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Nanny duties(8 Posts)
Hello all, I'd be grateful for your advice/experience please.
Our nanny started with us 2 weeks ago, after various delays on her side causing us a lot of inconvenience.
We talked through her duties on her first day, including nursery duties, LO's laundry etc. My LO still naps during the day for 1.5-2 hrs so lots of time available for her to do these sorts of things.
So far she hasn't done any laundry or other nursery duties. In particular, I'm at a loss to know what she is doing during my LO's nap times - obviously I don't mind her taking a break, but she isn't cooking for my LO etc during the nap times or setting up activities.
I am not sure how to approach this issue with her, as I expected her to show more initiative, rather than needing to tell her specific tasks every day. She has over 20 years' experience.
Out of interest, how do others approach this with their nannies? What sort of duties would you usually ask your nanny to do whilst LO is sleeping? I'm keen to be fair but obviously need her to fulfil her role.
Many thanks for any advice! Happy weekend!
90mins isn't that long. I would assume she is spending 30mins just tidying up bits in kitchen from lunch or toys etc, then taking a break herself to sit down an hour.
Laundry for one child would only be one load a week so maybeshe was just settling in the first week
Also bare in mind it may be taking her longer to settle child for nap if she's new
Thanks for the reply. Maybe it's more that I spend the time my LO is napping flying around doing all the various child-related chores! My LO definitely generates more than one load of washing a week though.
Nanny doesn't settle LO, cooks once my LO has woken up from her nap.
Helpful to understand other considerations and I'm trying to understand what is reasonable.
It can take a couple of weeks to get into the swing of things with a new job and then you settle into a routine of what you do and when. Things tend to take longer to start with as you are bonding with the kids, finding your way round an unfamiliar kitchen, working out which program to use on the washing machine. Maybe she's used to cooking food as and when it's due to be eaten rather than while your lo naps
As a nanny during nap time I will usually clear up the kitchen from all the lunchtime stuff. Tidy/sort any toys that may be left out from the morning. Washing days I will sort the washing that I've put on that morning (or sometimes Mum has put a load on before leaving for work) Some days some ironing. Another day I will batch cook something like shepherd's pie or lasagne and portion it up to go in the freezer. I like to get any jobs done before I sit done for my lunch and to put my feet up - some days I get 20 mins and others 45mins or so.
You could start with asking her to do a couple of things - "I've got some beef mince that needs to be used, could you cook something with it for the freezer while lo one is in bed today or tomorrow please" "While lo is asleep today could you sort through lo's ones toys to see if there are any that are broken, pieces missing, outgrown" Make sure you're getting the phrase "while lo naps/sleeps" in so that she can see that the expectation is for her to do some jobs rather than have a 1.5 - 2 hour lunch break. If this doesn't work you'll just need to be a bit more direct with her and tell her that you would like some things done in that time.
When I nannied for 1 child who napped during the day there were often days when I didn't do anything. As I was cooking for 1 child / doing the washing and ironing for 1 child it took a small amount of time, and in fact I often put a load of washing on during the day - when baby/toddler was around, and would often batch cook when the baby was around too - encouraging baby to play by itself [bang saucepans] for that short period.
Duties I do as a nanny are:
- washing/ironing/putting away clothes as well as sorting out clothes that don't fit - I pass onto charity and get newer clothes out of the loft or purchase them. Get kids feet measured/buy new shoes.
- batch cooking - stockpiling the freezer for the weekends [for my bosses] and making food from scratch for meals on my watch; often doing large dishes than my bosses can eat too, also do the ocado shop
- arrange the diary - signing up for classes, schedule appointments, liase with deliveries/cleaner etc
- keep communal areas clean/tidy at the end of the day - keep on top of it over the whole day
But I often do all the above when the child/ren are up as they can play in their room while I sort out the clothes, I can cook while they're eating tea/painting at the table, tidy up while the children eat/play. As long as jobs are done at the end of the day I don't think it matter whether she's making use of her down time - especially on long days - I used to work 12 hour days so I needed my downtime if possible,
Laundry and other nursery duties are a perfectly normal part of a nanny's role.
