You can handle both work and home chores. In reality, it is easier said than done. The thought of leaving your kids with a stranger can be freaking. But, at times, it may be the only solution you’ve got. As a working mother, you will occasionally need a baby sitter during your night shifts. Besides, there are times you will need to let your steam off by going to dinner dates. But, how do you get a baby sitter? How do you know if she’s trustworthy? Read below on how to search for and find the best babysitter.
Things To Keep in Mind Before Looking For a Babysitter
1. Do your research
You seek recommendations within your community. Your neighbors, at church, workplace, or local schools, can be a great place to start when looking for sitters. After you have your list of potential nannies, you should then check for references. You must communicate with the former employers of your babysitter’s services. It helps in bringing up any buried essential details you should know. Get to know if the kids used to enjoy their services. Ask for any dislikes and likes the employer had on the baby sitter. Gauge all the responses and see if it causes you to have any hiring doubts.
Confirm the fact provides by your potential baby sitter with the referees. Counter check if details like year of graduation, employment data, or year in a school match. It may seem creepy, but the counter checking will help you validate their truthfulness.
You should also get to know details of how the babysitter handled an emergency or a crisis. In case no emergency occurred. You can formulate your hypothetical situation. For instance, “how do you think the baby sitter would react if my child develops diarrhea?
If your reference seems uncomfortable with the conversation or gives short answers, you should take that as a red flag. Most probably, there is more to the answer. Besides, you can ask for an overall rating.
Counter check their qualifications with those provided by the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Program. For instance, your babysitter must have CPR and first aid training. Besides, you should go for a baby sitter who displays common sense, maturity, and good judgment. Ensure your baby sitter is a non-smoker. You wouldn’t want to be a cause for your children’s future drug problems. Worse still, smoking is harmful to your child’s health. It is also essential that your baby sitter is an extrovert. They should be fun, friendly, and responsible. They must be creative, talkative, and able to keep the kids engaged. It will make it easier for your kids to quickly bond with the baby sitter. Besides, an awkward and shy baby sitter who isn’t great at communications will make it difficult for your kids to trust them. Beyond all qualifications, trust your intuition. Can you rely on this person with your child? Do you have a good feeling about your baby sitter?
3. Talk about payments
Ask your babysitter about their charge. It will help eliminate confusion when they come to look after your kids. You have to know that to attract a qualified nanny; your wages should be competitive. However, this does not mean you should overpay them.
So many factors affect the wage rate. For instance, the higher the number of children, the more they pay. It is because a high number of children means extra work. Experience is also a significant factor when it comes to payment issues. Just as it is crucial to hire an experienced bedsitter, so does the experienced babysitter expect a better salary. Thus, if you want someone to also help your kids with their sports or musical, prepare to dig deeper into your pocket.
Another factor that will impact the wage rate is the expected roles of the babysitter. If your baby sitter will just put the kids in bed and proceed to watch the TV all night, then you can offer a low wage. However, if they will help the kids with homework and perform house chores, your pay should be higher.
4. Early arrival
Studies show that most parents leave home before showing the bedsitter the various emergency numbers. Don’t be one of those parents. Anything can happen while you are away. Thus, let your babysitter come in 30 minutes earlier and teach them all the essentials.
Take them through your child’s routine. Let the baby sitter know if you allow our kids to watch TV and up to what time. Tell them what food they should give the kids. There must be no interruption on your child’s sleep and feeding schedule.
Let them know the rules. Can they use your appliances? Can their friends visit your house? Most importantly, review the emergency information. Show them where you put fire extinguisher, first aid kits. Smoke indicators and flashlight. Remind them all crucial information, even if they seem obvious. For instance, remind the baby sitter that they should put your infant to sleep on their back.
Sometimes a babysitter is a good idea when you want some “me time”. Take a look at “What is “Me Time” & Why Every Mom Needs It” for more on spending some time by yourself.
5. Familiarize them to the house rules
Let your baby sitter know all vital information such as food allergies, sleeping and feeding schedules, and preferences. Besides, all you want is the best care for your child. Ensure that you leave them a working number where they can reach you when you are away.
Before leaving the house, stick the number of your child’s doctor, fire department, a trusted neighbor, and the police next to the telephone.
6. Call home
You should call home and get to know how your kids are doing. You should also get to know from the babysitter if the kids are nice to them. Sometimes kids can be stubborn to a stranger. For instance, they may refuse to sleep, and you may help by convincing them.
Leaving your child with an experienced babysitter will put your mind to rest. But experience is a broad word. There are so many factors that you need to look for to prove a babysitter has the required expertise.
