TwinParenthood is pleased to turn over this space today to guest contributor Cori (of Cori’s Big Mouth) to bring us a nanny’s guide to finding the perfect twins (or more) nanny. Cori is currently a nanny to triplets, and a previous nanny to many sets of multiples including quadruplets & quintuplets.  We hope you will enjoy this valuable insight into finding the right twins nanny, from a great multiples nanny, Cori.

Picking the Right Twins Nanny for Your Family

One of the first things, that expectant parents think of – well after  that initial shock of finding out you’re expecting multiples has worn off – is how are we going to do this? 

Is mom going to work?  Stay home?  Can we do this alone?  Daycare?  Nanny?  There are so many options to pick from, but what’s right for your family?

Hi!  My name is Cori and I am a nanny who has personally known Kathryn for many years through her local twins group.  I was excited and honored when Kat asked me to write a guest-post for TwinParenthood on my experience as a nanny.  I have spent the last 11 years as a babysitter and/or nanny for many families of multiples, including quadruplets & quintuplets.  I’ve  spent the last 3.5 years with a family who has BBG triplets. 

What Type of Nanny is Right for You?

A Nanny for Twins - Mary PoppinsThat’s the first thing you need to ask yourself.  Are you looking for a post-partum nanny to help when you bring home new babies?  Or are you planning on going back to work and will need full-time long term childcare for your children?  Or, maybe you just want help a few hours a day to get things done or take a nap?  Well, you’re in luck; you can find help for any of those types of childcare needs.

Mothers Helper: A mother’s helper is a great option if you just need a few hours a day a couple times a week.  If you want to just to get stuff done around the house or nap, a 12-year-old girl is the perfect person.  They really want to babysit but aren’t quite old enough to be left alone, plus they’re cheaper.  If you want to be able to leave the house then I recommend finding a high school student to come over a couple afternoons a week.

Post-Partum Nanny: Is hired to help you the first few weeks to months after your babies come home.  They support you in caring for your babies, give you tips, and of course give you rest.  They aren’t long term, though. They last a short time, and then move on to another family.

Nanny: Is a person who comes to your home and cares for your children.  They will follow your instructions, ways of doing things, etc.  Your children get to stay in their own environment.  Nannies tend to work on a 1-year contract, with a hope that she’ll be a great fit and will stay for many years.

When to find a Nanny?

Early In Your Twin Pregnancy

If you know early on in your pregnancy that you are going to need a nanny, I highly suggest you start researching and finding someone while you still have the time and energy.  If you find a nanny you love, it’s nice for them to get to be a part of the remainder of your pregnancy.  They get to know you, your spouse, other kids, etc.  Plus, they can help you prepare for the pending arrival of your little ones.  If your babies are born premature, they will probably spend time in the NICU – your nanny can also spend time with your babies in the NICU, getting to know them and their schedules, working with the nurses to learn to care for preemies along with you.  Makes a much smoother transition when the babies come home and you go back to work.

I had this wonderful opportunity in this job I’m in now.  I was hired when the mom was about 20 weeks along.  I helped them get things ready for the triplets, gave tips and advice, and was right there with her, holding our breath that she would make it to the high risk pregnancy milestones.  I then got to spend a lot of time with the babies while they were in the NICU, which was a really special experience.

After Delivery of your Twins

If you’ve already had your babies, or are going back to work when your kids are older, don’t panic there’s still hope for you.  By now, you have an idea of what type of care your kids need and are in search to find the right person to fit the mold.

Where to Find Your Multiples Nanny?

Anybody (and I mean anybody) can be a nanny.  Don’t get me wrong, there are great nannies out there, but keep in mind, it takes a special (and possibly crazy) nanny to take on a family with multiples.  As you know multiples take a lot of work and a lot of multitasking.  Many nannies aren’t comfortable and/or capable of handling the stress and extra work that comes with more than one baby.  That’s fine, it doesn’t mean they’re not good nannies, they just aren’t the right nanny for you.

The best way to find a great nanny is through your local twins group, friends and family.  Talk to other parents, get names and information.  Once a great nanny is found, she is likely to be known by many families and passed from family to family.  Word of mouth is the best way to find the right nanny for you.

How Do You Know this Nanny is Right?

Before Delivery

If you haven’t had your babies yet, and think you’ve found the right nanny get to know her.  Befriend her.  I’m not just talking about an interview; I’m talking getting to know her as a person.  Invite her over for dinner.  My jobs that I have had a genuine friendship with my employers have been the best and longest lasting.  Think of your nanny has an extension of your family.  You’re going to be spending a lot of time with her, so you really need to like her as a person, and not just as a childcare provider.  You’ll know quickly if she’s the right choice for you.

After Delivery

It’s okay to have a trial period.  Hire the nanny on a short term basis, for a week or two.  That will give you time get to know each other and see how she interacts with your children and if she meets the expectations you have.  You’ll know quickly, if she’s the right nanny.  If the trial period passes and you’re happy, hire her for a long term position.  If the fit wasn’t quite right, that’s okay; you can try again and aren’t committed to one person.  Don’t settle for a certain nanny; try until you find the right one.

So there you have it – A Nanny’s Guide to find the perfect twin nanny.  I think the most important thing to remember is don’t settle for a certain nanny, the perfect one is out there.  Good luck in your search.

Be sure to check out Cori’s blog at Cori’s Big Mouth, or connect with her on Twitter @cori_shelley.