It can be stressful to have a new caregiver, both for the child and the parents. Your little one may be very upset that his or her favorite nanny is leaving, or in the case where this is a first nanny, when a parent will not be present all day. Planning ahead can help ensure a smooth transition for your new Nanny and your child.
Allow Time for Adjustment
Your child will be attached to the person who cared for him or her previously, be it a parent or a nanny. Be sure to let your child know why the change is occurring and allow him to feel sad if necessary. In some cases, it is beneficial for the child to stay in contact with their old nanny.
Your child may be able to help find a new nanny by adding his or her input on what characteristics a caregiver should have. Your child can also be involved during the selection process and interviews.
Inform Your Nanny
A new nanny has a lot to learn, so allow for some transition time. Let the new nanny know what your child likes and dislikes and what he used to do with his other nanny. The more information given, the faster the process will go.
When a new caregiver enters the picture, you should do everything possible to give her the tools to keep your child on a schedule. Naps and meals should be at the same time every day, following the schedule your child is used to. This includes what is acceptable behavior and any limitations you place on foods, electronics, etc. The overall consistency will help your child feel safe and secure.
There’s no need to make the change an abrupt one. Instead, have the new caregiver visit for short periods of time while you or a familiar nanny are there. This will allow your child to get used to the new person and create a bond. It is important that parents show that they trust the nanny when you are all together. This will help your child understand that this is someone to trust.
Make Adjustments as Needed
Children are constantly in flux and this can be confusing for them. If you are only occasionally bringing in the nanny, this can be difficult to adjust to. Instead of doing just three full days of childcare, you might want to change to five days a week, reducing the hours, so your child has a consistent time when their nanny is around. This will depend greatly on your job and how well you can make your schedule work for you. Many nannies will prefer daily jobs, as well.
How to Say Goodbye
Teaching your child to say goodbye to a favorite person for the time being. It can be very difficult for a small child to understand that you are coming back at a specific time. It’s a good idea to say goodbye as a child is heading out to the park or to do something fun. They’ll feel like they are the ones about to have fun rather than being abandoned. You should also let your child know that you are going somewhere and tell him when you will be back again. Don’t drag out the goodbye, even if the child is upset. Make it fast and definite.