It’s a heart wrenching process to organise care for your wee ones for the first time.
There are so many options- nursery, nanny, au pair, child minder- it can be a minefield just deciding what is going to work for your family, let alone managing your guilt at leaving your wee one in somebody else’s care.
As a previous nanny, owner of KiwiOz Nanny Agency London and now a mum as well, I of course think nannies are a wonderful option and these are the reasons why:
1. Problem solving
A nanny can offer much more than simple child care. We live away from our families so when Amelia was born, as a first time mum I knew I would need some help from a professional.
The wonderful Kate came to help me when Amelia was just three weeks old. She got Amelia to have her first good sleep during the day, set us up on a great routine, and basically gave me the gift of a contented little baby. Kate comes to help just once a fortnight for a day, but even that small amount of help has made an incredible difference to how much we have enjoyed our first few months of parenthood.
Nannies are trained professionals in childcare. That rash you can’t get rid of? Those irritating 45 minute cat naps? The right nanny will be able to offer solutions and support you through those tricky situations.
2. Care in a familiar environment
Having a nanny at home has been an excellent way to introduce Amelia to new caregivers in a safe and familiar space. All of the things Amelia loves are around her, and Nanny Hannah easily follows the daily routine, keeping things ticking along nicely without too much change. When it comes time for Amelia to go to music and swimming classes, we can keep it local and Hannah can get to know the other mums, nannies and bubs in our community. She doesn't need to miss out on socialising just because she's at home!
As a parent with only one wee one at the moment- particularly one who has just started sleeping through the night- I am somewhat obsessed with keeping Amelia away from bugs. I know that she will eventually get sick but I just don’t want that to happen right now. So basically nanny over nursery wins this argument hands down.
Children that go to nursery will get sick. A lot. My sister has her children at two different nurseries, so the children pick up twice as many bugs! And yes, they are sick a lot. So if I can put that off for a wee while by having a nanny, I’m all in.
Also, if Amelia does get sick, Hannah can still look after her. I don’t have to pull her out of childcare and take time off work.
4. Support network
Unfortunately for us we live away from our families so Amelia has no Grandparents (AKA babysitters!) nearby. Having Kate and Hannah means that we have two people who can support us with babysitting if we have the odd night or Saturday event to go to.
Knowing we have someone reliable who Amelia loves make time away from her easier and more enjoyable. Also, our nannies are happy to keep us updated with regular texts during the day- this may seem like a small thing but it is amazing as it helps me relax and I can focus on getting some work done instead of worrying about how Amelia is!
Nannies offer more flexibility when it comes to hours than nurseries. If you have an early start or late finish from work, your nanny will be able to cover you. If you have a work dinner or social event, your nanny will often be happy to babysit. When I worked as a nanny, I did evenings, overnights, even full weekends when parents went abroad. Extra help for the parents, extra cash for me! It works well both ways.
6. One on one care
Leaving Amelia with a nanny I trust means I know her needs are being met in a way I am comfortable with. Amelia is a happy baby and Hannah has quickly come to understand her patterns and triggers. She knows what I value as a parent and can reinforce those values when I’m not there. As Amelia gets older I have no doubt that she’ll often have more fun with her nanny than she will have with me- trained nannies know all the tricks when it comes to fun play that also educates your wee one.
7. Help around the house
Hannah is only a part time nanny but she still helps out around the house- and I can’t stress how much I value this support! I know Amelia’s sheets and change table will be clean, her washing will be dried and folded, the kitchen will be tidy and her food will be prepared. This makes a world of difference and is a big factor in choosing a nanny over nursery.
And to top it all off the cost difference between nannies and nurseries is closing all the time. If you have two children having a nanny can actually be more cost effective than nursery.
So all in all I say nannies rock and win hands down! Do you agree????
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