I know before I had kids, I thought all of my friends who had kids were completely over the top with their concerns about finding a good babysitter. And then I realized it was hard to find a great babysitter! We have been incredibly fortunate to have a number of excellent choices when it comes to babysitters for our kiddos when hubby and I need a dinner date together. So here are my tips to finding a great babysitter you can trust with your much loved children. Their safety and happiness is your number one priority!
Their past experience can depend on how old your children are. If you have a very young baby, you do not want a 13 year old with no experience staying with your baby. On the other hand, our kids are five and 1 1/2, and our next door neighbor is a very mature 14 year old who has babysat her whole life, and she is definitely one of the top five babysitters we have ever had. If you children are even a little older than ours, you can go with a more inexperienced babysitter who can more or less take orders and play with your older children. They are very good at letting the sitter know what they need!
2. Safety certifications
If you have very young toddlers or babies, CPR/choking certification is absolutely necessary. Before I had children, I got certified, and I will never forget the choking training we had. I will never forget it, and I insist that our sitter know where to start before she calls 911.
This is pretty much the only way we have ever found babysitters. My motto is, let everyone else weed out the not-so-good sitters and let me reap the benefits of just asking who their favorite sitter is and getting their information. That is the way I have found all of our babysitters was through friend’s recommendations. And I am always happy to repay that to friends of mine by referring my awesome babysitters to them when they ask.
4. Meet with them in person if possible before hiring them
Realistically, this is not always possible, especially if you have an office party with the partners you just can’t miss, and your other babysitter got the flu at the last minute. (Can you tell I have never had anything like that happen before!) However, if you do have a chance to meet them in person and let them meet your children before you leave them alone with the sitter, that is definitely ideal. What I do is even just have them come over 15 minutes before we have to leave and fill them in on my kid’s quirks and get a feel for them that way. Again, if they have been referred to you from a well-trusted friend, this might be all it takes anyway.
5. Watch them interact with your children
Before you leave your children with their new babysitter, let them play together and see how the sitter interacts with them. You will be able to tell right away if they feel comfortable with children or not and if they are comfortable, you will feel at peace leaving your children with them. We also have indoor cameras in our kid’s rooms and the main living area that are linked to our Mansfield home security system. This way, when we get to where we are going, we can grab our smartphones and watch the cameras to make sure everything is going ok. Home security allows for much higher levels of safety anymore, so we definitely take advantage when we can.
Finding a great babysitter is not nearly as hard as you think it might be. Follow these tips and see if you can’t find the person you never knew you couldn’t live without! Thanks so much for reading, and please comment below with your favorite tip to finding your amazing babysitter!
Author bio: Brittany Samples is a writer for Smith Monitoring. She is also a work from home mom of two busy boys who works hard to always be more healthy, safe, fun, and frugal!