It can be a parent’s worst nightmare—leaving their kids alone with a stranger. You know a babysitter is needed sometimes, but how can you trust a new sitter to provide the best possible care for your kids?
With a bit of research and planning, you can find a babysitter for your kids and prep them with everything they need while you’re away. There are plenty of sitters out there, from students to retirees to single parents, so you’re to find the right one.
To learn more, keep reading to learn where to find a babysitter and what to do before they arrive. Then, head out for the night with confidence that your babies are in safe and capable hands.
First, Find a Babysitter Who Is Right for Your Family
Finding a babysitter who is a good match for your little ones can be tough—it’s nerve-wracking to leave your precious children with a stranger, so you want to be sure to find the right person for the job.
However, the good news is that knowing how to find a babysitter is easier than you might think. One of the best ways to find someone qualified is via a recommendation from someone else, so why not ask neighbors, friends, colleagues, or co-workers who they use for babysitting?
If someone comes highly recommended by someone you trust, there’s a good chance that they will be reliable. If you don’t have any close contacts to ask, you can still find a great sitter by searching online, especially in local community Facebook groups, job sites, or even the local paper.
After you’ve found someone who may be a good candidate, conduct a short phone interview to learn more about their experiences, interest, and availability. Ideally, you also want a babysitter with first-aid and CPR qualifications, in case of an emergency.
It may be a good idea to ask for references, so you can contact previous clients of theirs to learn more. This may all seem like a lot of work, but once you have a sitter you can trust, you can use them regularly.
Prepare the House
Next, it’s time to get ready before the sitter arrives. One of our top babysitter tips is to prepare the house.
It doesn’t need to be sparkling clean, but you should work out areas of the house that the sitter can use, along with any off-limits areas, such as bedrooms or offices.
You’ll want to make sure the babysitter has easy access to everything he or she might need, such as the phone, internet access, games or toys for the kids, and an area where they can relax after the kids have gone to bed.
If your children are young, you may want to install a monitor in their rooms, for extra peace of mind while you’re away. The best baby video monitor is one that’s easy to use and will offer live streaming directly to your smartphone.
Create a Babysitter Checklist
Have you created a babysitter checklist? If one, this is one of the key tasks before your sitter arrives.
This should detail everything they need to know while they’re babysitting. Contact details are key, including your mobile number, the number for your local doctor, and details of where you’ll be and when you expect to be home.
You may also want to include important information about bedtimes, screen time limits, dietary requirements, and how to calm down your child if they have a tantrum.
Although you’ll go over all of this verbally with the sitter, it helps them to have all the information in one document that they can reference when needed.
Stock the Kitchen
Next, be sure to stock the kitchen for the babysitter. If they are expected to cook or prepare meals, make sure they have all the ingredients they need.
Plus, both the sitter and the kids are likely to want snacks while you’re away, so be sure to have options that will be easy to prepare. If the sitter is taking the kids out, the polite thing to do is provide them with pocket money to cover both themselves and the kids, so they don’t have to pay out of their own pocket.
Trust Your Sitter to Do the Right Thing
One of the hardest parts of working with babysitters is trust! You know you have a great sitter, but you’re still nervous about leaving your kids with them—this is completely normal.
You need to try and relax and know that your children are in good hands. While it’s fine to check in with the sitter throughout the night, you don’t need to be in contact constantly as you need to give the sitter and the kids time to bond and get to know one another.
Your sitter is sure to give you a full report when you get home, so enjoy your evening knowing that your kids are happy and safe.
Use the Babysitter Tips to Ensure Your Kids Are in Good Hands
Hiring a babysitter is unavoidable from time to time, so it’s important to have someone you can trust for the occasions when you can’t be at home. Now that you know more about how to find a babysitter and prepare the house, use the tips above to find the ideal sitter for your kids.
You may even want to work with several different sitters, in case your regular isn’t available. That way, it will always be an easy process to find someone when you need to go out.
Start searching for sitters in your area today and you’re sure to find the right person for the job!
Did you find this helpful? If so, we encourage you to check out some of our additional articles on families and parenting.