“There’s the whole world at your feet.” – Mary Poppins

“There’s the whole world at your feet.” – Mary Poppins

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I am overwhelmed by the positive responses in the past few days in regards to my blog! I can’t wait to see where this goes and so happy to have you along for the ride! There has been a lot of questions regarding my so called “business” and how I got started and its honestly a story I love to tell. (In fact it’s how I sell myself!)

I started on Care.com after High School, in the fall of 2012 I made a profile and been on it since! I absolutely love the site and I definitely have some pointers for the nannies out there looking for work and even parents in regards to what to look for when reviewing the applications!

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First thing first, nannies start your profile! You will need a photo, motor vehicles check (I highly recommend, it’s 19 dollars and you will only need to purchase it once), and a short introduction of yourself that’s it! I personally got started with about 3-5 pictures of myself and only myself. My motor vechiles check is always on file and my introduction is what stands out from all the other profiles (at least that’s what all the families tell me.)

My bio is simple, informative and catchy. Want a peek?! Here it is!

Hello there! My name is Nicole Patteson and I am your Mary Poppins! I am currently a nanny through Care.com and I absolutely love what I do. I have my Associates in English Literature and a background in Medical Assisting and Child Development. Just to share alittle bit about me – I had a year of preschool teaching experience after graduating, I loved my position there however with a change of management and salary I seeked elsewhere and went back to what my heart desired (nannying.) Currently I am available to work any weekday days, weekends, date nights, or overnights with notice!
I was born and raised in Orange County and graduated from El Toro High School, I have reliable transportation for myself as well as the children. Planning out activities, running the errands and enjoying children’s company is what I look most forward to. I have an extensive background in nannying as well and if you need references I will be happy to send them over! I hope to find another great family to be with through Care.com and hope its with you!
I hope to speak with you soon regarding this position,
My cell phone number and email is below for your convience. As always, if not me, I hope you find who you are looking for! Best of luck to you and your family!

Nicole Patteson (Cell phone number & Email address)

-TB test up to date
-CPR/First Aid/AED certified
-Clear background and clean driving record
-Orange County based

Simple as that! It goes into my background, experience and what I can provide in a position (the rest your profile takes care of.) What you have to consider (at least I do) is reviews on your site as well as the families you go and meet. The reviews are just like a yelp of your past families you have worked with. When nannying for a family short or long term I always ask them to write a review if they have a time to help me out so I build a reliable background status. Keep in mind not everyone can write a review of you, just the families who have hired you through care.com.

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Once you apply for a position they have the option to replying back to you. Most families will ask for an interview right away to get the position filled as soon as possible. When meeting a family I highly recommend to meet at a nearby Starbucks or a juice shop that is halfway from the families house to yours. I do this for many reasons but the main one would be that the families are not required for a background check as the nannies are. (Strange right?) I find it a little weird that the nannies that come into your home and take care of your children need a full background check but the families do not. Who knows what I could be walking into! (I clearly watch too much lifetime.) But hey! You never know! So meeting at a Starbucks first ensures 1) They are real! 2) They are normal (Sort of). Of course after doing this I highly recommend a trail period (one day or night) when you come in for a few hours to ensure the family is a good fit for you. This way you are able to see how comfortable you are in their home, how the children are, and how the family likes things done. Sometimes right off the bat (more times than not) I realize that it’s not a good fit one hour into the job. You will know what I mean.

Whether your interviewing or running a trial run, be yourself! Always dress appropriately. Most people don’t think about it, but when nannying you do have to cover up a good amount! I do recommend always a blouse or shirt, try to stay away from tank tops and shorts (unless you live in Orange County and some days it’s just a necessity!) I personally do this to make the parents comfortable and the children. You never know when you will have a toddler play with you too rough and pull down your shirt too low. Believe me it’s happened! (Moms you know of this!) In general, dress appropriately and set a good example. My go to outfit is a simple pattern shirt from Stella and Dot, Hollister jeans and Steve Madden sandals. Seems to be working for me! Don’t wear something you absolutely love! You never know when you’ll use paint with kids or play in the dirt, things can get messy really quick!

Stella and Dot Shirt

Shop Stella & Dot with me personally at http://www.stellaanddot.com/sites/nicolepatteson

Hollister Jeans

Steve Madden Sandals

Parents! When looking at the applicants for the position, I strongly urge you to read into their bio, look at all their pictures and reviews and most of all set up a phone interview before a in person interview. A basic phone interview can tell you all that you need to know in all honestly. You can discuss the days you are seeking help, times you need, and hourly pay and see if that’s a good fit beyond what a normal day would look like. Once and a while I, myself will do a phone interview and find out that the days didn’t match the profile and that the family needed more or less than what I was looking for. Overall this saves everyone time.