The crucial factor is to look for someone who genuinely enjoys looking after children. How will they discipline your child? You kids might misbehave while you are not around. Your kids must get disciplined in the right way.
You should also emphasize knowledge about first aid. Children can be vibrant and healthy for one minute, and the net they are very sick. Thus, your baby sitter must know all the basic fast aid and CPR. Besides, it is not enough that your baby sitter likes kids. They should be able to keep them from injuring themselves. The baby sitter should know what they need to do in case an emergency occurs. Also, you should hire an experienced babysitter. That way, your kids won’t get a bad first-hand experience like torture.
8. Hold your interview
Like any other job, an interview is essential when it comes to scrutinizing your potential baby sitter. It is an opportunity to ask questions and receive face to face feedback. Thus, you get the chance to analyze the discipline, warmth, and decision-making ability. Does the caregiver’s view on punishment match yours? Are they warm and flexible?
Having a face to face interview can be overwhelming. Most likely, your meeting will take place after a long day after work. At such a time, you are probably too tired and sleep-deprived. It is best to carry out the meeting in a quiet public place like a coffee shop. It will be easier to focus when no kids are running around, and you aren’t rushing and nursing. However, you must maintain your professionalism.
9. Screen the babysitter
You should run a thorough research on the baby sitter. Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Alternatively, you can use apps services and Google. You should do an extensive background test. Driving records could also tell so much about their maturity and responsibility
10. Run a test on their performance
You can agree on a week of a day of testing their work. Make an effort to be available for some time and see their work. It will help you to analyze if it’s working or not quickly. If you do not find the baby sitter to be trustworthy, pay them, and continue with your search.
Stay organized and find ways to prioritize your schedule in “How to Set Priorities as a Stay-at-Home Mom“.
Qualities to Look Out For
Now that you know all about how to let’s get to know what makes a good baby sitter. What qualities should you be looking for? It is okay to have high expectations of your sitter; your kids depend on that. You should have a list of the essential attributes a baby sitter has. It will make the process of identifying the right one simpler.
It’s a no brainer, right? Well, you should be able to trust your baby sitter to leave your kids with them. During an interview with the baby sitter, don’t be too formal. Take time to get to know them. Get to know their character, beliefs, and attitude. You will thus be able to analyze if they are the best match.
Everyone had a first-place where they got their experience. However, this task is too delicate to give fresh babysitter. At least they should have some skills in taking care of their siblings. Alternatively, one could gain knowledge from the American Red Cross through the babysitting class. Apart from experience, your caregiver should have some vital certification, such as CPR. It is a critical requirement as it equips the caregiver with the necessary skills to handle emergencies.
The primary reason for hiring a baby sitter was to help in time management. The babysitter should thus keep time. It would even be better if they came earlier as it will give you time to discuss the day’s plan.
Your baby sitter should honor their word. The baby sitter should show up as required. The small acts show that you can rely on them to take care of your child. Also, it shows that they are responsible enough to protect and take care of your children.
Don’t you prefer to deal with straightforward people? Thus, your baby sitter must be honest. It will ensure they deliver reports. When you get home, it is natural that your baby sitter will report to you the day’s events. The details need to be accurate. Especially if you have a young kid, who will later narrate the events. The facts need to match, or it will lead to broken trust. Besides, dishonesty shows that they are hiding some valuable information.
Your baby sitter should get home with the focus of taking good care of your kid. Their role is not just to keep your kid’s company. Instead, they should keep a watchful eye and keep your kids out of danger and injuries. For instance, instead of doing your kid’s assignments, they should keep an eye on the child as they complete it.
The babysitter shouldn’t use their phone frequently as it diverts their attention from your children. They will not be able to monitor your child. Caring shouldn’t be both physical and emotional. Besides, the babysitter should not let the kids get bored; they should care enough to entertain them.
When confronted with misbehavior, most babysitters will laugh and ignore. Lack of excellent behavior management skills is a significant contributor. Thus, the caregiver isn’t sure of how they should respond. But this will encourage the kid to repeat the mischief, and soon it becomes a habit.
The babysitter must be confident enough to take charge of redirection. It will ensure your kids learn to shun bad habits even in your absence. In case she doesn’t, you can take the necessary steps into training them.
They should be comfortable doing the cleaning. It’s not that a babysitter should also do house chores. However, in case there’s a spill, they will be willing to tidy it up. They shouldn’t get disgusted by the potty training accident. But, they will be able to place the mess in the toilet.
Choosing an excellent babysitter to hire can be overwhelming. Although it is a crucial task, most parents seem to overlook some vital tasks. The above information will equip you worth the necessary guideline to avoid making the common mistakes.