Nanny Organization

Confession: I’m kind of an organizational… erm… freak. I love to organize. I love my label maker. I could spend my days in the Container Store and be forever content. So, organizing my nursery and my home to welcome three little babies was not a chore. It was fun! If you don’t like to organize like me, you might find these tips crazy… or dumb. Oh well. Take what you wish, forget the rest. 

  • Sorting. Since I care for three different babies (all less than 3 months apart), my biggest worry is keeping straight whose stuff is whose. And there’s a lot of it! Diaper. Clothes. Wipes. Bottles. Formula. On it goes.
    • I requested a specific list of items from each family and asked them to label all items:
      • Coat or Jacket
      • Weather-appropriate hat 
      • Diaper cream
      • Aspirator
      • Saline spray
      • 3 bottles
      • Back-up outfit (or 2)
      • Supply of diapers, wipes, milk/formula, and/or baby food (to be replenished as-needed)
    • I keep multiple baskets/drawers for each child and label them. I have several in the nursery, and some in the kitchen too. (Pictures coming soon.)
    • Each time a new supply of formula or food comes, I label each with a sharpie by the child’s name so as not to confuse them.
       
  • Communication. I’m a graphic designer by trade so I love to design. I had a ton of fun creating the following (links with samples coming soon):
    • A quarterly newsletter with info about news/changes
    • Supply Alert sheets to send home when items need replenishing
    • Schedule Alert sheets to notify families when (a) I plan to take vacation/personal time (b) I have an appointment and need an adjusted or prompt drop-off/pick-up on a certain day. 
    • Field Trip Alert sheets to notify families when planning a larger outing that may affect nap schedules. 
    • Use an app (I recommend Baby Connect) to track each child’s daily activities. This gives great peace of mind to parents and helps you keep track of when one child last ate or how long that nap lasted. 
  • Day to Day Functioning. It takes a little time to adjust to juggling multiple children (especially if you suddenly have multiple children of the same age).  
    • Keep to a consistent schedule as much as possible. For babies especially, naps are so important for health and happiness. My charges are on a consistent morning and afternoon nap schedule. 9-11 AM and 1-3PM. Do they always stay asleep? Nope. You work with it. Sometimes one baby wakes another, sometimes one can sleep right through the ear-splitting screams of the other (seriously, it’s amazing). 
    • Get an IP camera. I have a wireless, 360 camera in the nursery that allows me to see each child. This is great because I can see if one child is crying, are they bothering the other child? Then I can decide whether to go in to them or not. These cameras are cheap ($50; compared to video baby monitors at $200+) though it took a little tech knowledge from my husband to get it installed. Now it works like a charm — I can access it on any device within my Wi-fi network. 
    • Use white noise. If your house isn’t large enough to allow each child to have his/her own room for naps, this is HIGHLY recommended. Really, I recommend it either way. It helps if your two-year old has a tantrum so he doesn’t wake the babies. 
    • Use black out curtains and drape the sides of the cribs/pack n plays. Every one of my families has commented to me: “my child naps so much better for you than for me!” I chalk this up to the white noise and the dark room. I have heavy curtains on the window in the nursery. I have sheets draped on the sides of the pack n play & crib. Obviously, make sure these are positioned safely so that children cannot strangle or suffocate on them. The drapery blocks the view of the whole room so if I go in to tend to one child, the other doesn’t necessarily know I’m there. Now, none of my charges are pulling up yet so who knows what will happen when we come to that. We shall see. For now, when they’re down, they’re down… and they can’t see me!
    • Go with the flow. This somewhat contradicts my first point… but if your a mom, you know what I mean. Do your best to keep things normal… but some days, one baby just will NOT drink her bottle. And other days, the toddler won’t stop asking you to play puzzles with him (even after you just finished playing ten minutes ago). Be flexible… and help your children learn to be flexible too. Sometimes, one child will have to cry in her high chair while you go wipe another child’s bottom (no, I’m not making this up). They learn. They adapt. So do you. 
    • Give yourself down time. The afternoons are my peace & quiet time when everyone naps. And, I’m not going to lie, about 50% of the time, I nap too. Yes, there is still laundry to do. Yes, the breakfast dishes are still in the sink. No, you didn’t take a shower yet. Sit. Rest. Watch TV. (Or sleep, if you wish.) If you do nap, keep the monitor close by so you can respond to any early wakers (my home is small enough and my sleep light enough that there is no danger of this for me.) 
    • Get together with other nannies or moms for playdates. Even if you have multiple children who play fine together and don’t need more stimulation — you do! It’s nice to talk to someone over the age of five a few days during the week. And it’s always great to have other kids in the mix to help teach cooperation and patience (notice, I didn’t say “sharing” — more on that another time). 

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About

Hi, I'm Lauren. Mommy to two, nanny to two, wife, teacher, homemaker, Catholic, artist, writer, friend, sister, daughter. Here you'll find everything from updates about our family, info and advice about parenting and homemaking, or pretty much anything else I feel like writing. Welcome!