Last year, we welcomed an amazing babysitter into our lives and not a day has gone by where I haven’t been immensely grateful to have her. I’ve never had a “bad” babysitter per se, but this one is EXTRA special. Extra special as in she TRULY loves my children as if they were her own. That’s something you don’t see often, and I don’t take it for granted. Many of you have asked how we went about finding her, so today I’m sharing How to Find a Good Babysitter with you and some tips to keep in mind during your search!
How to Find A Good Babysitter
Listen, finding someone you’re entrusting your children’s lives in that ISN’T you is not an easy task. It’s something I’ve always struggled with because I wanted someone who would treat them as I would, as if they were their own. And that’s a big ask from a person! Here are some things I did as I went about the process.
Ask your friends/family members for referrals. We aren’t fortunate enough to have family that’s local to us, which means we can’t exactly count on family for babysitting help! This is why I needed to find someone else. I started by asking friends for referrals, and even put a call out on my personal Facebook page expressing my needs and what I was looking for. We are also actively involved in our church community, so I asked there as well. One of my close church friends mentioned she knew of someone that was looking for a steady babysitting job, and that she trusted her with her own daughter because of how wonderful she was. That gave me some confidence, because this friend is someone I can relate to on many issues in motherhood, so I decided to give her suggestion a shot! Another suggestion is to use one of those websites like Care.com, but I personally didn’t feel comfortable doing this. But I know many who’ve had great experiences with it!
Set up a phone interview. I feel like simply talking on the phone can give me good/bad vibes in a person, so I started with a typical phone interview. I discussed my needs first to see if this was even possible, and we chatted about how many years she’s been babysitting and the different ages she sits for as well. Once I asked my basic questions and felt GOOD about it, I decided it was time to meet her in person!
Set up an in-person interview. This can be personal preference, but I felt an in-person interview WITH my kids present was best. I wanted to see how they would respond to her and also get a feel for how she interacted. I’m pretty good with discernment, so I knew if I felt like anything was “off” it would be a no go. Lucky for me, my kids took to her IMMEDIATELY. She stayed for about 2 hours, chatting about how she handles discipline (HUGE guys, that’s a huge thing to ask!), what activities she would like to do, preferences for meals, and what she would need from me. She also offered to do minor housework for me (this was when Landon was in preschool and Noelle was taking multiple naps a day). She said she had no issue folding some laundry or emptying the dishwasher if needed. So I suggest asking if that’s an option, as well, if you know she’ll have some down time! Once our in person interview was over, I knew this was someone that would work for our family.
Check references! Lucky for me, I knew many of the references she gave me, AND they were people I knew I could trust. I still checked with them anyway, juuuust to be sure, but of course the response was as expected. They all spoke very highly of her! But don’t be afraid to ask and call their references, and REALLY inquire about how they are with children.
Have them do a test run, with you home. My plan for hiring our sitter was so I could work from home uninterrupted, so it was easy to do a test run since I’m usually always home. We started out with a couple days a week to see if this was a good fit, and thankfully for us it was. A test run is helpful because you can see how they are in action in any situation that comes up.
Other things to ask/consider: Are they infant/child CPR certified? How will they handle emergencies? How to they handle discipline? Set expectations about phone use if that’s a concern. Be specific with the types of meals you want your kids fed, but also have things prepped for them too. Ask if they will bring their own food, or if you should provide food (I always have something for my sitter to eat here, but some like to bring their own food!). Give them your kids’ schedules and go over specific nap time routines. And keep an open line of communication!
My children LOVE our sitter. Sometimes I wonder if they love her more than me, haha! They are SO excited when she walks in the door, and get so upset when it’s time for her to leave. I feel so lucky to have found someone as special as she is, and I pray she’s in our lives forever (even if it’s not as a sitter anymore!). She’s become like family to us, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂
I hope this was helpful! If you have any additional tips on how to find a good babysitter, leave them in a comment below for other mama’s to read!