Essential Nanny Skills part 2 of 2. Age Specific Nanny Skills

As a nanny, there are a number of skills you’ll always need. As the child ages, the specific skills needed to properly care for that child change. Today, we’re going to go over what some of these are so that you can be prepared for any future nannying jobs!

I’ve organized these skills into three age groupings:

  1. Kid – Teen (age 4-13)
  2. Toddlers (age 1-3)
  3. Baby (age 0-1)

My age groupings may seem a bit backwards. That’s because they are. These are the age groups that nannies should start with from easiest to hardest. Most people that contact me looking to become a nanny think of starting with babies because they think they are the easiest.

Babies often follow a highly ridgid schedule, are far more vulnerable to hazards and illness, and have no way of communication other than crying. 

To care for a baby, you have to be intuitive.

You also have to be pretty confident in yourself because you won’t be able to ask them what they think of something you’re doing. I think it’s easier to start with an age of kids that already have a voice. Kids 4-13 years old already have an idea of what they need, like, don’t like and have the ability to communicate those clearly, so we’ll start there. 

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Kid – Teen (4-13)

Maintaining a good schedule – you need to be able to set and follow a schedule. Especially, as kids start going back to school, you need to have a thorough schedule.

Your schedule needs to include every kid in the house to make sure activities don’t overlap.

Block scheduling from Jordan Page. I love Jordan Page’s vlogs and think this one is super helpful. It makes sense. Schedule things out in chunks of time, rather than hour by hour to really make the most of your day. Here’s a sample schedule that would be good to try: 

  • 7:00 Wake (kids naturally wake up around this time) 
  • 7:00-8:00 Play – Free time (If your kid isn’t in school or starts later, otherwise, skipped this to move your schedule up a bit)
  • 8:00 Breakfast (I like to read books or have an audio book playing)
  • 8:30 Get Ready (teeth brushed, dressed, hair brushed, pick up dirty clothes)
  • 9:00-10:00 Play – Educational 
  • 10:00 Go for a walk/Have a snack
  • 11:00 Nap time*
  • 1:00 Lunch (I like to review what we learned that day during playtime or listen to more of our book)
  • 1:30 Play – Free time or an outing**
  • 3:00 Schools Out! This is normally when you pick up your in school kids.
  • 3:30 Snack & Rest time (For my younger kids that had half-day, this is bonus play time. I try to use this time to have creative play – arts & crafts, playdough, painting – something quiet. I also do allow screen time during the rest time for the older ones, since they brains are usually quite overloaded after school).
  • 4:00 homework & house chores (Depending on the amount of homework your kid has, they may finish quickly. Then, they can do their assigned chores*** or help with dinner.
  • 5:00 Dinner
  • 6:00 Clean-up time (dinner dishes & play areas from earlier in the day. I do encourage cleaning as we go, but this is the time to pick-up the odds and ends that are still out.)
  • 7:00 Bedtime Routine (includes a bath & picking clothes for the next day & reading a story)
  • 8:00 Bedtime (These vary with age. As kids get older, they may get an extra hour of tv in the evening or have more homework to do between clean-up time and the start of their bedtime routine.)

* Nap times vary for each kid & age. As they get older, this time can be “Rest time” where they can read a book and “relax” in their room for a least an hour. This gives them the opportunity to nap if they’d like and gives you a well-deserved break.

** Here is where all of your fun activities, projects, or you can go out on an adventure. Go to the library, park, museum. You can always find something to mix things up and get out of the house. Linked here is a science kit that kiddos love to do!

*** House chores include prepping for tomorrow. They empty their backpack of papers that stay home. Make sure anything that needs to be seen or signed is done so and put back into their bag. They pick out their lunch for tomorrow and help make it.

Toddlers (1-3)

Play pretend! Make sure that your play times are longer for these little ones.

Playing gives them an opportunity to learn life skills.

They get to start figuring out how to problem solve, interact with others and use their imagination. There are endless learning opportunities that can happen during free play! Asking questions and being involved is key for aiding good pretend play. Also, get creative with the toys you have. Not everything has to be what it seems. Often, typical household items make the best, most interesting, toys. There are so many activities for this age because it’s prime time for learning and early development. Check out our Pinterest board for some awesome activity ideas. 

Baby (0-1)

The younger you start teaching and making opportunities to learn, the better. Give your babies ample chances during the day to practice new skills. Tummy time is essential for many physical developments in the early stages. 

What is tummy time? 

It is exactly what it sounds like. Tummy time is time baby spends on their tummy. Linked here is a tummy time mat.

I will do another article that has other baby development achievements. That article will explain how I track and encourage early learning. I will also include the top 5 things you won’t want to forget to do as time flies by.  

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