Being a mother is a full time job. And for a working mother this job gets more tiring and difficult. As day-to-day things get more demanding, one thing that strikes regularly in the head is ‘babysitter’. A babysitter takes care of a child in the absence of a mother and ensures complete and safe upbringing. When both parents go to work, a trustworthy babysitter comes to their rescue. But choosing the right babysitter is an arduous process.
For a mother it is not easy to leave her child behind with someone else, especially in the beginning. So the babysitter must be chosen after thorough consideration and care. A babysitter has to be very qualified, nurturing, and most importantly your child should feel safe and happy with her. Here are five points that will help you choose the best babysitter for your child.
- Consider your child’s age: Before you plan to hire a babysitter, consider the age of your child and your objectives behind hiring a babysitter. They both will help you zero in on the right candidate. If your child is an infant, then you should hire someone who is very experienced with infants and babies and have the ability to feed, burp and change the baby. It will be a plus if your babysitter is trained in infant and baby CPR and first aid. If your baby is a toddler, then you should go for someone who is good with handling moods and tantrums. A school going child is more active and less patient, sometimes, and will require a little tough yet friendly babysitter.
- Collect a lot of references: A perfect babysitter will not come your way by chance! You will have to walk the extra mile and search a lot. Start by asking other parents in your family, friend circle, office and neighbourhood. Also there are agencies who specialise in providing babysitters where you can inquire and check local advertising or websites. References will help you get the best and most trustworthy babysitter for your child.
- Background check: After you have collected the references, the next step is to check their backgrounds. Since they have come from the people you know and trust, a background check will not take a lot of your time. But because it is a question of your child’s safety, never shy away from it. A background check will generally include a babysitter’s repo, age, qualification, experience and history of handling children at other homes. If a babysitter is referred by more than two people, keep that one on the top of your hiring list.
- Prepare a foolproof questionnaire: Interviewing the babysitter is the most critical part of the hiring process. Every mother, when handing over the responsibility of her child to someone else, has many questions to ask along with a set of specific needs. Whatever you have in mind, put it down on a piece of paper and ask. The interviewing process is your one shot to judge and understand your future babysitter so you better be careful with it. Ask everything that concerns you and your child. Ask about the additional skills that might be required on some days like driving the kid around, cooking lunch or taking to extracurricular classes. Check out this link for a detailed questionnaire!
- Do a test with your child: After you find the babysitter suitable for your child, it’s time to check her practical skills. Let her interact with your child and observe how she manages it. Her style, teaching skills and playfulness will bring forward her character and true self. You will also get to see how comfortable your child is with her. Which is very important because they both will be spending a lot of time together. If the babysitter has children of her own or has had a younger sibling, she is bound to do a good job and gel well with your child. This interaction will also serve as the final test because a good and dedicated babysitter will never run away from a test.
Always remember that a babysitter’s job is to take care of your child during the day. A child needs the touch of her mother more than anything else. So don’t leave everything on your babysitter. When you come home after a long day at work don’t forget to spend quality time with your child. She / he has spent the whole day without you and craves for your attention when you are home. So once you say goodbye to the babysitter, after taking an account of the day from her, shower your child with love and lots of hugs. Because a babysitter cannot replace the love of a mother.