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Nanny "settling in"(25 Posts)
I have just employed a nanny for the first time. I don't go back to work until November, so have ages left how would you normally go about them getting to know kids/routines etc? I thought I would start paying her two weeks before her start date and spend the two weeks with us. I would like her to come and visit a few times before then so older DC in particular can get used to her. Is this reasonable? Will I need to pay her?
Of course you will need to pay her. It is her time!
Ime, I used to be a nanny, two weeks with mum is not necessary.
Ok so what would you suggest? I was going to pay her for the two weeks, sorry if I didn't make that clear. I meant if she popped in for a coffee informally would it be expected to pay her for that? I am not suggesting I wouldn't be willing to, I just have no idea and am asking what the norm is here.
Not sure how far you are along but I did:
first interview with me - kids in bed
second interview she played with kids while we chatted
came for 1 day (paid) and essentially shadowed me and I showed her things
first day of the actual job I took the day off work but went out - but she know I was around if needed
then as normal. 2 weeks is excessive, your kids won't respect her authority if you're there.
No settling in is required if they have nannied before. Better to hit the ground running, take the children out somewhere so they all have to get along together and not have mum/dad around in the background.
It may sound rather harsh but your children have to accept that someone else is in charge when you are not there, so if you are both there it can be confusing for them.
Write down any routines. Be prepared for some routines to change, as they will change over time anyway. At first sticking to the routine can work well but it may also be limiting - you mention older DC so assuming they are at school then that forms a routine which can't be changed but it will change during school holidays.
Two weeks - far far too long. A day maybe but I would try to avoid that if possible and just have a meet-and-greet session of a couple of hours at say a weekend (and yes, pay for that time).
How much of thinking about having a two week overlap is down to your own anxiety about leaving your children with this nanny? It will be hard at first and you need a form of communication which you can use to keep track of what is happening - for example, nanny could send you a photo, update a milk feed log, you could send urgent messages via text and not so urgent via email, you could use digital calendar systems to keep tabs on events/outings as well as the mileage log (if nanny is using a car).
Two weeks I find is the crunch point when the reality of the job dawns and as a nanny I decide at that point if things are working or not, what needs to change to make it work, or do I leave? So make the first two weeks about nanny being with the children as much as possible without you around, so they get to know each other and start building a bond.
From an experienced nannies point of view, the shorter the handover, the better. I would feel that two weeks is far too long.
In my experience, especially with older kids, it's quite difficult to start building up a bond with them when a parent is around. It's a lot easier if you can get things into the normal routine as soon as possible.
In my current job I had a three week handover and it was horrendous, the school kids didnt want anything to do with me, they only wanted mum. Once she was back at work and they had no option but to play with me things were so much better.
The best handovers I've had have been when mum takes a day off work, shows you where school, the shops, the doctors are etc, how the alarm, washing machine etc works, gives you a few ideas for what the kids like to eat and play with and then lets you get on with it.
electionfatigue has it, that's how I like to do it (as a nanny). One day shadowing mum, then left to it with mum at the end of the phone if necessary. I'd prefer to have certain things written down like an example schedule, or house rules, rather than the parent expecting me to pick these things up through trial and error or mindreading
Unless you plan to have a permanent shared care arrangement then let the nanny form her own bond and boundaries with the children - especially older ones - without you present.
Ok this all very helpful thank you! I am not especially anxious, just clueless! I was thinking that when I settled DD into nursery/CM I did this on sessions spread out over a couple of weeks so was thinking similar. I didn't really want nanny following me about for two weeks anyway but just couldn't really think how it would work. Those of you saying just start & get on with it - that's fine but wouldn't you expect the kids to get to know the nanny a bit before they suddenly take over?
Sorry I think I am not making very much sense in the above post. I realise people are advising not lots of shadowing & that's great, but would you not want the nanny to just drop in for coffee a few times as I mentioned about so the children at least know who they are?
When I started with my current family - baby was 5 months - I did a short first day;
I came in at 9am - had a coffee with mum while baby napped then baby got up and Mum hung about with us playing for a bit then she headed off to run errands [dad was doing diy in the house] and I did lunchtime then playtime and then naptime on my own. Dad went out too and I was instructed to have a nose around and let them know; if I needed them [they weren't too far away] if there was anything they needed to do/get for me [biscuits/art supplies etc] then mum came home and we played with the baby before I went home.