But bear in mind;
1. Everything takes longer when it isn't your house. When you don't know where things are or where they go. When you're looking after a child you don't know. Do you think you'd be able to rush around getting everything done in a house you'd never been in and with a child you'd just met? Probably not. This is normal in the settling in period and as she gets to know your house and your child she will get quicker and more effective.
2. Have you been through everything with her? How the washing machine/dryer works. What cycle is best to use. What soap powder combo you prefer for the babies clothes and where it's kept. Where you hang things. Where the pegs are. How many washes a week you want her to do (I also think one a week is fine for one small child!).
3. You want someone who will use their initiative, but it's also commonplace to show someone the ropes/'train' them when they start a new job. A conversation along the lines of 'can you change the bed sheets on a Monday and do a wash on a Tuesday and Thursday' or similar would probably help.
4. You don't say what hours she works, but if it's a 10-12 hour day as is normal for a nanny an hour break is really not unreasonable. You need to be only looking for her to fill 30 mins or so while the baby is asleep and the rest of the time she should get a break. Obviously if she only works 10am-2pm and the baby is asleep for half the time it's different!
Thanks all for the helpful advice - as I said, I am certainly not looking to be unreasonable, rather understand how to make sure we both are clear.
We had an extensive handover period so she does know where the various things she will need are etc, but I appreciate things are different in every home.
The hours are shorter than the standard day and I don't expect her to do the nursery duties necessarily while LO sleeps - but I would hope they would be done at some point over the course of the week and I thought the nap time would be a good time for some of these, given LO sleeps for 2 hours.
I've checked in to make sure she is happy finding her way around and comfortable asking any questions and she seems to be. Perhaps now she is more familiar with LO, our house etc, I should be able to discuss a few of the things we need her to cover.
Have a good evening all.
As a nanny I disagree with some of these posts! It doesn't take 2 weeks to find your way around the kitchen/playroom/sitting room/bathroom/children's room (and I tend to rearrange to how I like (after mentioning it to employers!)) unless you live in a 15 bedroom mansion!! (Even then with 4 children, I knew my way round within a week)
My three year old charge still needs a 1.5-2 hour nap daily (although he can go without occasionally) I sort washing (4 loads a week, lights and darks including bedding on a Monday, same on Friday with bath mat and towel) do batch cooking (although we've just got a slow cooker so I prep for the following day tea twice a week and it goes on first thing in the morning, charge has some for his tea and then it's kept warm for bosses, whatever is left gets portioned up the following lunch time)
I sort though toys once a month and clean bath toys and box two weeks later. Friday I order Ocado for Monday morning (charge is at school when it arrives) I mend any clothes that need it and at the moment making a Rudolph costume for his Christmas card.
I do the ironing (thankfully there's not a lot apart from his bedding and few tops. My boss won't let me iron trousers or pyjamas (I still do with his flannel pj's and his cotton/cord trousers and a couple of shirts he wears occasionally) I plan craft/baking activities, at the moment this involves cutting out reindeer heads, red noses and antlers out of sticky backed foam, then santas and snowmen, we are avoiding the C word as he'll drive us crackers if we start now!!
I take out recycling, food waste and rubbish bin on Wednesday ready to be collected at 5:30 Thursday morning (obviously empty food waste and bin as and when during the week too) I can't do it when charge is awake as DB is not good at rinsing bottles and it turns out sour milk makes him vomit and old wine makes me heave!
I usually manage to sit on my bum and do nothing for two days a week too, although this includes Friday's Ocado shop!
If she's been doing 20 years as a full time nanny, she should be able to hit the ground running and take over. You should not have to gently mention these things. You should just say, these things are in your contract, you need to do them weekly/twice weekly. I don't care which day they are done as long as they are done by the end of your working week. You are still on probation and if things don't improve substantially then we will need to think again.
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