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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Hire Your First Babysitter

The following is a guest post by Jenny Ellis. Thank-you Jenny for the great article.

You have been avoiding that dreaded first for most parents, the first night you leave your child home with a sitter. This can be a stressful process if you are not prepared for it. Here are a few tip to help you find the right babysitter, what to expect and how to prepare the children:

Where to find your babysitter:

You can find many different helpful websites that will connect you to babysitters from all different ages and backgrounds but probably the most reliable way is word of mouth. Asking your friends and neighbors for babysitters that they use is your best bet. You already know the babysitter is doing a decent job and is trusted if your friends and neighbor recommend them. If you choose to hire a babysitter that you do not know, be sure to ask for references. That reference list should contain at least two different families that can vouch for the babysitter.

What to look for:

There isn’t a certain handbook that tells you exactly what kind of babysitter you should have. It is just a basic instinct, go with your gut and the babysitter that you feel most comfortable with. You want to avoid a babysitter that is too young to handle the responsibility, however with that said there are plenty of young babysitters that are mature and great at what they do. As far as pay goes, there are different rates but typically you can count on anywhere from $8-12 per child, per hour.

Introducing the kids:

The first time your kids meet a babysitter is an important situation to prepare for. It normally goes well because typically kids are excited to have a new friend to play with. However, if you have kids that are little more attached, then this could be tricky. Whatever you do, make it a fun and positive introduction. Your kid may be shy at first and may cry but don’t worry, babysitters know how to handle these stations. If and when the child starts to cry, say your goodbyes like you are just running down the street to borrow sugar from the neighbor. The more you make it a big deal the more the child feels insecure.

At the end of your first night out with a babysitter at home, have the babysitter report back to you. If you find that the babysitter is ‘the one’, save that number and don’t be afraid to use them on a regular basis. Have fun and don’t forget to pay the babysitter!

Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for the topics of au pair.  She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @

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