Finding the perfect babysitter or nanny to look after your child, is usually seen as one of, if not the hardest step of returning back to work. This isn’t the case, especially when there are online directories to help you.
What can be really difficult is getting your child comfortable with his or her new nanny. This is particularly not easy if your child isn’t used to being cared for by people other than yourself. If this is the case, the process can sometimes create anxiety within the child and other family members.
I’ve put together some tips to prevent this from happening and to ease the overall burden of the situation to ensure that the whole process runs smoothly.
Get your child used to being away from you
Separation anxiety is a very normal experience between mother and child so it’s important to get your child used to being away from you so that anxiety doesn’t arise in the nannying experience.
Try leaving your child with friends, your partner or relatives for short intervals. You can work them up to longer sessions in the lead up to introducing the Nanny.
When you first introduce the Nanny, keep the experience positive, even if you’re feeling apprehensive.
Small things like body language and maintaining eye contact are often skipped over, but these are vital for your child to know that everything is okay.
It’s important to just remember to act naturally as it will allow your child to act naturally too. This will let the relationship between your child and nanny to naturally unfold in turn.
Talking positively and enthusiastically to your child about the new Nanny before they meet is essential. It sets a positive idea about the experience in your child’s mind and allows them to feel comfortable about the situation.
Spend time with your nanny and child beforehand
Spending at least one day together with your Nanny and child before leaving them together alone can be a great idea for multiple reasons.
It can not only build the relationship between everyone and make everybody comfortable. It also gives you a chance to run through routines, and introduce anybody else (friends or playmates that might be involved in their lives) so that your child’s daily routine becomes unchanged throughout the experience.
Do your best to ensure your child’s daily routine becomes unchanged
There are other things you can also do to ensure your child’s daily routine becomes as unchanged as possible.
Working a short week for your first week back is always a good idea to allow the experience to go smoothly and for everyone to adapt slowly.
It might be worth asking the nanny to arrive early for the first few days so that they can have a little time together while you’re still around. Your child might like to show the Nanny his/her favourite toys or games to help settle in.
Don’t prolong goodbyes
Allowing for everyone to adapt slowly doesn’t mean to prolong goodbyes when it’s time to go. This can only increase the separation anxiety felt by both you and your child. Leaving happy and quickly allows everyone to start the experience feeling comfortable.