Q: I'm a new mom, and my experienced nanny sometimes refuses to follow my direction because she disagrees with my decisions. What should I do?

A: Of course an inexperienced mom is going to be a bit intimidated by a nanny who presumably has had years of experience caring for babies. If you hired the right nanny, she does have a great deal of knowledge about newborn babies, and she can teach you a lot. But don't forget that you can claim the one thing that she, with all her years of experience, cannot. You are the mother of the child, and your own maternal wisdom counts for a lot. Listen to what she has to say, consider it, but in the end you must trust your own intuition and your own values. If something she suggests does not feel right to you, don't do it! For instance, she may tell you that, based on her 20 years of experience, it's best that the new baby be put on a fixed eating schedule as soon as possible. Yet, your gut tells you to trust baby's own hunger cues. First, thank her for her advice. Let her know that you appreciate her input, but explain that in this case you want to follow your instinct. You could even inject a bit of humor, explaining that a mother has to be free to make her own mistakes! After all, how can we grow as parents if not by making mistakes and then learning from them? If she still insists on doing things her way, then it may be time to consider parting ways.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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