Using a new caregiver – whether an occasional Saturday night sitter or a full-time nanny – can be a scary thing. Trusting someone with your children requires a leap of faith.
There’s one thing you can do to make that leap a little less scary: communicate your expectations very, very clearly. It sounds simple, but in practice it can be daunting. We are all trained to be polite and kind, and it can feel strange and uncomfortable to grill someone during an interview and state exactly what your preferences are when it comes to your kids.
But it’s so necessary!
And the more clearly you set expectations at the outset, the better the chances of a successful caregiving relationship. We talked to several former and current professional nannies for this article, and every single person told us that more communication is better. Do not assume your babysitter shares your views on screen time or whether a baby should be put to bed sleeping or drowsy. You need to tell her how your family handles these things! Details are great; Heather once put together a complete family manual for her new nanny. It ended up being the best nanny relationship she and her family ever had, largely because everyone was on the same page from Day 1.
While we didn’t go so far as building a manual, we did put together a babysitter and nanny interview checklist to help both with both interviewing and setting expectations. In researching this article, these are the issues that were raised most frequently by parents and the caregivers, including some less-obvious issues like whether it’s OK to post pictures of your child on social media. We hope you find it helpful!
Download it here: Babysitter and Nanny Interview Checklist
If there’s any issue or question you think we missed, please drop us a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!