Finding the Right Babysitter
By this point, you’ve found a bunch of different potential babysitters through friends, neighborhood fliers or ads, or even over the internet. Now what? It’s time to choose the right one, but how do you know which babysitter will be right for the job? If you don’t have confidence in the babysitter you pick, it may turn a relaxing evening out into a stressful night of worry. Taking a few precautions when going through the process of choosing a babysitter will ensure that the time you spend away from your child will not be in vain.
The Interview: Invite the potential babysitter over for the afternoon, not only so you can get a better understanding of who you’re dealing with, but also so you can introduce them to your child. This isn’t a ‘business’ interview – this is much more important than that; it is an interview for someone who may take care of the most vulnerable member of your family.
Ask a large amount of questions to gauge their experience. Have they ever babysat before? Do they have any younger siblings they’ve had a hand at taking care of? What age-group are they most experienced in? Make sure to get a list of references, preferably of people they have babysat for before. Don’t be shy about using these references if you feel the need to. Most people will be more than happy to encourage you to hire a great babysitter or to warn you about why you shouldn’t.
Also ask them a series of theoretical questions. “If [my child] fell down, what would you do?” Or, “What would you do if he/she started choking?” Having a babysitter who’s quick and knowledgeable in stressful situations will ensure that any accidents are properly dealt with.
Finally, you’ll want them to meet the person they’ll actually be watching. It’s important that the two get along with each other. At this point, you’ll be able to see how comfortable your child is with the babysitter and vice versa. If the babysitter seems awkward or unsure around your child, it may be a sign of obvious inexperience. Always keep in mind that if your child doesn’t like the babysitter, they probably won’t listen to what the babysitter asks them to do when you are out of the picture. (When I was a little girl, my sister and I locked our babysitter in the basement simply because we didn’t like her attitude; we thought she was ignoring us, so we tricked her into going into the basement while we locked her in from the outside.) If, on the other hand, the two get along well, you will have much less to worry about.
The Test-run: If you are searching for a babysitter for the first time and still aren’t confident enough to leave someone else alone with your child, why not have the babysitter over for a test-run? You can hire the babysitter to watch your child while you are somewhere else in the house, just a short walk away in case you’re needed. You can also listen in on what’s going on to know how the babysitter handles different situations. If your child starts being fussy, what does the babysitter do? Are they confident in what they do, or unsure? If something bad happens, how long does the babysitter let it go on before they try to contact you? Afterwards, ask your child how they felt about their time with the babysitter. If everything went smoothly, they may be the right one for the job!
Sarah Danielson writes for Wine Rack Plans where you can find a wine rack to fit your individual needs, taste, and style.