Just like there are many different types of families with many different types of needs, there are also many different types of nannies. Here is a brief introduction to some of the different types of nannies that we've come across over the years:
(For the sake of simplicity we've defined nanny as a live-out carer and an au pair as a live-in carer. All of the the examples below can also apply to au pairs (live-in carers)).
A fill-in nanny is essentially a babysitter (not employed on a regular basis). They are available whenever other normal childcare arrangements fall through, or for random one-off occasions such as a parent's night out or if the parents are sick and need some help.
A maternity nanny specialises in babies and toddlers under two years of age. Their resumes will often demonstrate extensive experience in this younger age bracket. Some maternity nannies will also be able to provide breastfeeding support, baby massage, preparation of developmentally appropriate activities and toilet training. Due to their greater level of specialisation and experience, you should expect that the starting rate of a maternity nanny may be higher than other nanny types.
A mother's help is a young person who provides assistance in the presence of the parent. They are generally less experienced than traditional nannies, and as such are likely to be on a lower hourly rate. There may be a greater emphasis on housework and cooking, depending on the preferences of the family.
A night nanny is employed to specifically attend to a young baby through the night. Depending on the feeding preferences of the mother, they will either prepare bottles for the baby as needed, or attach the baby to the mother's breast as she sleeps, then wait until the baby is finished and place them back in their bassinet/cot. The demanding hours mean that you can expect to pay more for this type of nanny.
Not all nannies necessarily look after children. We have had requests over the years for pet nannies - someone to look after a pet while the owners are either away or at work. This has often been for lonely or aging pets. The pet nanny will attend to all the needs of the animal including playing with them, exercise, cleaning up after them, food and any medications if required.
A super nanny is often degree qualified and has specialised in nanny work over many years. They come with exceptional references and may have even had high profile positions in the past that required extreme discretion and professionalism. Given their high level of dedication to the nannying career, a super nanny will command a much higher wage and cannot be expected to assist with any duties other than childcare.
Vacation Nanny / Holiday Nanny
A vacation nanny or holiday nanny is employed to care for the children during the holdiays. Some families even take their vacation nanny with them as they are travelling to enable more free time away from the children.
A wet nanny breastfeeds the baby they are caring for. To be able to do this, the wet nanny obviously must have a young child of her own that she will also care for simultaneously. Health checks and blood tests are done beforehand to ensure no illnesses are passed on. Whilst this concept may sound very strange in our culture, it was actually a necessity before formula was invented. Extended breastfeeding has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of diabetes, obesity, leukemia and asthma in children. As these benefits gain greater scientific recognition, more and more mothers have actually started looking for alternative means of sharing the breastfeeding load. The Australian Breastfeeding Project, for instance, allows breastfeeding mothers to come to mutual arrangements to breastfeed one another's children. They started in Australia in 2015 with twenty members and have since grown to over 15,000 members. Many breastfeeding babies refuse to take bottles. A wet nurse can enable a breastfeeding mother to spend time away from the baby without the angst of worrying about disrupting the baby's normal feeding patterns.
Remember, we can help you find any of the types of nanny listed above - even ones we haven't thought of!