Posted by: 2 Minds | 2005/07/19


Daymother - or Nanny?

I need advice please. I have a 13-month-old son who has been cared for during the day by our domestic worker/child minder up until now. Both my boyfriend and I work full time so this was the best option when I returned to work after maternity leave. My son is healthy and happy, albeit starting to get bored. I now have to decide what to do to avoid him becoming ‘stagnant’ and frustrated. I like him being home because I have made my home safe, and because it means he is not being exposed to other kids’ germs and infectious diseases. He has not been seriously ill to date. Do I put him with a day mother and reduce my maids working hours (bearing in mind I cannot afford to keep my maid full time and send my son to a day mother as well)? Will it be beneficial to him to be around other kids at all? I do not want to be unfair to my maid – she has been loyal and good to my child – I need to know what is the best thing for my son. I unfortunately cannot afford a full time maid and a day mother – otherwise my decision would be less complicated. I cannot send my son to a playgroup part time because I have no one to drive him around. I will not allow my maid to walk him anywhere – it is too dangerous. The other option I have is to ‘invest’ in my maid by sending her on a childcare course so she can learn how to play educational games with my son. Obviously, I have no idea if she will benefit from this – and I also do not know if it will alleviate my son’s boredom. The advantages of a day mother would be (hopefully) that he would start eating and sleeping properly – currently his daytime napping and eating habits are erratic and awful. The downside is that he has to be dropped off, picked up, he will be exposed to a lot more germs, bags need to be packed, and we will get home to a dirty house that has to be cleaned. Thus the quality time I now enjoy with him after work will be reduced. The advantages of the maid are that she is patient, honest, and punctual and cleans the house as a bonus. In addition, when we get home, our little boy is ready and waiting! The downside is that he has no one except her and as she is not educated, she does not know how to ‘feed his mind’. He is an extremely intelligent little boy – and educational games will probably be very beneficial. I am still in 2 minds, and I need some other opinions on what to do here.

Expert's Reply



This is a most excellent question which you have answered yourself at the end.He needs more stimulation but his naany can be there for him when he gets home.Getting exposed to the many viruses which children may carry is important to the normal development of his immune system.

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user comments


Posted by: NINI | 2005/07/21

Too many germs at creche, build your childs immune system nicely first so that when he does go out there he is that much stronger, i dont beleive they should be sent out to get the germs to build immunity, just going to the shops with you on weekends exposes him enough and interaction with anybody else he has is enough germ exposure if that point of building immunity is valid. My daughter was not at crech and still had the rotar virus, flus etc last year and can only think she got it from the shops/family and other kids. This year she is 100 % no illnesses so i feel she was exposed and i managed to build her a strong immune system. She is also with a nanny and will be until at least 3 maybe 4. It will cost you less to send your nanny of all the training and yes children at this age dont need social interaction, they prefer their own company for now, the nanny's company is more than enough just tell her to talk and sing to the child all day that will create a nice bright spark. It really is not worth all the time and money you will spend at doctors when your kid gets sick.

Reply to NINI
Posted by: Mother of 4 | 2005/07/20

I found that until they are at least 2 their home environment is better - less exposure to germs, other kids illnesses and so forth. I think this stimulation thing is overrated. A child under the age of 2 needs good care i.e. hygiene, feeding, health, love and does not need friends and stimulation - there are many years ahead for that. A good maid that is given instructions on a daily basis (in other words stay involved in the routine, meals etc) is a gem!! And so that you don't feel left out as a working mom leave bathtime for mom and baby. I know some parents like to come home to a bathed child ready for bed but keep something for yourself.

Reply to Mother of 4
Posted by: V | 2005/07/20

I was in a similar situation as yourself. My 15 month old is cared for by our domestic worker/nanny but also is getting very very bored. Fortunately I made friends with 2 other mothers who also have nannies looking after their kiddies in very close (and safe) walking distance from our place. They are 6 and 8 months older, and play together everyday about an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

So hopefully you will also have other kiddies for your son to paly with .

Reply to V
Posted by: Blaze | 2005/07/19

In a way I think you have answered your own question, If you trust your domestic and you are happy with the arrangement rather invest in your maid. Let her know tho that the courses are run on weekends (I know edu babe is on a Saturday), and that time she will have to sacrifice, but you will pay for the course. I did a similar thing with my then domestic (who has now become my sons full time nanny). Rather stick to what you trust. It is not important for a child to start socialising until after about 30 months. I would also recommend that you do a meal plan with your maid, and a routine that you would like to be established (my nanny is not educated - and between her and I we have managed with my son of 7 months). Edubabe do teach stimulation for children, and you can also assist by setting up a list of activities.
How I dealt with the situation was every saturday I would fill in a book which included what meals I expected my son to eat, what games to play, and what toys to swap out (he has too many toys). She would then on a daily basis tell me what nappies she changed, what he ate, when he slept and what they did together - all written down in the book. It really has worked well for us

Reply to Blaze
Posted by: CC1 | 2005/07/19

I hope you don't mind me butting in, but here's my 2 cents worth: My daughter has been with a day mother since 6 months, she will be 2 in a couple of days time and I have noticed that she is really starting to need more stimulation. Day mothers are just that - they seldom play games, puzzles etc and stimulate. Perhaps consider sending your little one to a creche where he will be stimulated. Even if you start off sending him half day and then leaving him with the nanny for the afternoons until he is ready for a full day. I am currently looking around for a creche in our area for my girl as she is extremely bright and gets up to mischief purely from boredom and lack of stimulation. I do spend time with her in the evenings but she needs day time activities also. This is just my opinion - good luck with your decision!

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