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Finding a Babysitter

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There was a time when it was easy for mothers to find babysitters. A friend of a friend would recommend some middle school or high school girl who’d show up in pigtails ready to read stories to your kids all night. The worst thing a babysitter could do when I was babysitting age was talk on the phone all night, and pig out on Pepsi and chips.

Well times have changed and there are more things to worry about. Any parent knows the anxiety involved in leaving your kids for the first time with a babysitter – a stranger. Is she mature enough to handle the job? Can she handle an emergency? Is she going to get stoned the minute we leave? Will she have her boyfriend over? What about being online with my kids around? There are things kids shouldn’t see.

Before hiring someone new to babysit your kids don’t be afraid to ask for references from other parents. Local schools often have babysitters training courses and a list of names of available teens. A good babysitter should know how to perform CPR and the Heimlich. Those with younger siblings tend to have more experience. The Red Cross and other organizations offer classes that offer a certification program for teen babysitters. If you have pets the babysitter should also know how to care for them.

Always post a list of emergency phone numbers (including friends and neighbors that live close by) in plain sight and let the babysitter know that when in doubt it’s better to call 911 and be safe then sorry. And ask the babysitter for her/his parent’s phone number.

Here are some links to more info. There are even online babysitter training courses.



Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

There is a great sitter service out there called www.sitterscout.com that actually takes your offline network of friends online to connect you up with babysitters. You can see which sitters your friends are using and then find out more about them. It takes "word of mouth" to a whole new level!

When you need to book a sitter, SitterScout even does the work for you, enabling you to contact all your sitters at once to find out who is available. You can stop playing phone tag and have more time for yourself -- something all moms can use. :)

May 21, 2009 - 12:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

These are some great resources, but are there really more things to worry about these days? Or are parents just more (over)protective now?

May 21, 2009 - 11:59am
EmpowHER Guest

Check out www.care4hire.com. I used them to find my sitters and have had great success. It’s quick and easy to login and contact sitters directly. I highly recommend their site to all my family and friends.

May 21, 2009 - 7:34am

Word of mouth is still the best way to find a babysitter. Chat with your mothers group or at a school P&C function and you will soon find out the good babysitters in your local area.

May 20, 2009 - 7:55pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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