There will always be a dilemma for a working mother when choosing a babysitter or a nanny. One of the most depressing moment is when you have to leave your baby with someone else. And this someone else could either be someone you already know or in some cases a total stranger.
In communities where both parents work, it is a norm for them to leave their children with child minders. It can be at childcare centres or nurseries, with live-in housemaids or babysitters. Choosing a babysitter to take care of the child is popular with couples having one or two children while maids are hired for those having more children and with higher income.
Some mothers are fortunate to have their own relatives as babysitters. On the other hand, there are mothers who need to depend on others. Firstly, the perfect time to start looking for a sitter is during your pregnancy. Do not wait until you are about to start work again for this will add more stress on you. Go through a number of potential ones and select the best. Ask around. Get the opinions of friends, family and neighbours who had used the babysitter’s service before. It is your right to have your baby in good hands! Some parents also place advertisements in newspapers or bulletin boards searching for a babysitter’s service.
So, what are the criterias that parents should look for when choosing a babysitter? The most important one is of course basic child care. A babysitter needs to know this, be it from her own experience, from being a mother or from any basic child care courses she had enrolled before. She must love children, mature, capable and knows how to relate to them. Let her know your requirements and expectations so that any issues at a later stage could be addressed properly.
Interview her and find out her capability in handling emergencies. What will she do if the baby chokes or when baby falls ill? It is important that she will not panic when faced with emergencies. Make sure the babysitter’s place (if that’s where you are sending the baby. Some babysitters do come over to your home to babysit.), has a phone or at least she has her mobile. This will make it easier for you to contact her. Remember to give her your contact numbers for emergency cases. It is wise to give a few emergency contacts, in case you are not available at that moment.
In addition to the above, when choosing a babysitter, make sure that the sitter enjoys playing with the child, is patient with child and is able to keep the child clean. One can gauge this by observing her body language. Is the babysitter at ease when in the company of the child? Does she smile or laugh with the child? Another factor to be considered is a good-mannered babysitter and a healthy one too!
It is fine to be choosy when finding a babysitter. Having a good babysitter whom you trust, will help you feel relax when you are away from your child because you know that he is in good hands.