Always ask for a resume, and a list of references (I recommend you at least verify two!) Ask as many questions as you want! This will make you feel more comfortable in the long run, the more you get to know your nanny the more you feel closer to them!

Check out the link below to review some basic nanny questions to go over when interviewing, feel free to use what stands out to you!

Questions for your Mary Poppins

Don’t forget to share the most important things with your nanny before leaving them with your child or children such as allergies, schedule, emergency phone numbers and most importantly what they like (whether its a blankie, stuffed animal or story to read before bed.) Some are life changing and can help a nanny in times of need! (AKA – when you leave the house for the first time!)

Regardless, it’s an adjustment period for everyone, but with patience and time, leaving the house (or working in the house) will be easy and fun!

“Practically perfect in every way.” – Mary Poppins

“Practically perfect in every way.” – Mary Poppins

Truth is, that is my nickname, Mary Poppins they call me. The nanny of Orange County. I go by all names, the fact is they pay me and they can call me whatever they like (Laundry Fairy, Aunt Nicole, Cinderella but Mary Poppins seems to fit me the most. The reasoning is my huge Kate Spade bag. I tend bring it on all my jobs and since then the name has just stuck.

Proudly I can say that I have helped over nineteen families in the past four years. I wish sometimes that I was over exaggerating but nope, I definitely counted and kept track over the years. Part time, full time, date nights, weekends, overnights, summertime, school break, you name it I’ve done it. All within my bubble of Orange County I know it all and I believe it’s time to share not only my secrets when it comes to taking care of children but what I have personally experienced and how I can relate to just about any guardian out there.

And yes I can relate! I range from early mornings before the sun gets up and late nights way beyond sunset. I basically have no life beyond those children and yet sometimes I prefer it that way. I might have missed out on some career path but I completely think that I was meant to do this (at least for the time being). It may seem sad yet I am totally okay with it because those children are basically brothers and sisters. They mean the ABSOLUTE world to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This isn’t a so called little black book on all the families I have helped (or is it?) No its an outlook on what nannying is like and from the perspective most don’t think about. I mean really think about it, the parents, guardians, relatives go about their day and leave me with their most precious person on the planet and yet some don’t even look back. But what happens when they leave? What happens when they return?

Going into detail about tips, tricks, and hacks, lets get started! Grab your umbrella because here we go!

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“Never judge things by their appearance..even carpetbags, I’m sure I never do.” – Mary Poppins

“Never judge things by their appearance..even carpetbags, I’m sure I never do.” – Mary Poppins

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I went into great thought about what to write about first and the fact of the matter is this blog is new. It’s my new baby, new adventure and job. I will be exploring it all and not in order of age nor event so try and keep up because we will move fast!

Lets fly up up and away!

But first lets expect the unexpected! (Or expected!)

You have a baby on the way! Congratulations to the new parents out there! Hats off to the current parents still holding on by a thread! You are expecting and going through a huge life change and with all the doctor appointments, and bed rest you have to find time to do it all and on top of it make a baby registry! I have noticed that most moms-to-be start making their baby registry checklist when they’re about 12 weeks along. That may seem early, but building a baby registry can take some time and effort and people don’t realize infant care tends to call for a fair amount of supplies. (Stuff they have never even thought about nor known about). But wait because I am here to help! After attending more than 8 baby showers I have an idea of what you need as I have seen them in many households over the years! Below are a list of products you shouldn’t leave out on that registry! (Note – They are not in order of relevance)

1. A car seat! You NEED a car seat to bring your new miracle home in and whats the best one? Personally, I believe you should be looking for a 3 in 1. Any car seat that can transition into 3 stages is worth every penny because if you think about it, it will save you time and money down the line when you need a new one. The baby grows fast and when he or she does, the car seat will need to adapt. You will need a rear facing car seat (5 lbs to 40 lbs), forward facing car seat (22 lbs to 65 lbs) and lastly a booster which holds 40 lbs to 100 lbs. But this one has it all! Didn’t think that much through did you? This is a great product to put on your registry as it tends to be a bit pricey and if your like most parents out there, you will want to get more than 2. This makes things much easier when the grandparents take over or nannies! From your first ride together coming home from the hospital to everyday soccer day car pools, the 3-in-1 Grow and Go Car Seat will give your child a safer and more comfortable ride for years to come!

Car Seat Link

2. A stroller! May seem easy and self explanatory but did you think about storage and where his or her future toys will go? Your groceries? Your daily coffee cup? I did! I went ahead and featured two strollers in which I highly suggest! If you already have one don’t forget to include the stroller organizer, it works wonders! Takes all that strain off your back and makes your stroller your new backpack on wheels! It will fit just about anything and everything from diapers, toys, bottles, your coffee, iPad books etc!

