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Raleigh Nanny & Babysitting Blog

The Importance of Spending Quality Time With Your Children

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Living here in the middle of Raleigh and Durham North Carolina and very close to The Research Triangle Park, families are constantly on the go.  After waking the kids in the morning and getting them ready, then dropping them off at school, working a nine hour day, and then swinging back by to pick them up on the way home again, all you want at the end of the day is collapse into your bed!  Finding the time to relax and spend quality time with your little ones may seem an impossible task at the end of a long day, but spending this time with your children is more important than you may think!

Spending time participating in an activity that is meaningful to both parent and child can be a very educational experience on both sides.  Children learn most of what they know about the world by engaging with their families and when parents take the time to commit to their children, kids feel loved and develop positive a self-esteem about themselves.

For parents, spending quality time with their children means earning their trust.  More often than not, a child’s number one priority is to be noticed and to feel important.  When parents put down their iPads and turn off the television to engage in a fun activity with their little ones, those kids know that they are more important to their mommy and daddy than an inanimate electronic device.  It seems a silly idea to impose, but can you honestly say that you have never been browsing an article on your phone and heard “mommy, look at me!” ?  Children are much smarter than people sometimes give them credit for, and they will surely call you out on it!

So what is there to do after a long day or week of work in the fast-paced Raleigh Durham Triangle? Why not take your kids to Fred G. Bond park in Cary right outside of Morrisville where you can fly a kite, play ball, go kayaking, or have a picnic?  You could take your children to walk around the wall at Duke University’s East Campus in Durham, or perhaps feed the ducks at Lake Lynn in Raleigh.  A walk down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill or down South Salem Street in Apex where you can get some ice-cream and have a chat could also be a fun afternoon!  Most importantly, remember that children are a lot more tired after a planned out activity than they are watching television!  So go outside and spend some more quality time with your kids- your pillow will thank you for it!


The Nanny Boutique is a nanny and babysitting agency that specializes in placing caregivers or babysitters and nannies in the Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas.

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The Great TV Debate, No Problem – Try a Museum Instead

Friday, April 5th, 2013

The great debate- should your nanny be permitted to turn on the television for your children?


If you are a parent in the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Morrisville or Apex area, you know there is a large variety of activities for children. Whether it is going to a park, playground, library or museum in Wake, Durham, Chatham and Orange County you will never run out of options. Many of these options are very cost efficient as well.


There are many people that will argue on both sides, whether a “little” bit of TV is no problem, or possibly even educational, and those who believe children should not watch any TV at all.


No matter what your opinion is on the topic, it is important that you let your nanny know how you feel, and what you expect. If you are against allowing your nanny to turn the television on for your children that is certainly not a problem, but you may want to provide a few alternatives.


For Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Durham, Chapel Hill and Apex nannies, there is no shortage of what to do instead of watching TV. The Wake County Public Libraries offer daily activities for your toddlers and young children. Even if an event is not going on, kids love to peruse the library and check-out new books!


There are also a multitude of awesome museums in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. If you are looking for a cost friendly location, we recommend the Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. In the same area there is also Marbles Museum in Raleigh, which can be a great way to wear out your little ones!


In Durham there is the Museum of Life and Science, which has a great number of exhibits to engage all children, no matter what age.  In Chapel Hill, Kidzoo is also packed with plenty of items the children will enjoy!


There are plenty of parks to enjoy, both for free and for small fees. In Cary, you have Bond Park, which has a playground for kids as well as a recreational center and various soccer and baseball fields. You can take young ones to Kids Together Park in Apex, or find fun for all ages at Pullen Park in Raleigh.


There are also places you can take children to for indoor jumping, which is especially great on those rainy days! There is Jump!Zone in Cary, The Hopper House in Apex, and Monkey Joe’s in Raleigh. All offer different “attractions”, so make sure you check them out!


So the next time you sit down with your nanny to discuss television options, be sure to point out the vast number of children activities Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Chapel Hill, Durham and Wake Forest has to offer.

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Do YOU Have a Nanny Contract? How the signature will help you in the long run.

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Many people think that being a nanny is a great profession. Nannies get weekends off, they get to play with children all day, and the pay isn’t half bad either. Are you thinking of being a Nanny in Raleigh Durham, Chapel Hill or Cary NC? If you are, make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into before you accept a position.


In many childcare situations a family will choose a nanny based on who they know. It may be a close personal friend, a friend of the family, or even a child’s previous teacher at school. No matter what the case, it is important that both the hiring family and the nanny for hire understand what is expected.


The Nanny Boutique is a nanny and babysitting agency that specializes in placing caregivers or babysitters and nannies in the Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas.


