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If you’re a new or fairly new parent, you are forced into quite a conundrum in early February: keeping that romantic spark alive with your partner vs allowing someone else to take responsibility for your baby’s well-being. If you’re lucky enough to have trusted family nearby than you’re at least 50% in front of this problem, but if you don’t, you know the thought of finding a trusted baby sitter for Valentine’s Day is loaded with anxiety.

How do you find someone trust worthy? How to find someone…on Valentine’s Day? How do you keep your mind in a good place while you’re away? These and more thoughts will race through your mind as V Day approaches.

1. Don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day. This is a simple solution to many of your problems. And the fact that V Day falls on Saturday this year is an additional blessing – meaning most everyone will actually be celebrating it on February 14th rather that “the Saturday after V Day”. So, if Friday or Sunday work within your schedule… or any other day of the week, you’ll have a much better chance at securing your baby sitter (not to mention dinner reservations) this year than in past recent years.

2. Get your baby sitter committed now – earlier the better. If you’re looking for the traditional high school student/weekend baby sitter, than you need to get that commitment sooner rather than later. Even if you’re planning on celebrating V Day on an off day, there’s still an unusual amount of competition during this week.

3. Use an online site. If you’re fairly new to town or simply in a pinch, online resources may be your best way to go to get a trustworthy and screened baby sitter. SitterCity is a really good site for exactly this. They do background checks and have full resumes and ratings of their qualified sitters. It is easy to find the sitters nearest you and compare their hourly rates as well.

4. Share a sitter! You may not have family available or close on this fateful day, but chances are you have made a few friends with toddlers along the way. Ask about sharing a baby sitter. Not only will it be more fun for the kids, but it’ll clearly be easier on your wallet. Of course, this isn’t something that you blind side said sitter with. It would be appropriate to agree upon a somewhat higher hourly rate.

5. Qualify your applicant. If you’re lucky enough to have many potential baby sitters referred to you, then trustworthiness in surely going to be your first concern. The American Red Cross offers very popular baby sitting training classes, and this credential should help the cream rise to the top. And while they don’t have a referral feature, you can look up your local chapter and call and ask for referrals.

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