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Changing nannies - how to handle / what to tell DS

(9 Posts)
12Poppy Wed 24-Apr-13 22:58:43

Hi all, was hoping some of you would have experience of a similar situation and wise words about how to deal with it!

We have had the same nanny for DS since I went back to work when he was 10 months old - he is now nearly 3 - but she will be leaving us shortly (long story, essentially she has found a role where the location and hours are much better for her - we are sad to be losing her but are parting on good terms).

We will be replacing her with another nanny (down to 2 candidates for second interview). I'm just thinking ahead to how we will deal with the transition. Would you say it is best to try to get old and new nanny working together for a few days for a 'handover', or might that be weird (for them and DS)? Should we ask our old nanny to come back every now and then to see DS, or at this age would it be better / less confusing for him if she just faded out of the picture altogether? (she has said she would like to stay in touch and I'm happy with this provided it is the right thing for DS and doesn't confuse him / upset him when he sees her). How should we explain it him? (I don't really want to tell him that she has to go and look after other children in case he feels that she has chosen them over him and feels that he has done something wrong).

I suspect I'm over-thinking this (!), but if anyone has any tips I would be very grateful to hear them! thank you.

marriedtoagoodun Wed 24-Apr-13 23:03:45

Haven't dealt with a departing Nanny but have dealt with departing foster children. It can effect children when someone close to them just disappears but equally bringing them back into the child's life as a 'bit player' can be tricky.

What we have found works well is making sure that enough time has elapsed for the new people (in our case new carers and new adoptive parents) to become dominant before allowing visits. We have not had problems with children who lived with us for two years seeing us again once sufficent time (typically 6 months) has elapsed.

It is lovely Nanny is saying she wants to stay in touch but bear in mind this might change for her as well. Do encourage leters/drawings but not visits in the early days...

12Poppy Wed 24-Apr-13 23:37:31

thanks married - that does sound sensible. Will see how it goes and if he asks about her will perhaps try to arrange a visit but for a few months' time once we've settled in our new nanny.

Cathyrina Thu 25-Apr-13 09:57:51

I will leave my current family soon and we all agreed that we will stay in touch. Charge is nearly 2 and I just can't wait 6 months to see her the next time, she's like my own child and this is just too much time... also I don't think she would even remember me after that but not sure how this would work for a 3 year old. Personally I think I would just be honest and say that she has found a new job (maybe not mention the other children) but that she still loves him very much and wants to visit him. I would make clear that the new Nanny will stay with him and look after him but he can stay in touch with previous Nanny as well if he wants to. It's not an easy situation but children get used to things quickly, he just has to understand that he can still see her but not all the time, he's got a new friend to spend time with and I'm sure he will love them both later.

andagain Thu 25-Apr-13 11:16:57

What we did when our nanny left, also on amicable terms (went back to NZ) was we talked to our DD (she had just turned 4) about it a lot in advance. The nanny talked to her about it too and put a very positive spin on it (we can see each other on skype, write postcards to each other and you can visit when you are older, that kind of thing). I always found that our DD is fine with things that are difficult or scary for her (like separation or getting a jab for example) if she has enough time to process it. When the day of the nanny leaving arrived my DD was absolutely fine (whilst I was crying my eyes out!).

We have since had au pairs (on our second one now and they have both been fantastic). What I try to do is not have a new person follow the last one straight away. I am not sure if you have an option for that but if you do I would consider it. We recruit in a way that there is a month or so at least before the new person starts and my DD spends time with me in the meantime so the new au pair is not seen as a replacement for the old one nor is she compared to the old one. As her arrival follows DD's time with mum, it is seen as a completely new chapter in her life. I hope this makes sense.

As far as seeing the old nanny goes, it differs from one family to another but I would give it a few months so your DS bonds with the new person.

Having said that, I was a nanny to two young children just over 20 years ago and I got on with their mum really well. I never stopped seeing them, still see them every couple of months, 20 years later, and their mum is still a very close friend!

I hope this helps a little.

12Poppy Thu 25-Apr-13 11:52:20

thank you both - gosh, different views, it's tricky!

Cathyrina, I absolutely get what you're saying and I think our nanny feels the same about wanting to see DS sooner than that. However I need to put DS first and make sure I do what is best for him and not for our nanny (I will keep in touch with her I'm sure, so she will know what's going on with DS via pics on FB etc). It's interesting that you say that your charge may have forgotten about you in 6 months - this must be really difficult for you (I am full of admiration for nannies as it must be so hard to move about and say goodbye to children), but from a parent's perspective I'm wondering if in that case it would be better to just let that happen rather than 'reintroduce' the old nanny from time to time as may set him back?

andagain, we are managing to have a bit of a gap (I work f/t and so we do need cover pretty much straightaway, but as it happens we've arranged for our nanny to leave just before we go on holiday for 2 weeks and the new one will start when we get back). So I think that is good, I'm just not sure whether would be best to have a few handover sessions with both nannies before the holiday...

andagain Thu 25-Apr-13 12:04:03

I have never done a handover between nannies/au pairs so really can't comment on that option, but I know other people on this forum have done it and it worked for them.

Personally, I would get the new nanny to come to spend an hour or so with your DS (without the old nanny) couple of times before you go on holiday so that when you are on holiday you can mention her to him in a "when you get home she will be taking you to the park/playground/ whatever the favourite activity is".

I think the two week holiday in between the nannies will work out perfectly.

Reinette Thu 25-Apr-13 21:36:02

I have never heard anyone (else) say that seeing a beloved caregiver again would be the wrong thing for a DC, so I am interested to see if anyone agrees with that concern. IME it is a special treat to have the old nanny back to babysit one evening, or for a special outing, perhaps even at a birthday party or other celebration. I suppose it might be confusing if old nanny filled in for new nanny and ran a regular nannying day with DS, but if she comes by on a Sat afternoon while you and DH go out for the night? I can't see that being anything other than wonderful for both of them.

Cathyrina Thu 25-Apr-13 22:00:10

12Poppy yes it is really hard for everyone (I'm spending so much more time with her than her parents..) but of course you're right, it's always the child first!

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