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The nanny is an important person in your child’s life. You might even start to wonder if the nanny is too important.
Will your baby’s bond with the nanny grow stronger than their bond with you? How can you make sure that doesn’t happen?
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Will My Baby Prefer the Nanny Over Me?
You can take a deep sigh of relief. Your baby will not grow so attached to the nanny that they will start thinking of the nanny as their parent. A nanny is an important caregiver, but they are not present in your child’s life as much as you are.
The Nanny Paradox
You need a nanny to take care of your child while you work. You want a nanny who will be loving, caring, nurturing and protective.
However, you don’t want your baby to suddenly grow so attached to the nanny that they prefer that nanny over you.
- Do you hire a nanny that isn’t as good as your child needs?
- Do you quit your job so you can be the sole caregiver during your child’s formative years?
- Should you change nannies every once in a while so your child won’t get so attached?
No, no, and no.
Your child should become attached to their nanny. Attachment means your baby has an emotional connection to another person.
This isn’t just a side effect of having a nanny, it is a sign that you have hired a good one. That attachment means your child feels safe and loved while in your nanny’s care.
You should not feel threatened or envious in any way. In fact, you should be glad that your child is happy. You can also feel proud that you made the good choice to hire the nanny you did.
Managing Jealousy of the Nanny
Your child will not grow to prefer the nanny. Though this is a person your baby sees every day, they are not the person who spends the most time with them.
You are the caregiver every morning, every evening, every weekend, and every holiday. You provide more meals, more diaper changes, and more playtime than the nanny ever could.
You will never be replaced in the eyes of your child.
Don’t despair if you begin to think that the child is showing a preference for the nanny. Perhaps your baby cries when the nanny leaves or your older child asks for them when the nanny is away.
This is not a bad thing. It means you have facilitated a bond that is irreplaceable. It’s a good thing.
How to Overcome a Preference for the Nanny
When I was young, my mother began watching three young babies every day to earn extra money.
They were three months old when they came into our homes and they were five when they began school and no longer needed a full-time caregiver. I witnessed these young babies grow attached to my mother.
When their parents came to pick them up, they would sometimes cry and sometimes hold onto my mom and not let go.
It wasn’t because they didn’t love their parents. It was because children are very habit-driven. They tend to cling to structure. When an abrupt change happens, it can be confusing for them.
This is why it is important to understand why they are behaving the way they are instead of assuming it has something to do with their preference for the nanny.
If you are still not sure, you have some good options. You can spend more quality time with your child if you are still fearful of the nanny having too much of a role in your baby’s life.
Make a point to have meals together, have playtime every evening, read books and go on special trips.
Take your baby to a farm or a petting zoo to see the fun animals. Take your toddler to a hands-on museum. Go places your nanny won’t normally take them during the day and that you would enjoy yourself.
The mother-child relationship will only grow stronger if you both enjoy yourselves.
The nanny is an important person in your child’s life.
Don’t worry about the bond between them. It is a positive thing that will help them develop meaningful relationships for the rest of their life.
What are your thoughts about nannies? Tell us in the comments!