Nina Naustdal is talking cobblers. Actual cobblers, of the shoemaker kind - although the other meaning is surely true, too. She's explaining why every mum should have a trusty person who comes to the house to measure the kids for handmade shoes.

If you are facing the prospect of a long queue in the Clarks Back To School department-from-hell today, then you might want to take a deep breath here, but let's hear her out.

How the rich outsource childcare

Why would a small child possibly need handmade shoes? "Because it's such fun for them to be involved in the design process you get with bespoke," she says. "To have someone make something specifically for them is unique. My son has been wearing his latest pair all summer and no one else in London or Monaco or the South of France has anything like them. They make him feel special. I'd definitely recommend it."


What does a pair of bespoke handmade shoes cost, either in London or, er, Monaco? She has no idea. "You can find out from my PA," she says, presumably working under the theory that if you have to fret about such things then you can't afford it.

Nina is one of the mums featured on a jaw-dropping documentary called Too Posh To Parent, which focuses on how the super-rich deal with the daily challenges of child-rearing.

These are parents who struggle to deal with the challenges one gets when jet-setting lifestyles, 47-bedroom homes and children collide. And my, what solutions they have found to problems most of us didn't even know existed.

Step into a world of not just nannies, tutors and cleaners, but of Ninja Nannies who combine childcare with martial arts lessons and SAS experience, and super-tutors with PhD qualifications - Lego tuition optional. The cost? Anything up to £1,000 - an hour. Then there are the vegan-specialising chefs who also know how to meditate and ski.

This is a giddying, gaudy world where money can buy you anything. And that goes from someone to potty-train your child for £2,000, to a personal portrait painter or a music teacher who will pitch up with a £7 million instrument on which little Johnny can play Twinkle Twinkle.

It's a world where teams of PAs are employed to co-ordinate playdates, homework supervisors are de rigueur and parents boast about not having to get their hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of family life.

One father even boasts that he's never changed a nappy in his life. When another child came along, he just hired another nanny, he says.

It's a different world to the one most of us inhabit, and one that will doubtless have you wanting to chuck a (non-bespoke) shoe at the screen.

So how does Nina, who keeps telling me "my children are my world", feel about being the star of a show called Too Posh To Parent?

"Well it wasn't called that when I agreed to take part," she says, hesitantly. "But I've always been honest about the fact I have a busy lifestyle and need help to do everything.

"It's no big deal. And in the part of London where I live, pretty much everyone is the same. Not everyone does talk about it, but I don't see why there should be a shame about it.

"Yes, I do cherry-pick the parts of parenting I want to do, but what is wrong with that? I think most parents would, too - if they could afford it."

You can see why Channel 4 wanted Nina front and centre of its latest documentary. As well as being a fashion designer to the stars (well, Sinitta and Nancy Dell'Olio), Nina, who lives in a £10 million Chelsea townhouse, has a hedge fund manager husband, three children and seven dogs.

To say the family is well-heeled is putting it mildly. Even the dogs - all chihuahuas, naturally, called things like Snow White and Cinderella - wear couture. One has a Roberto Cavalli T-shirt; another a Gucci fur jacket.

As well as three children, Nina has seven chihuahuas called names like Snow White and Cinderella. Photo / Instagram
As well as three children, Nina has seven chihuahuas called names like Snow White and Cinderella. Photo / Instagram

Norway-born Nina is filmed rummaging in the dog wardrobe, where all outfits are displayed on hangers, to find something suitable for the pooches to wear for their walkies.

Once the dogs are dressed, she walks them. Bringing up the rear, however, is the family nanny - or one of them - with poo bags at the ready. Nina doesn't do poo. "It's easier if you have someone else to do it," she explains.

It's one thing to have this sort of hands-off approach to your dogs, but to your kids?

Nina's two daughters - Leah, nine, and Alexa, six - and son Noah, five, have an extraordinary army of "helpers", all employed at huge expense. Nina, who has a boutique in Chelsea and shops mainly in Harrods, estimates that her staff must set her back about £200,000 a year.

Yet she's adamant that this is money well spent. She tells me this from Monaco, where she has been spending the summer.

"I see more of my staff than I do of my husband," she says. "He is based in Monaco, so he only flits back and forward to London. The staff here help me keep the house running. I couldn't do it without them."

So there is a housekeeper, a cleaner and a cook. "I never really had to learn to cook so I suppose I'd have to take a course if I ever had to," she admits.

Nor could the children exist without 'their' hired help, it seems. As well as their own nannies, these three share their mother's PA, employed to 'co-ordinate all the playdates and make sure they get to all their activities and after-school clubs'.

"They are at different schools and they are so busy that it can get hectic. It means that when I'm working or travelling, I can be sure they are in the right place at the right time."

Obviously the kids and their nannies travel in style. They have a chauffeur, Mo, an ex-professional boxer, who will take them to see friends and "provides a male influence when their dad is away so much", says Nina.

There is also a tutor who comes to the house to supervise homework and get them ready for exams. "Yes, sometimes I can do it, but I think it gives a different dimension if there is a tutor," says Nina.

