What is the most important to you in a babysitter?

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

59

77

5

I placed an add in the paper this weekend for a babysitter, my luck I received over 20 calls! Thanks God! I am hoping at least one is a great fit for our family! We are in the middle of meeting them and interviewing. So my question is what is most important to other Mommies out there when interviewing babysitters? I am just looking for a few good questions to ask them! Any ideas or advice?

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

16 Comments

View replies by

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2009

11,585

12

1314

The best baby sitter I ever had was a guy. He played with us and was active.

Samantha - posted on 07/27/2009

251

14

28

For me I want them to be CPR and First Aid certified. I want them to have a lot of experience with children. I also want to have them meet my child a few times before I hire them to see how they act with my child. I will not take a smoker as I don't want my girl by that and I don't smoke so it just makes sense. I also look to make sure that they will be watching my child at my house that way I know it is baby proof and she will not be ingesting anything she is not supposed to be. I also want a criminal check done as now a days you can get anyone.

Mimi (Hilary) - posted on 07/27/2009

36

16

4

If a daycare is not an option.. I would recommend a stay at home mom... I am a stay at home mother and have watched childeren other than mine as well... as for favoring my child over the other.. didnt happen I cared for him like he were my own. I suggest you find some one your childeren like... definately cpr certified as well as first aid.. and be sure that its age apporriate. I reccomend doing a background search as well as a drug test ( like those you can buy at the local drug store) experiance and refferences and someone at least 18 or older.



I know running a background check and drug test can be a pain and may nto fit in a budget ... but I learned the hard way as well ..... my old sitter.. ( before i became a stay at home mom) I got on a reccomendation ..and she seemed great.. had her for three months .. and I came home early one day to find her smoking a joint in the back yard while my son was playin on the swing.

Diane - posted on 07/27/2009

2

7

0

There are agencies devoted to certifying daycare providers. google "certified daycare providers" and your state. They can help you find someone who is well known in their area. Also, ask questions like "what would you do in this situation?" If you have a college in the area, they might be able to help you find someone suitable, also. Our area college has many students studying to be teachers who are fantastic with the kids!

Shannon - posted on 07/27/2009

69

28

2

The very best method I have found to weed out potential bad prospects is to invite the sitter to do some mother's helper days before hiring him or her to sit with your kids when you're not home. That way you will see how the sitter interacts with your kids in normal situations that occur around your house. Schedule these days during times when your kids are the most cranky. Your best bet is to find someone your children like. If your children want the sitter to come back, there's probably a good chance this person is the one you'll want to stick with. I know some mothers who have come home and found their sitters cleaning the house and completely ignoring the children, then I know some mothers who have experienced the exact opposite. I'd definitely pick the sitter who worries about the kids and not the cleanliness of the house. If your kids are happy, who cares if the sitter left some dishes in the sink? I think asking about CPR certification is a good idea, but just because a person has a certification it doesn't mean they do well under pressure. Make a list of questions and let the potential sitter have some time to answer them in writing. He or she will be just as nervous as you, so give them the courtesy of patience. Also, have your children ask some questions. Any chance you have see the children interact with the sitter, take it! Also, some people may recommend using a stay at home mom, but I wouldn't because they tend to favor their own children over the children they are watching. This opinion is based on personal experience. Best of luck to you!

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2009

11,585

12

1314

A paper advert is perfect. Don't stress about that! Ask all the typical stuff, certifications, discipline, smoker, cooking/cleaning, and get those referrals and if possible go visit the referral people oh and ask if they are her relatives. LOL I know one girl who got all her aunts, uncles & cousins to vouch for her after she got out of jail.



I'm sorry this is probably not helping you feel very comfortable. I wanted a sitter that would play with my kids and not just eat all my food and sit on the phone all night. But it isn't necessary - especially when the children are asleep at night.

Kate - posted on 07/27/2009

558

11

46

There are usually local babysitter services that screen sitters and also allow current families to post reviews on them. Depends on if you'd trust those reviews, but it might be a good starting place.

