Training Your Nanny as a New Parent

One of the greatest experiences a person could ever have is becoming a first time parent. It is exciting knowing that there is now a bundle of joy for the family and yet could be overwhelming since everything is new. This is the time when a professional nanny would be very helpful in taking care of your first child, especially when you as a new parent are in the adjustment period.

Properly training a nanny is one of the best things you can do to protect your child and ensure your child’s best care. It may be considered basic but would be very helpful both for the nanny and for you as a new parent as well.

Discussions: Like in any working relationships, sitting with the nanny and establishing how you would like to maintain the relationship should be done in the beginning. An example is discussing how often checking in would be done, be it once a day, once a week, or eventually once a month. You should be clear as well on how you want the nanny to communicate with you. Setting of expectations on both sides could also be discussed at this stage.

Home Care Guide: As a new parent, it is very helpful to have a guide both for yourself and for the nanny through a ‘Home Care Guide’. This can be in a form of a booklet which contains all important childcare and household information. You create and organize it in the form of a binder or a notebook by doing some research, or by simply thinking of the best information to include in the booklet. Your nanny would be able to read this information and reference it when you’re not at home. Suggested information to include in the guide is as follows:

Job description of the nanny, including all aspects of the job

Daily schedule of what the nanny should do

Directions for important locations (local hospital, school, doctor, etc.)

Emergency contact information for parents, neighbors, and friends

Emergency information about the child (blood type, medical history, current medications)

Household information (alarms, AC, etc.)

Emergency situations are inevitable and can be very stressful. Availability of information would make this kind of situation less stressful for everybody.

Basic Training Expected from a Nanny: When hiring a professional nanny, you as a parent should expect she has had some basic training. This can be a sign that a nanny candidate takes her job seriously. Since the day to day safety of your child depends on your nanny, you need to make sure that your nanny has knowledge of CPR and first aid; while it is a plus if she has attended trainings on ‘Child Development and Nutrition’.

A degree in ‘Early Childhood Education’ is a helpful qualification, but this is no substitute for experience in child care. You should be aware of this experience early on during the interview or the hiring stage. If in case, if there are some basic trainings which the nanny has not yet undergone to, you may require the nanny to attend these trainings. You may also enroll the nanny on other trainings which may be helpful in taking care of your child. If you need help in hiring a nanny with good training background, you may look for a nanny agency. A nanny referred by a respected nanny agency meets a certain level of qualification as these agencies recruit, screen, interview, and conduct background checks of those who want to become nannies.

Clear Boundaries: The nanny takes care of your child and would need to know the boundaries set for her. Make sure to agree and understand with your nanny where certain boundaries are in specific situations such as discipline; who is in charge when parents are at home, places where the nanny and the child are not supposed to go to, and so forth. This will prevent the child from getting confused on the roles a nanny and parents are supposed to play.

Research: Continuous research for you as a new parent is recommended. This may be on various topics from taking care of a child to dealing and maintaining a relationship with a nanny. Researching and seeking help from an agency may also be done when looking for a professional nanny as they ensure that the nanny is experienced and equipped with the basic trainings in taking care of a child.

It is important to consider the parent-nanny relationship as a working relationship and a partnership at the same time. Open communication is very helpful in knowing and understanding the best things for your child. Training a nanny would establish a professional manner in caring for your child and would give you less worry as a new parent, especially at times when you are not around your baby.