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AIBU - nanny affection towards DC

(391 Posts)
GallopingFox Thu 25-Apr-19 18:50:32

First time poster so please be gentle as well as honest.

I employ a nanny full time to look after my DC who is just over 2 years old. She has worked for us for over a year and so knows my family and DC well. She is highly experienced, qualified and generally very professional.

Recently I have been off work for reasons I won’t go into but which have meant that I have been at home a lot more and able to witness first hand the interaction between my DC and my nanny. They get on very well and I have no concerns about my DC’s welfare or happiness - DC is safe and well looked after and for that I am very grateful.

However, I have noticed my nanny is quite physically affectionate with DC - fondling DC’s hair a lot, massaging DC’s feet, occasionally kissing them on the head or cheeks and very frequently cuddling DC / cuddling up to DC on the sofa and making DC sit on her lap a lot (all while I am around the house or in the room - I rather suspect it goes on even more when I’m not there).

It makes me very uncomfortable. Whilst I want my DC to feel loved and looked after, I don’t feel I am paying my nanny to give DC all the physical affection I instinctively give. Of course if my DC hurt themselves or was upset, I would want my nanny to comfort DC and hold them. But kissing and massaging them routinely or seeking cuddles / proximity from DC throughout the day feels too much. I should stress I am a very affectionate and cuddly person and so I shower my DC in cuddles and kisses all the time - DC does not lack physical affection and is extremely confident (DC is not the clingy type at all so it is not as though DC seeks physical reassurance). Instead, it feels like my nanny just likes cuddling and the affections of a little person.

Am I being unreasonable / should I tell my nanny to rein it in? I don’t want to hurt her as I think she means well and I don’t want to lose her. However, I am finding it increasingly hard to ignore and feel for what I pay her (v decent London salary) I should be entitled to tell her how I want her to behave toward my DC. How would you raise it with her?

ImNotHappyaboutitPauline Thu 25-Apr-19 19:04:49

I think yabu. This woman is caring for your small child and has done since he was a baby, of course there's going to be physical affection. I can't understand why you wouldn't want that!

Be honest with yourself here. This reaction is about you, you're feeling insecure seeing someone else behave in what might be described as a "maternal" manner with your son. I can understand how that can be a little disconcerting but would you really want the adult taking care of your two year old to fight her instinct to show him affection because his mum might get, let's be honest , jealous?

My dc are older but as a working mum I'm absolutely delighted that they have a close and loving bond with their CM. That doesn't take anything away from me, it just gives them an extra person in their lives who loves them and that can only be a good thing.

UCOinanOCG Thu 25-Apr-19 19:04:51

It sounds like your nanny has a lovely bond with your DC and she is to be commended for giving them loving care and affection. I volunteer with Home-start and see the DC in my family for 3 hours a week. I hug then, ruffle their hair, kiss their cheek and rub bumps better. I have a wonderful bond with these children and am very in tune with them. Sound like your nanny is very in tune with your DC. You are lucky to have her.

DizzyPhillips Thu 25-Apr-19 19:05:00


My children go to nursery. The girls there are so affectionate towards them. How sad I would feel if they didn’t. I love that they’re being shown love and affection when I’m not there.

scarecrowhead Thu 25-Apr-19 19:05:48

You're trying to make something innocent into something sinister, utterly unfair and spiteful to a nanny who has done nothing but care for your child.

NorthernRunner Thu 25-Apr-19 19:06:27

If your child was showing no signs of being annoyed/uncomfortable with the affection than I don’t believe you should say anything.

I am a childminder (I was a nanny for many years) and I’m also a parent myself, some children require this level of affection, and actively seek out my attention. Other children will come in, give me a hug and then go off to play, not wanting anything else from me and that’s fine.

Without meaning to be rude- do you think there is an element of jealousy? As lovely as your nanny is, she will never replace you, you are mom, and the most important person to your child.

If I were you, I would be so grateful that your nanny has this kind of bond with your child. If you were to say anything you may find yourself looking for another nanny very quickly.

NataliaOsipova Thu 25-Apr-19 19:06:30

She their main carer. It’s would be a bit sad for your child if the nanny wasn’t affectionate.

Totally agree. She sounds like a terrific nanny; you’ve fallen on your feet. The one thing you cannot pay someone to do, even with all the money in the world, is to love your child. If she does, that is priceless.

missyB1 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:06:47

Errr... I spontaneously give affection to the children in the nursery where I work, and also to my ds at home. Why is it wrong to spontaneously show physical affection? Do you believe children should only be given affection if they have asked for it?

You are being odd, and I suspect that it’s really about jealousy.

Mymomsbetterthanyomom Thu 25-Apr-19 19:07:23

OP,the nanny is doing your job.

Easterbunnyhashoppedoff Thu 25-Apr-19 19:07:55

I can promise you op that your dc will still love you more than the nanny which is obviously your worry!

TooBusyHavingFun Thu 25-Apr-19 19:08:09

It wouldn't be very nice for your 2yr old to go all day without affection unless they hurt themselves. Massaging feet probably not required!

It must be weird seeing your 2yr old having a loving close bond with another woman - but I guess that's what you get if you want an all day nanny.

