Finding the perfect nanny or babysitter is tough!
It can be easy to spend month after month at home with your partner because you’re worried to leave your precious little bundle of cuteness with anyone else. But you have to get out. The more often the better, in fact. If you have the funds to do it, every couple should find time at least once a week to get out and let off a little steam. Like I mention in my post Maintaining a Balanced Marriage After Bébé, taking time to reconnect just the two of you should be viewed as a necessary – and fun! – part of life after the kiddo arrives on the family scene. It might be tough to leave the first time but once you realize how recharged you feel after a night out, you’ll be calling the sitter up to come over more often.
That being said, finding a sitter or nanny can feel daunting and scary. Having nannied for 12 years, I’ve seen every possible parent reaction to leaving their little ones for the first time and, after having my own, can now completely relate to the concern and nervousness I saw in their eyes. When it came to deciding on our sitter, I knew there were a few things I needed to insist on so there could be comfortable and trusting relationship between both parties.
- Pick Someone Like You: There’s no one you trust more with your little munch than you, right? Well, then find someone you can really connect with and talk to. Transparency is important when it comes to finding a reliable and trustworthy sitter, so avoid applicants who seem unwilling to open up a bit and let you know them. In my experience, while more serious or guarded nannies are great at keeping the kids alive, they’re not much fun. Unless you’re looking for a night nanny to watch an infant while you sleep – in which case I’d recommend a doula – then fun is the name of the game when it comes to engaging with kids!
- Experience Counts: There are plenty of young, energetic sitters with minimal experience and awesome attitudes. I love these types of sitters but, in my humble opinion, would avoid hiring them for infant care. There are exceptions to the rule but unless your young applicant essentially raised their siblings, is infant CPR certified, and has glowing recommendations, then keep them in mind for when your kiddo is school-aged and needs a sitter who excels at activities that require lots of energy and less baby know-how.
- Check Their Credentials: I love Care.com because they have the option to run background checks on applicants. They also provide references and have reviews from other Care.com members who have used that sitter. Always read these reviews carefully and follow up with members who have used your preferred applicant if you can. It also goes without saying to make sure that your caretaker is CPR certified!
- Insist on a Trial Run: Perhaps the most important part of finding your ideal nanny is to have them come over and hang out with your kiddo while you work from home before making a hiring decision. Give them room to take control of situations so that you can see how they handle basic tasks like diaper changes, naptime, and screaming fits. Let them know that you’re just in the other room if they have any questions or concerns, but make sure not to rush in the second you hear crying. You’re wanting this person to be competent enough to take care of your little person so let them show you what they’ve got!
Keeping these things in mind helped me find the sitter we’ve had for the past few months and we couldn’t be happier! She’s funny, flexible, and great with Inés – even during her teething fits!
Give these tips a try and let me know how it goes! 🙂