A Mommybites reader asked:
How do I know if my nanny and babysitter and baby have a good relationship?
Having a nanny can be wonderful when you and your baby have a warm and trusting relationship with your nanny. All mother’s who have a nanny are always concerned that their nanny and baby have an excellent relationship. There are signs and clues to knowing the quality of your baby’s relationship with her nanny.
- Your baby should feel comfortable with your nanny. There should be warmth and trust between your nanny and baby. Baby should be relaxed and happy to be with your nanny. If baby is fearful or anxious around your nanny you should be concerned.
- Your nanny communicates what she and your baby do each day in a daily report. She discusses what activities and play they did, what baby ate and how baby slept. Also she lets you know how baby is feeling and what made her happy during the day and what upset baby.
- Baby is excited and overjoyed to see your nanny each day. Once your baby knows your nanny and has spent time with her, your baby should be happy when she sees your nanny. If your nanny enjoys being with your baby your baby will feel her care and genuine interest.
- Your nanny do many different play activities that they clearly enjoy through out the day. Your nanny has different age appropriate play activities for your baby which they share. Your nanny also reads to baby, tells her stories and sings to baby. Later when your baby is with you your baby may sing or show new play skills or want to play new baby games.
- When you come home baby is clean and her room and play and feeding areas are clean and neat. Your baby being clean and dressed shows a nanny who pays attention to her making sure she is cleaned when she spills food on herself or makes a mess. Also your baby is well fed and not hungry as if she has not eaten for a while when you arrive. Also your baby should have a clean diaper and not need changing as soon as you arrive home. This shows a nanny who is attentive and caring of your baby.
- Baby is well rested and not tired and exhausted. This shows your nanny makes sure baby naps and doesn’t ignore nap times.
- Baby appears to trust and feel safe with your nanny. Babies instinctively know who cares for them, who they can trust and feel safe. If your baby has sudden behavioral or emotional changes like waking up at night crying and and screaming despite nothing being wrong for example you should investigate what’s going on during the daytime.
- Your nanny has some knowledge and understanding of infant development and does appropriate baby stimulation and activities with your baby. She lets you know when your baby has reached new developmental milestones and shares this with you. Your nanny also finds ways to make activities fun and playful.
- Trust your own intuition about your nanny. You are usually right about whatever you are feeling.
- Get a baby video camera and record nanny and baby during the day. This way you will know what is happening when you are not around and know the quality of your nanny and baby’s relationship.
Gina is a general pediatrician and developmental pediatrician who works at Village Pediatrics and Agho Medical practices both in Manhattan, NY. She has a masters in child therapy and works with a child psychologist Rosa Vasquez PhD performing office and home consultation for newborns and parents, office and home developmental assessments, school consultations and parent child playgroups where play and art along with baby massage and other techniques are used to help parents bond and support their child’s development. Formerly, Gina was the Director of Pediatric Special Medical Needs before she went into private practice where she cared for medically fragile infants and children. She is also a Early Intervention Pediatrician for Early Intervention which assesses and treats infants from age zero to 3 years. She has extensive experience in Early Head Start programs which work with infants from prenatal to 3 years of age. She is the mother of a beautiful daughter who is 3 years old and the joy of my life. Her husband is an artist, producer and owns Synchronicity Space, a non-profit arts organization that supports emerging artist in fine art and theatre. Finally, she is also an artist who paints mainly babies and children.
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