Tips to Hire a Babysitter

If you are looking to have a night out on the town and do not have anyone in the immediate vicinity that can look after your child(ren), you need to hire a babysitter. However, you do not want to leave your children in the hands of a perfect stranger without having some idea of who this person is or what they are capable of doing. That is why we have these following tips to help you hire the perfect babysitter.

Remember that age and experience matters

Remember that you always have to keep age in mind when hiring a sitter. For example, even though a 12 to 14-year-old may work well and probably enjoys playing with the kids, you have to remember that they might need a ride to ‘work’. While you can turn them into a ‘long-time babysitter’ if you have a good connection, you cannot really expect a 12 to 14-year-old to stay up until 2 AM if you want to stay out later that night.

While the 16 or 17-year-old likely has a license and sometimes a car, they are also likely to head off to college soon. Finally, older babysitters are going to have transportation, will not likely have a problem with late hours, but you also have to pay them more. You have to determine your own needs and your children’s needs before you hire a babysitter.

Find out availability before you make the hire

If you hire someone who is barely able to squeeze in an hour or two for you, chances are that you are going to hear the dreaded “Sorry I can’t tonight…” when you need them in a pinch. Remember to consider any limitations before hiring. Because otherwise, you are likely to end up hiring again in the future.


When you leave your children with a babysitter, you are going to assume that nothing happens. What if it does though? In that event, you want them to have babysitter training, know CPR, or first aid experience. Remember that being certified certainly will not hurt, because it does show that they take the job seriously.

Scheduling appointments

If someone is going to watch your children the first time, you likely want to meet with them in person or at least talk over the phone. However, after that, it might be convenient for you to text or email to schedule the next appointment. You always want to check beforehand that your babysitter is all right with your preferred method of communication.

There is nothing wrong with having it in writing

If you are particular about certain things, such as dinner or a bedtime routine, you want to make sure to write it down. It only takes about five minutes to walk your prospective hire throughout the home, discuss the routine, and ask if there are any questions. Before you hire a babysitter, you want to make sure that they have no problem with your instructions.

Establishing rules is a good thing

Even though babysitting does not feel like a 9 to 5 job, you have to remember that you are still paying money for a service. This means that you can establish a number of rules while ‘at work’. For example, perhaps you prefer if the babysitter does not watch television or text while the kids are awake and present. Other factors you want to discuss beforehand include:

  • Having a friend visit
  • Talking on the phone
  • What you consider dressing appropriately
  • Use of the family computer

Having this discussion beforehand is going to be far more comfortable than having to have it later when you perceive the babysitter did something ‘wrong’ that they were not even aware of. If your baby sitter is uncomfortable with chores, it might be best to hire a high quality housekeeper.

Establish pay from day one

Remember that you are going to establish pay before the first day of work if you work in an office, so why would you not discuss that if you were going to hire a babysitter? Making sure that you know what is expected is going to help you avoid awkward situations later on. If you don't want to pay full price for a babysitter, consider setting up a nanny share arrangement with a neighbour! That way, when you are both gone, one babysitter or nanny can look after both your children!

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