When my son was very young, I went back and forth on the subject of babysitters. I worried about everything! Would he be safe? Would he be happy? How the heck DO I even find babysitters for my child? So I did my research, asked my friends, and found a babysitter. I came up with these babysitter tips to help me find the best person, and I’m happy to share it with you!
When it’s time to find the best babysitter for your little one, it’s so SO important that you do your homework and research everything. Start by asking yourself exactly what you need from a babysitter. Do you need someone to babysit a regular schedule every week? Or do you just need someone who can watch your kids for a few hours on date night?
As you start your search for a babysitter, don’t overlook the obvious. Sometimes you can choose the best babysitter for your child by looking at those you already know and love the most. Parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends are often happy or even eager to help. Even if they can’t actually do the childcare, they may have good ideas or offer valuable references.
If your closest friends and relatives aren’t going to cut it, there are still other ways to help you find the best babysitter for your child. For example, you can check with your church, workplace, and other organizations you belong to for resources.
Another idea is to network within your neighborhood. For example. Nextdoor.com is a community site that probably has your neighborhood in it — mine is! I often see parents looking for sitters — and people advertising their sitter services — in this community.
Finally, if you simply can find anyone you know, you can try online services like Care.com. This is a service to help you find in-home child care (among many other things) and offers convenient ways to pay for your sitter, too! You can even request background checks through their service.
Got some candidates? Excellent! Now it’s time to interview each potential babysitter and check their references carefully. Do a thorough background check to help you select the best childcare. If you have any concerns, don’t shy away from having a criminal history service check on your potential candidates — you can’t be too safe here. (And I say this from personal experience—as a child, I had a very unfortunate babysitting experience.)
Here are some questions you can ask your potential candidates:
If you think you’ve got a winner or two, be sure to introduce your child to the caregiver BEFORE anything else. Observe your child with the babysitter. This can really help you decide which sitter is right for your child!
The First Outing
So you’ve picked and hired a babysitter. Great! The first time you go out and leave your child alone, keep it short. Your child needs to feel secure, and your quick return will help greatly. A gentle transition saves a lot of tears.
If it all works out, excellent! You’ve found a great babysitter. Be sure to stay in their good graces by treating them with respect — give plenty of advance notice of any babysitting jobs and always pay promptly. Good babysitters are in high demand, and they’ll go elsewhere if there are issues.
I hope this has helped you find a good babysitter for your little one!
Hugs and kisses,