When looking for a babysitter it is a good idea to start by asking for recommendations. Asking friends, family, coworkers, parenting groups, or from local churches are all good places to start. Ask about the recommended person’s gender, age, and experience. Also, it’s good to know how the recommending friend knows the babysitter, how long they’ve known them, and how long they’ve worked with them. If you are interested in learning more about the babysitter, contact them and set up a time you can meet with them.
Another way to look for a babysitter is to hire a babysitter through a daycare organization. This may be an easier way because they have background checks and have been through CPR and/or First Aid training. Also, if this an organization you use regularly, such as a church nursery or preschool, your child may already know the person.
If you are unable to find a sitter from personal recommendations, like above, then check out websites like care.com and sittercity.com. When looking for a babysitter in your area, the website will provide you with a portfolio of the person. If interested, you can contact them for more information.
Meeting potential babysitters is important. For interview questions, check out last week’s article, “Babysitter Interview: Questions Every Parent Should Ask.” After the interview, have the potential babysitter meet your child. You can stay and watch their interactions from a distance, or leave them for an hour while you run a quick errand. Afterwards, if your child is old enough to talk, ask them what they did and if they liked the potential babysitter.
The first time your new babysitter comes over, leave a list of contact numbers. These could range from the numbers for family and/or close friends to the contact information for your child’s doctor. Also, make sure to let the babysitter know where you’ll be, or what you’ll be doing, like shopping or in town for dinner. The first time your babysitter comes over at night go through the routine with them. Make sure to show them where pajamas are, what books are read at night, when potty times are, and any special rituals your child likes before going to bed. Inform the babysitter of anything they should know about your child before leaving. For example, if your child is scared of sharks, make sure your babysitter doesn’t watch a movie or show about sharks with your child. If you run into traffic, or something comes up, and you’ll be a little late, contact your babysitter to let them know.
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