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How to find the perfect babysitter

Julie Kraut is a freelance writer and the author of Slept Away and Hot Mess. Visit JulieKraut.com for more.




Find the right sitter

You want your special night out sans kiddies to be romantic, fun, and above all relaxing. There’s no way you’re going to be able to relax if you have any doubts about the person taking care of your children though! Follow these steps to find the perfect sitter for your little ones so you can have the perfect night without them.

BabysitterStep 1: Figure out your hiring criteria

What's important to you when it comes to a babysitter? Some moms might want a sitter who is CPR and First Aid certified. Others might want a person who has similar beliefs to their family, while some parents might not be comfortable leaving their child with a person under 18 years old. Make a checklist of all of your must-haves so you can easily refer to it during selection.

Step 2: Do your research

Do a little digging into the sitters other families in your area are hiring for similarly aged children. Personal recommendations are the best way to find dependable sitters. Also, ask friends or colleagues with high school aged children the teens are interested in sitting. Having a personal connection to the sitter often lessens the anxiety of leaving your children.

Step 3: Look online

If you can't find a personal recommendation, the internet can be a wonderful resource for finding sitters. While general listing sites like Craigslist might work for some, check out sites that are specific to babysitters as well. These sites typically have ways to vet the sitters and the option of reading client reviews. Two of our favorites are sittercity.com and care.com.

Step 4: Interview

There's a lot you can learn from a resume or online profile, but there's an x-factor that's only discernable through in person meetings. Plan your questions out before the interview, hitting all of the must-haves you listed from step 1 (above). Be sure your children are home and get some time with the sitter so you can gauge how they interact.

Step 5: Ask your kids

If your children are old enough, ask them what they thought of the sitter after the interview and factor their opinions into your decision process. Hiring a sitter your kids like will make saying good-bye easier when you step out for the night.

Step 6: Call references

Obtain at least two references from your potential sitter and call them to be sure everything you think you know about your sitter is right. If possible, ask for references from families with children about the same age as your brood to get the most accurate and applicable reference.


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