Tuesday, November 30

The New Nanny

She's from Paris, France  but she's lived in the U.S. for 3 years on a student visa and is fluent in English. We were lucky to scoop her up from a DC family with three young girls (age 6, 3, 1) that she had been with for the last 3 years but the family is moving to the Midwest.

In contrast to Olivia's last nanny who was really Olivia's 3rd grandma, she is very strict and structured and it is all paying off.  Olivia is thriving from the challenge and finally learning Baby Can Read! She's more polite and oh so happy to see me come home and tell the nanny "bye bye."

The only thing is, I don't think Olivia has caught on that the nanny actually lives with us---on the third floor. We went with a live-in nanny, yet again for the pending arrival of baby #2.  It is was just so nice and so convenient to have someone around in the first few weeks, and it helped me sneak away to the gym quite often too. Speaking of gym postpartum, my silly sister told me she went to the gym 4 days postpartum but didn't really do anything. OMG. Good thing our mom is there to talk to sense into her.  I think she realized that those narcotics (for contracting uterus pain- OUCH!) and postpartum girdles give you a false sense of security.

Back to the nanny--since this is now our 3rd nanny in a little over a year, here's what we've learned about what works for us:

1. Older, experienced nanny for the early stages (newborn - 9 months)
2. Younger, energetic, structured nanny for 10 months/walking and older
3.  Live-In works if you set guidelines on work hours, food (mini-fridge), cleanliness, curfews, car access, can give them a private area of the house.
4.  Live-Out works if they have reliable transportation and have some schedule flexibility.
5. Agencies: are helpful for screening, but can add costly overhead and excessive fees/wages--use referrals from friends, or nannies looking to exit their existing au pair/nanny agency.
6. Schedules, contracts, and detailed directions are a good thing. They give you both something to consult to be consistent.
7. You can never be clear enough about expectations and it will require some tweaking on a weekly basis at first, so plan to recap at week's end good or bad.
8. Finally even the best laid plans will change with your baby's needs so be flexible.

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