Choosing a nanny can be a daunting process at the best of times. It’s one thing to hire any given professional to help out with any aspect of everyday life, but when you’re technically inviting something of an honorary new family member to come and join the household in the most intimate manner possible, the prospect is wholly more terrifying. The good news is of course that if you make the right choice, a good nanny has the potential to revolutionise the family’s way of life for every hour of every day that follows. Of course, making the right choice can be easier said than done – especially if it happens to be your first experience in doing so.

According to the experts at RockMyBaby, it has in fact never been easier to make the right decision and to take on the services of a simply superb nanny. In fact, more often than not it’s a case of one or two common mistakes leading to poor decision making, which if avoided have a tendency to make everything else fall into place naturally.

So, if the time has come to cast the net and find that new nanny, here’s a quick look at the five most common mistakes you could do with avoiding at all costs:

1 – Not Using an Agency

First and foremost, the web is packed to bursting point these days with fantastic agencies and services created for the sole purpose of pairing families with the very best nannies from all over the country. In the best instances, each nanny will have been vetted, verified and at least to some extent put through their paces in order to establish their merit. By using these agencies, you effectively cut right through the market’s less-desirable nannies and find yourself with the pick of the crop. By contrast, go it alone and you’re technically rolling the dice with fate as you’ve no way of knowing whether the nannies you’re considering are in any way up to scratch.

2 – Not Checking References

There are so many occasions when a family is so bowled over by a nanny’s CV and personality at interview that they don’t bother checking their reference. This is always, ALWAYS a bad idea as what comes across on the surface may not in fact be the reality of the situation. It’s not a case of being cynical and it’s only fair to say that everyone has a past, but in the interests of your family’s happiness and indeed safety in general, you must check references every time.

3 – No Trial Period

One of the most important tips of all offered by professional nanny agencies the world over is to always organise a temporary no-strings-attached trial with any given nanny prior to taking them on full time. The reason being that once you’ve given them the job, you might find yourself struggling to come to terms with the fact that you’ve made a bad decision only to then ‘grin and bear it’ indefinitely. By contrast, if you agree to their services for a month, two months or even a fortnight just to see how they perform, you’re under no obligation…moral or otherwise…to continue using their services long term. It’s a simple insurance policy you should always implement in everyone’s best interests.

4 – Rushing Your Decision

It really doesn’t matter how fast you think you need to take on a nanny, one of the worst things you can do is rush your decision. If you don’t take enough time to consider every point in detail, there’s a very strong chance that you will find yourself staring down the barrel of a terrible decision and one you only have yourself to blame for. It just isn’t worth it – especially if you’re on the lookout for a nanny for a long-term job with the family, as opposed to just a temporary post.

5 – Ignoring Your Gut

Last but not least, it really doesn’t matter if a nanny has an incredible track record, glowing feedback and gushing references by the dozen – you still have to go with your gut. If you get the feeling that for whatever the reason they are not a good fit for your family, it’s a risk not worth taking – look elsewhere. The simple fact of the matter is that you’ll be spending too much time with them and giving them access to too much of your life not to be completely happy with them from day one. So, if your gut tells you there’s something in any way imperfect, this isn’t the nanny for you.