Thursday, December 4, 2008

Selecting a Babysitter

From Medstar: It's a dilemma many parents face - you're ready for a date night with your spouse, but not sure how to select the right sitter.

Janet Banister uses a babysitter a few times a month. Her kids are all under the age of nine, so she's pretty picky when it comes to hiring one. Experts say that's the right attitude to have.
Tracey Flowers said, "I definitely think parents should have no hesitation in asking, you know, how many jobs the babysitter's had, what ages of the children that they have had experience with, hands on. What are their certifications?" Flowers suggests conducting your own interview. Ask for references and if you're feeling uncomfortable about the sitter, go with your gut.

Tracey Flowers said, "How would you handle anything else? You're not gonna, if you've got that gnawing hesitation, then maybe this isn't the right babysitter." Since Janet's children are young, she does some extra prep work before her sitter arrives.

Janet Banister said, "The food is already cooked and ready to serve or I feed them. I have them bathed before the babysitter comes over." Leaving a checklist for the babysitter is also important. include things like contact names and numbers, instructions about your children's routines, and even fill out and leave an emergency medical consent form. Sitter talking
to kids having these precautions in place can give you peace of mind while you're away from home.

Experts say parents should also look at a potential babysitter's energy level. if there's not a lot of excitement during an initial meeting, there won't be much for your children either.

In 2007, there were 24.8 million children five and under living in the U.S. as the holidays near, many parents of young children will need the services of a babysitter. Parents need to do an interview, ask for references and set ground rules before agreeing to hire a sitter.

This is a big problem at my house. My kids do not like strangers. So we either have to keep paying a babysitter every couple weeks or we don't have one. However, we do have parents who love to watch the kids. Unfortunately they live several hours away. So, the dilemma continues at my house. I think when they get a little older they won't be so scared of new people and they will remember the babysitter, even if she only comes once every three months. That's my hope at least!

Do you have a babysitter? How often do you go out? And how much do you pay your sitter?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


lifeasamama said...

watching for responses - we're just starting to look for a babysitter and i'm dreading this process...

Emily/Randomability said...

We frequently ask one of the teachers from our daycare provider. Both kids already know her and we already trust her with them.

My husband and I bowl once a month on Friday nights and we're usually gone about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. We like her and want to keep her, so we pay about $25 for the night. We have two kids, ages 5 & 3. Since it is later, we usually brush their teeth.

Coach Dave said...

We pay about $10/hr and we have two kids. Not sure what the right amount is. We have a child with special needs, but have found good luck with college students that are studying special education. They can drive which is a bonus!

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