nanny diaries.

Bundle up like this lil guy! Photo Credit: Michael Hummel
Bundle up like this lil guy! Photo Credit: Michael Hummel

Hello! So. I’m thinking of starting a mini blog series about nannying. Just not sure I have enough content yet, ergo it may not be quite a weekly thing. BUT here’s the first post of NANNY WEDNESDAY!

A recap: I am living in Wisconsin and working as a nanny basically full-time until August, when my cheap sublet runs out and I need to find a real job. My days are spent hangin with a wiggly 7 month old and I love it. It was a freaky adjustment after working with 14 angry teenage girls all day every day, but once I got used to the calm of it all it was lovely.

I’d like to share with you today some tips on nannying in the winter that I’ve acquired in the past 2 months. If you’ve been nannying for awhile these will probably be duh moments for you. Being new on the scene, though, I’ve learned a few things.

WINTER NANNY TIP #1:  It’s always going to take longer than you think it is. By like at least 15 minutes. Sometimes by a lot longer. Yes, getting out the door in theory should mean hat and coat on, stick baby in car seat, grab diaper bag and head out, and you convince yourself that you can do that in like five minutes, no problem. NOPE. Just no. The baby will poop right after you put him in his car seat, or you’ll remember that you didn’t pack snacks, or you’ll overthink and decide you better bring a bottle because what if he starts getting hungry and screaming at Starbucks, or he spits his pacifier on the ground and it rolls under your car and this is a minor emergency. You get the picture. Always build in extra time to get ready for activities!

WINTER NANNY TIP #2: Get outside. Yes, it’s horrible out, at least if you live anywhere with seasons. Yes, it’s gray. No, the baby will not be freezing or get sick. The trick is to bundle baby up real cozy, then bundle yourself up real cozy, and don’t stay out super long if it’s very windy. But if it’s just your average cold day (say, 20s or 30s), baby will love the interesting sights and sounds of the winter world outside and will be cuddly and warm under hat and snowsuit and blanket. In parts of Europe/Scandinavia they take their kids outside in all kinds of weather, and even let babies nap outside in the cold! Check out one of my favorite blog posts (from Cup of Jo) for inspiration.

WINTER NANNY TIP #3: Try new things. There are a lot of places you can take the baby to that will stimulate his mind and senses, even in the winter! I’ve been finding that around the city, there are tons of baby groups at libraries where books are read and singing and hand motions occur. Taking him to an indoor botanical garden was amazing. Today we’re trying out a local free art museum. [Note: Security guards were extremely uncomfortable with having small, somewhat talkative babies in the pristine museum. Would not go again.] And there are always coffee shops if you have a pretty calm baby who will nap once they’re done watching all the activity.

WINTER NANNY TIP #4: If at all possible, find a nanny friend. Do you know someone else who’s a nanny? Do you have a friend of a friend who nannies or has a small child who you can contact? Finding someone to hang out with is SO GOOD because 1) Built-in playdates and socialization for the kids! and 2) Your sanity. They understand, they won’t feel uncomfortable out in public with a fussy little one, and things are so much better with community. We were really created to be with other people, weren’t we?

I’d love to hear other tips for nannying when you’re more cooped up in winter, or just fun activities you came up with with babies!

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