Some helpful tips for new parents to help find and select a babysitter for an infant

Finding a Babysitter—for a Baby

Finding a babysitter for the first time can feel like an overwhelming task for new parents. The days when the teenage girl down the street babysat for the neighborhood children seem like they are long gone, and books about girls forming a club based babysitting business seem like a fantasy world.

Anyone with experience in this area will tell you that finding a good babysitter for your baby is something to take seriously. This article will discuss the qualities of a good babysitter and how to screen for them as well as a few places to look for a good babysitter for your infant.

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It’s Kinda Scary Looking for a Babysitter for a Baby

To begin with, your little baby can’t tell you something is wrong and if you are not there to see what is happening to them, it can be terrifying, especially for new parents.

How do you know that someone is going to be a good person to care for your baby? What are the qualities of a good babysitter? It may sound simple but a good babysitter should be trustworthy, responsible and reliable, trained and experienced, and know how to tend to the specific needs of an infant. They must be able to follow your instructions about diet and care and be very good at relaying information to you about how your baby does in your absence.

Qualities to Look for in a Babysitter for Your Infant

A Good babysitter is Trustworthy and Responsible

First of all, a good babysitter for a baby will be someone you can trust. You have to know something about their background and qualifications. Having a relationship with this person or with the people they know can help with this. There are also paid sites that help you run background checks on anyone you are considering for hire. Above all, ensure your baby will be safe by hiring a babysitter that is free of any background criminal charges or convictions. Do a web search for their name and verify any information they have given you so you know they are who they say they are. Ask for references and verify all references personally.

A good babysitter is also responsible and reliable and can demonstrate this. They are, after all, going to be caring for your baby when you are not around and you have to be able to depend on them. Make sure they have reliable transportation and are available for the times you need.

Look for Expertise and Experience in a Babysitter

A good babysitter is trained whether by experience and a detailed resume and history of childcare or via local programs that train and certify teen girls to be babysitters.  There are many apps and websites now that will help supply reliable babysitters who have expertise in caring for infants or who are retired nurses or midwives.

A good babysitter for an infant will be comfortable working with infants and will have experience caring for babies. They will exhibit patience, compassion, and a willingness to work with you regarding your baby’s schedule, diet, and care. Your rules should not be questioned or broken by a babysitter who has your wishes in mind.

How To Find a Great Babysitter

Now that you have some idea about what you are looking for in a good babysitter, where oh where do you find such a person?

Many parents find a good babysitter via word of mouth or by searching through their family and local neighborhood networks. You can ask your family and friends for recommendations. Ask them who they used for their babies. Some find a good babysitter on websites devoted to this cause such as Care.com. Let’s discuss these possibilities in more detail.

Ask Around Your Social Circles for Infant Babysitter Referrals

 Some parents might have extended family in the area and can tap into these networks in their search for a good babysitter. A good babysitter for a baby can be someone of any age as long as they are responsible, mature, trustworthy and meet the other criteria mentioned above. Some parents might trust their 12 year old niece or nephew for the job, some might not.

Other places you can ask around:

  • Your place of worship
  • Your family and trusted friends
  • Your social media contacts
  • Local job boards
  • Post an ad
  • Ask for “recommendations” on your Facebook feed

Use a Hiring Website Such as Care.com

If you are low on family and neighborhood networks, or if nothing is working out in this area you might try looking into websites that match local babysitters with local parents. These websites typically have a screening process and do the work of ensuring their babysitters are qualified and quality. You can conduct interviews and treat it like a job that needs to be filled with you as the boss.

Ask for the accolades, training completions, and special skills of each babysitter you interview such as:

  • Previous experience caring for infants
  • First-aid and infant CPR training
  • Babysitting courses or training
  • Anaphylaxis training

You should also Insist on a criminal background check for each applicant.

A Word on the Costs of Hiring

Babysitters will have varying rates depending on their experiences and qualifications. Your budget for hiring a babysitter will play an important role in who you choose.

You might be able to get a family member or two to do the job for free, but if you want to pay for a quality babysitter you might be looking at anywhere between $10-$15 dollars an hour or more depending on where you live. The cost is worth it if you can find someone that meets all of your childcare needs and that your baby feels comfortable with. Paying them well ensures their loyalty, devotion, and happiness in the service of your children and family.

CONCLUSION

The tips and advice mentioned in this article should help you to undertake the task of finding a good babysitter for your baby. Be patient in this process and do what you need to do to feel good as a parent in finding the person who will be a good fit for your family and your baby, hopeful for years as your infant grows up.

Babysitters provide a vital service for families—they allow the parent or parents to have some time, space, and social life or to go do what they might need to do for work or self-care, and they allow the children to have a safe space, a fun person, and a responsible person they can spend time with while their parents are away. The best babysitter for your baby will be the person you know you can rely on and one that makes you feel at ease when you are away from your baby. 

For more reading:

The Complete Guide to Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods
Symptoms and Treatment for Baby Teething

This article is brought to you by our contributing writers and parents here at the Babienet Parenting Community, where we value the stories of parents just like you! We welcome you to share your journey with us.

Author Bio:

Christina M Ward is a mom, grandmother, and writer of lots and lots of words. When she’s not busy obsessing over writing poetry and well-living articles, she is out in nature exploring or doing needlepoint crafts in front of Netflix. She loves books and reading, learning geeky things about nature, and helping other people live their best life.

A helpful guide for parents on how to find  and select a good babysitter for a baby, infant, or toddler.