Finding the perfect nanny for your child can be a long and stressful process. Rosie Pope, a mom herself (she gave birth to her first daughter on Sunday, Mother's Day!) and the star of Bravo's "Pregnant in Heels," which premieres its second season on Bravo Tuesday at 10 p.m., offers tips on how to go about the sitter search.
1. Find someone who you can envision spending a whole lot of time with.
Pope stresses that a nanny is part of your family. "These people are going to come in your home and be with your children and help raise them," she says. "[A parent] must respect them and treat them like family. Parents and nannies should have a fluid relationship, not one that they come for a few hours of the day and there's no communication beyond that."
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2. Learn who they are as adults
It's important that parents get to know their prospective nannies, Pope says. "Take the time to get to know them, like you're dating them," she says. She recommends going out to dinner alone, without the children. Once parents and nannies get to know each other as adults and respect one another, the nanny can meet the children.
3. Gauge your nanny's thoughts on playtime
Parents should always ask nannies about the importance of play. According to Pope, it is important for the development of the child for the nanny to have the energy and desire to play with the children.
"A nanny should be someone that is mature enough, that has been through life and is responsible, but still has enough energy to run after children," Pope says. "In addition to that, they should be extremely nurturing and loving."
4. Look for someone who can stay awhile
"It's important to keep a nanny as long as possible," Pope says. She recommends parents look for a nanny who will be good for babies but also with toddlers, preschoolers and even older children.
"They should be good with education, reading and language, but also be nurturing to a baby," she says.
5. Remember: You're not searching for a housekeeper
A nanny's focus should always be the children. The nanny is not there to clean and keep things tidy. "If you ask too many things of the nanny, then their focus won't be on the kids," Pope says.
Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant