What a First-Time Mom Should Know About Hiring a Babysitter

In a perfect world, hiring a babysitter would be a piece of cake. However, in reality, finding the right babysitter rarely proves to be easy.

Finding someone you trust to care for your child in your absence requires a bit of legwork, so before you hire someone take these six factors into account:

1. Experience

Does the potential babysitter have experience with children that fall into the same age group as your child? Each age group has different needs, so you probably don’t want to hire someone who has experience caring for school-aged children to watch your infant.

2. Medical Background

While you may not need an EMT as a babysitter, you do want your babysitter to have a basic knowledge of first aid and CPR. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and having someone who has the proper training can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

3. Interaction

How well is this individual going to interact with your child? A babysitter needs to be more than someone who is merely present to make sure the child doesn’t get hurt. The perfect babysitter will have a plan mapped out with different ways to engage the child. She doesn’t need to be a teacher, but she does need to be more than someone taking up space on your couch.

4. References

A teenager may not have professional references, and that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t hire them, but having references to contact can help ease your mind. Other moms are usually more than willing to tell you all the good – and bad – qualities about a potential sitter because they know how important it is to hire someone of value. Keep in mind that people rarely include damaging references, though, and listen to your gut instincts about possible sitters.

5. Location

Many people are split as to the perfect location for babysitting. If you invite someone into your home, you risk opening up everything in your life to this person. On the other hand, dropping your child off at someone else’s home removes the control you could have of the situation. There is a great deal of trust that is being given in either circumstance, and you should have no doubt in your mind about the person.

6. Background

Knowing a person’s background can tell you a lot about who they really are. Many people will put down what they think you want to see on an application. Performing a background check can verify information they have given you. You don’t want to hire someone who can be a potential threat to your child. Don’t think of it as being mistrustful of someone you don’t know, but more of protecting what is most precious to you: your child.

The well-being of your child is the most important aspect of finding a sitter. You need to have a lot of trust in whoever you hire. Don’t hesitate to keep looking if you feel “odd” about an applicant. Once you find the right fit, you and your child will be happy.

Published on: February 21, 2014
About the Author
Photo of Rachael Cherry

Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.

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