Babysitter Basics

Parents, you work hard for your child and family, and you do deserve to get out once in a while.  You do get to refresh with friends or revive yourself with a short vacation.  What is standing in your way?  There is rarely anything more stressful than giving your child to the hands of another than actually finding that person.  Finding a babysitter is not an easy task.

There are some pretty common guidelines that a lot of parents use when choosing a babysitter.  Here are some of the most often used:


-          Don’t choose a person based on the fact that they will do everything the way you do.  Rely on a person’s tenderness, reliability, love of children and level of responsibility.  They will never do it the same way we do, and it’s unfair to that person to expect otherwise.

-          Always interview everyone.  Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.  Your babysitter should be as open with you as you are with her.  This can be where you “get that feeling” about someone.  Also, be sure to talk about driving arrangements, rate of pay, experience (have they taken a babysitting class, what are the ages of children worked with), ask about how they grew up and their family values, etc.

-          When you have made a decision, sit down well before the big day and talk about your expectations and routines.  Express your style of discipline and what your child is and is not allowed to do.  While we don’t expect them to do everything like us :-) ….. they should know what we expect.

-          Before going out, provide the babysitter with a list of vitals- emergency numbers, your numbers, a trusted adult’s number, the address of where you will be, the time at which you will return.  Not only does this ease our concerns, but it helps the babysitter know that you can be reached at any time.

-          Don’t forget the most important element of them all: your instincts.  More often than not, our maternal/paternal instincts prove to be right.

Try to relax.  You have earned a few hours to yourself or with your partner.  Even if you find yourself eating your first dinner out in six minutes and coming home 45 minutes after you left the house, it’s a good first step.


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