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Finding a Babysitter

Whether you are a new parent, or you have just moved to a new area, finding a babysitter that you can rely on and trust can be a daunting task. In some cases you are lucky and can ask a friend, but in others you are all on your own. So how do you go about finding a babysitter you not only can trust, but that your new baby will love.

finding-a-babysitter.jpgMany parents will not leave their young baby with anyone but family. Some parents are just not comfortable giving a teenager with little or no experience, who probably has her mind some place other than on your baby, a responsibility that great. Others choose to wait until their baby is on a good schedule, going to sleep at approximately the same time every night and either sleeping all night, or only waking up once, in the early morning hours. This assures then that the baby should sleep the whole time they are gone and that they will be home before the baby needs them.

When you do want to find a babysitter however, where do you look? How do you know that the babysitter you choose will be good for your baby?

Start with family members and friends. Chances are, at least on the rare occasion, you can find a family member or a friend that will watch your baby for you while you go out for a little while. Whether it is to a doctor’s appointment or a nice, romantic dinner with you significant other, Family and friends, even if it is a teenage cousin or younger sibling you can normally trust will have your baby’s best interest at heart.

Ask For Recommendations
If you have moved to a new area, or have friends with kids, ask them or your neighbors if they have a sitter they would recommend and that they use on a regular basis. Having a referral from someone you trust, can go a long way in helping you build trust with a baby sitter.

Look into finding a part time nanny, someone who is registered with a company that does full background checks, and who can come to your house with prior notice for a period of time. These are normally older than you neighborhood babysitter, and should be more responsible and reliable.

Ask For Referrals
If you find a neighborhood teenager, or even if you find a nanny, ask them for referrals – numbers to other families they have sat for. Ask the families if they have liked the babysitter, if they babysitter was reliable and how their kids liked the sitter. Often hearing other people’s opinions can help you feel more comfortable.

Meet the Sitter
Whether it is just your baby, or you have other children as well, have the sitter come over for a little while prior to the day you want her to baby sit for you. Let your kids meet her, and let the baby get to know her a little. No matter what the age, children will normally respond better to someone they have encountered before, with their parents, versus someone who comes in that they don’t know.

Don’t Leave For Long
The first couple of times you leave your sitter with your baby, don’t stay away very long. Come home after just an hour or two so that your baby can get used to you being gone and feel comfortable knowing you are coming back. Also feel free to drop in for a couple of minutes unannounced, or to come home earlier than planned as a way to check up on the sitter.

If you are not completely comfortable leaving your baby with the sitter you have picked, then the best thing to do is NOT leave. If you are comfortable it is always perfectly ok to leave behind some hidden or not so hidden security methods. Some people choose hidden tape recorders to record the audible interaction between your sitter and your baby. Other’s have chosen to actually install video equipment so they can not only get the audible, but the visual interaction as well.

There are a lot of ways to go about finding a great babysitter for your baby and other children. In the end, if you make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the decision you make, you should have a great experience.

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