"There is so much competition at school that you want to give them the edge. Everyone has tutors now, even though schools don't really like it."

There is even a personal shopper on the books. Every season the children get to pick their own clothes. "It's fun. They love all that."

Perhaps the oddest member of "staff" is the Lego therapist whose services Nina pays for every week for her son. So what is a Lego therapist? Where do you find them? Why would you need one? What do they cost? Nina is peculiarly vague for someone who insists she is "completely in charge" of her children's lives.

"Oh the school actually recommended him," she says. "There has been research to say that playing with Lego is helpful in improving a child's concentration. We're finding it very useful. I think we will continue."

Of course, with a hedge fund manager husband, Nina was never going to have a Lidl lifestyle, and her own career choice has hurtled her further into the high-end world. She launched her fashion business in 2011 and her clothing range includes a children's collection - where a trench coat for your six-year-old will set you back £1,400.

Who spends £1,400 on a kid's coat? "People who appreciate good design, good quality, detailing, that feeling that something is just for you."

Do her own children appreciate their chauffeur-driven, Harrods-visiting life? "I make sure they do. I know I probably give them more than most - my daughters already have diamond jewellery, for instance - but I make sure they are grateful. And they know they are lucky. I have taken them to Africa to show them other children do not have what they have."

Perhaps the shocking thing is that the Channel 4 programme is full of Ninas, obscenely rich parents who are utterly convinced they are giving their children the best of everything.

One Russian couple, Igor and Natasha, are featured - along with their 13-year-old daughter Katya. Poor Katya seems to be remarkably glum for someone who lives in a £45 million house. The reason? Determined to turn her into a virtuoso violinist, her parents have hired the services of renowned violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky, who encourages her to learn on a £7 million instrument. "We want her to work hard so she doesn't turn into a lazy brat," says Natasha.

Alas, the expression on her daughter's face suggests she wants to hurl the £7 million violin to the ground and stamp on it repeatedly. And does she play like an angel yet? Er, no.

This family has adopted the "no expense spared" mantra, to the point that when their trusted nanny Emma said she wanted to leave, they bought her a house to persuade her to stay.

This programme abounds with parents who have infinitely more money than sense. There is the mother who is struggling to find a nanny who can ski and cook vegan food. She says she needs someone who is extremely practical yet also very spiritual. Is she asking too much, she worries, while being filmed standing on her head in a yoga pose?

Of course she is. The nanny employed on a trial seems to pass the ski test, but fails on the organic-everything one, taking the kids off to get them fresh apple juice and coming back with Fanta. Never has a mother freaked so entertainingly. "They don't even know the WORD Fanta," she rages, oblivious to the fact it was her children who told the nanny they were allowed fizzy drinks.

There are winners in this programme - although not necessarily the children. There are representatives from nanny agencies, all advising young women that to secure the plum jobs, they should be trilingual (Russians and Arabs demand many languages, apparently), plain-looking (no woman will ever employ an attractive nanny) and ideally have some sort of karate qualifications.

There are security firms who boast that their staff wouldn't look out of place on the school run. One private tutor, Mark Maclaine, reveals he charges up to £1,000 an hour and has a three-year waiting list. Still, his job is no walk in the park. The mother of one eight-year-old deposited into Mark's care reveals that she would quite like him to win a Nobel Prize. No pressure then.

There is money in everything child-related - even the messy bits. Amanda Jenner has set up an entire business hiring herself out as a potty trainer to the rich and famous. She even runs a Potty Academy. Its motto? "Together wee can do it." For the full service she charges £2,000. Is she having a laugh? Not in the slightest. She has a two-year waiting list and has become quite rich on the profits of toddler poo.

One client is Irene Major, a former model, who lives in a 47-bedroom mansion in Kent and is married to an oil executive. Irene has five children - and a lifestyle that still allows her to attend cocktail parties on a whim. She has no qualms about the show's title.

"Yes, I'd say I am too posh to parent," she concedes. She says she is a better wife because she "outsources" so many of her parenting duties. "I'm free to go to cocktail parties because I don't have to worry about the school run." Outsourcing potty training, though? "Well it's a skill they will probably have for life."

The show also focuses on Irene Major, seen here with her sister Elsa, who lives in a 47-bedroom mansion in Kent and is married to an oil executive. Irene has five children. Photo / Getty Images
The show also focuses on Irene Major, seen here with her sister Elsa, who lives in a 47-bedroom mansion in Kent and is married to an oil executive. Irene has five children. Photo / Getty Images

Perhaps there should be a follow-up called Too Poor To Parent, though. Irene is blessed to have a Filipino nanny, Connie, who is devoted to her children. "She isn't here for the money," says Irene.

Actually, she is. Less heartwarming is the story of Connie's own children, back home.

They are at university now, but since they were born she has worked in the UK, caring for other people's children to fund their education. She sees them only once every two years, and admits she is little more than a stranger to them.

What a preposterous punchline.