Choosing the right babysitter for your child is a difficult
decision for any parent. You want a babysitter who is trustworthy,
dependable, and who will keep your child safe while you are away. If
your family is looking for a sitter, consider these 5 qualities that
you should look for in a babysitter.
1. Someone with Excellent Recommendations
When you are searching for a sitter, one of the best tips is to
network among your friends, family, and co-workers to gather a list of
sitters that they have used. Sitters who come highly recommended are
more likely to be experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Think of
hiring a babysitter in the same way that you would hiring an employee
for your business. Would you want to hire an employee who did not have
good quality references, and who was not recommended by past employers?
2. Someone with First Aid Experience
One quality that you should never compromise on is that your sitter
have a CPR certification, or at least have basic first aid knowledge.
Accidents happen, especially where children are concerned. Your sitter
should know how to clean and bandage cuts and scrapes, perform CPR, and
perform the Heimlich maneuver. If you have a baby or small child, it is
important for your sitter know how to perform these life saving
techniques specifically for infants and toddlers, so that their small
bodies are not injured.
3. Someone who Bonds with Your Family
You want to look for a sitter who has a connection to you and your family. This is not to say that you will have some instant bond, in which a halo of light forms around the sitter's face, but when you interview potential sitters, you should be able to pick up on which individual will work best with your family. It is best to look for a babysitter who will reinforce your values and belief systems while you are gone.
The interview process should also involve your children spending
time with their potential new sitter. You want to make sure that your
children feel comfortable around their sitter, and that they are
willing to communicate with her/him. Allowing your children to spend
time with a potential sitter is especially important if you have an
infant, since a baby's needs are more sensitive, and their schedules
are more intense.
4. Someone who will Follow Your Rules
There is nothing worse than hiring a sitter who will allow your
children to gorge themselves on candy and soda, and then allow them to
stay up as late as they want. Therefore, it is very important to find a
babysitter who will follow your household rules to the letter. It is a
good idea to ask your babysitter's references about whether the sitter
is good at following rules, and if they are perceived to have issues
5. Someone who is Mature
While there is no standard age for babysitting, it is important to hire a sitter who is mature and responsible, no matter her/his years. For example, it may be best for you to hire a 14-year-old who has helped take care of her 3 younger brothers and sisters, as opposed to a 16-year-old who has never changed a diaper.
The next time that you need a night on the town and are looking for a babysitter, remember to hire someone who has excellent recommendations, who has first aid experience, who bonds with your family, who will follow your rules, and who is mature. Using these five criteria for things you should look for in a babysitter will ensure that you select a sitter who is a right fit for your family.