Working Moms

Bruising/Nanny: WTF NOW?

Our nanny search from @#$ continues and meanwhile we've hired a summer nanny. College girl, seems nice although quiet, good references. She carries our baby around a lot during the day. Today was her third day. After she left tonight, I noticed a bruise on the baby's thigh, right where you would hold her. I looked further and then saw some stripey bruises on her wrist that look like they fit right between fingers--if you grabbed someone's wrist. Nanny didn't mention anything--said it was a good day. Didn't say, for example, "oh, the baby started to fall and I grabbed her" or anything. DD (age 4.5) is unreliable but says that Baby didn't get hurt and BAby wasn't crying a lot today or anything and that the nanny wasn't real mad about anything.

Before I call/ask the nanny, what do you think? I really can't imagine she was trying to hurt the baby, but clearly this is extremely concerning. We've never left bruises ourselves from carrying the baby around, nor have other nannies. 

What do you think? How would you handle this?

 ETA: for mobile--the baby just turned 6 months old.

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Re: Bruising/Nanny: WTF NOW?

  • When my son was potty training he got a long bruise on his bum from sitting on the toilet, he doesn't generally bruise easily but was sitting on it for a really long time so consistent pressure probably caused it. I wouldn't call her, you might put her on the spot and make her feel uncomfortable (if you really are scared something happened and DD said something too then yes, call her) but I would just point it out next time she comes. Something like " oh, btw we noticed on fill-in-the-day baby had a bruise here (point), could you watch that area. She bruise so easily right now, you know babies!" 
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  • I have never left a bruise on my child nor have I left a bruise on a child through the many years I have nannied/babysit, including times I have had to grab them to prevent them from running in the street, prevent from falling, etc.

    Is your baby mobile? Bruises pop up all the time on my son but he loves to run, climb and get into everything he shouldn't. Could your DD have gotten a little rough with the baby?

    I would just call her, tell her what you noticed and ask her what happened. You might be able to tell a lot by her reaction. 

    All that being said I would find someone new ASAP if you are in any way uncomfortable or think your child might be being harmed, intentional or not. Better to err on the side of caution,

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  • I ask her tomorrow if she knew what happened - that you noticed the bruises after she was gone and does she remember what happened.  If she acts funny or suspicious answering the question, you can get a new nanny.  Maybe she just forgot to tell you something though.  I see you have two older toddlers/preschoolers too.  Is it possible they were the ones that bruised the baby?  I know my 2 yr old is less than gentle sometimes and a new nanny might not know yet just how vigilant she would need to be to protect the baby from siblings.


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  • image wife07mom09:
    If you are going to have a nanny learn to be an employer. Ask her on the spot what happened. I'm more concerned she didn't mention it. If my ss falls and bumps or bruises anything my nanny writes it on his daily sheet and tells us when we come home. She also takes pictures of we ask.

    I agree with this, but it sounds like OP didn't notice until she was gone. I would call her to ask what happened. Certainly could have been from siblings, but worth asking about.
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  • image wife07mom09:
    If you are going to have a nanny learn to be an employer. Ask her on the spot what happened. I'm more concerned she didn't mention it. If my ss falls and bumps or bruises anything my nanny writes it on his daily sheet and tells us when we come home. She also takes pictures of we ask.

    This. I would flat out ask her what happened. You are the only person that can advocate for your children, and in my opinion it's worth it for me to 'upset' the nanny by asking her rather than not knowing what happened. When I pick DD up for daycare, if there's even a scratch on her, my DC provider tells me what happened, and if she forgets to mention it, I always ask. Kids will be kids and they get in to all kinds of things, and it could be nothing, but from what you're describing, it doesn't sound like a simple fall, or bump in to something, and I'd want to know why my kid has hand shaped bruises on her.

  • aeh72aeh72
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    You need to ask her - I know we all are of the mindset that no one would intentionally try to hurt our children but you can't ignore the fact that it is possible.  Don't approach her in an accusatory way - just simply say, "hey, after you left, I noticed a couple bruises on LO (show her where).  Any idea how they got there?" Her response - and her reaction to the question - will hopefully give you peace of mind, or it will tell you that something is not right. 

    FWIW - I'm sure there are children that bruise more easily than others, but I would have to put some pretty constant pressure on one spot for a while on DS (which is possible if your nanny carried your LO the same way all day) or grab him pretty hard (again, it's possible, she grabbed your LO to keep him/her from falling or grabbing something he/she shouldn't) to leave bruises. 

    If you trust her answer make sure you ask her to tell you anytime your LO falls/gets a cut/bruise, etc.

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  • As above posters have said, I would ask her about it.

    However, if you are going to have a nanny long-term, have you thought about investing in a nanny cam or security system that has cameras?  We have a 3 camera security system that you can view from anywhere online...even our smart phones. DH purchased it online and it was only a couple hundred dollars. You can buy more cameras for a little extra  It is also great when we go out of town to check on the house....and it also is motion activated to record (when we set it to that setting) so if someone did break in we would have them on camera.  It records to some website somewhere so even if someone destroyed the camera, by the time they did so they would already be caught. 

    I am on my 3rd nanny in the span of about 8 months.  The most recent two were great (one moved), but I found out the first one was smoking on the job after she had told us in the interview that she didn't smoke. I also strongly suspect she was taking little one in the very, very cold weather so she could smoke and smoking around him.  After that experience, we got the cameras.  I feel much more comfortable now and even though I almost never check in on my current nanny, I think it just helps my mind knowing that I can.    

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  • My nanny tells us if E has a big fall or really hurts himself enough to slow him down and cry.  There are times she doesn't say anything and later in the evening or early next morning I find a bruise.  I'll just ask her when she comes in if she remembers anything that could have caused it.  It is a slightly different situation, E is 18 months and has one speed - very fast, so he bumps into things and always has bruises all over his legs.  6 months seems early to get bruises, but if they are mobile, bruises can and will happen.

    At the very least, you need to act like an employer, like pp mentioned.  You have every right to ask these questions, and you need to ask these questions.  I know it took me awhile to get comfortable being an employer, but you need to do it.  We have a notebook nanny fills out for each day.  Has things like meals, activities, if meds were given, anything noteworthy.  It is a life saver, and was even more important when we were tracking bottles religiously like you do at 6 months.

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  • This is a tough situation but one you will come up with every nanny you hire. You have to explain to them what you want to know about the day. I had one nanny not tell me about a bump on the head and bruises until I got home, I had a serious talk with her about the contract she signed in which she agreed to inform me of that stuff right away via phone, and when she didn't follow that again, I fired her. Turned out her son that I agreed to let stay with her after his kindergarten was being rough with my son and she didn't want to admit it. 

    I think you need to give this woman a chance to know what you expect of her, be clear like any employer would, and if you don't have a contract create one.

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