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6 Tips for Keeping the Perfect Babysitter

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 0

All couples with children understand the importance of a babysitter.  Depending on the demands required of a babysitter, a valued one can be difficult to find. 

The first place a person should look for a babysitter is within the family.


For most, an ideal babysitter is a trusted relative.  If you can’t find a babysitter within your family, turn to trusted friends.  Relatives and friends are not always willing or able. 

Therefore, babysitting as gainful employment exists.  Babysitting services are provided by different sources.  Some services require you to trust a stranger with your children.  Most services will charge per hour and per child for childcare services.  Babysitting rates vary by location, number of kids, and time of day.  Childcare for nights out can range anywhere from $7 - $20 per hour per kid.  Childcare quickly, becomes a costly expense.  Regardless, the value of time alone with your significant other, in the absence of children, is paramount to a well-balanced and happy relationship.

Stress can be high when leaving your child in the care of someone else.  Having someone you trust is not always enough to alleviate the worry.  Obtaining comfort with a particular babysitter’s ability to provide childcare is a large step in enjoying date night.

Once you find a sufficient babysitter, don’t screw it up.  In an effort to help maintain the symbiotic relationship between parents and babysitters, below are 6 tips for maintaining a positive relationship.

6.  Establish basic ground rules

rule balloon

This rule is most important if the babysitter is watching the kids at your house.  Kids tend to take advantage of babysitters, to the greatest extent allowed.  Setting ground rules for play time, eating, activities and bedtime makes it easier for all parties to meet the expectations of the other.

5.  Know your child

Know how your child is going to react when left with a babysitter.  Some kids do not handle being away from their parents well. 

Da Vinci sketch
If this is the case, start the babysitting experience in short intervals with familiar people.  Allow time for your kid to get used to being cared for by someone other than parents.  Other kids think babysitting times are party-time.  Explain to your child what acceptable behavior is, and establish consequences for unacceptable behavior.  A wide-open bratty kid or child that constantly cries will lessen the chances of a follow-up babysitting offer.

4.  Prepare and have available all materials needed

Providing all that is required to keep your child happy makes the babysitting experience better for all involved.  Make sure your child has his favorite stuffed animal or blankie.  Providing a movie is an excellent way to provide an hour or so of easy childcare.  For younger kids, make sure you supply the babysitter with ample supplies of diapers, wipes, formula (milk), bottles and snacks.  Nothing ruins a night of kid-free time more than having to end it early because your kid ran out of diapers.

3.  Be on time

clock on pole

Promptness is key to showing respect for others' time.  A babysitter is a person with plans, too.  If you agree to leave and return at specified times, those times need to be met.  If you do show up late, pay the same rate as if you arrived on time.  If you suspect a later return, notify the babysitter as soon as possible to make sure it is not a problem.

2.  Pay the babysitter

ice cream sundae

Pay the agreed amount upon your return.  Delaying payment steals the immediate gratification of a job well-done.  If the babysitter is watching your kids for free, bring back a small gift for their time.  A simple to-go dessert will go a long way in ending a babysitter's night in a good way.   

1.  Do not leave the babysitter with a full diaper

No one enjoys changing a poopy diaper.  No one.  This rule is especially important if your babysitter is a friend or family member that is not getting paid.  It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rush to get to work or late for some event.  It’s your kid and it crapped its pants – change its diaper before you leave.  Even if you are paying the babysitter, dropping off a stinky child is a horrible way to begin the experience.




baby in diaper


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