Post # 1
My son is 2 weeks old and starting in February (and some “date night” times beforehand) we will have a nanny in our home watching him for 6 1/2 hours at a time. I work from home so will be present but in another room on a conference call for most of the time. We found someone we really like and I feel like we need something in writing; guidelines, expectations, etc. for when we meet with her Sunday.
I started writing this out and it’s getting really long and I worry it might be condescending by the time it hits page 3. I hit the major areas; how to use cloth diapers, how often to feed, where things are located and some guidelines such as no smoking, payment info, emergency numbers and be on time.
Any tips or anyone want to share their guidelines? Want to make sure we are covering what we need to, but not feel like we are “dumbing it down,” for someone who has a lot of experience.
My “google research” keeps bringing me to full-time nanny agreements and contracts. I am looking more for a quick guideline/reference to leave on the fridge.
Post # 3
I think it can be covered in just one page…
Include baby’s name, pediatrician, & ped’s #.
Include any medications or allergies, or medical conditions.
Parents’ names & emergency contact numbers, and a back-up emergency contact person as well.
How many ounces your LO eats, and either what times of day, or how many times a day.
Keep instructions simple- like “Swirl breastmilk instead of shake.” and “Do not microwave milk, please use (bottle warmer, hot water, etc)”. “Please put cloth diapers in wet bag provided.”
Also, maybe include a line or so about what your go-to soothing techniques are. Some babies like swings, some like to be held, some like a noise machine and a mobile.
Post # 4
I would do as DaneLady said. If your nanny has experience you do not need a huge document on your baby.
Post # 5
@DaneLady: Thanks good idea w/ list of soothing.
@Sassygrn: Thanks, working on 1 page now.
Post # 6
@aliciapdx: I’m a former Nanny, and I used to regularly get print-outs that were 5+ pages. Trust me, she’ll like having the reference material!
Especially if you outline feeding/sleeping routines, and things that generally comfort him!
Post # 7
@aliciapdx: I know it’s hard though…. I’m pretty sure I left 2 pages for our dogs one time when we went away overnight. Cover everything you want to in a conversation or interview, but keep the written stuff concise 🙂
Post # 8
Speaking as a former nanny for infants, I would suggest you go through your routine and where things are when you meet with her. This can include how to use cloth diapers and where to find specific items. She will likely find this more helpful than relegating it all to a document.
You may also want to get a whiteboard for the refrigerator where she can indicate things like: when baby ate and how much, when diapers were changed (and possiblywhether it was wet or poopy), and when baby went down for a nap and how long she slept. One of my families had me do this and it simplified things a lot! I didn’t have to do a run-down with her every day, unless there was a specific question or issue, and the mom could have access to all that information.
I would limit it to a single page of guidelines, like PP suggested. With regards to other things, such as any rules (no smoking, no TV or TV only while baby sleeps) and information on payment… I would write those into a contract that she can look over and you can both sign. You may also want to include guidelines for if she is late/sick (i.e. if you are run x minutes late please call. If you are sick and unable to come in, please give x amount of notice).
Post # 9
@aliciapdx: I also, for one family, with a newborn, a 1 year old, and a 3 year old, needed to do a few ‘trial’ days where the mom and/or dad were home but basically didn’t do anything with the children and I needed to act like I would if I were there by myself. It was nice though, because if I did something a different way than they preferred they showed me how they would like it done and it was no problem. I don’t think that’s a common thing as no one else I’ve ever nannyd for has done anything except a printout and a normal interview/background check. Just mentioning it.
Post # 10
@aliciapdx: As a nanny I would welcome having a long packet of information, but I wouldn’t give it to her as a packet of like “light reading” you know? She should be able to pick up most of those skills if she doesn’t know how to already just by you demonstrating. I would feel a lot more comfortable going in on day one if you showed me how you would do your son’s cloth diapers, how you prefer him to be fed, etc. rather than gave me a packet. Maybe write up the packet to be as long as you want, and just tell the nanny it is in a certain location if she needs it when you aren’t around. I like having all of the information at my hands if I really need it, and I understand that it isn’t necessarily an insult on my knowledge of my job, but more like something that makes the parents feel more comfortable when leaving their child alone.
Post # 11
@BrandNewBride: Thanks for the input. I worry too long also will end with TLDR (too long, didn’t read) and her interupting me working in the office with a basic question. Not that that is the biggest deal in the world but annoying and unprofessional on my end.
@DaneLady: Thanks, yeah my goal is 1 page bullet points and 1 page with emergency numbers and “rules” like calling in sick, being on time, etc. or less.
@missrain: Thanks, yes will do the “run through” when she comes the first time to meet with us and watch him for a bit. Great idea. I would learn hands-on over a sheet of paper as well. I am a bit nervous about a contract per se, since we are paying her in cash and worry the contract essentially is a “I am hiring you illegally” and doesn’t mean anything anyway. She is also 1 day a week for now and will be 3-4 in the upcoming months.
@springbride23: Good idea. I will be home while she is here and although interuptions would be a PITA my business is running online courses so every 90 minutes or so I have 60 minutes “off” where I respond to e-mails, eat, etc and will totally be avaliable and even involved with my son (holding him, feeding him, doing laundry and generally “around”) while she is here in between work. In this times she is free to do what she wishes as lon as I am not busy with work related things. This is the reason we went with nanny over daycare, feels weird to be home for 90 minutes on/60 minutes off while my kid is someplace else and I am avaliable.
@beetee123: Thanks, good point. I think I will give her a copy and keep one posted on the fridge kind of as “reference” more than a study guide.