Every new parent needs a night off now and then, and it's been a journey - you've earned it. But tracking down the right person to take care of your baby can be a daunting prospect. You’ve been running the show all these weeks and your baby deserves the best: a trustworthy sitter with robust childcare experience and a natural capacity for TLC. To assemble your own pool of qualified candidates, try taking any of these strategic approaches.
Often the best babysitter is just a text or email away. Start by making a list of reliable friends and family members whom you would feel comfortable trusting your baby with and reach out to them one-by-one. Even if your personal network doesn’t deliver, chances are your contacts will offer up some promising recommendations that you can pursue. Just be sure to give each reference a friendly screening call to gauge their expertise and outline your baby’s needs.
If your baby already attends a daycare center on a regular basis, consider asking any of their regular caregivers if they’d be interested in looking after your baby at home on special occasions. Since most daycare centers require their employees to undergo background and extensive childcare training, this approach can allow you to snag a babysitter with impressive credentials. Plus, your baby already knows these potential sitters, which can make for a smoother exit when it’s time for you to hit the town.
In this day and age, you can find anything online, from personal jetpacks to qualified babysitters (or jetpacking babysitters!). Websites such as SitterCity.com and Care.com place hundreds of experienced sitter profiles right at your fingertips. Before making first contact, you can read up on each sitter’s expertise and childcare training. And for your peace of mind, some websites even offer the option of running background checks on any candidates whom you’re interested in hiring.
Finding a babysitter can seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. A little work will go a long way, and let you find a sitter that you can turn to until your baby is old enough to get some babysitting gigs herself!