Tuesday

Question For Nannies..

I am a 28-year-old nanny of a 6-month-old baby girl. Mom works from home which was something we discussed during the interview (obviously). She is very laid back, but is also type A...I know, I didn't think that type of person existed either. Anyway, it all started off great and I'm coming up on my third month with them, but certain frustrations have started to set in.

first of all, the mother is a naturally noisy and loud person. She is seemingly unaware of how much noise she makes while working in her office, and that it is clearly disrupting her baby's naps. Conference calls, the printer (which is already loud) constantly going, mom randomly banging around in drawers and such is all causing this disruption. ive tried hinting that noise is the issue by closing the baby's door about 3/4 of the way, but mom will remains clueless and doesn't even try to bring the noise level down or even shut her own door.

She claims she can't figure out why the baby isn't napping past 15 or 30 minutes (she wakes up clearly exhausted still but can't fall back asleep because of....noise), and genuinely seems clueless. I can see the issue clear as day, but my suggestions for possibly utilizing a white noise machine has been met with resistance because "I want her to be able to sleep through anything. I don't want her to get used to something and then we have to take it everywhere with us just for her to sleep." It's a sucky excuse seeing that white noise machines today are smaller and more portable than ever (I have one myself that I take everywhere), but whatever. She's the parent and I'm being paid to do what she asks, so I didn't argue. However, even closing both of their doors would make such a huge difference but she mentioned something about the air flow in the rooms being cut off.

Because of all of this, I'm the one left with a cranky, overtired baby. It's getting to the point where I dread coming to work because I know half the day is going to be spent trying to get the baby down for nap only to have her wake 15 minutes in, exhausted. When mom has to leave during the day some days, the baby sleeps for up to 2 hours on a good day which solidifies my belief that the noise is the issue here. I reached my patience limit today when mom suggested that maybe I hold the baby for the duration of the baby's naps from here on out. If it does come to that, I will refuse and will look for another job as that would cause a myriad of other problems and no nanny that I know of wants to deal with trying to break the baby's dependence when it comes to being held during sleep. That's craziness in my opinion, so my question to everyone is, how would you go about bringing the noise thing to mom's attention without coming across as rude or mean? She is a first time mom so I knew it would be a little tough going into it, I just didn't expect something so simple to be so hard to understand for a parent. It's common sense to eliminate noise when a baby is napping (I would think, but apparently not..). I'm afraid that as cool as mom is otherwise, she will take it personally if I tell her that basically she is causing all of this.

14 comments:

nc said...

Why not close the baby's door all of the way? You could always just point out your observation. "I've noticed she naps really well when things aren't too loud, have you noticed that too on the weekends?" Maybe that will help her realize the loud noises don't help...

Brianne Wicks said...

Air flow for an hour or so nap? That's just silly. Close the doors. It's OBVIOUS that the noise is the problem, if she won't tolerate a simple white noise machine then she needs to be told "hey, I know it's tough but I am so sure that the printer/drawers closing are what wake the baby. I really think a simple noise machine will help, even I use one!"

I mean, I have yet to work with a family who isn't totally into white noise. Even an app on an old cell phone with WiFi would work.... it's touchy but if it's getting to a point that you're about to quit over it, it's best to at least attempt to talk about it first.

Brianne Wicks said...

Air flow for an hour or so nap? That's just silly. Close the doors. It's OBVIOUS that the noise is the problem, if she won't tolerate a simple white noise machine then she needs to be told "hey, I know it's tough but I am so sure that the printer/drawers closing are what wake the baby. I really think a simple noise machine will help, even I use one!"

I mean, I have yet to work with a family who isn't totally into white noise. Even an app on an old cell phone with WiFi would work.... it's touchy but if it's getting to a point that you're about to quit over it, it's best to at least attempt to talk about it first.

Anonymous said...