Whether you are being hired as a nanny for a family you know or not, we suggest that all parties agree on a signed contract. Many people may think it is rude to suggest a contract, that it will either offend the nanny or the hiring family. We have found otherwise. A contract lays out exactly what is expected from everyone, it is a way to agree on stipulations that may otherwise not be thought of in advance.  It will protect both sides and clarify what the expectations are.


Many people discuss logistics upfront. The pay, hours, transportation, etc. are agreed upon before the nanny begins work. However, there are many things that people may forget to discuss.


If you are a nanny or looking for a nanny in the Research Triangle area, including Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, Chapel Hill and Morrisville, make sure you know what you are getting involved with before agreeing to begin. Families should discuss whether it is expected of the nanny to do the laundry or the dishes, clean the bedrooms, or provide arts and crafts projects for the children.


Additionally, any nanny should understand what sort of “day” the family expects their child to have. There are a large number of parks and playgrounds in the area, especially some great parks that nannies can utilize in Cary and Apex NC. Is the nanny expected to take the children to Bond Park in Cary or Kids Together Park in Apex? What about places where you are required to pay? If a nanny wants to take your children to Pullen Park in Raleigh or Jump! Zone, which has many locations in the Cary, Raleigh and Apex areas, will you provide the adequate funds for outings and outside activities such as these?


There are so many factors that go into hiring a nanny, many that you would not even think about. So before you hire a nanny in NC make sure you know what is best for your family and put it on paper. Likewise, if you are a nanny looking for work, make sure you have something in writing explaining exactly what is expected of you.


This will help to eliminate any confusion or upset down the line. The best way to ensure everyone remains happy is to sign on the dotted line.


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The Nanny Boutique’s Tips for Healthy Family Nutrition

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Here at the Nanny Boutique, we don’t believe that the word “healthy” is synonymous with gross or yucky.  It is easier said than done when trying to help your children keep a healthy nutritious lifestyle, and here in the Triangle we understand the difficulties many families face concerning a well-balanced diet. Yet, becoming more nutritious doesn’t have to be a chore!  Our North Carolina nannies and sitters are very glad to give some helpful advice in regards to the foods you keep on hand for your children and family.

Our Nanny Boutique sitters have seen it many times before- potato chips in the oven, candy bars in the medicine cabinet… parents will result to anything when it comes to hiding junk food from their kids. Yet, chances are if you don’t allow it to come into the house in the first place, then your kids won’t go searching for it.  By eliminating the bad stuff while you grocery shop, you set a good example for your children.  By making a special trip out to get an ice-cream cone, instead of keeping tubs of ice-cream in the freezer, you make it a special family event in which everyone gets a nice treat.

When you are making healthy choices, don’t always listen to what the front of a box can shout at you.  Just because a product claims to be reduced fat or whole wheat, does not necessarily make that product is a healthy one.  Our North Carolina Nannies know that the only thing on the box that counts is the Nutrition Facts label and, even then, appearances may be deceiving.  Be sure to always check the serving size and compare the portions to what you realistically eat as a family and remember, the healthiest foods are the ones that don’t come from a box in the first place.

If you seem to be having a hard time getting your children to believe that nutritious foods can also be very yummy, don’t be discouraged.  Our Nanny Boutique sitters see this situation all of the time!  Many families are often afraid that healthy foods won’t taste as good, but there are many options out there for families to try.  Fresh squeezed juice can be frozen to make popsicles that contain natural sugars, and smoothies made with plain yogurt can also be a yummy treat as well.  The only way to know whether or not something will taste good is to try it out!

Some other concerns many families come across regarding health are cost and time.  Many parents believe that it is cheaper to pick up fast food than it is to buy fresh produce.  While it is definitely more convenient, fast food almost always ends up being pricier than cooking at home.  When you cook at home, it can be a way for families (and nannies!) to work together while bonding.  Home cooking isn’t nearly as tedious when everyone in the family pitches in a hand and along with all that healthy food you’ve been eating comes more energy. Your body will thank you for it!

When it comes to staying healthy, remember that we live in a city that makes an active lifestyle very attainable.  North Carolina is such a beautiful, green state and Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Cary are full of amazing resources such as numerous parks and farmer’s markets.  At Nanny Boutique, our babysitters and nannies understand that staying healthy and active is not always an easy thing to accomplish in the beginning, but by doing it together as a family you can find that you have a fantastic support system that cannot be beat!


The Nanny Boutique is a nanny and babysitting agency that specializes in placing caregivers or babysitters and nannies in the Apex, Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas.

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3 Simple Steps to Managing Difficult Children

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Managing Difficult Children.

