The Nanny Cheat $heet

You’ve already got the ins-and-outs of hiring a nanny – and maybe you already have one you adore. Then why – even when you lovelovelove her and you two talk about everything – can conversations about money feel so awkward? It’s usually because you don’t have a point of reference, says Erica Komisar, co-founder of Nannies Who Know, which trains and places nannies in New York. Her ballpark figures for hourly rates, raises and bonuses will help – and please, add your rules of thumb in the comments!


A few things to
keep in mind:

Generosity will never go unnoticed.

There are a few things that make a difference to your nanny and don’t cost you a lot:
1. If you’re in NYC and commute via subway, share a monthly unlimited MetroCard – doubles its use and costs you nothing extra since you would purchase anyway.
2. Add them to your family mobile plan.
3. Ask what they like to eat and keep it stocked at your house, so they don’t have to buy/bring lunch.

Always negotiate these things in advance. It’s good for both parties to have clear expectations and ensures a healthy relationship long-term.


The going rate

Prices are for NY, LA and SF. In other cities, rates will be less.
Hourly: $15 – $18 starting rate for one child; $18 – $21 for two.
Overnight: $50 – $75 flat rate from kids’ bedtime to wake up.
You’re late getting home: Same hourly rate, but round up. I.e. pay a full hour even if you’re just 15 late.
Comes on vacation with you: Additional $50 – $75 per night + all meals + regular rate for any days that fall on a weekend.
Birthday: $50 – $100 or the day off
Holiday gift/bonus: Small gift + 1 – 2 weeks pay as a bonus (depending on how happy you are with them).
Typical Raise after year 1: $1/hour
Typical Raise after year 2: $1/hour
Second child: Additional $3/hour

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I’m a FTM, EBF my 8-week LO (actually NAK at the moment) and have a semi-embarrassing question: LAM is a real thing, right (not an OWT)? Because we DTD once, and I’m worried I may be PG again already. Have not POAS. It would be impossible to get a BFP, right? RIGHT?! WM on ML freaking out here. TIA.

Welcome to the MMB (mommy message board). Not only must you learn to interpret the unique cries of your baby, but those of your fellow mamas. And they also speak in code. Keep handy this mile-long list of acronyms to translate the beautiful craziness that is the MMB. While it can be a wealth of knowledge, consider yourself warned, it’s a serious rabbit hole.


attachment parenting


birth control (what reading a mommy board will drive you to)


big fat negative (on the stick)



big fat positive (on the stick)


breast milk (we gotcha there, huh?)


controlled crying (a sleep method)


cloth diaper


cry it out (aka hell on earth)


dairy allergy


dear daughter


dear husband


dear son


did the deed (isn’t “sex” just as easy to spell?)


exclusively breastfeeding


expressed breast milk


elimination communication (we had to wiki that one too)


formula feeding


first time mom


Lactational Amenorrhea Method (natural birth control while breastfeeding)


little one




maternity leave


mommy message board


nursing at keyboard


old wives tale




pee on a stick


postpartum depression


Resources for Infant Educarers (the parenting method all the LA moms follow)


stay at home mom


thanks in advance (the universal sign-off on the MMB)


trying to conceive


vaginal birth after cesarean


work at home mom


working mom


what you’ll say after reading this list

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When former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg named Rachel Sterne the city’s first chief digital officer, jaws dropped.

Was it her age – 27 – no, that comes with the digital territory. Her sex? Sure – a woman in the tech world is too rare – and a woman running it is downright refreshing. But how about this girl’s impeccable style and unassuming confidence as a key accessory? Now that we could get used to.

Married to a handsome Belgian-born tech entrepreneur and living in Bushwick (!), Rachel Haot has a new gig working with Governor Andrew Cuomo to improve the lives of NYers via technology at the state level. Imagine a that offers live updates during an emergency and can help you renew your drivers license in a few clicks. With the Made In NY initiative, she’s supporting tech-company growth by making it easier to open new businesses, thus creating more jobs. But her work also includes hyperlapsing the Dannijo presentation – hey, they’re an NYC business, too!

