I understand just the title of this post makes some of you mamas cringe, but hear me out…
A nanny is not (necessarily) a parent, therefore a nanny cannot speak to all of the facets of parenting even with extensive childcare experience. She can, however, share her own experiences and some of the things she’s learned about caring for kids through out the years.
One thing a nanny has that a first-time parent (who has never been a nanny) will never have is experience with many different children from unique backgrounds and home lives. That allows for a nanny to test out her routines and childrearing strategies to see what does and does not work for the majority of children. That, alone, should be valuable knowledge worth sharing and listening to. Many parents’ reasoning for why something didn’t work for them is because their kids are different, and as true as that is in some cases, a nanny can debunk that overused excuse by explaining what she knows about how children learn, grow and develop, and what has worked for her time and time again. Nannies develop tips and tricks that come only through experience, something a first-time parent won’t have right out of the gate.
Along the lines of testing childrearing strategies is testing products and gadgets. Nannies have used several brands and types of products designed for kids, giving them the ability to share their opinions on nearly all of them. From the worst diaper creams to the best stroller brands, nannies can offer advice on which products are worth spending your money on and what will likely sit in a closet for the next five years.
That being said, nannies are constantly updated on the newest trends in gear and safety. If you have any questions about when a child can move from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat, ask a nanny. It is part of a nannies job to be educated on all things involving children, whether its safety, new gear, or a list of free things to do in the community.
Nannies have a wealth of knowledge that can benefit first-time parents, if they’re only willing to ask. Yes, a nanny gets to give the kids back at the end of the day and enjoy the night to herself, but that doesn’t erase everything she does during the day. Nannies change diapers, deal with sick children, and manage behavioral issues too. So, before you disregard your nanny-friend’s advice, think about how valuable her experience can be for you.