Best age for nanny shares?

I'm seeking advice about nanny shares for infants. I'm a first time single mother and my son is 4 months old. I am thinking about going from my nanny to a nanny share when he turns six months old. However, I believe in contact napping so I don't know if this would work with another baby his age. Infants also have higher needs, being less independent than toddlers. I also don't know if it's over stimulating for him to be out and about (zoo, parks, museums, etc.) so much like a toddler needs. What do you all suggest in terms of the ideal age for the other baby in my situation? 

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I think if you feel strongly your baby should contact nap, a nanny share isn’t a good situation. It’s not really fair to the other kid to have the nanny much less available while your baby is napping, unless it’s a crib-napping baby whose nap times and lengths align. 


Nannyshares are typically set up with children of similar ages to be on the same nap schedule and work on similar developmental milestones and interests. It's tough for a nanny to juggle different nap schedules and never get a break during the day, but some don't mind. It can also be tough on the kids not to have a predictable routine (especially once they are older and develop more set schedules).

A successful infant share for you could look like a few things: maybe the other baby is already a reasonably independent sleeper and can be put down easily, or the other baby will fall asleep in the stroller while your LO contact naps in a carrier. You also have to consider that your baby (or the nannyshare baby)'s needs will shift over time, and be willing to trial/error different things as they grow (for example, my LO was a happy contact napper in the carrier up until about a year old, and then would no longer nap in the carrier because it was too distracting). Every baby is different - I think it'll depend more on their personality and temperament than their age (which is also a moving target!).

It depends on what you/your nanny is willing to do/try, and what the parents want for their kids. With a nannyshare, there are many more factors and some amount of chaos to accept since you have to accommodate another child/family's needs in the relationship no matter how old they are. Hope this offers some helpful insight, and good luck!


Hiya, I am in the same situation and we are looking at a nanny share with a 9mo old for our 4mo and that age difference seems more aligned to me. I hear you about different needs at different ages, though when your babe is 1 or so they'd be able to do more out and about. I know you will find what is right for your comfort level and what is best for you babe. And if contact naps are important to you, I bet you can find a nanny who can offer that for part or all of the naps you want for them. Good luck! 


Depending on the nanny you find for the share, they may prefer similarly aged children. Our son started a nanny share at 6 months with another 6-month-old and it was perfect. The nanny took them out for neighborhood walks and to the park, and the occasional story time at the local library. Our son was more physically developed (sitting up, rolling over, and crawling), the other more vocally developed (verbalizing beyond coos), and we feel they pushed each other in their mutual development. At about 15 months we had to find a new nanny share (the other family moved abroad the nanny wanted to start with a new set of younger children/babies) and this time it was with a child 6-months younger, and despite the age difference, our son and the other child get along very well and the nanny takes them around to all the local parks, community centers, and libraries. 

I hope this helps.


I am not familiar with contact napping so can’t speak to that but I assume, from the sounds of it, that it would be very challenging for a nanny to continue with that is she is responsible for caring for two babies. In general, I think both parents and nannies find it advantageous to have the two children around the same age - born within 3-4 months of each other. As your child transitions from three naps to two, and two naps to one, it is really helpful if the other child is on a similar schedule. But in your case, you may want to find a nanny first to make sure they can meet your needs with regard to contact napping, and then speak with them about the ideal age gap from their point of view. If your existing nanny is open to a nanny share, that might be a good place to start.


Hi there! My baby was a contact napper as well. I loved it (mostly!) but when we experimented with a nanny share for a semester it was definitely too much to ask. The nanny was able to put her to sleep in a carrier and then lay her down fairly easily after about 10-15minutes which was a workable compromise you may want to consider. 

Normally nanny shares include similar aged babies at similar milestones and schedules. 
Good luck!