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Advice needed re hiring a nanny

(14 Posts)
mills1234 Fri 26-Jul-13 00:48:47

I'm having a bit of a nightmare finding a nanny to look after our first DD who will be 6 months when I go back to work. I'm struggling to find anyone I feel completely comfortable with.

Older, very experienced nannies seem to be quite matriarchal, and I've had a lot criticising their previous employers, saying they don't dress the children in clothes the parents buy that they don't like, or when asking them how they get the children to eat well when weaning get replies such as it's just a knack (as if it's a trade secret they can't or won't share), or comments such as - the way I work is I am mum, I take over everything a mum would do and I become the mum of the house. They've all had tonnes of experience, great references and I am sure would probably make DD very happy...but it's not felt like we would be a team, or that I am mum and the one who's ultimately in charge.

The younger nannies I've seen have in some cases been quite immature...either a little chaotic/unreliable, socially awkward, had awful grammar, or just not sat well with me.

I had a lovely girl round for a trial today, who myself and my partner had really liked at interview, but the day became a bit of a nightmare. Our DD is super chilled and generally doesn't get in a tiz unless really tired, or really hungry. To be fair she'd not had her full kip at lunchtime, but when the trial nanny was trying to feed her and she got in a bit of a state, the nanny seemed unsure and lacking in inspiration as to how to deal with it. I imagine it's a nightmare with the child's mother sat there, so I went out of the room to give her some space but didn't really hear anything particularly inspiring. I would hope if she's in a flap someone would distract her, or sooth her, or try something other than just holding her awkwardly and looking uncomfortable.

It's all making me feel quite sad, and that maybe I'm doing the wrong thing going back to work, or maybe I'm looking for someone who doesn't exist...I adore my little girl, and we are so lucky to have her, I don't want to just leave her with someone I'm not confident in...but am I being overly pernickety or have I just been unlucky in who we've seen??

Any advice really appreciated.

catkind Fri 26-Jul-13 01:03:22

Just keep looking. Or go for the one with bad grammar - grammar's really not a necessity for looking after babies smile Maybe talk to some CMs too if logistics permit, widens the field a bit?

Forresitters Fri 26-Jul-13 09:05:06

Sit down, have a cuppa and take a few deep breaths!
It's such a huge decision to make and whoever you do decide to choose - it will be like another addition to the family.
It's important that you discuss with your partner and get his perspective also. You need to try to not over think things/worry/stressing! I have found from previous experience that babies/children usually tend to play up with a Childcarer if their parents are around and it can also be confusing for both the child and nanny as they're not sure who is supposed to be in charge (parent or nanny!). Remember sometimes nannies can be just as nervous as you are especially when you are around but once left to get on with their job, they do it fantasticallysmile

You've done well to have a trial day. I would suggest you keep looking again - through recommendations of friends and family as well as agencies or Childcare websites and narrow it down to a few nannies and have trial days with them too.

mills1234 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:50:12

Thanks for the words of support! Will keep plugging on I guess and hope the right person comes along.

SunnyIntervals Tue 30-Jul-13 23:03:13

You will know when you have the right person!

I felt it wasn't right for us for me to go back after 6 months so I actually ended up extending my mat leave and then got childcare sorted after that. Do you have to go back now?

mills1234 Sat 03-Aug-13 22:14:14

Thanks SunnyIntervals. I have got to go back at the start of October. There really isn't any flexibility in that at all unfortunately. I'm amazed how quickly the time has flown, and how the time is disappearing to find someone!

We went for a nanny who had previously worked in a nursery but was her first time nannying.

To be honest you didn't make it easy for the nanny - of course your baby would get upset if not slept well and you weren't feeding her. Plus you were there so nanny was being watched closely.

With us, I took nanny to activities with me, then got her to take ds then went out for a few hours. Worked out well. As she had previous childcare experience she knew what she was doing.

forevergreek Sun 04-Aug-13 07:41:24

I think trying to get nanny to feed baby isn't a good idea. The baby has never met her and you were in room, so of course she would prefer you

I say interview nannies first when nanny is asleep, ie in evening. No need to keep introducing baby to strangers if not needed. At this point you discuss you preferences and whether nanny will work with them.

Once you are happy with one/ couple then ask if they can come back to meet baby. Let baby interact if they want, but no pressure if baby doesn't want to.

Let nanny start and maybe spend 2/3 days showing them places/ preferences but otherwise leave them. They should know what to do, and baby can learn to settle alone with them. After a few weeks you can see interaction between them as baby will know them and be happy to be fed with you around. You can add a 2 month trial clause incase it doesn't work out

forevergreek Sun 04-Aug-13 07:42:24

Oops: interview when BABY is asleep, not nanny! That would be rather unproductive

Fridayschild Sun 04-Aug-13 07:48:12

Keep the faith! I am sure you will find the right nanny.

I went back to work one October when DC1 was 6 months old. We did a nanny share and it was really helpful having someone else to share the interviews with, just for a second opinion. Do you have a friend or family member who could help with that?

And while it doesn't help now, it does get easier to select a nanny when your children are older. Even a toddler can show interaction more easily than someone who is only 4 months old.

mills1234 Mon 05-Aug-13 22:37:26

CreatureRetorts - that's interesting you took on a girl who had worked previously in a nursery. I'd been a bit reluctant but met someone today who I liked, and although lacking much nanny experience has been working in a baby room. Good to hear your experience worked out well.

Forevergreek - yes, I agree about seeing people for the first time ideally when the baby is asleep...also allows me to concentrate more!

I can see the issue with some babies regarding a stranger feeding them, but due to circumstances since her birth our DD has had quite a few different people help look after her for odd hours/parts of days, sometimes when I've been around and sometimes not, and has never had an issue with any of them bottle feeding her with EB even when she's only just met them. That's the only reason I felt comfy asking a stranger to her to be so hands on as it normally isn't a problem to her and she is pretty used to meeting new people.

I think after seeing the girl I met today, maybe it boils down more just to feeling comfortable with someone. DD woke up while the interview was still going on, and the potential nanny was incredibly calm and sweet with her without going over the top. Will try and get her back for a trial at the weekend. Luckily my other half is pretty good at helping with a second opinion when he gets to meet people, even pointing out some stuff I hadn't seen myself on occasion, I would be loosing my marbles if I was having to come to a decision on my own! :-)

Yes it worked well because she had looked after babies before - key criteria for me. So that side was fine and paid off well as still with her nearly 3 years later!

CruCru Sat 10-Aug-13 18:22:34

Can I suggest that you spend a few days with the nanny you pick before you go back to work? That way, you will feel more confident in leaving her with your DD as she will know how your house "works". Also, your DD will have seen the two of you together and feel more secure.

One thing about younger nannies - it may be worth asking if they are used to running a house. A friend had a lovely nanny who did lots of active things with her DD but the house was a tip and the baby's clothes hadn't been sorted etc. Last thing you want to do when you get home is do all the cleaning an tidying etc (obviously the nanny won't do everything but it is reasonable to expect her to put some toys away at the end of the day etc.

Are you going with an agency or through Gumtree?

mills1234 Sun 18-Aug-13 20:56:44

We went through an agency. Agreed on someone last week, which is a great relief! We are going to do a two week handover as such, so as you say CruCru hopefully it will make everyone feel more at ease. It also means I can get out and about a bit on my own to get used to the idea of not being with DD all the time before going back to work.

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