Your Nanny’s Holiday Bonus

Plus other holiday childcare questions answered.

Your Nanny’s Holiday Bonus

In the midst of all that holiday madness, it can be easy to forget what this time of year is really about: giving thanks. Especially to those who help you get through the day to day, like your caregiver or nanny. And while we know those caregivers and nannies do love a big old fashioned hug, we also know they love a holiday bonus and some time off just as much.

To tell it to us straight, we asked “teen-preneur” Noa Mintz, founder of NYC childcare agency Nannies by Noa, how to treat our nanny right for the holidays.

What’s up with the “Nanny Bonus”?

The holiday bonus depends on a number of factors: how satisfied you are with your nanny, how long he or she has been with your family, and what her salary is. It’s important to remember that a holiday bonus is a customary and standard practice, and most nannies are under the assumption that they’ll receive one. Being with kids all day, every day, can be difficult and draining, and a bonus is a kind gesture and encouragement to make sure that they are happy. In my experience, the standard nanny bonus is 1 – 2.5 weeks salary. If you feel your nanny doesn’t deserve a bonus, then it’s likely that he or she isn’t the right fit for your family.

Should I get my caregiver a gift too?

The bonus is important and means a lot to your nanny, but a small gift along with the bonus goes a long with in showing your appreciation. What you decide to give your nanny depends on your relationship with him or her. Some families have more professional relationships with their nannies. If she admired a sweater of yours, perhaps buy her one. If she enjoys the ballet, tickets to a ballet performance would be appreciated. In addition to a tip (but not in lieu of one), a small but meaningful gift is perfectly fine – a little thought goes a long way. Also, avoid anything that is not appropriate for children (no alcohol). Remember – this is a gift from your family, so make sure that it’s family-appropriate and take your kid’s suggestions.

How much time do I give my nanny off during the holidays?

Many families follow bank holidays or their company’s days off. If you know you’ll need your nanny on Christmas or a major holiday, that should surely be laid out during the hiring phase.

I’m bringing my caregiver on my holiday travels. Any tips?

If it is a travel job over the holidays, the nice thing to do is invite the nanny to a holiday dinner with your family or if they want to go out alone, whichever they prefer so they feel welcome. You should also agree on a travel rate higher than the usual hourly. If not a travel job, Christmas Day and New Years Eve/Day should be paid at least time and a half.

My nanny’s alone for the holidays. Should we invite her over or will she feel like we’re asking her to work?

It depends on your relationship with the nanny. A nice gesture is to let them know if they need a place to go your door is always open but you wish them a fun holiday. Chances are they won’t take you up on the offer, but it will mean a lot to them to be invited.

What about working on New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve pay is usually $30-40+/hr! If you plan to get home late, offer to arrange a car service or he or she can sleep over, whichever is preferred. The one thing you don’t want to do is guarantee to be home early out of desperation to have a sitter. Make sure your caregiver is free all night, and leave money for dinner! Maybe even a little extra than usual...

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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