Having a nanny as part of your home set up is a blessing. However, open communication with your nanny is one of the first steps to building a trust based relationship.
Our nanny has worked with us for over ten years. When we moved into our own apartment as giddy twenty somethings, she worked for us one or two days a week. After the arrival of our first born she became our full time nanny. We provided her with a nanny training course, and she shadowed me from birth of my first born.
It was really important that our nanny understood how I wanted things done, but also building trust so that she has the space to do what she thinks is best when needed.
A simple way to invest in your communication with your nanny is to use a Baby Care Journal (or log book).
With both our girls we kept a Baby Care Journal for the first one to two years of their lives. Using the Journal, gave me peace of mind to know what was going on at home in my absence while I was at work. On the other hand, the Journal also gave my nanny structure, and routines to follow with my girls.
Here are a few things your nanny can keep track of in your absence. It will give you a little peace of mind when you have to leave your baby with your nanny.
Why A Baby Care Journal is So Important When Leaving Your baby With Your Nanny
1. Emergency Contact Information
In case of an emergency, your nanny should have emergency information handy. The parents’ contact and other relatives’ contact information are super important, along with the emergency service numbers.
2. Medical Information
Having your baby’s medical information handy can make a difference in an emergency. Information such as family medical aid information, family doctor, etc. should be within reach. If your baby has any health conditions (e.g., allergies) note those down as well.
3. Eating Habits
For babies, your nanny should note down the time and amount of milk that your little one drank. When solids have been introduced a note should be made of when what and how much your baby ate.
By having an overview of how your little one ate you will understand whether your baby is eating enough. The daily log also serves as a good basis for the daily debrief with your nanny on how the day went.
4. Sleeping habits
Your nanny should note what time your baby went to sleep and what time he/ she woke up.
Through this information, you can keep an eye on whether your child is still okay with the routine that is in place. By following the practice of noting the sleeping times, you and your nanny ensure that your baby is getting enough rest. Again, by looking at my daughters’ sleeping habits, it also have me a clue as to when they were unwell. My girls were a little ‘textbook’ their appetite and sleep always went downhill when they were coming down with something.
If your baby must get the medicine in your absence, write it down in the Baby Care Journal. Also, request that your nanny notes down when she has given the medication. Following correct instructions with regards to medicine is critical.
6. Nappy Changes
I know its gross (who wants to track nappies?), however noting down your baby’s nappy and whether it was wet or dirty is important information! If your toddler is potty training, you may want his potty training activities jotted down as well.
Understanding if your baby has had a runny tummy and how many runny nappies, can assist you to assess whether your little one is sick. Same goes for wet nappies. A decrease in wet nappies, can highlight that your baby may not be getting enough fluids.
7. Milestones and comments
Any general comments or observations, such as milestones may be noted as well. This will provide you as the parent an overview of how your little one is progressing. I personally never got any feedback on ‘first milestones.’ I guess our nanny wanted my husband or I to experience that. So between my husband I, we pretty much witnessed the first crawling, and first steps, etc. (or so we think!).
Overall, your nanny plays a crucial role in your family. By using a Baby Care Journal, you:
- open up the communication between yourself and your nanny
- have a one snap shot view of your baby’s day
- facilitate a quick and effective daily brief between yourself and your nanny
- will enable your nanny to continue following your baby’s routine in your absence
- will ensure that medical and emergency information are all in one place
By using a Baby Journal you will enhance communication between yourself and your baby’s care giver. And ultimately result in a better experience for your whole family.
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