Picking a babysitter

  • My parents usually watch our kids but have gotten involved in a number of activities now and are not as available as they used to be. We need to get a baby sitter but are not quite sure how to go about it? We are also just nervous leaving our kids with someone that we don’t really know. Any helpful advice? --Julie, Strongmoms facilitator

  • The key phrase is "someone you don't really know." By the time you leave your kids, you need to know your sitter as much as possible. You need to trust someone and get a recommendation and interview them to make sure they are acceptable. If you don't have close friends with young children in the area, there are many babysitting resources. What about the teen of a family that lives in the neighborhood?

  • pedinurse I have the same problem!! My little one is not even here yet (I am 36 weeks) and I am having the hardest time figuring out where to look for one, or how to even go about it. My husband is very protective and does not do well with strangers so I have no clue what we are going to do. My dad is a self employed carpenter so his work comes and goes, when he is not working he is more then willing to watch the baby, but when he is working I will have no one to watch her!! Not sure what I'm going to do!

  • It's a tough decision!! We found a family friend who wants to stay home with her kids more and so we pay her to watch our kids - we drop them at her house and she loves the arrangement. Do you have anyone like that?? 

  • Ask around...usually you can find a friend who just raves about her babysitter or a teenager down the street who you've come to know. If you can't seem to find one that way, look on the church bulletin board or put up a flyer at a local church. I know it is scary to leave your children, so start small. First, have the sitter come to your house to meet you and talk. Then hire them to watch the kids so you can do some fall cleaning or yard work. These opportunities to interact with the sitter can tell you a lot and watching them interact with your children is also a benefit. Next, I hire them so that I can run a quick errand...etc.. you get the idea. Start off small and gradually leave for longer periods of time. 

  • MommyRN4 - I like the idea of giving gradual responsibility. That sounds like a great way to be able to observe behavior and ease the children into their new caregiver. Thanks!!

  • I'd have to agree with answerdad about really needing to know your babysitter.  Our local hospitals offer "Better Babysitters" classes and so I would consider either funding this for a potential babysitter or having it be a requirement.  I think it's key to develop a good relationship with several babysitters and treat them really well so that they want to keep coming back.  It's important to build a good relationship!

    -Jess

  • Do you have any family members who can suggest any day cares or baby sitters to you?

  • MissPammie - I need to go ahead and put feelers out there and get recommendations. So far I've kind of looked on my own - time to get some extra referrals from people who know good baby sitters! Thanks for the nudge!