1. Parenting

Video:Choosing a Babysitter

with Kathy Moore

Finding a reliable babysitter is an essential task for any parent who wants to spend an occasional night on the town. Learn some tips on how to choose a babysitter for your children, and you'll enjoy your kid-free evening with peace of mind.See Transcript

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Transcript:Choosing a Babysitter

Hi! I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Non-family babysitters are important for you and your family. You need time away from the kids and they will benefit from interaction with others. This program will offer tips on how to choose a baby sitter.

Sitter Age and Experience

There is no magic age at which someone becomes a good babysitter. Whether you are looking for a teenager or an adult to care for your kids, a sitter's skills and experiences are more important than age.

Find a Good Sitter

If you are having trouble finding a babysitter, start by asking other moms about whom they use. A local church or childcare provider may also be a good source for leads in the search process.

Interview the Babysitter

When you find a potential candidate, arrange for an in-person interview. If the sitter is a teenager, you might want to invite his or her parents along as well. Including the parents will help you better evaluate the situation and build a bond of trust with the sitter and the parents.

Questions to Ask a Potential Sitter

Some of the questions I ask are:
  • What experience have you had taking care of young children?
  • Have you taken any babysitting classes?
  • Do you know first aid or CPR?
If you have an infant, you will also want to know if the potential sitter knows how to change a diaper, hold and feed a baby.

Let Your Kids Meet the Babysitter

Be sure your kids are present during the interview to see how the sitter interacts with them.

Do a Babysitter Test Run

Once you have found a sitter, try a test run. Have the sitter come over to watch the children while you do yard work. Stay out of the sitter's way, but close enough to observe how the sitter gets along with your kids. Afterwards, you can review how things went and respond to any questions before leaving the sitter completely alone with the children.

Finding a baby sitter that fits your family is key to any quality time away from home. Knowing your children are safe, secure and happy offers peace of mind for everyone. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at About.com parenting.
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