Photo Credit: Rosie Pope Maternity
Last night on Pregnant in Heels, Rosie Pope hit the West Coast for the opening of her L.A. store and to help two California couples. Rosie's first challenge: Helping first-time mom-to-be Donna hire a baby nurse (basically, a nanny who specializes in caring for newborns). That's a big enough task even without the fact that Donna wanted her entire house wired with security cameras to keep an eye on potential snooping and stealing! (And it didn't help that two possible candidates failed Rosie's "circle of trust" test.) Read on for Rosie's best advice on finding the perfect childcare fit for your family.
Donna hadn't even hired a baby nurse and was already distrustful. What's your best advice on how parents to be (or new parents) can find a qualified baby nurse, nanny or sitter?
In my opinion there are two really good ways. Either from a good friend's recommendation or through very well respected agency. The latter will be more expensive, but if you don't have the luxury of the former you can rest assured they have been vetted and their backgrounds have been checked. I'm extremely wary of placing adds or looking at websites advertising child care.
You said in this episode that you're neutral on nanny cams. What are the pros and cons?
Nanny cams are a bit of a complex subject and I don't think they're necessarily wrong or right. You have to take a long, hard look at your situation and see if they make sense for you, weighing up all the pros and cons. On the "pro" side, you can feel more secure knowing exactly what your nanny is doing; you know whether you can trust your nanny or not; and if something happens that bothers you (but it's not something you'd fire her over) you can confront her about it and iron out the kinks.
On the "con" side, it's virtually impossible to have cameras everywhere, so is your anxiety actually reduced or do you keep needing to get more cameras to quell your fears? Two, if you're at the point where you don't trust your nanny (evidence or not) does it really make sense that she's still your nanny? And finally, once you confront your nanny you have to admit that you've been watching her via cameras. You have to consider how this will make her feel and whether she'll feel violated -- which could affect how she works.
Overall, trust is imperative. The nanny is helping to raise your children and should be treated as and feel part of your family. You have to ask whether nanny cams will help or hinder this process.
When should expectant parents start the process?
Early! Around 6 months pregnant is a good time to decide what type of child care you would like. Whether that's daycare, a baby nurse, a nanny or another option. You may need to get on a waiting list for daycare and it may be a while before your chosen baby nurse or nanny becomes available -- so start looking early!
What's the key to finding the right baby/caregiver fit?
It's imperative that you can see this person as a family member, not just an employee. In order to do that you must be able to trust and respect and even admire them. I believe in getting to know a potential nanny through interviews and even dinners before introducing them to your babes. Get to know them before offering them a job.
Rosie Pope is a clothing designer, maternity concierge and the star of Bravo's 'Pregnant in Heels.' Read her Q&A with iVillage Parenting every Wednesday after the show. Follow her on Twitter: @RosiePope, or find her at rosiepope.com.