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2 important characteristics of a great nanny

Finding a qualified nanny is vital to your child's health and long-term development. While there are many questions a potential nanny must answer during the  interview process, here are two of the most important traits a caregiver should possess:

1. High Understanding of Child Development

This is usually how bonding between a parent and a baby works: When your baby is hungry, he or she might cry. You feed them and they stop crying. When you want to share a memory, you setup playtime and then take a picture. These parenting procedures may seem harmless, but are they? Is this the appropriate way to respond to a child's needs? And further, will this response help a baby grow into a mentally strong child, adolescent and adult?

An article on HelpGuide.org sites a 2000 report by the Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development that indicates connecting with a baby must go beyond the old-fashioned bonding process. Caretakers must know how to decipher a baby's nonverbal language and react and communicate appropriately with the baby according to how the baby is acting in a particular moment. Key word is moment. Researchers believe that too many times caretakers opt to stay at their current pace in life (e.g., focusing on future goals and personal needs) without taking the time to slow down to a child's much different pace in life.

2. Up-to-Date First Aid and CPR Training

Is your nanny's CPR and first aid certifications up-to-date? Her certification should be current because it's a skill parents shouldn't overlook. When reviewing a nanny's CPR and first-aid training, remember to dig deep into their background. Ask them what kind of first aid they know and the situations they've encountered in the past.

For nannies who may find it difficult to train at a brick-and-mortar classroom, RedCross.org offers online Advanced Child Care Training offers courses geared toward sitters, nannies and caregivers 16 years and older. There are many other reputable associations that also teach official infant CPR and child CPR training classes specifically for nannies.