By the time it’s your baby’s first birthday, you may be starting to think about returning to work. If you work full-time or even part-time you’re going to require some childcare. If you have the option of leaving your child with family, then that’s perfect but many parents nowadays don’t have that option, as grandparents are working later before retirement and people are moving further away from their extended families and childhood homes.

So often, it comes down to two choices – nurseries or nannies?

Here are some things you should think about whilst considering hiring a nanny for your baby.

Finding a nanny

You can normally find a nanny by placing an ad (online is the most popular these days) or by speaking to a nanny agency. Going through an agency is often the more expensive route, although with this usually comes the assurance that their nannies have been properly vetted and are able to produce excellent references, qualifications and a good C.V.

Live-in or live-out nanny

You will need to decide whether you’d like nanny to live in your family home or to live in her (or his) own home.
If you have the nanny living with you, then you often have more flexibility as a couple to be able to come home 20 minutes late. However, even live-in nannies will require some nights off and free time, so you’ll need to be very aware of the difference between on-duty and off-duty nanny!
The plus side of NOT having your nanny living with you, is that you’ll gain much more privacy as a family, but also as a couple. When your baby has gone down for the night and the two of you can relax with a movie and a glass of wine, you won’t need to worry about a nanny walking in and ruining your romantic evening.

Jealousy

Ah, beware the green-eyed monster. Your nanny is going to be spending the whole day one-on-one with your child. This is fantastic because it means that your baby will likely be extremely happy with all the attention he/she gets from the nanny during the day and his/her parents when they get home from work. However, if you choose a good nanny who is able to form a very close bond with your baby, how will you feel? If you think that you’re likely to feel jealous, then ask yourself which is more important – your baby’s happiness or your low self-esteem? It is a tough one though, so think it through.

Guilt

If you feel guilty about leaving your child with a nanny all day, then think again. Research has shown that children who have nannies, are often more intelligent as the nanny has lots of time to nurture their development. It is also thought that babies who have a nanny to look after them are also more sociable and end up having a wider social circle in later years as they learn from an early age to enjoy the company of more than just their mum and dad.

There’s a lot to think about when deciding whether or not you and your baby would benefit from hiring a nanny. Don’t make the choice lightly, although remember that you can always change the situation if it doesn’t seem to be working out as you’d hoped.

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