The busy city of New York can be tough to live in, especially if you’re a working parent.
Whether you need to stay out for meetings, night shifts, to fetch some groceries without having the kids pull and tug at you, or even get out on a much-needed date night, a babysitter is a must have for every family.
Since it’s such an important decision to make, you’ll need to do a lot of scouting before you’ve found the right person with whom to leave your kids. Here are a few tips that’ll help you find the right person to become part of your family as a trusted babysitter.
Know What You Need
Just as your family is one in a million, know that your babysitter will be too. That’s why you need to know the needs of your family before you can go out and get a sitter. There are numerous things that you’ll need to base your decision on: How many kids do you have? How old are they? Are they playful and mischievous, or just quiet and curious?
You’ll also have to consider any allergies that your children may have, and if they have certain disabilities. By assessing these factors, you’ll be able to discern criteria such as seeking someone who’s older and experienced to read to your children and bake them cookies, or younger and energetic, so she can run around with your kids as they play.
You should also think about whether you rarely need a sitter or more often.
Start With Those Closest To You
If it’s your second child after a while, then it can be easy to just pick up the phone and dial the number of your previous babysitter. However, first-time parents can have a hard time knowing where to look for a good babysitter. That’s why it’s recommended that you start by asking those who are closest to you. Even if you haven’t hired a babysitter before, it’s probable that someone else you know has.
Since a parent’s greatest worry about having to find a babysitter is having to leave his or her kids with a total stranger, it will be better to get a babysitter you get a referral for, from a family member or friend. Additionally, it’s likely that your kids have already met the babysitter when she was working for your friend.
However, if your friends haven’t hired a sitter, a good place to start is the Mommybites Weekend Babysitter board because all of the childcare providers who are listed here come highly recommended by current or previous employers.
It’s essential that you interview all of your candidates before you hire any one of them. Make sure to ask her if she’s taken care of kids that are the same age as yours and whether she has special experience, like CPR training.
Moreover, remember that you shouldn’t be the one asking all the questions. Ask her if there’s something about your kids she’d like to know; the last thing you want is a babysitter who signed up for the job without understanding what the job is in the first place. Sensible Sitters offers an annual membership for around $300, and you can get some bookings as a trial before you start.
Get Feedback from Your Kids
This is pretty essential since they’re the ones who’ll have to stay home with the new babysitter. Ask them what kind of activities they engaged in while you were gone and if the babysitter was particular about following your rules and expectations – for example, washing their hands and being in bed by 8.
While your kids may not like this about their new babysitter, it’s important to know that they’re carrying out your wishes. Just in case your kids prefer a sitter who’s a little entertaining, Sitters Studio can provide crafty and talented sitters who follow a no-electronics policy and come with plenty of tricks handy.