I'd have the person come over several times to play with your kids while you're around but not in the room with them, like you go outside for a few minutes or upstairs. Far enough that the sitter can relax and "take over" but close enough that you can tell what's going on. Also, ask your kids what they think of the sitter. I hired a college age sitter last summer this way and almost never actually left my daughter with her, I was usually working from home. But when I did leave I knew her a lot better. You can also do "trial runs" where you just go shopping for an hour and see how they do. If your kids seem unhappy, won't tell you what happened while you were gone (or the sitter won't), they are dirty, hungry, etc. -- well, might be time to find a new sitter. (And I don't mean dirty like they were playing because that happens sometimes, but like no attempt has been made to keep them safe or clean them up at all.)

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2009

59

77

5

I under stand and feel the same as you Kristen but I do not have any one to watch my children that I know for the hours that I work and need to find someone who is honest, reliable, and cares for children! I tried asking people I knew and either my children wore them down (my mother in law) or not the right time of day, so on. I do not know of any other way to find a good sitter. Do you know of any other ways? I would be more than happy to try them! I had a bad incident last week with our last sitter. She left my girls alone for 25 minutes that I know of!! Not happy I was!

Lindsay - posted on 07/27/2009

3,532

26

266

I have to know the sitter personally. That may just be me but when looking for a sitter, I may ask someone from church or a neighbor or family friend but I couldn't run an ad in the paper. That could just be that I'm a bit of a worry wart though! Other than that, I just make sure it's someone that can have the maturity to deal with the kids. Mine are 4 and 3 now so babysitting is more along the lines of keeping them entertained and fed. I know that the middle and high schools around here have all of the kids CPR certified so that is also a plus!

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2009

11,585

12

1314

referrals.

A person can say whatever they want. They can be certified in anything. But there is nothing that says they are patient & kind except good referrals.

I used to babysit for extra cash. I gave references and not just some note on paper either. I got permission from people I had babysat for to give out their number so new clients could ask them what they thought.

LOL I almost miss those days I made some good money babysitting!

[deleted account]

also ask what her discipline theories are. you do not want a babysitter who is not on the same page as you on that major issue. my best friend was interviewing babysitters for her baby when he was 6 weeks old and she came across one woman who looked sweet and nice, but she was horrible on the inside. I came over to my friend's house to get a pair of shoes (I had called my friend first to let her know I was going, but I have a key, so I can get in when she's not home) and I walked in on the baby screaming and this woman yelling in the baby's face and threatening to "whack him so hard his future teeth would rattle." I immediatelly told her to leave my friend's house, called my friend and watched the baby until she came home. After that, she was very careful to ask potential babysitters what disciplinary method they would use. She has since found a wonderful woman who is a stay-at-home mom as well as a daycare provider (she has a total of 6 kids in her home).



I am not trying to scare you, I am just making sure you know exactly who you are leaving your child(ren) with and know how they feel on "hot-button" issues like that.



Good luck!

Kristen - posted on 07/27/2009

71

3

4

i don't know about any other mom but me personally if i don't know the person then my daughter isn't staying with them so i wouldn't be able to post an ad in the paper or anywhere to find a babysitter b/c the way people are now days i don't trust anyone i am very weird about who my daughter stays with sorry this is just my opinion im not doing this to be rude but thats just how i feel

Erin - posted on 07/27/2009

324

23

40

CPR certified is very important. aslo i would ask what kind of activities she plans on useing to entertain the kids

Kate - posted on 07/27/2009

558

11

46

The babysitter should have experience with kids the same age as yours, and should be CPR certified. I think, though, that the MOST important thing is that you feel comfortable with the babysitter. I personally can't bring myself to leave my kids with anyone under 18, and prefer to leave them with a mommy friend. I feel like for young kids, someone who is older and more experienced is much better than a younger teen. If this is for a long-term babysitter, like if you're going back to work, you might want to find a stay-at-home mom who can babysit. If it's for evenings out, local college students or older high school students may be fine.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms