Jake and I were clueless when it came to searching for a babysitter. Our needs were simple – the occasional date night sitter and someone to take E off of my hands for me to run a few mid-day errands. Other friends had used Care.com, so I decided to give them a try! We were able to post the job listing, easily respond to messages, and hire a sitter within a week! There are a few tips that I learned in our search that I’d like to share to make your hunt a little bit easier than ours.
Turn on notifications from the care.com app
I used the app on my phone (instead of the website) to respond to messages really easily and in real time. I actually never logged into the website for any of our search and found that the app was easy to navigate. Once you post your job you will get LOTS of messages… be prepared to respond to them as soon as you can in order to move the interview process along.
Have a clear job posting with needs and wage
We were shocked to find out what the hourly rate was for sitters in our area, but that’s the price you pay (literally) for someone capable to watch your child! Be sure to list out all of your needs – include feeding responsibilities, bathtime, bedtime/naps, etc.
Meet your potential babysitters in a public place before you hire them
After I narrowed down the babysitter hunt to two potentials, I planned to meet them both at a local coffee shop. I had a few questions I was planning to ask them, mainly about experience, but I really wanted to see how they reacted around Everly. Would they help her when she tossed a toy out of the stroller? How would they react if she got fussy/started crying? Were they attentive when I let her out of the stroller? Everly’s at the age where she loves strangers, but I was also interested in seeing how she acted around them. Did she start to cry/run away when they offered to hold her? Did she seem happy around them?
Have a list of questions ready to ask/interview
Treat this as a serious interview – if the prospective babysitter is not prepared to answer your questions, that should be your first red flag. If you bring your child along with you, you are guaranteed to be distracted, so have the questions written out/typed up on your phone.
Once you hire the babysitter…
It’s stressful to leave your child with someone new. I found comfort in leaving lots of lists! I had everything written out easily for the babysitter to refer to. I also plan to stay close to home for the first couple of times the sitter comes, in case I did need to head home for any kind of “emergency”. I’d also recommend laying out any rules that you have during a “walk through” before you leave – ie: put baby to sleep on back, instructions for diaper change, bottles, etc.
I hope this post was helpful for any moms or dads looking to hire a babysitter! If you have any additional tips, leave them below in the comments!