The Ins & Outs of Overnight Nannies

Sometimes work, anniversaries and far away friends call us to travel sans kids and leave the question “Who will stay with my children?”

Cue your nanny to the rescue.

Often, I get asked “Do people really do that?” referring to nannies who don’t mind spending a few nights in someone else’s house to care for their children. Any nanny who feels connected to the family she works for, usually doesn’t mind working overtime in order for the parents to have some time to themselves or travel for work.  Parents return refreshed and happier, kids have a fun stay-cation and the nanny gets extra income plus a fun experience with the kids. Everyone wins.

How do I pay for overnights?

There are a lot of answers out there for this but I find that the easiest way to approach overnight needs is to pay a flat fee for the time period the kids will be (or should be) asleep.  This rate is dependent upon the age of children and bedtimes.  If you have busy toddlers who will keep the nanny working past 9pm and potentially up throughout the night, factor that in and pay on the higher side. If your kids are older and more self sufficient at bedtime and you’re paying her to make sure they don’t burn the house down, the flat rate can be lower.  Remember that your nanny will still be working after your children are in bed:  cleaning up the house, doing laundry or other tasks that need to be done, and preparing for the next day. The average rate  is $75-$150 for the overnight period (typically 9pm-7am).


Maybe you’re invited to a can’t miss wedding out of state and need the nanny Friday-Sunday, you should take into consideration if this will make for one really long week for the nanny.  If she worked 40+ hours Monday through Friday and you plan to be gone the entire weekend, factor that into her rate.  If your kids have a vibrant social calendar, make sure to leave behind everything needed for the birthday parties, play dates and sporting events. It doesn’t hurt to have the fridge stocked as well.


Sometimes getaways aren’t planned by you but by your employer and it happens to be at the same time your spouse is visiting their parents, so you’ll need someone to get the kids to and from school. If your nanny currently only works as an after school nanny, you may need to consider having her “on call” while you are away in order to have her available the entire day.  Some families will pay the nanny her normal hourly rate while the kids are at school to ensure she is available for any reason.  The nanny can run errands for you during this time and act as  a household manager.

What if I don’t have a nanny?

Maybe your children attend after school programs and you do not have regular childcare in the home but find yourself needing overnight care, use an overnight nanny.  I strongly recommend hiring this individual first as a permanent sitter.  who you will regularly use for date nights and also someone who is responsible, experienced and available for overnight care. Olive.You.Nanny is  happy to help you find the perfect person to meet your overnight childcare needs!


Keys to a Successful Nanny/Stay at Home Parent Relationship


Photo from Google Images

It is becoming more common to work from home these days. This can be an awkward and difficult situation for parents and nannies. For the parents, they may be unsure about when they need to step back and let the nanny handle the situation and vice versa for the nanny. It can also be difficult for the children to understand. Do they listen to mom or dad? Or do they listen to the nanny? What if the parents and nanny are saying different things? The lines can get blurred and it’s best to set up rules and boundaries before the nanny starts.

 Parents should create a private workspace.

If the parents are working on their laptop in the middle of the kitchen where the children and nanny are playing, the children will be less likely to take direction from the nanny. It’s much easier for the child to go ask mom or dad for help if they’re near by. Not only is this distracting to the parent who is working, but it’s awkward for the nanny to know when they should and should not step in.

 Create a “Do Not Disturb” rule.

Parents should set aside some hours where they are able to work in a separate room and will not be disturbed by the nanny and children—unless of course there is an emergency. Treat this undisturbed time as if the parent was actually out of the home and away at work. Out of sight, out of mind! This will help the children learn to respect the nanny as an authoritative figure and not just someone who came over to play while mom or dad is home.

Respect the child’s schedule.

-If the child’s naptime is at 11:00am and the parent knows how difficult naptime can be, it would be best to stay out of sight while the nanny puts the child to sleep. Again, out of sight, out of mind! If mom or dad is near by during this time, the children will be less inclined to follow the nannies instructions.

Get the children out of the house.

Getting the children out of the house will not only greatly improve the parent’s work schedule but also the nannies. Now that there is only one authoritative figure in charge, the children know whom they’re supposed to listen to. Alone time will also help the children and nanny create a special bond.

 Communication is key.

Setting up these boundaries before the nanny starts working is a great way to clear the blurred lines. And it is never too late to set up some new rules! Both ends will appreciate some clarity for this sometimes-awkward situation.

Olive.You.Nanny Explores the City!

Being a large city, Chicago has a lot to offer families and young ones year round! We wanted to highlight some of our favorites during this season. Each neighborhood in the city has their own parks, but why not venture out to a new big park! Have you visited the Maggie Daley Park this year? If not, we encourage you to bring your little ones to check out the new park and recreation center while the weather is nice! With it’s underwater theme it offers multiple play spaces: The Sea (ages 5-12), The Watering Hole (ages 2-5), The Harbor (ages 2-5), Enchanted Forest (all ages), Wave Lawn (all ages), and Slide Crater (5-12 years old).  Maggie Daley Park is a great place to explore, meet new friends, and have space to run! It’s a fun way to spend your afternoon and admission is free! They are open daily from 6am-11pm.

Another spot that continues to be a great source of nature, exploration, and education is Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. This is a museum in Chicago that often gets overlooked by visitors, but we applaud them for their kid friendly atmosphere! Be sure to head over in the next couple weeks to check out their new and temporary exhibits: The Secrets of Bees & BUGS: Outside the Box! While visiting take a look at their Butterfly Haven, Hands-on Habitat, RiverWorks, Nature’s Lunchbox, & Micole Birdwalk exhibits. Along with their exhibits, they offer education and fun programs & classes for children and family during the week and weekends. After visiting the Nature Museum, take a walk to the neighboring Lincoln Park Zoo to explore more of nature’s beauty!