We've had a nanny come to our home 4 days a week since my wife returned to work when our son was 6 months old, about 6 weeks ago. Our son seems to get along with the nanny overall, but he frequently cries uncontrollably and wants mom or dad to hold him. I work from home most of the time, and my wife works from home half of the time, so we hear this and can’t get anything done. I don’t intervene immediately when I hear crying, but I do intervene when the crying just goes on and on. We have tried various methods to help our son cope with the separation anxiety, such as spending time with him and the nanny in the morning before we leave and telling him that we are leaving for work. The nanny tries various methods to calm him down, such as listening to music, playing with toys, singing, walking around, or reading books, but nothing seems to work. The problem is getting worse.
Any ideas as to how we can help our son adjust? My wife is considering quitting her job because of this.
I had the same problem when I went back to work. My DD was 9 months old and both my husband and I work from home part time. It was horrible. Her crying made me so upset that I just couldn't work. One thing that really helped was asking the nanny to take DD out for a walk. She would stop crying in 2 minutes. Being out of the house was great for her. Sometimes she would fall asleep in the stroller and the nanny would keep her outside (we have great weather most of the year). This just became a routine. She got used to the nanny and really likes her now, but it took almost 2 months for that to happen. Now DD is 14 months and still has a bit of a hard time when the nanny gets to the house (because she knows I will disappear) but things are a lot better. I think you need to find ways to distract your baby. For my DD, it has to be a major change in scenery or it won't work. I also found that it is better if I leave the house and go work in a coffee shop for a few hours.
I second the advice to go outside. I have three children and have always been able to get them to stop crying just by stepping outside. The change of environment gets their attention. Another tool I use is the vacuum cleaner...maybe not ideal for your situation and your nanny might think it's nuts :) but it does make them snap out of it and calm down.
I have been there as I went back to work when my first baby was 5 months and my husband worked from home. It was hellish for all of us as our baby was classic high needs and our babysitter ended up quitting, I reduced my appointment to part time and found a new babysitter to help out for those reduced hours. This went much better for us. I am really sorry that you're going through this and I really hope things improve for you soon.
Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang , born 11/17/12