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Not sure about new nanny(30 Posts)
I can't work out if I am over reacting or not.
We have a new nanny for the next 10 months to cover for our nanny's mat leave ( and I guess maybe longer if our nanny decides not to come back).
She is a friend of the existing nanny so the DC already knew her. Both DC already seem completely at home with her and settled - it has surprised me how quickly the eldest DC has settled as he has had his other nanny for 3 years. She is generally a bit reserved but very kind and patient with the DC. Excellent at all general nanny stuff and I have no worries at all that the DC aren't safe with her.
I do find her a bit bossy and judgemental but accept that this may just be me adjusting to a new nanny's ways. She is more strict with the DC, which isn't necessarily a bad thing and my eldest DC behaves particularly well for her.
Two things are bothering me a bit - the first one is probably me being silly but it feels like my eldest behaves with her as he does with his teachers at pre school - I never hear him laughing or being silly like he did with previous nanny. Everything just seems very regimented and serious.
The second concerns me more in that the nanny is leaving my youngest to cry in his cot for his afternoon nap for up to 30 minutes ( she does go in during this time). It is true that my youngest (10 months) is pretty terrible at napping and that does need to improve but I would never leave him to cry.
The nanny also wanted to drop his morning nap, which I have refused to do.
I have discussed this with the nanny but she is a sleep trainer and is adamant his naps have to be sorted to allow her to run the day and have time with the eldest DC. I do understand that and generally leave my nanny to do things how she wants. This particular issue makes me very uncomfortable though.
My problem is that I know that if I tell her not to do this she will resign - because she quite fairly feels that the parents and nanny have to be in agreement on this. In everything else she is a very good nanny and the DC are used to her. Also I did have difficulty recruiting as this was for a mat leave cover position.
I just don't know what to do. The majority of my friends and their nannies also leave their DC to cry at naps, so my DH just thinks I am being too soft.
I definitely wouldn't be allowing her to dictate when he drops his naps. Very few babies are ready to drop to one nap before 12 months, it's important for them to get a good amount of deep sleep during the day. I would also be telling her not to leave him to cry. My DS2 is 10 months and I wouldn't leave him crying to get himself to sleep! A bit of a tired whinge sometimes before he drops off maybe, but not full on crying and certainly not for 30 minutes. You are her employer and its up to you to set the ground rules. The way I see it, when you use a childminder, your child may have to fit into their routine as they have other children to care for, but if you use a nanny, the whole point is that they are supposed to work around your routines, surely? Obviously they may find things work best one way or another, but they should be accommodating your needs, as they are only looking after your child/ren.
I think you are right and I know deep down I have to raise it with her again - I guess part of the issue is he is pretty much impossible to resettle for his naps the last month or so and is waking after 30 minutes and then is tired. She will ask me what to do instead and I don't really have any answers other than try and resettle him and if it doesn't work she will have to get him up. I do appreciate my eldest DS is with her as well so she can't spend ages in the room with the youngest trying to get him to sleep. Her response last time is that he will then never learn to nap properly.
Part of the problem is that my eldest was a similarly bad sleeper and terrible at napping for a long time so sleep isn't an area I have a great deal of confidence in my abilities in!
I suppose it depends how you want to tackle sleeping. If she's going in and out, trying to resettle during the 30 mins of crying, then it's a valid sleep training method. She's not just 'leaving them to cry for half an hour'. If she's let the baby to cry for half an hour and left them to it, that's different.
For what it's worth, I did a bit of sleep training around 9 months. Yes, it involved some crying. Cried for a couple of mins, in to resettle, repeat etc. There could be half an hour of crying but it wasn't a baby left alone screaming. To an outsider it probably sounded like child cruelty though. It took a few days, but I had a baby who slept and at almost two they still sleep and don't appear emotionally scarred.
If you don't want to use that method though, she's got to figure out something else (which is buggery hard with a second milling around but that's tough).
Yes that is sort of my dilemma - and I can see not just how hard it is with another child but also how it means my eldest just gets left if I want her to spend time in the room with the youngest ( and eldest is only 3).
I do know cc can work - another part of the dilemma I guess is i ( somewhat nervously - didn't enjoy it but did stick at it ) tried cc at night with a sleep trainer for my DS and for some unknown reason it didn't work. Even the sleep consultant admitted defeat. The nanny does know this ( and saw it herself). As I said though I'm at a loss as to what else to try with DS for his naps so I do have sympathy for her.
What I am trying to weigh up is what is worse - more upheaval for both DC and having to get someone new when they do feel secure with this nanny or my youngest crying for 30 mins ( will double check but am sure she is going in at times intervals). Maybe I should give her another week to see if it has worked.
