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First time looking for a babysitter ?

After you have a baby, it may seem like you will never have alone time with your spouse again. But fast forward a few months and you are ready for a date night! However, finding a trust worthy person to watch your precious baby may seem scary, overwhelming and nerve racking. You may be new to the Virginia area, and might not have family in town! Where do you find a sitter, what questions do you need to ask them? We’ve come up with a list of the 3 most important questions you need to ask a caregiver when interviewing.

  1. Sitter’s past experiences and reference.

It’s important to know who you are leaving your child with! The babysitter should be able to list some of the families she has worked with and tell you

how many years she has been babysitting, as well as the ages and how many children she has watched at once. It’s also good to check their references, especially if you have never met before.

2. Sitter’s Rates

This may be the awkward part, but it is important to find out what the sitter is expecting to be paid, BEFORE the night she comes over. Rates very between families and where you live. If you are unsure what is a fair price, ask some parents (or the sitter), in your area what is the average rate, and go from there!

3. Duties of Caregiver

Talk with the sitter up front about what you will be expecting of her that night to make sure she is comfortable doing it. Will she need to cook for the children, is she comfortable giving them a bath if the parents want that, does your child have any special dietary restrictions, such as a major allergy. I will say, from personal experiences that walking into a new home and having surprises like that is not easy for a sitter. Most of the time they will be fine, but it helps to be upfront and open.

Always remember that YOU are the parent and you should always trust your instincts! Your child is the most precious thing you have and you want to find the perfect person to watch them. If you are still unsure how your baby will do with another person, try going out on a small coffee date, maybe under two hours, the first time. Then when you get comfortable with the sitter, you can go out for a few hours and not worry about your child :)

Hope this is a good starting point for you and your family! Contact us at Ramey Birth and Postpartum Doula Services for help finding sitters, nannies and mom support groups in the D.C. and Richmond Areas.

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