Next day Mum went to work, Dad did DIY within the home but more or less left me from 9-5 and and then the 3rd day I did 7-7 with no parents around - they both worked in major cities away from our town.
I have done that in the past but never felt it achieved much. The kids know that a new nanny is coming, I usually meet them at some stage during the interview process, it's nice to go round for coffee beforehand but really not necessary.
We invited our nanny over for lunch one Saturday to spend a bit of time with us all as a family. On her first day I was off work but there initially to show her where stuff was and then I skipped off to the shops in glee! Worked out fine. We have since moved out of the area and we all miss her
Has the nanny met the kids?
I tend to meet the children at interview stage, so if there is a long period between then and start date then having a get together for a few hours can be good such as popping over for a coffee and play, maybe even for lunch - so more as guest, like a friend popping over. Looking back at my current job, it looks like I went over one day around 10am ish and stayed for lunch, so was there about 3 hours I guess. Then I started the job about 5 weeks later.
You might even go as far as having the new nanny babysit one evening or more, so children get to know them as a babysitter first.
Suddenly taking over does seem to work best, if you give them choice then they will choose you over the nanny - which won't help you going back to work. It's like starting school, they may go for a couple of hours but then they start and it may not be a full day but they need to go each day and not have a parent stay with them.
You need to do what works for your children and the nanny. So whilst many of us nannies will say that a very short handover works, it might not work for you or your children.
Given you have already hired this nanny and it is June, why not see if they could come to babysit on occasion between now and November. Maybe that would be a good way to introduce them to the children and they get used to your home, plus means you get a few evenings out with your partner.
I'd compromise somewhere in between.
I did a two week settling-in period with my nanny and, with hindsight, it was a bit long for is all to hang around together. It was fine though, no issues.
However I would have found it unnerving to hand my DC over to someone I'd spent only a day with. A week is probably good middle ground?
Thanks all, lots of useful info & opinions to think about.
As you have quite a bit of time as some said maybe get her to do some babysitting for you. But yes like the other nannies have said. I don't feel the need to have weeks and weeks of handover. I've generally gone from one job to the other so never had the time. All my jobs I've just done a day or so handover and that's it.
You mention older DC so this may not be relevant but another alternative:
I did a 3 week shadowing when I began with an 11mth old. I think it worked really well. I had only met the family twice before for my interview 2mth previously but by the time Mum went back to work I knew the house inside out, knew the routine, and most importantly - the baby and I knew each other! I was comfortable with everything. Mum obviously popped out and left me to it for a few hours here and there and Dad works from home so was around if I needed anything but the mum and I have a great working relationship and I don't have the common nanny gripe that the kids don't listen when parents are around. We have never had tears when Mum leaves. We both agree that this is because we had a really solid handover and the LO knew that I was "safe" and that Mum and I are (as far as he is concerned) equal in authority.
Just a thought!
agree 2 weeks far too long, tbh ive never had a handover period, much prefer to hit the ground running
tho understand nov is a long time away, so maybe a few hours babysitting/odd day here and there would be nice, but no reason to either iyswim
Springtime, I hope I'm not your ex nanny! I'm still with the family!
Is she starting in November? Thats a long time to wait... Are you paying her a retainer until then?
Just to add another point of view....the key is what do you feel comfortable with. I personally could not hand over my 3 dc to someone who is basically a stranger after just one day!
I am going back to work after my third maternity leave (4days a week) in October. I'm planning on having my new nanny start mid September and doing a couple of days a week for those 2 /2 and a half weeks before I go back to work. We have three do, it's a busy household, she doesn't know the area and I want to take the time to make sure that she sees all the things I want her to know, gets to know where the local groups are, does the school run a couple of time etx. I also want my baby to get to know her a bit and the older dc to feel comfortable with her when she picks them up from school. We have had our previous nanny for 5 years and so this is a big change.
I totally understand that the nannies do not like a long handover (shared care always more tricky in terms of dynamics) but equally you need to feel happy. You don't need to hang around all the time while the nanny is there - go out, do your admin, shopping.
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