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Tips for Finding a Great Babysitter

You are finally at the point where you feel comfortable leaving your newborn in someone else's care for a few hours while you run a few errands or head to the movie. But do you know how to pick out the best possible babysitter for your child? More importantly if you are looking for a steady babysitter how do you know what determines a good babysitter from a bad one? We have a few ideas that may help this stressful decision leave you feeling calm and assured that your child is in good hands while you're away.

Here are a few important things to remember when choosing a babysitter...

  1. Give yourself enough time- The most common mistake parents make is waiting until the last second to find someone to watch their child and when the people you know and trust around your children are busy, you get desperate. Desperation can lead to a poor choice of a caretaker and regrets later on. So give yourself ample time to carefully select someone you trust and notify them early.
  2. Knowing where to look- Start searching for a babysitter where you feel the most comfortable. Whether it's at work, church, or the local schools, start asking around for recommendations. Leaving your children with complete strangers can be a bit unsettling but in some cases that is your only choice. Make sure you at least have opinions from others before allowing someone to take care of your children. You can also use online resources to try and find babysitters. Make sure you find reliable sources. A great one is
  3. Make sure she is qualified- Accidents can and do happen. That is why it is so important to leave your child with a fully qualified babysitter who you trust. The American Red Cross's Babysitter Program recommends that babysitters have the following qualifications:
    a. First aid/CPR training
    b. Maturity
    c. Good judgment
    d. Common sense
    e. Friendly personality
    f. Responsible
    g. Nonsmoker
    h. Healthy
    i. Neat and Organized.
  4. You will never regret having an overqualified babysitter. These qualifications are more important to have when you are leaving your child for frequent and lengthy periods of time, but they are also reassuring to see when being left for only a few hours.  
  5. Explain house rules- Once you have found a babysitter make sure you have them arrive at least 15 minutes before you are leaving in order to give you time to explain rules, meals/mealtimes, and allowed activities. It is also recommended that you leave your phone number, emergency contact information, along with any other numbers you might find necessary.
  6. Prepare your children- Try not to leave your babysitter in a bind with a child who is unprepared to be left with someone they are not used to. Beforehand, talk with your children and assure them that you will be home soon and that they will have fun with the babysitter. Remember to also talk with your children once the babysitter leaves to see if they enjoyed their time, what they did, and if they felt comfortable with her.

All of this information can seem a bit overwhelming but just take it one step at a time and once you have found a good babysitter treat her well and don't let her go! All the effort will be worth it if you are able to leave the house with peace of mind that your child is in good hands.