Nanny Etiquette: 8 Things You Should Never Do

Your kid’s caregiver is the last person you’d ever want to drive bananas. But, as in any close relationship, you’re probably doing something that makes her insane. We asked a real New York-area nanny with over a decade of experience working for multiple families to reveal her grievances—from the eye-opening to the jaw-dropping. So if you want to abide by the proper nanny etiquette, here are the eight things she really, really wants you to stop doing.

10 Things Never to Do When You're on Your Second Child

nanny etiquette make her watch extra kids

1. Treat Her Like A Housekeeper

Unless light cleaning was part of the deal when you hired her, asking your sitter to Swiffer can be irksome. “With one family, I did plenty of housework for the kids already, like washing the baby’s laundry and the toddler’s towels,” says the nanny. “But when the dad would snarkily remark that the TV stand needed dusting, that was annoying.”

nanny etiquette treat her like a housekeeper

2. Have Her Watch Extra Kids For Free

Our nanny found herself caring for her employer's two kids, plus the neighbors’ kids who would come over for almost daily, hours-long playdates. That’s double the feeding, soothing and, yep, wiping she had to do, gratis.

nanny etiquette make her do your laundry

3. Throw Your Laundry In With Your Kids’

“I was close with the mom I worked for, so I didn’t really mind when her laundry started showing up in the kids’ hamper,” says our nanny. “But washing her husband's underwear was just gross. I was like, Really?"

nanny etiquette be late

4. Be Late For No Good Reason

What tops our nanny’s list of gripes? “Telling me you're going to be home at a certain time and then coming home late when you were clearly at happy hour.” Do your best to stick to the plan, and if you’re going to be more than five minutes late, send a text.

nanny etiquette unrealistic expectations
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5. Have Unrealistic Expectations

“Once, during a terrible blizzard—ice, rain, sleet, all that crazy stuff—my boss asked me to come in,” recalls our nanny. Remember that your childcare provider is a human. If you’re asking her to do something you couldn’t or wouldn’t do yourself, it’s probably too much.

nanny etiquette spot cash

6. Expect Her To Spot You Cash

“A mom I worked for would give me a long list of groceries to shop for every week,” says the nanny. “Then she would wait until Friday to reimburse me, along with my pay. I felt too awkward bringing it up, but I was basically loaning them all of my money for their groceries every week.”

nanny etiquette school

7. Make Her Your Stand-in At School

No matter how much time your sitter spends with the kids, you should be the primary liaison with their educators. “One couple would send me in to school for parent-teacher conferences,” our nanny told us. “And their son's teachers would lecture me about his behavioral problems. It really crossed the line from professional to personal.”

nanny etiquette controlling

8. Be Way Too Controlling

Our nanny watched a girl for the first two years of her life and, get this, the parents never let her leave the house. Don’t impose crazy, controlling rules on your nanny. You hired her because you trusted her, after all.