Babysitter tips?

(4 posts)(3 voices)
  1. We are hoping to hire our first babysitter (my twins are almost 3.5 yrs old!) this summer. We found a wonderful assistant at the kids' daycare and she is available to babysit and I feel comfortable leaving the kids in her care. So, having never hired a babysitter before, what do I need to know? I assume she will tell me what she charges...and I assume we will pick her up and drop her off....and what else? What do I need to tell her? I really know absolutely nothing about this so any tips/ideas are welcome.

    Thank you!

  2. Best of luck, first of all.

    We explained the babysitting concept to DS. We left her after DS had gone to sleep but wanted to be sure that he wouldn't be too surprised to see her rather than ourselves if he woke up. We explained to him that Mummy and Daddy were going our to a restaurant in the village and she'd be minding him. We only stayed out 2 hours and of course, he never woke up.

    We always leave our mobile phone numbers and let her know that we're happy for her to call us.

    We also leave biscuits/chocolate/treats and tea/coffee for her enjoyment.

    Always have cash rather than relying on her to be able to break a 50note, for example.

  3. Why assume you'll have to pick her up? I've rarely had to do that with a sitter.

    Twins at our house too, which of course can be a challenge. Be sure to be very clear with her up front about your "rules". Can she take them out in the yard? Can they be in the yard themself or must she be with them at all times? Can she take them for a walk? Where to? Can she take them out in the car?

    Be specific about friends coming over. Be specific about cell phone use and tv time. Foods the kids should/shouldn't eat.

    Be specific about her duties. Is she just to watch the kids or do you expect toys to be picked up as well? I've had sitters argue that they just watch the kids ... mom cleans up later. (they don't get hired again). Do you expect dishes to be done or any household chores? I've found that many sitters fully expect that the toys the kids take out in their care get put away and that they also will wash the dishes if they serve lunch etc ..... but some don't see things that way.

    Good luck -
    Michelle in NY
    ds 7
    bb twins 4.5

  4. seahorsevn,
    Thanks for the good luck wishes...I will need them, I've never been crazy about leaving them in anyone else's care but I really like this girl so I think I'm ready! Good idea about explaining it all to the kids - I actually hadn't thought of that.

    I assume we are going to drive her because she lives on her own and doesn't have a car. Thanks for all your tips - they were all super great ideas and I've jotted them down on a piece of paper so I will be all ready when we first hire her.


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