It’s been an interesting week with our new nanny. Of course, it was rough the first two days when our baby was still getting acquainted with and used to her. It was brutal for me to sit in the second bedroom with my headphones on, just one wall separating me from my crying, screaming baby with a new nanny just trying to do her job and calm her down. Regardless of what call or what recording I was listening to, I could always hear her screaming, and it really broke my heart and made me feel like a terrible mom. I would occasionally come out of the room to try to comfort her, and while it would work, I didn’t want to get into the habit of doing it too much because I didn’t want to undermine the nanny or make the nanny think I didn’t trust her. These things just take time, as the fourth and fifth days have been going really well so far.
Our nanny certainly has opinions, though, and ways of doing things with other families that we just don’t want to do. For example, I will have Kaia wear the same onesie to sleep and the same outfit two days in a row assuming that they aren’t dirty or wet. Kaia is a baby, so she doesn’t have body odor the way adults do, so why bother changing the clothes if they aren’t dirty?
The nanny noticed I laid out the same pants for the baby to wear that she undressed her from the previous day, and she asked, “Aren’t these the same pants she wore yesterday?” I said they were, and there was no point in washing them if they were still clean.
“They aren’t clean, though; she wore them yesterday,” the nanny insisted.
“Did you have her roll around in dirt or grass at the park yesterday?” I asked her. “The pants look and smell clean. She doesn’t get body odor like adults do, so she’s fine.”
“She’s a baby, though! Babies are dirty!”
I told her that unless the baby was all over the playground or in mud, she wasn’t dirty, and adults were far dirtier because we actually smell and sweat. “Okayyyyyy, you’re the mom!” the nanny said, shrugging her shoulders in an exaggerated manner and putting the pants on the baby.
At the end of the first day with us, she asked if I wanted to have her empty the diaper pail every day. I told her that whenever it looked full, she could empty it.
“Most moms I’ve worked with ask that the diaper pail be emptied daily,” she said, looking confused.
I told her I didn’t think that was necessary given the whole point of having a diaper pail was to contain the smell of poop/pee, and if we emptied the pail every single day, that would create far more waste of garbage bags and be worse for the environment than necessary. And none of us would really benefit from that given what I said originally about smell.
She also wanted to have the baby use a new bib for each feeding. At that rate of use, we’d have to cycle through all her bibs every 2-3 days, which seemed ridiculous. If the bib only had a little spit up or could just be rung out, I wanted her to reuse the bibs. She gave me this look as though I just smeared baby poop all over her face.
Fridays are baby laundry days now, so when I told the nanny not to put the washed clothes in the dryer and instead to lay them out around the dining room table (yes, we’re hobos), she asked why we didn’t have a drying rack to hang the clothes on. I told her it just felt like unnecessary additional clutter, and given she was only going to be a baby for a finite amount of time, we’d just air dry the clothes up until the point we would add them to the dryer once she got bigger. She gave me some side eye and complied.
She is probably going home to her husband and telling him that her new nanny family is cheap and dirty. Well, that’s all right by me. We’re still getting used to each other. Things are going well given it’s now day 5, so we just need to get through the initial 2-week hump, and then we’ll be acclimated to one another.