A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Nanny

Well, it’s the beginning of a new week for me.

My life can get a little crazy sometimes as a working mom, but that’s just about everyone’s life, isn’t it? Being a mom of a toddler is tough as it is and adding in a full-time job taking care of a second toddler may seem insane. But this is what I’ve chosen to do with my life! I am a full-time nanny for another family, and I know I am extremely fortunate to be able to bring my own toddler with me every day.

Here’s how a typical day in our crazy world goes!

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My first alarm goes off. I don’t need to leave until 8 so I’ll check Melanie’s video monitor to see if she is still sleeping. If she is, I’ll doze until my second alarm goes off at 6:30. This morning I stayed in bed until about 6:50 before I finally got up to shower. Melanie was just starting to wake up at that time, but she is happy in her crib for a while first thing in the morning.

Whose alarm list doesn’t look like this?

After I’ve showered, it’s time to get Melanie up. We recently switched her to sippy cups only instead of bottles for milk and she isn’t liking it very much. Our doctor recommended doing it when she turned one, but she just wasn’t ready. I get her a cup of milk, warm it up just like I would for a bottle and go into her room. I have the same routine for her every morning so I thought if I didn’t waver from that, the transition to a cup would go a lot easier.

I was wrong.

I open her curtains, turn off her white noise (we just use a fan) and humidifier, and turn on her small lamp. We always make her bed before I take her out and then we sit and have a morning snuggle while she drinks her milk. Since she isn’t drinking her milk very well now, that snuggle time has gotten pretty short. After snuggle time, we move on to getting her dressed for the day.


Whether Melanie has taken the time to drink her milk or not, we are usually done getting her ready to go by this time. I am usually starving first thing in the morning, so I like to make myself an easy breakfast before we head out the door. Lately I have been making myself fried sweet potatoes and two scrambled eggs. I usually have a glass of almond milk or a cup of tea with it and I’m good until lunch!

While my breakfast is cooking, I start packing our bags. I typically bring Melanie’s diaper bag along with a second bag that holds our food for the day. We make dinner each day with lunch for the next day in mind, so lunch is usually already put together for me. For Melanie, I’ll grab chicken nuggets or meatballs, a vegetable (she LOVES broccoli and carrots right now), a cheese stick, and some sort of fruit. When we are all packed up, I check the clock.

See what else Melanie loves to eat here!

In the winter, I try to start my car around 7:45 so it will be warm by the time we leave at 8, but that’s not necessary during the summer. If I have a few extra minutes before it’s time to leave, I like to unload the dishwasher from the night before or pick up the kitchen a little.


Time to leave! We both put on our shoes (or coats and boots if necessary) and head to the car. I usually take the bags out first, so I don’t have to worry about trying to handle Melanie in the driveway while getting our stuff in the car. Once she is loaded up, we head out.

It takes less than 30 minutes to get to work, but I like to leave a little extra time for the inevitable traffic – we usually get to my employer’s house just before 8:30.


By this time, both parents have usually left for work, so it is breakfast time for the kiddos. The little boy I take care of, Bart, is 7 1/2 months older than Melanie. Since I bring her food for the day and he eats food from his own house, they typically eat different things for every meal, but that’s not usually a problem. They both love food time so there is no fighting to get them to eat. Bart has a yogurt and a cereal bar or peanut butter toast, and Melanie has been loving cottage cheese with a cereal bar.

After breakfast, it’s play time! We hang out in the living room/dining room for the whole morning so that all the toys stay semi-contained. I close the doors to the kitchen and sunroom and use the furniture to block off the things I don’t let the kids play with (the record player, guitars, and Bluetooth speaker).

Right around 11:50 I let the kids know it’s time to clean up and they know that means it’s lunch time! More food! I pick up the majority of the toys but make piles of specific things for the kiddos to clean up. I have Bart put the wooden puzzles back together, which he loves to do anyway. Melanie is younger but she can still help, so I usually have her put all the blocks back in the bucket. She is very stubborn so sometimes it takes a while.


Lunch time for everyone! As soon as the living room is put back together, they run out to the kitchen. Melanie runs to her chair and asks to get up, and Bart is getting pretty good at climbing into his chair by himself. I warm up their lunches, make sure they have water and everything they need, then warm up my own lunch. Some days they are done eating fairly quickly so we have 30-40 minutes to kill before nap time, but other days Melanie is still eating at 12:45. Either way, when they are both done, I let them run off and play while I clean up the kitchen. Most days that means unloading and reloading the dishwasher, wiping down all the counters, and washing their trays and bibs.


The best part of the day for everybody – naptime. They love nap time which is great for me! We make sure to grab any stuffed animals they need for naps and then head upstairs. Melanie sleeps in a pack n play in the office and Bart sleeps in his crib in his bedroom. The routine is the same for both kids – close the shades, turn on the sound machines, get pacifiers, and go to sleep.

After they are both in bed, I have time to do whatever I want, like write this post! Some days if I’m really tired, I’ll take a nap in the guest room, but most days I watch Netflix or browse through Pinterest.

Melanie usually wakes up around 3-3:30 so I get her up and warm up her cup of milk. This is the same cup as in the morning if she didn’t drink it. If she doesn’t drink it the second time around, it goes down the drain. She usually drinks 2-3 ounces from her cup, which is less than half what she will drink from a bottle.

Bart wakes up around 3:30-4 and Melanie and I go upstairs and get him up. We bring him his cup of cold milk (he doesn’t like his warmed up) and he sucks the whole thing down. Lately, Melanie has been insisting on carrying it upstairs to him and handing it to him herself! We stay in his room and play with the toys up there until Bart’s dad gets home at 6.


Time to go home! When Bart’s dad gets home, he comes upstairs because he knows we are in Bart’s room. We say our hellos and the babies give him hugs and kisses and we discuss the day. We go downstairs, I start my car, get us ready to go, and we head out.

When we get home it’s time for Melanie to eat dinner. Noah is home before us most days so he will help out by warming up her dinner and getting her in her chair. While she is eating dinner, I make food for me and Noah. Melanie is almost always done eating before our food is ready, but we don’t worry about making sure we all eat together right now.

After Melanie is done with dinner, she wants to play with her daddy. She is a full-blown daddy’s girl and she hasn’t seen him all day! They run around in her bedroom and play with her Duplos or Megablocks and I clean up the kitchen while I cook. This is the time I take to reload the dishwasher and wipe everything down. Some nights it doesn’t get finished, depending on what’s happening with Melanie or how tired I am, but I try. It helps the mornings run a bit smoother if the kitchen is already cleaned up from the night before.


Melanie’s bedtime. If she has had a long day, took an extra short nap, or if we have to work early the next day, we will put her in bed at 7. She loves going to bed just as much as she loves everything else in her life. We get her in her pajamas, close her curtains, turn on her humidifier and white noise, and make sure she has her bedtime essentials – pacifier, Scout, piggy, and giraffe.

After Melanie is tucked in, we get our dinner and sit down to watch Netflix while we eat. Bad habit, I know, but it works for us. We’ve been really into­­­ Nailed It lately! We typically watch Netflix until 9:30ish and then go to bed. Gotta do it all again tomorrow!

That is a typical day in my life! Of course, things are subject to change depending on whether I have a day off or things to do after work, but the life we live is one I love. I get to spend the day with my daughter while bringing home a paycheck. I couldn’t ask for more!