Top 10 Winter Tips from a Nanny

Photo by Tele Chhe via Flickr Creative Commons.
Photo by Tele Chhe via Flickr Creative Commons.

by chelle cochran

Nannies, it’s cold outside! Love it or hate it, it can be difficult to adjust to the weather change, so here are a few tips to make the drop in temperature a little easier on you and your charges alike.

1. Take It Off! Car seats + Coats = NO!

So you’ve just spent what seemed like an eternity bundling up your charges so you’re ready to face the blustery weather. Guess what? You’ve got to unwrap them as soon as you get to the car! I know it seems like a huge pain, but your charge’s safety is what’s important. Here’s why you’ve got to take off those coats before buckling up the little ones: whenever they’re strapped in with their coats, the effectiveness of the car seat is decreased. The coat is too fluffy to be able to safely hold your charge in place if an accident were to occur. Long story short, the coat creates a barrier between the child and the car seat, which allows your charge to move around more freely. Warm up your car before going out, keep a blanket in your car, or place your charge’s coat on them after you buckle them in by simply putting it on backwards to keep them warm. Read more information about coats and carseats.

2. What’s Yours Is Not Mine!

Cold weather brings out the hats, coats, and scarves. Make it one of your biggest priorities to teach your charges not to share their personal items with other children. No nanny wants to discover pesky little head lice in her charge’s hair. It is a royal pain to get rid of, trust me.

3. Get Your Car Some New Shoes!

When winter approaches, it’s very important to ensure that your car is in tip top shape. Get your car’s tires checked to make sure they’re good to go for winter’s cold. Even if you use your boss’s car to transport your charges, ask to have the car looked at. This isn’t just about your charge’s safety, it’s your safety as well!

4. Label, Label, Label!

It’s hard enough for your charge to remember their homework, let alone the million accessories that come along with the cold weather. If they drop a mitten or scarf at recess, we want those lost items to return to it’s happy home. Labeling everything will help everything return to its rightful owner. I always write my charge’s first and last name along with my email address on every little item of theirs.

5. Snow Is Snow Joke!

You wake up to seven inches of snow. Oh no! What do you do? Do you scramble to get in to work, try to find a replacement, or just feel plain awful because you’re not comfy with driving in the mess? When I was hired, I asked to implement a snow emergency plan so no one is in a rut during a winter storm. I work and live in different counties but I follow the delays and closings of both. The county I work in has a delay or closes school? I follow the delay or do not go in. The county I work in has a delay or closes? I follow the delay or do not go in. I always follow the highest delay or cancellation. My safety needs to be just as important.

6. Be Prepared.

Remember when I mentioned that it’s hard for kids to keep track of anything? It’s true! I always keep backup hats and mittens in my charge’s backpack so that she’s not freezing during recess. With my awesome labeling system, I am sure whatever is lost will come back!

7. Check ‘Em Out!

Before I send my charges off to school or an activity, I make sure they’re feeling great. Cold weather always can bring on the sniffles and I do not want to have to go back out to pick them up early because I missed a fever. Kids seem to act fine when they’re not feeling up to par but if a teacher or a coach thinks your charge feels warm, they will check for a fever. If they’re not feeling 100%, keep them home instead.

8. Change Up.

Do you keep an extra change of clothes for the kiddos in your car or at your charge’s school? Now’s the time to switch out those clothes. You don’t want to be out and about and only have shorts and a t-shirt on hand. I am sure that your charge doesn’t want to miss out on recess at school because their extra change of clothes are for the beach!

9. Layering Is the Way to Go!

It’s so much better to be hot rather than cold. Why? Because you can always take something off. Put a short-sleeved shirt under sweaters and make sure your charge knows she can take off her sweater. Just make sure you layer anything that has the possibility of coming off.

10. Best-Kept Secret

Maybe the people I am around do not get out much, but someone is always amazed whenever they see me store my charges’ hats, mittens, and gloves in the arm of their coats. I always take the mittens and the scarf and stick it in that hat. I then put that hat right in the arm of the coat so I am never scrambling to find matching sets. The hunt for that missing mitten is now over!

Do you have any tips to help nannies survive the cold weather?