Ahh sorry I missed the bit where you said she goes in. Hmm. If it's more like cc then I wouldn't mind if she gave it a try, but I think cc usually works (or not) within a few days, so if she's doing it for days on end with no positive results then you need to rethink. I did cc with DS1 and it took 3 nights and he then slept through, BUT he already knew how to settle himself to sleep.
I think you shouldn't worry about this too much. It would be very unsettling for the children to have a new carer. The nap thing - I do agree that the whole day will go better if he has a nap and so would probably support her in sleep training him. I couldn't do it with my own baby but then we had no routine and he was tired and cranky sometimes. It was my own child so I could fit my day around it. She is working and presumably has to get certain jobs done and provide a range of activities, meals etc. I dare say you wouldn't be impressed if she told you the baby was tired and miserable so they watched a dvd and had beans on toast for dinner again. It also doesn't matter if she's strict as long as she's fair and kind and as the children like her so much I expect she is. Your 3 year old would tell you if she was horrible I'm sure.
I wouldn't be happy with cc tbh but that's personal choice. From your post cc isn't something you want to do though so if you aren't comfortable I would raise it with the nanny again. Could changing his nap to a bit later in the day mean that he naps for longer?
I would suck up the sleep training for a while. My cm wanted dd to drop to one nap at about 11 months. She did at 12-13 months which was even then too early, but dd would have two with us and one with the cm so you might still be able to do two at the weekend to compensate.
Time for a routine change perhaps.
When in the day is your nanny with youngest DS on his own? You mention pre-school, so is your eldest still attending that? Could that time be a useful time for youngest DS to have a long sleep?
It may sound strange to sleep longer in the morning but some children need that and will go for longer in the afternoon. Your nanny and you need to find the natural sleep pattern of your DS. If she is a sleep trainer then she should be willing to adapt the current routine given that it does not appear to be working.
Everyone has their own style and currently her Sargent Major style is working with your eldest. She may be starting as she means to go on, making sure he knows that she is not a push over. Once settled in more - how long has she been with you? - she may become more relaxed.
Crumpets I wouldn't be happy with that at all. CC is a valid tool but if you have chosen not to use it with your child, then your employee should honour that. You have employed her as a nanny, not a sleep trainer.
If waking after 30 mins have you tried the technique of a gentle judge just before they wake up to get them to settle into another sleep cycle before they wake fully? Worked well for us. Also you need to tell the nanny your boundaries!
Thanks everyone for the responses.
Nanny Nick - I agree about the routine. My feeling ( and actually experience is) he will sleep longer in the morning naturally. So he will often sleep an hour or hour 15 in the morning ( 9.15-10.15 if he woke at 6.15) then an hour 15/20 in the afternoon. I know this isn't a huge amount but I am fairly ok with this. I think he is at the lower end of sleep needs. This would fit in with my eldest pre school - 8.50-11.50. I've actually suggested just sticking with this but my nanny really disagrees and thinks he needs the longer afternoon nap, so wakes him from the morning nap after 45 minutes if he is sleeping longer. Tbf she also wants the longer afternoon nap because this gives her some time with my eldest.
I think I will have another chat, suggest we give cc a further week max but if no change to move back to not waking him from his morning nap when he sleeps longer and see what happens.
Thanks again for the advice.
Kids like familiarity and security, usually above all else, and which often comes from clear boundaries. For your pre-schooler, it will also give him valuable tools for real school. Plus, it means you can be fun mummy! And not have that awful thing that I used to do as a kid, which was to want the nanny more than my mum (single parent, no faintly or financial support, stressed and tired). You can be silly and jokey with the kids and build dens from sheets and make a mess with glitter etc.
The sleep stuff - it isn't going to harm your dc at all. It may benefit him. If he is too tired/whingey, the nanny can deal with the consequences and learn the hard way!
The CC would be a deal breaker for me, as would her trying to dictate nap times. It's not her job to sleep train or impose her preferred routine but care for your DC in ways you're happy with. That should be a benefit of paying a premium for a nanny over nursery or a CM. The nap times you've outlined that you generally do seem fine.
She does not "need time" with your older DC, who is old enough to amuse himself for short periods and will be used to fitting in with his siblings at times. Sounds like she finds caring for tired babies hard, but this is part of her job.
Also don't be down on yourself because your DC aren't model sleepers: my eldest was a nightmare, younger one much better, they are different and it's not down to what we did or didn't do.
My CM and I had a few disagreements on sleep things but always resolved them amicably and both compromised. If you think this person will resign so be it: I wouldn't want to employ someone so inflexible.
Oh I didn't realise she was waking him early from his first nap. I wouldn't be happy with my child being woken before he is ready in an attempt to make him sleep longer later on.
Why can't she fit in with his previous routine, which I assume was working for you and previous child minder?
Are you at work whilst the nanny is there or are you home?