Here, Rachel tells us how to stay stylish in the public sector and about her six-month-old Jack Alphonse Mars Haot, who obviously has a few stories behind his name. Meet Rachel!


Pregnancy Uniform

I work in a very conservative office, and somehow I found that a lot of my non-maternity shift dresses actually worked. When they couldn’t stretch any further, I relied on Rosie Pope – I wore her pieces to speaking engagements and meetings, and always felt appropriate and comfortable.

Great Advice

Don’t read any of the parenting books! And if you do, take it with a grain of salt – they can really stress you out. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to fit into molds or setting impossible expectations, just trust your instincts. When the parents are happy, baby is happy.

Daycare vs. Nanny

I had a really hard time deciding on childcare, but we ended up at a daycare that’s absolutely the right option for us and our needs. It’s convenient and a sustainable solution long-term for us. My advice is to go for the least stressful option that you’re able to support long-term.

First 3 Months Lifesavers

1. The Brooklyn HUI listserv is like a support group for moms. You can find everything from a pediatrician to hand-me-downs, and it’s going on all hours of the night, so you never feel alone when you’re feeding at 2am. 2. FlyCleaners – this app saved me! They do laundry pickup and drop-off anytime between 6am and midnight. 3. The BabyBjorn carrier was a revelation when I realized I could do anything when he was in there. I would put him in and even clean the house. Plus, babywearing is such a nice way to bond.

The Name Game

Jack is my maternal grandfather’s name, and he inspired my interest in the public sector, so I wanted to honor that. He was a union organizer, fought for worker’s rights, and later on devoted himself to helping the developmentally disabled – he’s a great example of the impact one person can have on the world.

My husband’s maternal grandfather was named Alphonse, and he was a Belgian fighter in the resistance during WWII, which was a very dangerous thing to do. He built his family’s home with his own two hands, and my husband has always looked up to him.

Mars is a reference to the greek god and obviously the planet and sort of represents the potential out there in the world for our son. I thought it was a crazy name, but there’s tons of Mars in Brooklyn!

Back to Work

The most surprising thing about going back to work is that having a baby made me more productive and better at managing and delegating projects.


I got a lot of great advice from female executives that I look up to when I became a mom. They were supportive and essentially it came down to: Focus on finding the right balance for you at that particular moment in your life. Nothing is static, there is never a perfect time, but you will figure it out.

Blissful Moment

We spent some time on Long Island with my family recently, and we went for a walk in Hither Hills State Park in Montauk on this beautiful, special walk next to Napeague Harbor. It was an overcast day with my father, my husband, Jack in the backpack, and my parents’ dog Gracie – Jack looked entranced by everything around him. It was such a wonderful moment.

3 Hours Alone

You would definitely find me at a Jivamukti yoga class. I’ve yet to figure out how to do that regularly with a baby.

Can’t Buy Enough Of

Hipp Organic formula and Bambo diapers.

There’s An App For That

I loved My Baby’s Beat because I could hear his heartbeat between doctor’s visits. And Diapers is our savior since it’s not easy to buy everything in stores where we are in Brooklyn.

QT With Grandparents

My husband’s family is in France, so we FaceTime, Google Hangout, or Skype with them all the time. It’s amazing how special that experience is, even though they are so far away.

Hanging In The Neighborhood

We live next door to Roberta’s, and the first wave is a lot of babies, so it’s fun to meet up with friends for dinner. It’s known for the pizza, which is always delicious, but I also love their scrambled eggs and homemade bread, and anything fresh from their garden. Fitzcarraldo has outdoor seating and we love bringing him there. Vinny is the chef, and he makes an incredible farinata, a chickpea pancake that comes with fresh tomato and cheese.Those are our two favorite local spots!

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