We first wrote this post for our friends at Hello Mums, you can read about them here. We thought we would share it over here as well as we know that first days can be a bit daunting. If you have any tips for a nanny’s first day please share them in the comments section.
Hiring a nanny is a big deal and you as parents are bound to feel apprehensive on her first few days until you feel she has settled into your family and your children are enjoying being in her company.
But it is also a big deal for the nanny. Children can be harsh critics and it can sometimes take them a while to settle with a new person, who’s there to have fun with them but also there to encourage and teach them how to conduct themselves in this big wide world. The children need to establish respect and trust in the nanny, and to do this they will push boundaries to see what they can get away with. So a new nanny has to be prepared for a few weeks of up and down behaviour and it is important for her to build a good relationship with the children quickly. But it’s not just the children the nanny needs to build a relationship with. Without a good relationship with the parents a nannies job becomes very hard.
A few tips for a nanny on their first day
- Smile! Even if you’re as nervous as a turkey at Christmas, pop a smile on your face and you’ll feel a little better.
- Communicate with the parents (if you are sole charge, have already done or are not doing a hand over, perhaps send a little text to the parents midmorning to let them know how things are going. You could even send a photo of their child to them)
- Go slow, don’t force the child/ren to come to you, play near them and when they feel comfortable they will come join you.
- Start as you mean to go on with boundaries but try and use as much positive language as you can and remember the change can make them test the boundaries a little more so don’t be too strict in the first week or so.
- If they are struggling with the change and missing their old nanny, you could make a card with them that you can send to the old nanny.
- Take a notebook and write down everything. Routines, how the dishwasher/oven/washing machine etc works, important phone numbers, times of classes. Your brain will be so full of new information you’ll be glad to have somewhere to write stuff down so you don’t forget it all. This is particularly useful in busy jobs where you have to hit the ground running from day one.
A few tips for parents on their nanny’s first day
- If you previously had a nanny that you absolutely adored, try not to compare your new nanny to your last one. Everyone is different and do things slightly differently. Give your nanny time to settle into your family without feeling like she has to become your previous nanny.
- Back your nanny up in front of the children. If you don’t agree you can always discuss later when the children aren’t in earshot.
- Try and plan a little face to face chat at the end of your nanny’s first week just to check how she is feeling and getting on.
- Talk to your children about the new nanny before she begins.
- Communicate with your nanny, if you would prefer something done one way let them know and also let them know if they have anything they want to discuss that they can do this with you. Communication is SO important with your nanny.