How to choose a good babysitter

Let’s face it, every parent needs a break and when that time comes you want to find the ultimate babysitter. Unfortunately good babysitters do not grow on trees, so don’t wait till the last minute, start searching now.

The first step to take is asking friends if they recommend anyone. References are a must. How else will you know if your home will be wrecked by the time you get back? Getting a few names together and learning some inside information can do a world of good. Some other good places to check would be at your church or local listing in your city’s newspaper.

When you decide to interview some of your choices make sure your child is present. This gives your child a chance to meet and get familiar with the sitter. As a mother you can tell who your child will and won’t be comfortable with by their reactions.

Ask, ask, ask. While getting to know your would-be sitter, be sure to ask whether they are certified in CPR, and ask how they would handle certain situations. It’s your child, no questions are too silly. Communication can be the key to getting what you need from your sitter.

Find the right age for the right situation. If you are just looking for someone to come in a few hours at a time, most experienced sitters ages 14+ would be perfect for a job like that.

If you are looking for all day care, or your husband is taking you out for a real grown up night, that could require a sitter who’s 17+ . Again, it all really depends on the amount of experience this person may have to how old your child or children are.

After you find the right sitter for your situation invite the sitter over to get more familiar with your home. Show him or her around and explain what is off limits to your children or where they can find the first aid kit. If your child needs medicine be sure to share with the sitter correct dosage and times.

Make a list. You will forget a few things and this way no one is left unsure or in the dark.

Last, but certainly not least, is making sure your babysitter is clear on your house rules. Everything from visitors to bedtimes. Finding a sitter that will be loved by your child and that complies with the rules is priceless.