Finding the perfect nanny for your baby

Finding a good nanny to your children these days can be equated to winning a lottery. Most mothers I know are usually looking for one at any time

I have a confession to make. I am a stay-at-home mum –this still sounds funny to my ears, and yet I don't think I can survive more than a day without Ciru. Who is Ciru? You ask. She is the secretary of my daughter's upbringing committee.

In the few days she took a leave of absence and left my baby and I alone, I have seen how tasking it can be to take care of my daughter and still find time to eat and pee. So I wonder at times how mothers of two or three toddlers keep their sanity even with a nanny around.

Finding a good nanny to your children these days can be equated to winning a lottery. Most mothers I know are usually looking for one at any time. With the disturbing videos we see and the unfortunate news headlines we hear about bad incidents with nannies, a little paranoia is allowed while you are looking for one.

But a well-planned search and well executed hiring process with sufficient time period can land you a trustworthy nanny you can be pleased with.

1. What kind of nanny you need?

There are a few factors to consider:

• A live- in or a day scholar?

• What is your budget?

• Duties? Is she strictly a nanny or will she help with the other housework?

• How many leave days in a month?

It is easier to look for someone when you have criteria. Once you have clearly described your needs, you can now use different means to look for potential nannies; family and friends referrals, agencies, etc.

If it is possible, it is advised to go with someone recommended by someone you know but even, that has to be verified.

2. Interview

After you have secured candidates, dedicate some time to sit down and talk with them. You can ask them about their experience with children or what they will do in case of an emergency.

Trust your 'mummy instincts' as you make your assessment.

This might sound farfetched but our little ones are the apple of our eyes who needs to be taken care of by the best available.

3. Background check

The next step after making your choice will be to do a thorough background check. If a nanny is recommended by a friend or family, look into the relationship and reputation. Check the authenticity of the National ID she presented or other identification documents.

There are agencies who also check criminal records and it is best to use their services to do a full background check.

Once you have picked your nanny, have everything in writing and store safely in a file. Even if you are satisfied with your choice, have a trial period before hiring her permanently. Take some days off and take care of your baby together until everyone can get along.

Hiring a nanny is just the beginning. The real job comes later and it requires time. You will need to be keen on her day to day routines, and learn to compromise.

She is now a part of the family and care of your greatest asset, so treat her right and keep things professional. Good luck in finding the best nanny out there!