Top Five Tips for Hiring a Babysitter

Wow. Motherhood is amazing, it is intense, and it can also be really tough!

As a mom and as a human being you deserve some time off. Whether it be once a week or once a month, whenever you can take a night off from baby duty and go on a date night, spa night, or a plain old sleep night- go and do it! But there is one caveat- babysitters. The availability, the trust, the difficulty in leaving your babies alone with a stranger. Trust us, we understand.

We put together a list of tips to help you vet your potential babysitter before letting her take full responsibility for your precious charge(s)!

  1. Definitely ask for an interview.

I know the word interview sounds intense but it is very important for you to interview a potential babysitter. If your babysitter doesn’t think it worthwhile to come out to your home for an interview then he/she is not responsible enough to watch your children. It is important to see how the babysitter interacts with your children and how your children respond to the babysitter.

Here are some interview questions:

  • How long have you been babysitting?
  • Are you ever available on short notice?
  • What activities do you like to do with kids?
  • How comfortable are you enforcing household rules?
  • How do you typically deal with behavior issues?
  • This is a [screen-free/sugar-free/dairy-free/pet-friendly/non-smoking/etc.] home. Are you comfortable with that?
  1. CPR is a must

CPR certification is imperative when hiring a babysitter. Just in case the worst scenario happens you want to be assured the babysitter is well equipped to handle the emergency. Additionally, make sure the babysitter knows how to administer CPR to the age bracket your child is in- if your child is still a newborn, CPR is done differently.

  1. Driving abilities

This goes hand in hand with the CPR qualifications. If something dangerous happens and your child needs to be taken to the hospital you want to know if need be the babysitter can drive the child there. Additionally, if something happens to your home you want to know the babysitter can drive your child to safety.

  1. All phone numbers available at all times

Make sure to give the babysitter all important phone numbers- even ones that don’t seem necessary at the moment- it is better too many than too few! Best case scenario they go unused, worst-case scenario, the numbers are used and can save lives. Phone numbers to include: police, fire station, grandparents, one family friend, your cell number and your partner’s cell number, any help around the house/ nanny or housekeeper’s phone number, and your child’s school teacher’s phone number. It is best if these numbers are hung up on the fridge or a central place in the home.

  1. Previous experience with the age bracket your child is in

This is one of the most important points. If you are leaving your newborn with a babysitter who only has experience with toddlers, that is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you ask if the babysitter has experience with the exact age group your child is in.

Finding babysitters can be very difficult at times, however it is important to remember it is far better to be choosy than not. There are many websites, and apps to use as well!

Shoshi S.
Shoshi is a graduate from Stern College for Women in New York City. Her areas of interest include policy, non-profit organizations, and administration. During winter 2018, she was a White House intern. Shoshi has also interned at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and at Save the Children in New York. As a millennial, Shoshi brings a young and fresh perspective to the worlds of pregnancy and lactation.

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