Stroller Link

Double Stroller Link

Stroller Organizer

3. A crib! Your baby will sleep sometimes! Once again I am set for the idea and thought about saving some dollars here going for the convertible crib! Yes, you didn’t think you could have a baby and convertible in the same year did you? Think again! Your child will grow up so fast and right before your eyes will need a new and bigger bed, again and again. This crib takes care of everything and gives the child a smooth transition considering it’s not going to be a change, it’s ideally the same bed!

Crib Link

4. Swaddles and Sleep Sacks! Time to get comfortable with a 3 in 1 swaddle. I personally love the Halo swaddles, not only are they soft and light but they are get for sleep training in the future! Your child will need a swaddle and sleep with their arms close to their body, one arm in one arm out and even hands to face at some point. The sleep sack swaddle will fit a newborn (6 -12 lbs) and small (13-18 lbs). Sleep sacks are also great for alittle bigger kids, the small will fit (10-18 lbs), medium (16-24 lbs), large (22-28 lbs), and XL (26-36 lbs.

Swaddle Link

5. Nail Clippers! Not just your ordinary nail clippers! These are fantastic for children! I personally am always terrified of cutting a child’s nails but these put my mind at ease. Especially when cutting a newborns nails, your risking cutting their nail too deep and worse case scenario, their skin. These nail clippers have a peek hole in which you can see exactly what your clipping! Great investment!

Nail Clipper Link

6. Safety products! Your child, or children will grow up so fast and without a doubt you shouldn’t question how smart they are going to be! Those safety gates and locks will not last long as they will be commited to opening everything they aren’t allowed to. I personally like these products, the first one is the cabinet magnets (they aren’t ideal to most families as I believe it’s one of the safest ones out there). The second product is what I call the “string locks” (very popular with families) but keep in mind with a few minutes the child can play around with them and see how they unlock.

Magnetic Cabinet Safety Link

Cabinet Safety Link

7. Diapers! When it doubt ALWAYS ask for diapers! You will use WAY more than expected! BUT don’t just ask for newborn sizes, once again keep in mind your child will grow and will need a bigger size sooner than you thought. For your shower ask for all sizes! I personally like Pampers however any brand is amazing! If interested, you can actually put on your registry a diaper subscription which saves you money (or the buyer) and an extra discount if you have an Amazon prime account (which I mean who doesn’t have one?!) The diaper subscription comes once a month and you can update the sizes before delivery!

Diaper Subscription Link

8. Breast pump! Of course only if you plan on breast feeding! Here is what I found most mommies use and love! You’ll realize the saying, “every drop counts” so find one you’ll fall in love with and help you provide for your little one! Keep in mind some insurances have special deals with breast pumps! Contact your insurance company for questions! I suggested two, one manual and one electric.

Manual Breast Pump Link

Electric Breast Pump Link

9. Diaper Genie! That nasty smell of diapers contained and confined in a trash can?! Sign me up! To avoid the standard diaper genie and the fancy blue diaper genie pail trash bags that cost a fortune, check out this genie and use regular glad trash bags! Saves you a ton because you better believe you will be changing out this genie at least every 2-3 days!

Diaper Genie Link

10. Baby carrier! Can’t avoid having one, trust me they are a game changer! For some, it’s a second crib! This carrier is super comfortable for both the adult and the baby and score its another 4-1 product! Use it for a facing in front narrow seat, facing in front wide seat for when the child gets bigger, facing out seat and a back carrying seat! Plus it includes a clever wonder cover 2 in 1 bib to protect your carrier and clothes, what more can you ask for?!

Baby Carrier Link

11. Bottle warmer! A must! The Dr. Brown Deluxe Baby Bottle Warmer is really convenient because its designed to accommodate all Dr. Brown bottles as well as most other baby brands!
However, you can totally get away with this if you aren’t looking to buy a warmer. One alternative that I have seen and used with families is making more use of that K Cup coffee machine! Believe it or not, it will save you time and money. In minutes it’s hot and ready to go. All you do is fill up the water container (as if you were going to brew some coffee) make sure there is no k cup in the machine already, close it up and hit the medium coffee button. This will filter it to only produce hot water. Place an empty mug under and make sure to only fill the mug halfway as you will need room to place in the bottle. Once it’s done place the milk in for a minute and done! Remember to test the bottle temperature before feeding the baby!

Baby Warmer Link

12. Baby monitor! I absolutely love this product! For many reasons but the main one is the camera can move from the monitor controller! I would constantly find myself in a household that the monitor controller doesn’t move and for whatever reason the camera in the set room would move and I wouldn’t notice until the child is asleep and I am outside the room. There is no way I would risk walking back into the room when an infant or child is sleeping and risk waking them up just to adjust the camera. This one is definitely thought out and better yet its expandable so go crazy and get one for the siblings room, playroom or living room. Lastly, one the of the features I admire is it notifies you of the set temperature in the room so you can be at ease knowing the child is comfortable and safe.

Baby Monitor Link

These of course are just a few items I would make sure make the cut of your list!