Tips from The Nanny Boutique to help you keep your cool and sanity at the same time.


Here in the Triangle, our nannies and babysitters have seen it all.  At The Nanny Boutique, our expertise ranges from potty training issues to working with special needs children to tutoring sessions to any number of other common obstacles that many children face in their everyday lives.  Though, more often than not, our nannies and babysitters get to spend time with children who genuinely warm our hearts and are a pleasure to care for.  Yet, every now and then we come across that one child who is as sweet as can possibly be… until the moment the door clicks right behind mommy and daddy!
So what precautions should babysitters and nannies take when they have a child refusing to do homework, throwing a tantrum on the floor, or screaming and calling you any name they believe will get under your skin the most?  From our team here at The Nanny Boutique, here are some very simple measures that you can follow to help you prevent a major disaster from happening.

1. Take a Deep Breath.  This seems a hard thing to do in the heat of the moment, but by keeping your cool, you prove to not only the child, but to yourself that you are in control of the situation.  If the child knows that they can get a reaction out of you by acting in a certain manner, then they are more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.

2. Remember why you are there.  Your number one priority as a nanny and caregiver is to ensure the safety of the children you care for.  As long as the child is not causing harm to themselves, to you, or to others then there is no need to have cause for alarm.  It is not the nannies job to discipline or to scold children, but rather to be there to provide care and safety in the absence of parents.

3. Talk to the Parents.  If this is becoming an everyday problem and if you have already tried talking with the child directly, then it is time to consult mom and dad with your concerns.  Together the parents and the nanny can come up with ideas as to why the behavior is happening and what they can do to prevent it in the future.

If all measures have been taken and the problems are still occurring, then it may possibly be time to move on to another family.  If the parents are not willing to work with the child on the behavior issues, or worse, if they feel that there are no issues to begin with, then the nanny shouldn’t stay in any situation that affects her personal work performance.  If a nanny or babysitter is unhappy in an environment that is unlikely to change, then it is very likely that she will not be able to fulfill her role completely as a provider and caregiver.

The Nanny Boutique is a nanny and babysitting agency that specializes in placing caregivers or babysitters and nannies in the Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas.

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Nanny vs. Daycare, who do you trust your children with?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

For many parents the issue of childcare is a big one. It is becoming increasingly more common to see families with two working parents, which creates the debate of childcare. When looking for someone to care for your child there are many factors to consider, factors which are different for every family. It is important that you are comfortable with the person that will be spending such a huge chunk of time with your child.


In the Raleigh area this brings us to the classic question: daycare or a nanny? Do you bring your child to someone at their house, or have the sitter come to you? There are so many things to consider and it is not to be taken lightly. The younger years are so formative and important that you owe it to your child to take the time to really make sure you have reached an informed decision.


Regardless of what you chose to do with your child, there is one important thing to remember. Research, research, research. There is nothing wrong with checking and double checking on a facility or nanny. Ask questions, verify references, even schedule a few “test days” before you decide on something definitely.


Let’s look at a nanny for hire first. Many cities, like Raleigh and Cary, have nanny agencies available, where they will do the work for you! It is important to make sure you check all references, resumes, and background checks for the Nanny you are looking to hire. If you are not hiring someone you already know, it is a good idea to go through a nanny agency that will be able to thoroughly research each and every person that could have potential to walk through your door.


Having a nanny can have a lot of great benefits. A nanny provides one-on-one interactions that may be lacking in a daycare or preschool, simply because of the number of children. Also, if your child is sick, many nannies are still willing to come to your house to care for them, which could reduce the amount of time needed to take off of work. Additionally, you are able to specifically determine what your child is playing with, watching, or eating throughout the day. You can play activities, meals, and designate exactly how much time you want your child sleeping, watching tv, etc.


It is important to always know what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay for. Some sitters are willing to work outrageous hours for cheap, but is this what you want? In one article a mom explains that she found a sitter on Craigslist for $60 a week. This sitter ended up abusing the child. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, many times they are!




When looking at daycares, make sure you ask plenty of questions. Make sure you know what the ratios are, how many teachers are in a room at a time, what the star rating of the school is, what food, if any, is provided to the children. No one will get offended of someone finding out everything they can about a facility. If you were buying a car would you purchase it before test driving? We wouldn’t either.


Daycares and preschools have a lot of great benefits as well. Your child will get the opportunity to spend time with other children, which can teach them how to share and play well with others. Being in a school with structure and having the same “schedule” every day can also help to prepare your child for school as they grow older.


