Finding a trustworthy and reliable babysitter is not an easy task. However, there are several ways you can find a decent babysitter for your family, as well as keep them around to help take care of your children for a long time. Here are some tips on how to find a good babysitter for your kids.
Where to Find a Babysitter
The best place to start looking is within the community, including local schools, neighborhoods, or even your workplace. Once you have some options, it’s important to check their references. These may come from other families or friends who know them. And, when you contact families the sitter has worked for, ask if they ever had any problems with the babysitter.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a lot of free time then babysitting apps and websites will help you sort through candidates and find a vetted, experienced babysitter in your price range. Apps like Sittercity, Bambino or Sitter are highly rated and easy to use.
Have a Phone Interview
Talk briefly with the babysitter over the phone to decide if they sound like a good fit for your family. In particular, you should ask about the ages of the children they normally watch first. If they only spent most of their time caring for kids after school, then they might not be the best fit for your baby. Knowing about first aid and CPR are a huge advantage.
Meet them in Person
If the phone interview goes well, take the time to have an interview at home. In addition to asking about their experience, you can ask them hypothetical questions about what they would do in certain high-pressure situations. For example, “What would you do if my baby is crying in the crib and the other one just made a mess and about to cry too?” or “When there is an emergency, who would you call first and why?”
Another important issue to address is the discipline. Hopefully, the babysitter won’t need to discipline your children, but if they do, it’s important that they do it in the manner you prefer. It is important to have a babysitter that aligns with your method of parenting. Remember to discuss what they should do in certain emergency situations at the end.
Let Her Spend Time With the Kids in Your Presence
When you are done with the interview, let them spend about 30 minutes interacting with your children. At first, you can join them to help the bonding process. But, after about 10 minutes, go somewhere nearby so they can interact with your kids independently, while you continue to check in on their interactions. If they play with your kids for 20 or 30 minutes, you may not need to pay anything as she is interviewing. However, if they interact with your kids for more than 30 minutes, you might want to pay them for their time.
Negotiating about the Cost
Ask the babysitter what they charge upfront so there isn’t any confusion or discomfort when they show up to watch your kids. Also, babysitting rates differ by location, experience, and many other factors. Just make sure the price is reasonable for both of you and your babysitter.
Discuss House Rules and Leave Contact Information
In fact, more than half the parents who leave their children with babysitters under 16 don’t leave emergency telephone numbers. Therefore, make sure you discuss your house rules with your babysitter and always leave a number where you can be reached at all times. On top of that, leave information about any schedules (feeding or sleeping), food allergies, and other important things a sitter will need to take care of your children. In the event of an emergency, make sure they are prepared well enough.
Call Home to Check on Kids and Babysitter
During the evening, be sure to call home once or twice. Make a phone call at a time when you are able to head off immediately, such as 30 minutes after bedtime when the kids might refuse to go to sleep. You could suggest a few effective ways for the babysitter to convince them to go to bed. Also, if your kids are still awake, talk to them a bit to know how they feel.
Get a Debriefing After You Return Home
Consider debriefing with your babysitter when you get home. You should ask specifically about areas where you think the sitter might have trouble. Often, babysitters will think your child’s behavior is a reflection on them and may be reluctant to admit any behavioral problems unless being asked.
Ask Your Kids About the Babysitter
Depending on the age and personality of your children, you can get a good sense of the babysitter based on information from your child. Many kids cry or display separation anxiety when their parents leave them with a new babysitter. So, pay more attention to your child’s behaviors and feelings when you return. And, if there is a problem with the babysitter, I’m sure your kids will tell you immediately.
Choosing someone who will care for and protect your children, as well as get along well with them, is no easy task. We hope our tips will help you find a sitter who can watch your kids and give you a break throughout the weeks. If you want to share your experience or have any questions, feel free to talk about it in the comments!