Every parent needs to get away from parenthood once in a while. It’s healthy to leave the house with your significant other and leave your baby with a sitter.
Most people leave their children with someone they know (and trust), but some people don’t have that option. They have to hire someone new to help out. This can be nerve-wracking for many parents. It’s not easy to leave your baby with anyone, let alone a stranger.
Here are some tips to find the right babysitter.
1. Check those references
While it’s probably safe to hire the 13-year old from down the street to watch your older kids, I wouldn’t hire just anyone to watch a baby. Call the references the sitter provides you with. Ask them very detailed questions. Did the children like the sitter? Was he/she punctual, safe, and engaging? Did they respect the home?
2. Watch the sitter interact with your baby
A good babysitter won’t mind a few moments of interaction with your baby. They’ll look forward to meeting your little one. Is he/she comfortable with the baby? Are her motions sure, but safe? Can she be playful, but also responsible? Most importantly: how does your child respond? Do this during the interview, not the first day you need a sitter.
3. Find a sitter who matches your child’s interests
Even babies have interests. If your ten-month old has fallen in love with books, you’ll want a sitter who enjoys them as well. If your little girls likes playing with trucks, don’t hire a sitter who thinks those toys are “too boyish” for girls.
4. Run a background check
There are some free and some paid services online to run background checks on other people. You must do this before leaving your child with someone. Good sitters won’t even bat an eye at the idea.
5. If you’re using an agency, read online reviews
If you live in an urban area, you might use a large agency who assigns a sitter to your family or sends one who is available. Always read the online reviews first.
6. Go over your family’s individual needs
Every family is different and has their own special circumstances. Maybe you need the sitter to drive your child to a drop-off point. Maybe you have a very specific bedtime routine. Or maybe your child has special needs and the sitter needs to know how to behave. Go over all this in the interview so no one is surprised.
7. Evaluate after the first job
To make sure your sitter is behaving properly, you have to evaluate him or her. Is your child fed, clean and well-rested? Is the house in the same state you left it? Can the sitter recount the events of the evening (how much baby ate, consistency of poop, types of play, etc.)?8
8. Trust your instincts
A parent’s intuition is a valuable resource. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. At the end of the day, you have to feel comfortable leaving your child with someone else, so choose someone that fits your family perfectly.
Written by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear
Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.
Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.
For more information, please visit myarchive.oogie.com.
Interested in writing a guest blog for oogiebear? Send your topic idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and not to give professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding your child’s health and before following any of the suggestions in this post.