Our First Get-Together of the New Year!

Saturday, January 28th from our very own Newborn Care Specialist, Angela Vogds, led a discussion on the book Super Baby by Jenn Berman.

One of the aspects of the book that most interested me was a section written by Lindsay Heller, PsyD, who is a licensed clinical psychologist and former nanny who is also known as "The Nanny Doctor."  Dr. Heller wrote:

Eleven Things Your Nanny Wishes You Would Do

  1. Respect the schedule  Once you have a regular set schedule, make your best attempt to respect it.  Of course, with children you need to be flexible, but be careful of taking advantage of this flexibility - it may just cost you your nanny.
  2. Talk to your nanny  Communication is key.  Set up a regular time to touch base about the kids and job details.  Sometimes employers assume the nanny should just know everything.  However, she is not a mind reader and needs you to inform her how things are done, especially in the beginning.
  3. Allow your nanny some break time on vacation  When you are on vacation and your nanny travels with you, she is not on vacation.  Utilize the hotel babysitting service for a day or two or give your nanny a night off (or two).  She deserves some respite as much as you do, and she'll be a better nanny for it.
  4. Pay your nanny on time and hassle-free  Counting hours and trying to track you down can be tough.  Having a discussion about money can be even tougher.  Set up a regular system for paying your nanny.
  5. Do not blame your nanny for your private troubles  Your nanny understands that she works in your private home, embedded in your private life.  Try not to take it out on her.  She doesn't deserve it and if it happens enough, you may drive a good nanny away.
  6. Give your nanny respect  Your nanny is a professional caring for your child.  Ask her opinion.  Listen to her guidance.  She has done this before and may have a lot of wisdom to share.
  7. Encourage your nanny to connect you to your child  Your nanny can help you stay connected with your baby.  She can take pictures of your child, log her daily activities and update you on anything new that happened during the day.
  8. Avoid changing your mind  When you change your mind at the last minute, it slows things down and you need to be patient and understanding to get things back on track.
  9. Show appreciation  Your nanny needs to know she is doing a good job and will do an even better job if she knows you appreciate her.
  10. Collaborate  Your nanny is doing the best job she knows how, but she needs your help.
  11. Don't change the job requirements without warning  If the job description is changing, take care to sit down and discuss the changes and your family's specific needs with your nanny.
The list offers some of the common pitfalls of being a nanny and makes parents aware of it, which is great.  The book also gives a lot of great, early years advice from tips for encouraging language to twelve ways to give your baby a head start in the first three years - I think it's worth a read!