Child care: a first-time parent’s guide to hiring a babysitter


Transitioning to parenthood is no different from riding a roller coaster if we take into consideration the amalgam of emotions and worries experienced including excitement, happiness, joy and love but also tiredness, irritability, restless and sometimes even frustration. Sharing new responsibilities, achieving work-family balance and enjoying intimacy represents some of the main challenges faced by first-time parents. The reality is that people do not fall in love, get married and push together the baby carriage towards the sunset. New parents have to deal with sleep deprivation, additional tasks that take up all their leisure time, lack of relationship satisfaction and clashing styles when it comes to raising the baby. Taking into account that parents today have a hectic schedule, especially when they struggle to maintain their productivity level in the office and help their child become a healthy, happy and successful person. For this reason, more and more parents choose to hire a babysitter or a nanny with experience in child care and capable of meeting the needs of their little one.

The risks of hiring a babysitter without doing your research

However, some parents strongly doubt this choice because they think about all the scenarios possible: the babysitter might not be as caring as they thought at the beginning, which means that the child would not benefit from the supervision of an adult thus putting him in great danger, she might have a shady past and harm the innocent baby, she might rob, run and leave the infant alone. Indeed, many unfortunate events involving nannies or babysitters have occurred in numerous homes around the world, but the truth is that making sure that the person hired to care for the child is competent, loving and trustworthy is solely the job of the parents. After all, you are allowing a stranger to come into your home and spend time alone with your helpless infant. Therefore, if the parents cannot balance work and family life, they should at least do their homework before hiring a random babysitter found on the internet. In fact, they should be aware that hiring a person, even if just for taking care of a baby, makes them somehow responsible for her wellbeing. What happens if the respective nanny suffers an injury while doing her job? Moreover, parents should decide if they want to contact an agency or tackle the selection process on their own.

What should the perfect babysitter look or be like?

First-time parents have no experience in childcare so it would be preferable to choose a well-meant babysitter who can teach them one or two things about the proper way to raise a baby. Being picky is more than recommended when selecting someone to spend time with your bundle of joy. Under no circumstances, you should be ashamed for pointing out the flaws that you notice to a candidate and that make you consider it a bad choice for the job. In fact, you should write a list of questions that you should not hesitate to ask during the interviews, especially if you believe that it will facilitate the selection process. Obviously, the right candidate must have a positive enjoyable personality, be available any day of the week, know how to handle separation anxiety like an expert and preferably have specialized training in childcare like attending a babysitter course or knowing CPR. If you decide to introduce her to the baby, make sure that you do a thorough background search first in order to determine if you are dealing with a dangerous or deceitful person. You know that appearances can be deceiving and some people master the art of getting under your skin.

Do not hesitate to ask as many questions as you want

You have the right to ask everything related to health, personality, childcare philosophy, knowledge or experience in the field, cooking skills, hourly rate of pay, sense of humor and location. After all, you want to make sure that she lives as close as possible to your home in case of an emergency, that she is able to nourish the baby if you did not have the time to prepare food and that she is in good health so that she can face the challenges of supervising a troublesome baby with success. If you have special requirements, feel free to express them during the interview to see the reaction of the candidate and receive a concrete answer. Maybe she has a pleasant aura, but she cannot satisfy your specific needs. This means that you have two options available: make a few compromises and hire the respective person or keep looking for the perfect babysitter. Once you find a nanny for your little angel, you should draft a clear contract stating the amount of money you are going to pay for the job, the permission or interdiction of having visitors overnight, using the appliances in the house and the number of hours she has to stay with the baby. 


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