If you talk to a new parent with a child under the age of one, chances are you may hear statements like, “I have never been apart from my child.” That changes over time as children grow up and parents realize they need a break. If you are at the tipping point, ready for a few hours away from your little ones, it is likely time to consider engaging a sitter to watch them. Below are five tips to ensure you have peace of mind when your child is in someone else’s care.
- Secure Your Home
To ensure that your sitter is the only new person in your home, secure your house with Bluetooth smart door locks. These locks can require anything from a code to biometric fingerprint verification to open them, ensuring that you are in control of whoever enters your house. Since these locks don’t require a key, they are impervious to lock pickers, creating another level of security for your family while you are away.
- Only Use Referrals
If you are new to having others watch your children and you want to be sure that your future sitters are trustworthy, ask friends who also have kids for a referral. Referred sitters have the benefit of a proven track record with people whose opinions you trust. If you have yet to make parent friends in a new area, use an online babysitting agency that has reviews of various sitters. Most of these sites also require their sitters to undergo a background check.
- Run a Background Check
If you’d prefer to perform your own background check, dozens of websites do so for a fee. Make sure your future sitter doesn’t have a criminal history by parting with a little cash up front. If that feels like a bit much, ask for them for references, or social media profiles you can research. The more information you can learn about them, the more comfortable you will feel.
- Require Certification
If you require that your babysitters are certified in things like child CPR, you are going to end up paying a little more, but that extra dollar or so per hour can be priceless. Credible institutions like the Red Cross offer babysitting classes and CPR certifications, and babysitters who undergo this training will know how to handle all of the minor emergencies that could arise while you are out, providing you with incredible peace of mind.
- Interview Candidates
In the professional sphere, it is normal to interview for a new job, and the expectation should be no different for hiring a babysitter to watch loved ones. Babysitters are professionals seeking employment with your family. Maximize the safety of your little ones by choosing a kid-friendly location near your home to meet with potential babysitting candidates. Thoroughly review all of your needs and concerns with them and take the opportunity to observe how they interact with your child.
If you struggle with the idea of letting someone else watch your child, do everything you can to ensure you are comfortable with the situation. Start with making sure your home is secure from intruders and be sure to run background checks and interview potential candidates. Engage only the most skilled babysitters by using referrals and requiring certifications. Every additional step you take in the process will increase your comfort level during your time apart from your children.