already met your nanny beforehand and discussed the job scope, the payment amounts, deadlines and mode of transfer. Also, prep your nanny about your household routines, kids’ habits and general culture of living within your family. Oh, and introduce her to other occupants like your live-in helpers or tenants to build familiarity!
For example, highlight things like dietary restrictions (eg. Halal requirements), religious orientation, and ‘do’s and ‘don’ts’ (e.g. do not feed or even bring into view any ice cream to the kids). For sure, there are plentiful parenting styles, and your nanny would do best to match your parenting style given the proper instructions!
In fact, be ready that your nanny may get lost or have difficulty finding your residence during the first trip there. Having established communications early will allow you to give last minute directions if necessary.
P.S. at MEIDE Babysitting, not only does our coordinator arrange and plan all these, we even get it down in WRITING and negotiate all these terms for an enhanced nanny-parent relationship!
2) Pack Your House Beforehand
Yes, your nanny is not your “maid” or “cleaner” per se! Of course, the nanny can do basic household chores and mop after your toddler’s mess. However, remember that the primary duty of a nanny is still to look after the child and ensure their safety and well-being.
Are you curious about the exact list of things your nanny can or should do? Check out this FAQ section for the exact list of tasks!
Packing your house beforehand, whether by yourself or via our professional cleaning services, will ensure a smoother nanny experience.
In fact, reducing the mess in your house is part of ensuring your house is BABYPROOF too!
The nanny will be able to know where exactly your logistics are kept and put them back neatly. Your nanny will also be able to dedicate more time towards nurturing and caring for the kids, rather than doing chores. All in all, it does provide a better peace of mind to both the parents and nannies!
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3) Skip Introductions To Your Nanny
Yes, you heard right. Especially if your kid is shy to strangers, or still experiencing what we call “stranger anxiety”, skip the introductions!
Treat your nanny right away like a familiar friend and close one, in front of your kids. That way, your kids will sense immediately that the nanny is not someone “distanced”. Trust us, but children are especially sensitive to such things.
When you immediately warmly welcome the nanny, and engage in chit-chat and drinks and food, your child would hardly surface any hesitation to interact together too!
4) Introduce Practical Things To Your Nanny Instead
Although you may not want to behave like your nanny is a stranger, it is true that your nanny would not know where you keep the baby bottles, diapers, wet wipes, and toys in your house.
Also, your nanny may not be familiar with where the baby or herself should play and rest. Neither would your nanny know where to obtain food and drinks when needed.
Hence, as soon as you can, introduce the practical things aforementioned – where the nanny can obtain water, or snacks for herself and the kids. Also, if required, show the nanny where the “out-of-bounds” areas are.
In Singapore, most parents are more conservative as compared to Western countries. Hence, be upfront to your nanny about things that you specifically do NOT want her/him to do, such as bringing the baby outdoors, or near the window, etc.
5) Be Specific To Your Nanny
Remember that your nanny may have totally different parenting styles or mindsets. For instance your nanny may be only used to washing baby laundry with bare hands. Sometimes, nannies have vastly different experiences compared to what we have during parenthood.
As such, during your first few sessions, you can demonstrate in person how you want things to be done. You can also provide a timetable in writing, or on a whiteboard, for the nanny to follow.
Of course, we understand that many first-time parents may not know what is really right or wrong. In such cases, perhaps listening and following the experienced nanny’s methods would be wiser instead. Then, be sure to let your nanny know that you are looking forward and willing to listen and follow her advice. (So your nanny does not keep asking you what you want her to do.)
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6) Highlight Medical Conditions and Pets
Finally, many parents may forget to highlight these to their nannies.
Highlight the medical conditions of your children and family members to your nanny. After all, your nanny would be a close member within your household over time. For instance, if your child has asthma, you would want to inform the nanny to ensure she/he keeps an eye out for wheezing or breathlessness. Your nanny would want to know where emergency first aid and medicine are kept (eg. inhaler) too. Moreover, your nanny can help ensure your kid stays away from smoke, dust and cold drinks!
It would also be prudent for parents to know of any crucial medical conditions of their nannies. For example, if your nanny has diabetes, you would want to avoid offering her overly-sweet snacks and be mindful when catering for meals. This helps to build a healthy and mutually appreciative relationship!
Lastly, highlight the presence of any pets. For all you know, your nanny may be afraid of dogs, cats or rabbits! The workaround is that some households are able to isolate and muzzle certain domestic animals. Nonetheless, it is important to highlight these to best prepare for a smooth babysitting experience for all.
In conclusion, there are quite a number of things you can do when preparing for your nanny arrival. Take note that our list of recommendations here are non-exhaustive!
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Based on our years of experience in handling nannies, au pairs, parents and kids, we hope this compiled list of things to prepare for helps!
Here is to a better and enjoyable nanny experience, always – cheers!