Leaving your kids with a sitter for the first time can be very nerve racking. Generally, we choose a family member that has experience with children and knows them well. Not everyone has that luxury, though. Maybe you have moved across the country for a job and don’t have any family in town. Asking friends can always be a great option and you can take turns so that you both get some time out.Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase. All opinions are my very own and I never share anything that I don’t use and love! This is at no cost to you and allows me to stay home with my babies! Thank you!
Where to find a reliable sitter…
When those are not options for you or not ones that you’re comfortable with then it’s time to find a great sitter for your family! Your kids are your life and you want them to be safe and have fun while you’re out, that way you can enjoy yourself as well. I definitely understand that! I have been on both sides of this coin first as a nanny and then as a mom.
If you have a friend that can recommend a great and trusted sitter then that is awesome! Lucky you! If not then it may be time to look into your local sitters. I like to use Care.com.
On Care.com you will find a great large database of all kinds of caregivers. You can see photos, descriptions, reviews, references, background checks and even pay your sitter online. The cost is not too high and you have different pricing options to choose from.
How to choose the right sitter…
The next step is how to choose the right sitter for your kids. There are a few key things to think about when making this decision.
- Personality type – You will want to choose a sitter with a personality type that suits your child. If your kids love outgoing people and tend to gravitate towards them, then that is a good way to go. On the other hand, if you kids are more responsive to a quieter and more gentle personality then lean that way. If you are not sure what your children prefer then look to their #1 fav person…you! Pick a sitter with a similar personality so that your kids will feel comfortable with her/him.
- Age – You’ll want to consider the right age range of your sitter as well. If you have babies or teenagers you may want to look to someone older with more experience or someone your teenager is more likely to respect. If you have toddlers, preschool, and school-aged children your choices are more open. Often times the teenage and college-age sitters have great energy and creative ideas for play.
- Family Values and Religious Beliefs – If you are not comfortable with your child looking up to someone who dresses, acts or looks a certain way then you should not choose a sitter like that. If you are only comfortable with someone who shares your religious beliefs then you should choose a sitter who shares your faith. This person will have an impact on your child and one on one time with your child. Feel free to choose someone that fits your family’s values. It’s okay to be picky when you’re choosing a sitter(after all they will be looking after the people you care most about)!
- Gut Feeling/Mom Instincts – You know that feeling you get when a kid is going to mess with your kid at the park? Or the way you can tell something is off with your child and the next day they are running a fever…Use those instincts! Have a skype or phone chat with the sitter and see how you feel after talking to them. If you instantly feel comfortable with the person then you have found a good fit and if not then move on.
What to do after you choose a sitter…
If you are still not sure about leaving the kids with the sitter, try a sitter play date. Invite the sitter to come to your home for a few hours while you’re there. This is great for the kids getting comfortable too. You can use that time to putz around the house while your kids play with the sitter and you secretly watch. You still have to pay the sitter to come but it may ease your mind to see how they interact with your children.
Once you think you have found the right sitter, plan a night out nearby in case anything goes awry. Make sure you get feedback from both the sitter and your kids about how the night went. Hopefully, it was a match and you have found yourself a great sitter! If not, don’t be discouraged and try again.
Let me know how your first night out was below!