CherryPavlova Thu 25-Apr-19 19:09:29

You’re not serious, are you?
Why would you not want your nanny to blow raspberries on tummies, ruffle hair, scratch backs or cover in kisses?
Sounds like you have insecurities that need addressing rather than projecting your problems onto the nanny who sounds lovely.

Tiredmum100 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:09:46

Yabu. She sounds like a Fab nanny. She is giving your dc love and affection. If anything it could be jealously on your part? I know it would be if me. Enjoy the fact she's not leaving your child in front of the TV.

shitpark Thu 25-Apr-19 19:10:10

If a child isn't accustomed to having an affectionate relationship with a care giver, they're less likely to seek comfort from that person, imo

Wenttoseainasieve Thu 25-Apr-19 19:10:39


Your child spends more of their waking time with their nanny than with you, so it would be a shame to say they can't share affection like that with the person they spend most of their time with. I appreciate as a mother it would be hard to see, but I think I'd have to suck it up, as it would be about me rather than my child.

Your nanny sounds great, and I do sympathise, but I think you should leave them as they are.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Thu 25-Apr-19 19:11:17


Mine are at nursery and this is normal in the younger rooms. The little ones are always being held or sitting on the workers laps. The next room up as well and it gradually tails off. If she was doing that with a 5 year old I would think you might have a point but it sounds appropriate at 2.

Aria2015 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:11:32

I'm not a nanny but my experience with 2 year olds is that they don't sit and cuddle if they don't want to! So she may initiating affection, but I'm assuming your lo is accepting / reciprocating it. In which case I can't see what's wrong with it. Think about how it would play out if you asked her to ’tone it down’ she could leave your child confused when, in a bid to please you (her employer), she starts behaving in a noticeably different way and keeping them at arms length. If your child seems happy then I would just try and see the positive in the close bond they appear to have.

HowardSpring Thu 25-Apr-19 19:13:16

I remember picking my child up from a childminder and getting such a jolt when I could smell my childminder's perfume on her. It was a shock as I hadn't expected it. But after a couple of seconds I realised that it was because CM had cuddled her - and I was pleased. My DD loved her CM. Absolutely loved her to bits and was so happy there. We were all sad when she moved away. Kids need that. It is normal. You should be pleased.

Morgan12 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:14:50

I think you are just jealous. I mean that in the nicest possible way honestly!

I'm trying to put myself in your position and I know I would be insanely jealous.

BoomBoomsCousin Thu 25-Apr-19 19:16:30

If you have no concerns for your DC's welfare or happiness - what exactly is it that you think is inappropriate? What is wrong with all the affection? How do you think your DC's life will be improved if there was less of it?

Dana28 Thu 25-Apr-19 19:17:04

I rather suspect it goes on even more when I’m not there

Based on?? It must be because your child is sooooooo gooorjus no mere mortal can resist her cuteness🙄🙄

MitziK Thu 25-Apr-19 19:17:40

You are paying her to step into what would be your role if you were to be a SATM. That includes, in my view, giving him the care and physical affection he would undoubtedly get from you were you to be there physically caring for him.

The old days of children being dumped on nannies who wouldn't cuddle them, wouldn't give them a kiss and maintained an ice cold barrier are thankfully, long gone except in some sad families where their nannies are not permitted to care for both the physical and emotional needs of their charges.

Remember that you will be back at work soon - can you imagine your DC being a child who didn't get to sit on somebody's lap, who didn't have somebody ruffling their hair or kissing the top of their head absentmindedly? If she were to be ordered to stop, he could feel this deeply as a rejection, just as much as if you were to stop cuddling him when you got in from work.

He's probably so confident and happy precisely because he has this care and attention all the time.

Try not to think about it. She obviously adores him and he adores her. That's the best thing for any child to have in their life.

Rtmhwales Thu 25-Apr-19 19:17:53

This is sad. I was a nanny to two boys from three months on for three years, sixty hours a week. Your nanny is the main caregiver right now. She's supposed to love and shower your daughter with cuddles and kisses just like you'd do if you were home.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 25-Apr-19 19:18:03

I work in a nursery and this is how I treat the children there. I didn't at first, but my manager told me that hugs and kisses were encouraged, to make the children feel as comfortable as possible.

Just today I suggested a cuddle to one child, and had two of them throwing themselves at me. It was lovely! One went away then ran back to kiss me! I don't allow them to kiss me on the lips, and have always told parents the odd time one has managed it. But by being so relaxed with them means they will come for a hug when they're upset, which is surely what you want?

Springwalk Thu 25-Apr-19 19:18:46

You sound jealous op. Really jealous, and yet you should be so happy that your dd has bonded so well with her nanny, and delighted that she is being cared for in every single way. Most parents would give anything to be in your position. Toddlers are so gorgeous, and I love them to bits at that age. I think it is pretty normal. Your little one deserves to be cared for with such genuine affection no?

Your nanny can never replace you, you are her mother, but how lovely for your dd that she has other people that care for her when you are not there.

I suggest you thank your nanny for being so wonderful, and take extra good care of her. If your child is not happy with the nanny your life becomes hellish over night.

MolyHolyGuacamole Thu 25-Apr-19 19:20:01

Maybe you need to be a stay at home mum.

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