One of the hardest decisions parents take is to trust their children with a stranger - a nanny or babysitter who you have hired to take care of children. Finding and employing a nanny is a tough and nerve-racking decision fraught with anxiety as the job does not finish with just hiring a nanny. You have to be constantly watchful and look for signs which might indicate that your nanny may be a bad nanny and your baby is not happy with her.
Signs of a bad nanny
#1. Your baby does not seem happy to see the nanny in the morning
When your child sees someone he likes or is conformable with, even though they might be shy at first, they eventually grow to be comfortable with them. If you notice your child seems anxious as the time for the nanny’s arrival approaches and does not seem happy to see her, even though you have had the nanny for some time, it could be a cause for concern. It could indicate the nanny and your child have not bonded or the nanny is failing to provide the kind of warmth and care your child needs.
#2. There is a change in your child’s behaviour
If your otherwise happy and chirpy child seems frequently withdrawn and silent, you should talk to the nanny and address the situation. If your child is old enough to talk, you must talk to them about their feelings. If they do not feel comfortable with the nanny even after the initial settling-in period, it might be time to switch from a bad nanny to a good one.
Also read: 7 Safety Skills Every Child Should Know
#3. You notice unexplained bruises or marks on your child
One of the primary responsibilities of the nanny is to keep your child safe at home and outside. Small children are prone to injury - falling off the bed as they sleep, while crawling or while walking. If you notice bruises or marks it could be that she is leaving the child unattended. Bruises in unusual places like the stomach, cheeks or ears could be a sign of abuse and need to be taken very seriously and is definitely a tell-tale sign of a bad nanny.
#4. Your child is often dirty or unkempt
Kids get messy when they play and eat and one of the caregivers’ jobs is to keep them clean, primarily for health reasons. If your child is consistently unkempt at the end of the day it could indicate that the nanny is failing to take care of the child’s basic needs. If the nanny wasn't a bad nanny, she would take care of the baby's hygiene.
#5. The nanny is not able to explain her day’s schedule
How your nanny and child spend the day and the schedule they follow should be known to you. Parents are eager to hear about their child’s daily activities and the nanny should be able to tell you that. If they are not, it could mean they are not doing anything engaging with your child (which is OK once in a while) or are being secretive which is a definite cause for concern.
Also read: 9 ways to bring up your child if you are a single mom
#6. She often arrives late or is unreliable
For a parent who is leaving their child at home while they are at work, it is important that the caregiver be reliable - someone who shows up on time and does not leave you in the lurch when you most need her. A nanny who is committed to her job will come on time and not take uninformed leave.
#7. A bad nanny invites people to your house in your absence
When you step out for work, you leave your child in the safety of your home with trusted a caregiver. Inviting strangers over, without your prior knowledge and consent is a serious violation of this trust and can endanger your child’s safety and the safety of your home. You should put your foot down firmly in case of such an incident.
#8. Your nanny is lazy or lethargic
It is important to take little children on playdates and birthday parties to give them an opportunity to socialise with other children. A lazy nanny will try to skip these social situations and not interact with other nannies. As a result, your child might be stuck alone at home, playing alone or watching endless hours of television against your instructions.
#9. Your nanny does not follow your instructions or requests
A nanny who is a know-it-all and seems critical of your parenting style is a problem. As the parent of your child, you have the freedom to give instructions about the child's nutrition, sleep and play which the nanny should follow without criticizing. As the caregiver who spends the majority of her time with the child, she can offer constructive feedback, but not make important changes in the child’s routine without running them through you first.
How to make sure you do not pick a bad nanny?
#1. Give yourself plenty of time, at least 6 months to choose a nanny
Begin your nanny search at least 6 months in advance. Interview a number of candidates from a variety of age groups and backgrounds before you make a final decision. This way you will not feel pressured to choose a nanny simply because you are running out of time.
#2. Seek references
Before hiring a nanny, be sure to call the references she has given and seek their opinion on her work. A positive opinion should help reinforce your decision.
Also read: How to continue breastfeeding after resuming the job
#3. Word of mouth
Talk to other parents who have employed nannies and seek references from them. Parents are usually happy to share their experience, make recommendations and give advise.
#4. Be watchful
Your job doesn’t end with just hiring the nanny. You have to be constantly watchful of any negative signs in your child.
Also read: Baby Care in the Initial Days
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