Finding the right person to babysit your children can be an experience that creates anxiety and uncertainty, but there are many things you can do in order to ease the apprehension.
According to Wikipedia.com, “The use of the word "sit" to abbreviate to refer to a baby-sitter is recorded from 1800. The term may have originated from the action of the caretaker "sitting on" the baby in one room, while the parents were entertaining or busy in another.”
Regardless of whether you’re in the next room or in the next state, here is some advice from some Ohio-area parents who have tackled the issue.
Nicole P: This is different, but it’s still babysitting. In our community we have formed several babysitting co-ops. A group of 20 or so moms use a ticket system and utilize each other as needed. The send requests via email and use the tickets as they would cash per hour of service. The more kids you watch the more tickets you have to use for childcare for your own children. Each member starts out with a certain amount of tickets and they get together monthly so they all know each other well. It's a great system and a great way for your child to get to know other children in your community!
Christina W: So far it's just been family. But if I had to go outside I'd try to choose a friend who I know & trust well. If I HAD to have a complete stranger, I would make SURE they are trained in child CPR… and it would be nice if the person had references. Some people have age preferences for sitters – personally, I wouldn't let someone under 17 watch my daughter. There are also research sites online that list potential babysitters. Regardless of how I choose, when a potential sitter meets my child, they have to actually INTERACT instead of being shy & on the sidelines.
Bud H: So far, mostly just family. The few times we have hired outside of family, we hired one of the older kids from within our Children’s Theater company that we run.
Katie R: We've found all of our sitters by asking friends and neighbors who they use. I also know people who have had luck with the website www.sittercity.com.
Katie C: I've been blessed to have two really great teenagers living next door to me who are more than happy to take the job when my mom can’t watch my kids.
Amiee: My mom always suggests calling local churches for suggestions and references on sitters.
Laurie P. H.: We've used teachers from our child's before-school and after-school program as babysitters. They've been trained in CPR and the program checks them out before they can work with the kids. Plus we know them from seeing them every day for several years. They range in age from college to senior citizens. The program is strong and we trust the teachers.
Julie H: Our local high school has a list of high school kids that they recommend for babysitting. When I was in high school, my school did the same thing, and my name was on a baby sitter list back then. Also, there are baby sitter agencies, but be aware that these can get pricey.
Jackie E: We just use family to watch our 2 babies. My husband and I will wait until they can talk so they can tell me if the babysitter has her boyfriend over and other things. But most people I know who can't use family to watch their kids go to www.sittercity.com for nannies and babysitters.
Sabrina H: I went to www.care.com. Many of the people on there have current state police background checks on file, and then I interview. For the most part you will know how good they are in the first five minutes of conversation.
Want to do some more research on babysitting? The American Red Cross has a lot of great resources on its website, including class listings, things to consider, as well as a baby sitter self-assessment. Click here for more:
Please note that PBP does not specifically endorse any particular website or service mentioned by the parents above. We’re just offering up a “one parent to another” set of suggestions – we hope you’ve found them useful!
Do you have your own comments and suggestions? Leave your feedback in our comments section!