Many working moms consider, at one point or another, hiring a babysitter. Choosing a babysitter is easy. Choosing the right babysitter for you and your baby is not. The following tips may help you find and hire a great sitter:
1. Ask for references and do a background check. Unless the babysitter you are considering to hire comes highly recommended by one of your family members of friends, you should ask for references and do a background check. Make sure you gather as much information as you can about their previous work with babies. If you receive a negative report, stay alert and consider dismissing the candidate.
2. Interview candidates. When you apply for a job, you go through an interview process that sometimes involves more than one interviewer and more than one meeting. Hiring a babysitter is no different. Once you have a few candidates on your list, interview them. Ask them about how they would handle a child in case of an emergency, whether they can cook if the baby gets hungry, their time schedule, vacation plans, etc. You will leave them with your most precious posession, your child. So, don’t be shy to ask questions.
3. See how they interact with your child. Once you select a candidate, let her spend a few minutes with your child. Does your child have a good rapport with her? Is the candidate attentive towards your baby? Does it look like they will get along well?
4. Pay a little more if she is the right candidate. If a great babysitter candidate asks for a little more money than what you had planned, accept the deal. That little extra money is a great investment for your peace of mind and your baby’s safety.
5. Trust your instinct. Sometimes, you just know the candidate will be a great caretaker. If you have that impression after interviewing the babysitter candidate, you should hire her! Of course, you should still do the background search. But do not delay the process. A lot of moms need babysitters these days, so a really good candidate may not be available for much longer.
6. Be specific about your expectations. During the interview, make sure the babysitter candidate understands your expectations: working time, cooking, changing diapers, going outdoors, holidays, etc. If your baby needs to take a medication, first consult with your doctor. Never ask a babysitter to administer a medication to your baby without clear instructions and the obvious medical supervision. And, if your baby has a food allergy, make sure she knows what foods to avoid and what to do in case of an allergic reaction.