I was told that this would be a really scary thing–that I’d check my phone every 5 minutes to make sure the sitter wasn’t texting me, telling me that something was wrong and that I needed to come home right away. The good news was, my husband and I were less than a mile away at a friend’s house for dinner. Even if something DID happen, we’d be right there in less than a minute. The surprising thing was, I didn’t even worry about leaving my baby with this babysitter, someone we just met for the first time on Tuesday night. The reason? She came highly recommended by a close friend. And if this friend trusts someone to watch her kids, you know the person is just that awesome!
We met our new babysitter Tuesday night, asked her all kinds of questions, and showed her around the house. She’s an incredibly sweet girl that’s been around kids her whole life; her mother is a teacher, and she babysits frequently for lots of young kids. We immediately felt comfortable with her, and so did our daughter (well…after some convincing…she’s at a stage where she’s not too comfy with strangers).
The reason we felt so comfortable is because this babysitter came so highly recommended by our close friend. Of course we asked her all kinds of questions–Did she know infant CPR? How many infants has she watched? etc. But ultimately a friend’s referral means a good deal to us, and really helped us feel at ease during our first night away while the baby was with a stranger.
Suffice to say, I survived the first experience of leaving my daughter with someone that wasn’t a family member, and it worked out fine! I think this is just one of those experiences that moms get nervous about, but as long as you pick someone you trust, everything will be fine, and you can enjoy your adult time!
Here are some of my tips for finding a great babysitter:
- Ask friends, or people you trust, for recommendations
- If you don’t have a friend with children, or a place to ask for a recommendation, try inquiring at your daycare (sometimes employees babysit on the side!), or join a local Facebook Mom group (this is the Minnesota one I’m on!)
- Have the sitter come over first for an interview. Even if you feel comfortable with them based on a recommendation, or via phone or text, meet them in person first! Show them around the house, ask them questions as you go, and have them meet and interact with your child(red) and pets.
- Ask them questions, and know what answers you’re looking for. If you really want someone that’s certified in CPR but the sitter is not, explain to them how important that criteria is for you, and then look for someone else.
- Trust your gut. Nothing is more important than your child. If you sense something is off, or you don’t think you/your child are clicking with the sitter, politely move on and find someone else. Nothing would be worse than reluctantly agreeing to let them babysit, and then worrying all night when you should be enjoying your alone time!