When talking about the price you pay for a daycare vs nanny, it all depends on how many children you have. For many with only one child it may be most beneficial to pay for daycare, as the total cost may be less than what you would pay for a nanny (especially if you need to provide gas, insurance, and other costs for a nanny). However, the more children you have, the pricier daycare becomes. In many cases, the cost of a nanny does not go up exponentially if you have two or three children, where as many daycares in the Raleigh, Cary, and Durham areas can go up by at least $1,000/month.


Above all, trust your instincts. If something feels wrong to you, it probably isn’t a good fit. If you hire a nanny or enroll your child in daycare, there is nothing that says that needs to be your final decision. If you have an issue, then start back at the drawing board and keep looking until you are comfortable with your decision. Whatever works best for your family is what is most important.



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Libraries are important in Raleigh NC

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

The weather becomes chilly this time of year. When was the last time you visited the local Raleigh, Chapel Hill or Durham library on a soggy day? At the Nanny Boutique we pride ourselves in educating our nannies  to take advantage of great resources like local libraries and children’s story time.

With the school year into effect, some local NC Libraries have revamped their children’s programs. Children’s librarians offer weekly events for young children; from babies to 5-year olds, the goal is to prep kids for school. It gets children learning and listening in a very fun environment! Even newborns have the opportunity to attend a 20 minute baby story time. The program works by mixing stories, music and rhyme.

Once children begin walking they are moved up into a 20 minute toddler stoy time until age 3. Not only is it education but toddlers have fun attending.  Also offered is a 30 minute story time for children ages 3-5, focusing on vocabulary.

A nice perk attending the library for story time is parents can utilize librarians as a resource in learning how to further the educational experiences at home. Thinking of things children enjoy does not need to be pricey. Keep in mind library activities are fun and free!

No matter where in North Carolina you are (Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, etc) please check with your local library when they offer story time, enjoy!

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Nanny & Your Family:Keeping a Healthy Relationship

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Here at Raleigh, NC based nanny agency, the Nanny Boutique, we feel it is very important for the family to be as up front as possible about responsibilities and expectations around the house when it comes to the nanny you choose for your family. These responsibilities should be discussed and agreed upon during the interview and contract agreement process. But it is normal that throughout a nanny’s time with a family, some needs may be adjusted or even completely change. This can often lead to a frustrated parent and/or nanny. There are several ways to handle this potential conflict.

It is essential that neither the nanny nor the parents allow resentment to build up. This can lead to on the spot firing or quitting and both are hurtful to the children involved. The nanny quickly becomes a third responsible adult in the children’s lives and removal without warning turns their lives upside down and can be very stressful.

Shortly after hiring, there is an adjustment period where the nanny is figuring out how the family works and what her job really entails. It is common during this time for conflict to arise. For example, the parents might feel that some need is not being met or the nanny might believe that she is doing work that was not agreed upon. One good idea is to set up an evaluation after the first month. This allows both sets of people to bring their concerns out and hopefully an agreement can be made that solves this conflict. If you feel that it is necessary, this can be an informal monthly meeting or you can just meet whenever necessary.

Another source of conflict can occur when the boundaries between employee/employer and friends gets crossed too much. It is normal and important for a family to start to care about their nanny on a personal level and vice versa, but both parties need to remember that this is a profession. While the nanny will hopefully love your kids and take care of them as if they were her own, she should not be expected to be on call at all times, or forced to work outside of the agreed upon hours unless discussed and paid appropriately. She also should not be consulted about private family matters such as conflicts within the household that do not affect the children. On the flip side, a nanny should not call off all the time or ask to come in late often due to personal matters. She also should not ask personal questions about her employers unless it is job related. If this is occurring often and either person feels that the lines are being crossed too much, there should be an in person conversation. Do not text or email because words can easily be taken out of context.

The last major source of conflict is when the relationship is ending. Whether it is a planned or unplanned exit, there are often hurt feelings involved or lack of communication which can cause issues. It is very important that whoever is initiating the termination (nanny or parent) should give as much notice as possible and stick to what the nanny agreement states. There should be a conversation where the reasons for leaving are explained professionally. Try not to get emotional or defensive. Listen and then speak your peace when the other person is finished. Even if the nanny was hired short-term and knew when hired that her position would end, there should still be a follow-up conversation at least a month in advance so that she knows the exact date that she needs a new job.

When working this closely with someone, it is normal that there will be some source of conflict. Always be open to communication and honest about the issue. Try not to make it a personal conversation, but a professional one. Most of the time conflict can be resolved by an adult conversation if done with patience and without accusations or condescension on either side. This will lead to a much healthier nanny/family relationship.

These tips can help the ever important relationship between the nanny and the family no matter where you are located. We have seen some great results in the Triangle area (Raleigh NC, Chapel Hill NC, Durham NC) when families have employed these suggested techniques.

