How to prepare a child for the presence of a nanny?
The first moments of a nanny with a child are certainly a stressful situation for every mother. We can never really be sure if our baby will like a given person, so the question of how to prepare a child for the presence of a nanny is most appropriate. In our text we are dealing with children about 1 year old, i.e. when very often moms return to their duties after maternity leave.
First of all, nothing by force
Very often parents decide to hire a nanny when the mother wants to return to work after maternity leave. This may mean double stress for the child - separation from mum and the presence of a completely new, strange woman. It is also a difficult moment for the mother herself, who, of necessity, wants another person to take care of her baby. The mother’s approach, who is strongly emotionally tied with the child, is very important for the success of the nanny's employment. Jittery and apprehensive, she will send such a signal to her child, and in turn the child will perfectly understand that something new and uncertain is happening. Therefore, the basis is to calm down and understand your own emotions, so as to not introduce a nervous atmosphere from the first moments. Long farewells with the child do not help, nor does the constant checking of the nanny herself. The mother must be just as ready for a nanny as the child, which is worth realizing before making any decision.
Secondly, the adaptation period
In order to prepare your child for the presence of a nanny, it is advisable to make short visits with the participation of the parent. Thanks to this, the child will meet this new person in his or her life in very comfortable conditions, without any element of shock.
The nanny can, for example, come for a few hours to get to know the child, play with him/her as well as get to know your flat and the rules that apply in it. You can then go out, for example, for an hour, of course without an exuberant farewell with your child. Remember, a nanny’s adaptation time is paid for.
Adjust the length of the adaptation period to your child’s preferences:
- first plan leaving for a short time,
- then longer and longer in order to gradually increase the time of separation.
Too fast completion of the adaptation may upset the trust between the toddler and the nanny, which in the future may be problematic and manifest in a long time of crying. In addition, although this may seem obvious, it is worth mentioning this - you must be sympathetic to the nanny you have chosen. Only then it is more likely that the child will accept her.
Thirdly, rules and routine
For the convenience of the nanny’s work and the comfort of the child, it is worth maintaining the current rhythm of life - getting up, sleeping, eating (the times as well as the type of meals depending on the child’s level of development) or the types of games that the child likes.
Of course, the nanny should be free to choose, e.g. new games, but initially it is better not to change too much in the toddler’s routine.
Much depends on the skills of the nanny and her approach, although this is not the rule. The reaction of the child is difficult to predict, so it better not to wait until the last moment as possible with the adaptation period, because finding another nanny can be troublesome.
You’ll also need to include parting in your daily routine. In such case, it is very important that the child knows that you are going out (e.g. to work), but also when you’ll return (e.g. after dinner or a nap).
It is also important to keep your word and return home at the predetermined time and spend time to greet and a moment to play. This allows your child to gain even greater trust in you, the nanny and the new situation. This will also help the child get used to the so-called fear of separation, which affects children from about 1 year of age.
Remember, however, that knowing how to prepare a child for the presence of a nanny and finding a reliable nanny is only half of the success. First of all, you should itself prepare the major changes that will occur in the life of your family. Concerns in this matter are very natural but they are worth overcoming to return to work or simply find time for yourself after the exhausting first months of motherhood.