How to Choose the Perfect Babysitter

How to Choose the Perfect Babysitter

It can be nerve-wracking for any parent to not only choose when to leave home without their baby, but with whom to entrust the care and safety of their children.  There are a number of circumstances that provoke these concerns and we would like to offer you a few calming suggestions for how to wisely choose the right babysitter for you and your children.

 

It Takes a Village…

Parenting Resources

First, while you may have a favorite babysitter, you will soon discover that you will be limited in your childcare resources if you have only one babysitter.  Instead, it is important to remember that networking and resources are just as important in parenting as in anything else.  Other family members are usually the first resource for babysitting needs, but you may not live close to family or there may be times when they simply can’t be available.  So, we suggest having a few babysitting resources. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Family members
  • Join a playgroup and swap free babysitting with other mom friends
  • Get to know some neighborhood teenagers
  • Learn about any drop-in daycares in your area that you can pay by the hour as a last resort, if needed.

 

Your Needs, Their Needs

Babysitting Essentials

As your children grow, your specific childcare needs will change and this is one reason why finding that one, perfect babysitter can be nigh to impossible!  Again, we reiterate that you focus more on building a community of childcare resources that will give you the flexibility you need.  Regardless, there are only a few essential needs that you have when choosing someone to watch your children:

  • Do they have a reputation of being trustworthy?
  • Are they mature enough for the responsibility?
  • Will they keep your children safe and happy?

 

Finding the Answers You Need

Getting to Know Your Babysitter

But how do you discover the answers to these questions?  The biggest reason why we recommend building relationships rather than using a babysitting service on a regular basis is because the more you interact with someone, the more you can learn about who they really are.  Here are a few reasons why we think this way:

  • Knowing someone in more than one context (neighbor, mom from a playgroup, church member, someone from children’s school or extra curricular activity) gives you more than one way to learn about the person and their abilities.
  • A broader scope of interactions creates an invisible effect of accountability because you will likely see them again even after the babysitting event.
  • References and recommendations will be much more easily accessible if you know the person within their daily life.

 

Just remember to remain flexible and adaptable while staying focused on building healthy family relationships for you and your children over a long period of time.  The best babysitters are usually family or friends since what you really need is someone who knows you and your children as much as you want to know them!

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