Your baby is sleeping peacefully — right in front of you — but you still have that longing feeling, like you miss her. The thought of leaving her is tough right now, but gradually, you'll begin to feel like you can take some time away for "you time". Sooner or later, you'll even consider the idea of hiring a sitter to care for her. Whether you're spending an evening out with your partner, or just craving a peaceful afternoon to yourself, choosing the right babysitter is important — both for the safety of your child and for your own peace of mind.
Finding the right sitter
Leaving your child in someone else's care is never easy, so finding the right sitter for your family is important:
- Ask friends and family to recommend names of some reliable sitters.
- Look for someone who's taken a babysitting course or CPR training and who's had a lot of experience babysitting children the same age as yours.
- Ask for references and take the time to check them out.
- Interview the babysitter at your house so she can meet your child and see your home.
- If your little one will be cared for at the sitter's home, go over for a visit to assess its cleanliness and safety.
- Train your own sitter. Ask a potential sitter to spend time with your child while you're at home working or resting. After several sessions of supervising and training, you'll feel more comfortable when it's time to go solo. (You may want to offer to pay for a first aid/CPR class.)
Did you know?
Some churches and schools keep lists of teenagers who are interested in babysitting. Check with those in your area, but be sure to interview them in person, and check references if possible.
At just 3 months old, your baby starts to be aware of who's staying with her, so it's a good idea to make introductions between your potential sitter and your little one. The more familiar the sitter is, the more your child will be willing to spend time alone for a few hours. If possible, invite the babysitter over for an hour or so to play with your child beforehand.
Heading out the door
When you're finally ready to take the plunge and leave your baby in someone else's care, leave your sitter with any contact information, such as your cell number, and the emergency contact information of your neighbours or other family members. If this is the sitter's first job in your home, give her a house tour so she'll know where to find the telephone, first aid kit and all emergency exits. Finally, follow your instincts. You know when something doesn't feel right, so listen to your gut, and feel better while you're out.