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!

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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.

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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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saturdays Brittany Cobb
Lives: Dallas, TX (Highland Park)
Family:
Husband Michael, Daughter Landry (2), Son Barrett (9 months)
You might know: Cobb Interiors residential design firm or The Dallas Flea, a quarterly curated indoor marketplace featuring vintage and one-of-a-kind things from Texas creatives.
Secret obsession: Flea markets (duh), hot dogs, and weekends at our lakehouse with no WiFi

brittany

7am:

Barrett wakes up chomping at the bit for a bottle. Landry catches wind in no time and soon we have a party of four in bed with Caillou streaming in the background.

8am:

The Nespresso machine is humming while I whip together Mickey Mouse shaped blueberry pancakes (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is king in our house). Meanwhile, Barrett is zipping around the kitchen in his walker like a mad man.

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9am:

Off for a walk in the Graco Ready2Grow double stroller to feed the ducks at Lakeside Park. Landry loves to stuff bread in her sparkly purple crossbody bag from Baby Bliss. Barrett passes out for a solid hour snooze.

10:30am:

Michael feeds Barrett the pureed version of last night’s dinner (spaghetti squash with ground turkey and tomatoes is a standby). Landry loves a messy art project so we head to the playroom for some finger paint and glitter fun.

11:30am:

Bathtime. The kids love to bathe together, especially when water toys and bubbles are involved.

12:30pm:

We’re nearing the witching hour so we opt for a quick kid-friendly lunch. Snuffers (best turkey burger and cheese fries) and La Duni (Latin joint with killer desserts) are faves. If there’s a flea market or festival in town, we go there for some fair food and market research for my business.

1:30pm:

The kids hit the hay at home. Michael watches football (go Longhorns!) while I catch up on client emails, the latest Elle Décor or stack of home catalogs. If it’s nice out, we’re in the cabana playing Gin Rummy with a cocktail.

3pm:

Michael and Barrett catch the second half of a football game while I take Landry to a play date or the park. We love Fairfax Park for its big shady trees and multiple swings. Landry is obsessed with swings so it’s nice that there’s almost always one free.

4pm:

Time for a Yumilicious frozen yogurt. Landry loves to top her vanilla-chocolate swirl with strawberries, rainbow sprinkles, and a pink animal cracker. I run by the grocery store in the same center for a few things to whip together dinner.

5pm:

We entertain at home several times a month. Landry helps me make queso, guacamole, and taco soup while Michael preps the bar (Barrett is usually in his turquoise Bumbo happily observing the chaos). Landry loves to help me set the table and cut palm fronds from the backyard for a simple centerpiece.

6pm:

Our friends arrive with their brood. The kids enjoy the Little Tikes Shady Jump ‘n Slide bounce house outside while the parents sip on jalapeno margaritas.

9pm:

We bid adieu to our buds, dress Landry and Barrett in their Old Navy zipper onesies, and put the kiddos to bed. It’s a good hour later than usual, but hey, it’s the weekend.

9:30pm:

We slip into our pajamas, pour a nightcap, and turn on a movie since we rarely get to the theater these days. Within the hour, one of us is usually asleep on the sofa.

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On Our Radar: October 23, 2014

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WHO: Parents of newborns that could use some zzzz’s.
WHAT: Meet Love To Dream’s Swaddle Up, the latest craze in baby straight jackets that keeps them in the ideal position to sleep and self soothe without being able to startle themselves awake. No LO is breaking out of this one.
WHEN: What are you waiting for – parents say it works.
WHERE: diapers.com

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WHO: Parents with a soft spot for cool kids threads.
WHAT: New line Izzy & Ferd bases each collection on exploring an environment, the first being 20,000 Leagues (under the sea).
WHEN: Warning – if you click, you will likely buy. It’s that cute.
WHERE: izzyandferd.com

WHO: Expecting moms who want to exercise in the privacy of their own home.
WHAT: Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful – the workout Lily Aldridge swears by – has just launched a prenatal series of streaming routines to keep pregnant women in shape.
WHEN: Now. (You’ll thank yourself later.)
WHERE: balletbeautiful.com

WHO: Pregnant women who need a cravings fix.
WHAT: Hatch and Mouth have joined forces to create Hatch Cravings, artisanal treats that will satisfy penchants for sweet, salty, and sour.
WHEN: Before it hits you at 3am and there’s nothing in the house that will suffice!
WHERE: mouth.com

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stroller resurrection

Your stroller is a means of transportation (just like a bike or car) and it can get all gunked up and slow you down if you don’t take care of it. A random squeak, a sticky brake, or a folding issue is likely from build-up of dirt, sand, salt, hair, raisins, and Cheddar Bunnies.

