How many kids is too many for a nanny? — The Bump
Working Moms

How many kids is too many for a nanny?

Both my neighbor and I recently discovered we are pregnant. (Must be something in the water!) This will be her second, they have a 1.5 year old, and my first. I work full time and plan to continue, so they have graciously offered to share their nanny. To me that seems like a lot for one person to care for a 2 year old and two infants. What do you all think?

Re: How many kids is too many for a nanny?

  • It would depend on the nanny. Many nannies advertise that they have experience with multiples, which is basically what your situation would be.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
    LDSJM123
  • It would depend on the nanny. Many nannies advertise that they have experience with multiples, which is basically what your situation would be.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • At daycare facilities (in Texas) the biggest ratio you can have is 4 babies to 1 teacher (or 10 babies to 2 teachers). I know nannies/daycares are 2 different animals, but maybe that gives you a perspective. 
  • I'm not sure I'd want to share a private nanny with anybody, especially somebody I see everyday. The reason for this is many- my primary concern being that if you and the other mom have different ideas about the children's interaction with the nanny, it could cause friction with your neighbor. Plus also if you have a problem with her employee, how should it be addressed? Also, would you split the cost 3 ways since there are 3 kids or just two since there's only 2 families? I'd also be concerned about whether her home is set up for the care of 3 little ones- i.e. multiple cribs, enough toys, sufficient baby proofing? A professional nanny can probably handle a toddler and two newborns but it also depends on the children's temperament and the nanny's experience. At the very least, I'd ask that you can conduct your own interview of their nanny just to see if they're a good fit with you and see if they're up for the task. Congrats on your LO! I know finding childcare is a daunting task. Good luck! 
  • plumcot said:
    Both my neighbor and I recently discovered we are pregnant. (Must be something in the water!) This will be her second, they have a 1.5 year old, and my first. I work full time and plan to continue, so they have graciously offered to share their nanny. To me that seems like a lot for one person to care for a 2 year old and two infants. What do you all think?
    I think my first question would be: has the nanny been approached about this or did your friend just offer her services without asking her first?  I'd find that out and then go from there.

    Some nannies have expertise in working with multiple newborns so it is possible for one person to handle that situation.  But like others have already mentioned, you have to factor in the potential downfalls of sharing: will the nanny travel with your neighbor if they go on vacation?  If so, would that leave you stuck without childcare?  Which location would the nanny offer the childcare?  If it's in your neighbor's home, do you feel it's adequate for caring for that many children?  Splitting costs, potential issues with the nanny, etc. are all issues you need to look into as well.
  • You're entertaining a situation where the adult:child ratio is similar to most day cares.  1 adult:4 infants.  Something to think about.

    DD.R: 2013
    DD.C: 2015
    #3EDD: 8/1/2017




  • Thanks. You all raised some excellent points I had not thought about.

    To answer some of the questions, the nanny said it was fine with her and that the previous family she worked for had 3 kids, although not 3 under 3 so I don't know if she knows what she's getting into. (Then again neither do we!) We have not formally interviewed her as we feel we've gotten to know her over the past year, but that's a good suggestion.
    We are also looking into daycare, we've just heard from friends who've gone through the search that there are not many good options in our area.  We could hire our own nanny, but I have a long commute so I take advantage of working from home 2 days a week, so it wouldn't be ideal to have the childcare in our home. 

    We have some time to figure this out and we live in a neighborhood with many young families, so it's not out of the question that we could find a private nanny share with just one other child. 
  • I discussed this with my husband who was interested in doing this with a coworker. My thoughts were that it wouldn't work well for us because I don't have a prior relationship with the family and she would be the host of the care responsibilities. I thought through a care contract that could be drafted to lay out expectations, but it just didn't seem like we were ready to have those conversations with each other, so we are both looking into other options.
    Married 8/12
    MC 4/15
    BFP 10/10/16



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