Finding the perfect nanny for your baby is not an easy exercise. With all the horror stories you read in the news and on social media about abusive nannies, trust can feel almost impossible. My first nanny experience was traumatic. She was in her early twenties and extremely addicted to her mobile device. She was lazy, always late and I just didn’t get a good vibe from her. As a rookie mom, I had so much on my plate and was highly flustered that in the first few weeks of the nanny working with us I didn’t really focus on what was wrong with her.
She cleaned the house perfectly which was a great help and I was on maternity leave so she didn’t have to be with baby for long hours. Also subconsciously my gut really didn’t allow me to hand the baby to her freely. This wasn’t practical though, because eventually I had to leave the baby at home and zip out to the shops or head to the gym, ahem, as if…but you get what I mean.
The day I knew I had to let her go was when we received a delivery and my baby woke up. I ran to the door to open for the delivery guys and I asked her to go up to attend to the baby and give her some milk. The moment the guys had left, I went upstairs to find her bottle feeding my 2 month old baby, whilst standing against the bed, with the baby lying flat alone, out of her arms. The first thing I thought was “WTF!!! THAT IS A CHOKING HAZARD.” Oh my word, I was in such shock and thought of all the days I had left her alone with my baby. That and all the other issues like coming in late and serial texting her boyfriend on the job led to me dismissing her.
Replacing her felt almost impossible. I saw three other ladies before I finally found our current nanny, Thembie, who is a Godsend. What did I look for in the perfect nanny?
My Perfect Nanny Checklist
- Experience – she had to have looked after children that were not her own. If not, at least had her own children.
- Age – she had to be older than me, 28 at the time. Or at least mature. My previous nanny was 22.
- Professionalism – she needed to have a professional reference that reflected that she had a good track record in terms of punctuality, low absenteeism, etc.
- Personality – I needed her to have the type of personality that could stimulate and entertain my baby. She needed to be able to engage well with the baby.
- Confidence – someone confident in her abilities and that made me feel like I could trust her.
- Stability – she had to have a stable set up in her personal life. As much as I believe in helping people going through difficulties, when dealing with a newborn you need someone reliable and able to prioritise their job.
Thembie ticked all those boxes and I also had a gut feeling that she was the one. Never underestimate the power of your sixth sense and don’t ever ignore a bad hunch.
To further prepare my nanny and to put myself at ease, I sent her on an Advanced Childcare, Stimulation, First Aid and CPR course through Edubabe at Norscot Manor in Douglasdale. It was so good for Thembie to get ideas on how to stimulate my baby at different stages of her growth. They took her through general childcare tips on how to bath, dress and undress baby. They covered how to create routines and keep schedules of her eating, sleeping and stools that I could track when I got home from work. They also went through how to deal with hazards, injuries and illness. She said the course was so useful and it also gave her a qualification to add to her CV. I would highly recommend it. Visit Edubabe’s website if you are interested in sending your nanny on a course. They can also assist in sourcing reliable nannies with background checks.
I was going to get a nanny cam when I had my first nanny, but now I actually have someone that I trust like family.
Do you believe in nanny cams even with the right person? Please let me know in the comments section.