Helpful Nanny Interview Tips for Newborn Hiring

By Dr. Lindsay Heller, The Nanny Doctor

There are many steps to finding the right nanny, but this article is meant to help you focus on the things you need to think about when you have a newborn! Let’s start with the search and interview process. The first thing you want to do is make sure that the candidates you interview have had experience with newborns up to at least age one. This will ensure that you have someone who cannot only support you, but also someone who will be able to provide you with information. This is especially important if this is your first child and you will be relying on your nanny to take on the role of educating and guiding you.

Here are some specific questions to ask during the interview process:

  • Would you like to work with a newborn/infant?
  • What is your specific experience with this age group?
  • Can you provide me with references?
  • Are you infant CPR/First Aid certified? If not, are you willing to be trained?
  • How do you handle a crying baby?
  • How do you know if a baby has a fever? (normal body temperature for a healthy baby is between 97 and 100.4 degrees – you can kiss their forehead and feel warmth, use a an ear thermometer)
  • What would you do if my baby has a fever?
  • What do you feed a baby 0-3 mos?
  • What do you feed a baby 3-6 mos?
  • What do feed a baby 6-9 mos?
  • What do you feed a baby 9-12 mos?
  • How do you care for the baby’s play area? (i.e. safely cleaning toys, etc)
  • Tell me about a time where something happened and you had to call a parent right away.
  • Do you know how to put a baby on a sleep/feeding schedule?
  • Tell me about what is important about putting a baby to sleep in their crib. (For example, face-up, no other blankets or stuffed animals in crib, white noise machine, baby monitor)
  • What kind of activities will you plan to engage my baby?
  • What would you do if my baby rolled off the changing table?
  • Do you know how to properly install a car seat? Do you know what the guidelines are for age and weight related to car seats?
  • If you were home alone and someone came to the door, what would you do?
  • How do you usually communicate the days events to the parents you have worked for in the past?

When you begin the interview process, you may choose to meet candidates at a local coffee shop at first to narrow down the candidates. This is a safety precaution to reduce the number of strangers you invite into your home. You do not need to necessarily include your baby in this part of the interview process. Once you have narrowed it down, invite each “finalist” over separately and continue the interview process in your home. At this point, you should definitely include your baby. Take note of the nannies who ask to wash their hands prior to handling your baby, as this is a sign of an aware nanny.

Once you hand over your baby to the nanny candidate during the interview, watch how she interacts with your baby. Is your nanny attempting to engage your baby by cooing and smiling? While holding your baby, is she swaying her body in a calming, rhythmic manner that soothes and comforts your baby? Singing or humming in a comforting tone? These observations will provide you with important information that you will not get from just asking interview questions.

As a new mom, you may be concerned and unsure as to what to look for in a candidate. In addition to the questions above, also consider whether or not you feel as though you could be around this person. Do you want to manage this person? Do you respect her?

The above questions and considerations address specific needs related to hiring a nanny for a newborn. In addition to these important considerations, you also need to think about your family’s needs and job responsibilities. Check out the article on identifying your family’s needs to create the perfect job description!

Need Help?

email us