This is a sponsored guest post.
After a long time of being with your little one constantly, the dreaded day is finally here: you and your partner have to leave the house and you need a babysitter to look after him. Maybe you’re going back to work after maternity leave, there’s an unexpected emergency or you just want to go on a date night. Leaving your little bundle of joy in the hands of someone else for the first time may sound scary and it’s normal to have irrational fears and reservations. But don’t worry. Every mom has been here. With a bit of planning and research, not only can you find a qualified babysitter, but also a long-term friend you can rely on.
Craigslist is the last place to look for babysitters
Ideally, you get babysitter recommendations from friends and family and you know for sure that the nanny is reliable. However, this doesn’t always happen and in many cases, parents have to start the search from scratch on the Web. But if you’re thinking of looking for a babysitter on Craigslist, stop now. There may be hundreds of ads there, but only a handful are posted by trustworthy professionals and the rest are scams. Looking for babysitters online is more evolved now and there are safer ways to do it.
Instead of going on a trial and error run where you have to double check each Craigslist babysitter’s references yourself, you can instead look on specialized platforms like Sittercity, UrbanSitter, and Care.com, which are the closest equivalent to getting a nanny via close friend recommendations. Basically, these platforms are networking sites that find nannies from your social circle of friends and family, have nanny profiles and rating systems that make it easier for you to find someone reliable.
Not all qualified babysitters are great for your family
Choosing a babysitter is a very subjective process and you shouldn’t neglect the chemistry between the nanny and your child or between the nanny and your family. Sure, reading some UrbanSitter reviews is a great way to tell if a particular candidate is qualified, but experience and qualifications aren’t the only things that matter. The nanny you choose has to be right for you and your parenting style. Some parents want sitters who are also mothers. Others don’t mind hiring a teen to look after their child. Basically, a five-star review on a babysitting website is just the basic requirement. Then, you have to make sure the babysitter “clicks” with you. And you can find that out if you…
Do a trial run
This is one of the most important steps of hiring a nanny and unfortunately, it is often overlooked. A paid trial run gives you a chance to meet the sitter personally before hiring her and making sure she has the right personality. Observe her as she interacts with your child andtriesy not to interfere. See if she’s strict or permissive, how your child reacts to her presence and how she reacts to difficult behavior. The trial run is also a great opportunity to discuss your expectations and requirements. If you like the babysitter, you can also give her some instructions before she starts work. For example, tell her about bedtime and TV time, any allergies your child might have or activities that they’re not allowed to do. Since it’s always a good idea to set some ground rules from the beginning, let the babysitter know if she’s allowed to receive any visits, smoke inside the house or leave the house with the kids.
It’s normal to feel jealous
If you chose the babysitter right and your child spends a lot of time with her, you’ll notice that they will start to talk about her a lot and even call her mommy. This isn’t fun to hear, but it’s totally normal. According to parenting experts, there’s always a bit of jealousy involved, but you shouldn’t let that stand in your way. Your child will not forget his real mother and no one will replace you. If you’re worried that your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to see your child more often, you can always ask the nanny to make a video call or meet you on your lunch break.
Treat the nanny like a treasured employee
A reliable nanny can be a true lifesaver for the entire family, so once you’ve found one, take good care of her. When you need someone to look after your child again, it’s a relief to just call a nanny you already know and trust than start the whole search all over again. Pay her on time, as established, and give her a bonus every once in a while, – especially for those last-minute sitting sessions or night shifts. If you have any concerns or trust issues, ask her directly and don’t install a nanny cam without her consent – it’s quite offensive and she might choose to leave. Last, but not least, a babysitter is just that: someone who looks after your child. She is not a maid, so as much as you wanted someone to help you with everything, don’t pass on housekeeping duties such as dusting or scrubbing the toilet. Most babysitters are happy to do the wash the child’s clothes or maybe lean up their room, but not more. After all, the more tasks you give them to do around the house, the less time they have for your child.