Most first-time parents spend every waking minute with their newborns. If you are living away from family, you may require the services of a baby sitter. Fortunately, babysitting services are available in most major cities, making it easier to hire one.
If you are a first-time parent and are anxious about leaving with your baby with a stranger, it is advisable to have a checklist of what you need. Here are some things to look out for when looking for the right candidate to take care of your baby.
1. Check for a Good Reputation
Finding a baby sitter is not easy especially if you have never hired one. Start by asking friends, relatives and, neighbors that have babies to recommend someone to you. Most parents that have hired sitters before are likely to refer someone that can start immediately. Baby sitters that have been used by other first-time parents and have built trust among parents are a good choice. However, it is important to trust your gut instinct about a baby sitter even if they have been referred to you.
2. Go for Experience
Before hiring a baby sitter, it is advisable to arrange for an interview to gauge their abilities. Ask about their experience taking care of children both infants and toddlers that are the same age as your little one. Observe their interaction with the child during the interview to see if there is an ease of connection between the two. Also, inquire about the games they would play with children and how they would put them to bed in case you plan to stay out late.
3. Ask About Emergency Skills
The probability of a child getting hurt and needing emergency care is high when taking care of infants and toddlers. It is therefore important to hire a baby sitter that has some basic knowledge of emergency first aid. During the interview confirm if they can do emergency procedures such as the Heimlich maneuver and baby CPR among others. Additionally, the baby sitter should have strategies of keeping children from getting injured while under their care.
4. Consider Their Charges
Costs of babysitting vary depending on several factors, with majority of sitters charging for their services per hour. For first-time parents, it is advisable to find out the average cost of child care in your region to get an idea of how much you will be required to pay. It is important to have a budget set aside for babysitting services, for a one-off session or if you plan to hire them regularly.
5. Confirm Their References
Whether a baby sitter has been recommended or sent over by a bureau, it is prudent to check their work references. Make sure you call a couple of people on their resume to double-check the information they shared with you during the interview.
Overall, finding the right baby sitter usually requires effort and patience from parents if they are to choose the best one.