I would also gently (as much as is possible) let her know that it seems that she isn't sleeping so long because of noise such as the printer,etc and ask something along the lines of "do you think we could try closing your door (or both) to see if that helps?" If she's really worried about the air circulation, maybe ask about putting a fan in the room... If she doesn't agree to anything, let her know how serious it is and that it is a big deal- she may not totally realize since you are the one dealing with the baby. Tell her nicely that you might not be able to keep going like this since it wears you out, and you won't be able to do such a good job if you're always exhausted from battling through naps. You want to be well physically and emotionally so you are prepared to really be engaged with the baby and such.

Anonymous said...

looks like you're working for my old boss! lol!

But in all honesty, you can't win here..

At the end of the day, they will take your suggestions with a grain of salt, but in the end do what they want.

Nothing like having a micromanaging helicopter mom :(

My best advice is to suck it up and look elsewhere in the meantime. You deserve to be somewhere you are valued and happy

melissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CaliforniaDreamr said...

I would, but she mentioned in the beginning that she doesn't want the baby to get used to having noise to sleep. Basically, she wants her child to just be okay with noise and be a hard sleeper, but babies usually don't end up being that way. Most babies are light sleepers and this baby is obviously telling us she needs either total quiet to sleep or noise (such as a white noise machine) to drown out other noise that interferes with her sleep. They brought out the white noise machine on the night of 4th of July to get her through the night and it worked, but apparently they only do it for special occasions like that. So frustrating!

CaliforniaDreamr said...

I know! And they have a tower fan they use in her room so it's not like there isn't any air being circulated. I guess they aren't into the white noise thing because she and her husband are both very hard sleepers, so I'm assuming they just think the baby will be the same way. It has actually gotten a little better in the past week so I haven't brought it up yet. She was gone a lot so the baby was able to get some good naps in (yay!). This morning mom did close her door when her office phone rang, but only after the baby woke because of it and I had to get her back to sleep. I closed baby's door as well, so we'll see how long the nap lasts :)

CaliforniaDreamr said...

I completely agree with you...nannies need a few minutes to recharge during the day, especially when they're working 9+ hours. As I mentioned in a reply above, last week went pretty well since mom was out of the house a lot. If it starts up again this week, I will definitely have a talk with her. I'm not afraid to say anything per se, I'm just unsure of how to word it without coming across as rude. I hate conflict and try to avoid it until I absolutely can't any more (I know, bad habit), and from what I have come to learn about mom, she's cool but veru sensitive when it comes to mommy things as this is her first baby. I get that, so I'm letting things play out this week to see if she has picked up on the hints I've dropped (she seems to have) and if not, I'll just have to get out of my comfort zone and face it head on. Thanks for the suggestions on how to bring it up without sounding harsh!

CaliforniaDreamr said...

Ah, the dreaded micro managers!! Insanely frustrating. You have to be a seriously easygoing person to deal with them, which thankfully I am, but the older I get the less I'm inclined to put up with it. I was spoiled by my first two families. They were sooo easygoing, trusted in my abilities as a nanny and let me do my job. I miss those days! I'm going to give it a little longer and have the talk with mom if it comes to that, but if she's not willing to meet me half way with the napping thing, I'm definitely looking elsewhere.

Rebebebe said...

Try having background noise in the room all the time, like music from nature or a loud fan or something. That will mask the sound from outside...hopefully...babies usually like loud buzzing noises

hip2save said...

Most of your post sounds very reasonable,. Am i wrong as an employer that it annoys me a little that for 2-3.5 hours at a time the nanny is sitting and doing nothing because the baby is napping?

Unknown said...

The nanny deserves time out as well when the baby sleeps. So yes you are wrong here. We are not paid slaves to jump around to all whims of mums whenever. You have your time off on the weekends as well when your baby naps. So take your frustration out on someone else. Your nanny isnt a punchbag but a person who looks after the most precious thing you have. And she deserves a rest...thank you!

bestnanny2016 said...

The nanny deserves time out as well when the baby sleeps. So yes you are wrong here. We are not paid slaves to jump around to all whims of mums whenever. You have your time off on the weekends as well when your baby naps. So take your frustration out on someone else. Your nanny isnt a punchbag but a person who looks after the most precious thing you have. And she deserves a rest...thank you!