If home, could you manage for these few months without her and wait for your own nanny to return?
I am back at work unfortunately. She has worked part time for us over the summer and been full time 3 weeks.
The other thing that I find a bit unusual is that she doesn't say goodbye to the DC when she leaves - but again maybe some nannies just don't? It's sounds strange but it feels to me like she doesn't actually enjoy being a nanny ( she had had a different child related job for a number of years which was office based and had only had one nanny job since). I do understand nannying can be difficult and everyone moans but she is fairly negative most evenings - again I don't know I this is just British reserve or something or just a hange from my last nanny.
Interestingly my DH - not a man that is known for being perceptive - actually said the same thing about it seeming like she doesn't want the job last night.
I clearly need to (wo)man up and have a frank conversation with her - I guess it's the thought of maybe yet another upheaval for my DC that is putting me off ( my DH is away a lot so they already have to deal with quite a bit of change).
Thanks again for all the advice!
One positive in the whole thing is that luckily youngest DC never gets whiny or grumpy from lack of sleep - he just stays his cheerful self and needs a bit of an earlier bed at 6.30 ( although I strongly suspect it has an impact on his night waking). But he isn't having to deal with a grumpy baby.
The cc would be a deal breaker for me. Happy for naps to get sorted but only if in a way I was comfortable with. If she is willing to walk over this point, that tells you a lot.
So the baby's not even grumpy!
Not saying goodbye to DC is rude. My former CM would be shocked!
I don't think it is likely to work out. Trust your instincts. Better to cut your losses IMO. or at the very least I would tell her firmly no more waking baby from naps (unless they've been longer than X length of time, determined by you), and no controlled crying experiments whatsoever.
Unless there's a swift improvement I would begin looking for alternative childcare.
I can see why she prefers a shorter a.m nap and a longer p.m nap as theres more baby activities on in the mornings so to make the most of them its better if the baby is awake in time and plus the longer pm nap means they can keep going to bedtime without being grumpy/needing early bedtime. But it sounds like your little one isnt getting grumpy and you're happy with routine how it it. Tbh if the only time she can get along nap in is in the mornings i think she needs to let him sleep. I have looked after alot of babies and the youngest to drop the morning nap was 14mths. They all had at least an hour in a.m. my current 15mth old sleeps 9-10 and then 12:45-3:15. He would sleep more but we have to go for school run. But he is on the high end for sleep(he is picky with food though!) I would decide how important the sleep is and then sit and chat to her. How did your old nanny manage the sleeping?
My old nanny sleep trained my PFB along with another PFB as part of a nanny share. How she did it simultaneously I have no idea, I take my hat off to her.
To be honest I'd leave her to it with the sleep training provided that you are comfortable she is not leaving your youngest to scream his heart out. In a few months he'll be toddling around and most of the baby groups are all mid morning.
Both of mine had short 30-45 mins naps at that age and then a good solid 2 hour at lunchtime. Nanny was very pro Gina Ford. I can't say I was that keen to start with but both of my kids thrived on it and became very good sleepers overnight. Previously crap.
I'd be more worried about her general attitude and lack of "fun" but most people are less reserved when there isn't another adult around to laugh at them. Silly dancing and singing and that sort of thing.
Sit her down and have a chat - say that she doesn't look v happy and ask her if she is enjoying the job? She might be feeling second guessed by you all the time, just be exhausted by the end of the day, she might have personal stuff going on and be dreading going home/to the gym, she might just have that sort of face. Or she might be having real second thoughts in which case you'll need to agree a reasonable notice period.
I'm pretty sure nothing is going on in her personal life, but can double check ( she does often fill me in on things she is doing). I'm out at work and, apart from saying I want him to continue with a morning nap, haven't interfered in any way, I'm very careful about this!
I do understand about the morning nap and getting out but cutting it short really hasn't made any difference and I'm not sure an hour or hour 10 in the morning is too long. As long as he has two naps of an hour he really is perfectly happy - my DS1 was a terrible napper as well but grumpy with it. DS2 just stays smiling until bed - it's quite strange!
I will have a chat and see what he says. I have no doubt she is a good nanny and is doing the job in the way she thinks it is best. I do like her as a person and think she is hardworking and kind. I increasingly just think she maybe isn't the right nanny for us as a family.
There is NO WAY I would allow my nanny to leave my children to cry. It is not sometjing I beleive in and I would let a nanny go over this. Your poor baby is probably missing you and is then subjected to some ridiculous sleep training.
My second dd just sleeps in the buggy when nanny is out and about with the eldest. No formality... No "sorting out" of naps. Just a baby who falls asleep as and when.
I think you need to have a word or find another nanny. I think she sounds like she thinks she knows best regrading YOUR children. You are their mother and how you raise them is your choice x
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