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It’s That Time: Back To School in Raleigh NC

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Throughout the U.S.A and especially in the Raleigh, NC ares, August and September can be difficult months since school is starting up again. It’s hard for children to transition from summer to the school year but there are several ways that parents,  nannies and babysitters can start preparing them.

One really important step that we train our nannies and babysitters on is just communicating with the child about their school, friends and teacher(s). If they see that you are enthusiastic and comfortable about this upcoming change then they will feel more comfortable with it as well. Talk about all the fun activities that they will be participating in, the new and old friends that they will be able to see on a daily basis and tell them how excited their teacher is to have them in the classroom. If you can get your child excited about school then their first day will go more smoothly.

Another idea is to introduce them to their teachers. Many schools have an orientation close to school time where the parents and child can come in and see their classroom and meet their teacher. This is very important because it will increase their familiarity and comfort level. If they know exactly where to go and what to expect when they get into the classroom then they will feel less anxious. This is especially great if your child is going to school for the first time, but change of any kind can affect behavior and make a child nervous, so this is a good idea no matter what grade the child is starting. If it isn’t possible for them to spend time with their teacher, then consider setting up play dates with a few of their classmates towards the end of the summer. Having friends and a few familiar faces will definitely help with that transition!

It is also a great idea to start preparing their minds for school. Over the summer children often get out of the habit of learning and even lose some retention from previous years. You can prepare them for the upcoming school year by reading together, practicing flash cards and playing games that teach skills such as memory retention and repetition. Please see the previous blog titled Summer Fun for further suggestions.

The last step our nannies are working on is to start preparing their bodies as well as their spirits and minds for school. Often during the summer kids have a later bedtime and don’t have as strict of a nighttime routine. If this is the case, 2 or 3 weeks before school starts you can slowly push their bedtime back to the school time. Try putting them to bed 10 minutes earlier every night or every other night until they are on their normal routine. Also, start having dinner, bath time and any other nighttime activities at the same time that they will do them throughout the year. This will slowly allow their bodies to adjust to the change without throwing them off by suddenly having drastic changes. Hopefully that will help alleviate their fighting this change in schedule.

Summer is to a close and school will be starting before we know it.   At the Nanny Boutique we want to make sure our nannies in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill share these tips to  help prepare your children for a wonderful school year!

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Kids will be Kids

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Now that it is summer and the children are home from school, it is very normal for there to be some sibling rivalry that occurs. Brothers and sisters often compete with one another for toys, activities and even attention from adults. This can be trying on parents and nannies, but there are a few strategies that can help lessen the arguing.

It’s important to remember that competition is normal and even healthy for children, but only to a certain extent. Part of the reason children have increased argumentative behavior over the summer months is because they are not on their normal routine. Children who are too young to be in school are accustomed to one on one time with their parent/nanny, and children who are in school are used to time with their friends and time away from their family. One step to decrease rivalry would be to establish a basic routine that includes some outside activities such as sports, music/dance lessons, swim lessons, etc.  And if possible, it is a great idea to have one child at a lesson, giving you an opportunity to spend some alone time with the other child. This will lessen their competitiveness for your attention.

When it comes to toys and items around the house, there is always going to be a little fighting for what toy belongs to which child, especially if the kids are close in age and/or the same gender. One idea to help this is to have toy share time, where child A gets the toy for half an hour and then child B gets the toy for the same amount of time (setting a timer usually works well because hearing the beep assures them that their time is up). This promotes fairness and sharing. Distraction is also one of the best ways to handle constant fighting. Try promoting a game or activity that involves everyone working and laughing together. Humor is always a good way to break up the fussiness and switching activities can make them forget why they were ever fighting.

Whenever possible, allow the children to work the argument out on their own. It’s so important to guide and direct children but it is also helpful when they can utilize what you’ve taught them in these situations. It’s important that they have their own space and that they learn to communicate with one another. Just keep a close eye on them and make sure that they aren’t coming to any physical harm, and encourage them to have a conversation instead of yelling, crying or whining.

Whichever approach that you take to increase harmony in the household, make sure that you always remain consistent. Children can get confused when they aren’t sure what the rules of the house are and how they are expected to act with one another. Parents and nannies should talk with one another and come up with strategies that they can all use when disciplining and guiding siblings.

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Thanks for Visiting Nanny Boutique!

With the recent concerns of the spread of COVID-19, Coronavirus, The Nanny Boutique has made the difficult decision to halt operations until this pandemic is over.

We love our families and nannies and will miss them! We want everyone to be stay safe and be healthy.

We look forward to finding the perfect nanny for your family very soon.