Thankfully, Sam Osborne from Uppababy happens to be a stroller mechanic of sorts (on top of her day job as a marketing exec), and in most cases, she says stroller woes can be fixed with a good DIY tune-up.

Here are her instructions for solving the most common ailments.

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The Problem:

Baby vommed all over
the stroller.

What You Need:

To start, a strong stomach and plenty of patience. BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or laundry detergent.

What To Do:

Remove fabric from stroller seat (check that manual and pre-treat with BuggyLove or laundry detergent, soak completely. Wash in machine on delicate (as long as you have a front loader machine – if not, handwash) and hang dry immediately.

Pro Tip:

Make sure the fabric dries thoroughly before putting back on stroller, otherwise you run the risk of mold developing.

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The Problem:

A squeaky wheel is driving
you batshit!

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller Lubricant, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease (any hardware store will have)

What To Do:

Remove wheels and wipe clean of any dirt, grit, or salt (the worst culprit). Place a dose of Buggylove Wheel Love, Vaseline, or White Lithium Grease on the wheel shaft and reinsert into stroller.

Pro Tip:

Fixes it almost every time.

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The Problem:

Urine has seeped into the seat and it smells
like you’re pushing a fire hydrant.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat cleaner or laundry detergent and Nature’s Miracle Laundry Boost

What To Do:

Wash thoroughly either by hand or on delicate in a front loader machine. Nature’s Miracle works, well, miracles on urine smells and stains.

Pro Tip:

The smells hang around only when fabric is not completely dried, so be sure it dries thoroughly.

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The Problem:

All of a sudden, it feels like you’re pushing uphill even
on flat surfaces.

What You Need:

Elbow grease.

What To Do:

1. Remove all the wheels and make sure there’s no obstruction (refer to your manual on how to remove the wheels). Balloon strings are often the culprit here. 2. Brake mechanisms get filled with gunk. It’s usually a pin that comes out of a tiny hole to stop the wheel. When that hole is filled, you’ve got trouble, so clean it out. 3. Does your stroller have air filled tires? You may just need a quick inflate using a bike pump or the air pump at a gas station to get the job done.

Pro Tip:

One of these 3 things fixes the problem 95% of the time. If you do all 3 and are still having issues, call the manufacturer.

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The Problem:

The brakes are not so trusty. Safety is at risk!

What You Need:

wd-40 or forced air at the gas station (for chemical-free cleaning)

What To Do:

Most brake issues are due to build-up of dirt, sand, and other elements. Remove the back wheels (refer to your manual). Spray the brake housing (in tune-up speak, that’s the metal shaft where the wheel slides into the base) liberally with wd-40 (or forced air) and let it clean out the area. Hit the brake several times while the wheels are off. Place your back wheels back on, and brake should be good as new.

Pro Tip:

It’s a good idea to do this twice a year as a preventative measure.

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The Problem:

There are sunscreen stains all over the canopy.

What You Need:

BuggyLove Stroller and Carseat Cleaner or Dawn Liquid soap

What To Do:

If you opt for BuggyLove, shake the bottle well and squirt right on the stain, for Dawn pre-treat the spot then soak the whole canopy.

Pro Tip:

Mold is the enemy, so make sure it dries completely.

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The Problem:

The locking clip that holds the collapsed stroller together is broken!

What You Need:

bungee cord, carabiner, or zip tie

What To Do:

In a pinch hold it all together with any of the above until you can get a replacement locking clip from the manufacturer.

Pro Tip:

Ideally this is a short-term solution.

If DIY is not your thing, stroller tune-up businesses are launching left and right. Here are some of our favorites.

Stroller Spa

Clean Bee Baby

Baby Bubbles

Clean My Buggy Boo

Sudsy Buggy

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