Whether your little one is three months or three years, at some point you are going to be ready to hire a babysitter. You probably feel anxious yet excited about getting a much-needed break, so here are some useful tips to help you finally get a night out.
Find the Right Sitter
You have to find the right sitter for your situation. You definitely want to hire someone who has experience caring for children the same age as your child. Ask around to other mom friends for recommendations of babysitters they have used (and maybe if they have any recommendations on who not to ask).
Ask Lots of Questions
Feel free to interview your prospective babysitters to gauge your comfort level. Give her different scenarios to find out what she would do in different situations. Be sure to ask for references--and check them.
Set Her Up for Success
Once you find the right sitter, be sure to give her plenty of information that will help set her up for success. You’ll want to make sure your sitter knows your routine, and be sure to set clear expectations of how often baby will need fed and changed. It helps to leave written instructions for your sitter to reference. Be sure you leave a list of rules you would like her to follow. Here are some you may want to include:
- Please don’t leave the house with the children.
- Do not give the children any medication.
- Please do not let your phone distract you from caring for the children.
Don’t forget to leave all the emergency contact information she would need, just in case. It also helps to leave a list of what snacks are acceptable for toddlers, and a list of any known allergies.
Say No to Guilt
Once you have chosen a babysitter you can trust, and you have done everything necessary to set her up for a successful evening, it is now time to enjoy yourself. You work hard to take care of your family. Give yourself permission to take a break and have a good time.
Wendy is a breastfeeding, baby wearing mother of four in central Illinois where she blogs at TheMessyMom.net.