Thursday, October 8, 2009

Suggestions for Introducing the New Nanny to Your Children

I read this article from and there are some good suggestions about easing the transition to choosing a new or first time nanny.

Introducing a New Nanny? Seven Steps for Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Introducing your child to a new nanny, whether this is your child’s first nanny or the new nanny will be taking the place of a previous caregiver, can be stressful for everyone involved. Even with the best planning, there are sure to be unexpected bumps along the road, but a little preparation goes a long way towards smoothing the transition. Following are seven suggestions that may help:

1. Acknowledge your child’s attachment to his previous caregiver: If your child had a strong bond with his or her previous nanny, understand that in order to bond with a new nanny, your child must come to terms with the loss of the previous caregiver. Explain the reasons for the transition. Acknowledge your child’s feelings toward his beloved nanny, and if possible, continue to maintain contact with her.

2. Keep your child in the loop: If your child is old enough, get her “buy in” on the new nanny by involving her in the selection process. Ask her what she loved most about the previous nanny, and look for candidates with those qualities. If appropriate, involve your child in interview process and ask for her opinions. Explain why you are choosing the candidate you ultimately select.

3. Give the new nanny a helping hand: Give her as much information as possible about your child. Let her know what your child valued most in his relationship with the previous nanny, and provide as much information as possible about your child’s likes, dislikes, fears, interests, favorite activities, and daily schedule.

4. Be consistent: Help your new nanny to maintain a consistent structure and set of expectations for your child. Children feel most secure and comfortable when they are held to a consistent standard of behavior, regardless of who is in charge. Be clear with the nanny about your child’s schedule for meals and naptimes, and your expectation that the schedule will be followed as closely as possible. Make sure the new nanny understands what foods are permissible for meals and which are saved for occasional treats, and the limits your family enforces on time spent watching television or using the computer.

5. Spend time together: Ease the transition by inviting the new nanny to visit and play a few times before she officially starts work. Not only will this help your child to get acquainted with the new nanny, but your child will develop trust in the nanny if she sees that you trust the nanny, too. Make sure you communicate this trust verbally and through your body language towards the nanny. Try visiting a few of your child’s favorite places together, or participating in a few of her favorite at-home activities.

6. Consider adjusting the schedule if needed: For some young children, maintaining a consistent daily schedule can help smooth transitions. Some children find it confusing to be in a nanny’s care occasionally – say three times a week for a full day – and are happier going for shorter periods Monday through Friday. If your work schedule permits it, you might want to consider shifting your hours if your child is having trouble adjusting to an inconsistent daily schedule.

7. Know how to say “goodbye”: Make “goodbyes” easier by finding the right time and place to say them. It may be easier for some children to say “goodbye” if they are outside, or getting ready to go for a walk, as this may give them a sense that they are the one leaving for a fun activity. Just make sure your child understands that you are leaving, too, either by getting into your car or being dressed for an outing, so that he’s not disappointed when he returns home to find you gone. Make goodbyes quick, and let your child know when you’ll be home.

Posted by Wee Care Nanny Agency