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Finding the Perfect Nanny Match

The first step towards finding the right nanny may actually be finding yourself.

Finding the Perfect Nanny Match

As your baby’s due date approaches, few tasks seem more daunting than choosing the person that will step in for mama when it’s time to go back to work. We asked a former nanny with an uncanny ability for childcare matchmaking, Sararose Benham of SideKicks Staffing at Citibabes to help ease your mind.

Sararose reminds us that’s there’s as many different kinds of nannies as there are mommies, and that the term “best” is all relative. While some families would prefer more of a staff member, she says, others are looking at a nanny as part of their family. Keep in mind that a nanny's own values, background and family life may offer insight into what type of values she or he will be instilling in your child, and remember that he or she will hopefully be around when your baby turns toddler, so look for a personal daily routine that bears mimicking. “What may be the best nanny in my book may not be the best in yours, so it's important to zero in on the most important thing you are looking for,” she says. And most of all, “remember that no one is perfect.”

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So here's a little matchmaking – nanny-style:

Mom: Health-conscious vegetarian with food allergies that may be passed onto baby.

Nanny: We would need to match her with a nanny that understood how important it is to protect that child from certain foods and was good at creating health conscious and allergy conscious food for the child. Being able to come up with their own recipes and be innovative in the kitchen is also a plus. It would be great to find a nanny who possibly is a vegetarian or has an allergy herself, and who speaks the same language fluently as the parents.

Mom: Social media savvy and information addicted.

Nanny: This nanny needs to be fluent in email, texting, and web surfing, and able to find the best activities to do around the city when mom is working. It should also be a nanny with a lot of energy and not their own child at home that they need to attend to – someone who is really dedicated to a career as a nanny and doesn't mind what hours she works. She could be live-in, or live nearby, so her commute wasn't difficult for last-minute needs.

Mom: Alone in the city, with little family around to help out or offer advice.

Nanny: We'd look for someone that is able to offer a lot of support – probably a nanny who had been a mother herself but whose children are somewhat grown. She would be able to offer not only normal nanny services but actual advice for how to take care of a baby that a nanny who hasn't had her own children or worked much with newborns would be able to offer.

Mom: Social butterfly intent on raising the kid everyone in the neighborhood knows.

Nanny: This family would want a very outgoing nanny who was not shy to make friends with other nannies or moms. This nanny would take initiative to chat with shop owners, doormen and people in the park. She would be the nanny who knew the best classes in the neighborhood and who organized playdates, classes and activities.

Mom: Intellectual and culturally connected. Will sacrifice homemaking skills for art education.

Nanny: For this mom, we'd find a youthful post-collegiate who is educated and can do developmentally-appropriate activities with the children as well as teach them. This nanny is young enough that she has the energy to keep up with them! This nanny would be paid a bit more per hour and usually would not be expected to clean the house.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

Our Partners

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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