Friday, October 16, 2009

Tell me about....babysitters

Mr. Goat and I are recognizing a real need for a date night, out of the house, just the two of us.  We've gone on a few dates so far but baby goat has always been with a family member (grandparent or aunt).  We know that this is not always going to be the case so it is time to start looking for a group of babysitters.  I have several people who have offered from church in particular but I thought I'd poll you guys and see what you do with baby sitters.  So, spill it blogland! :)

My questions:

1.  How old do want your baby sitter to be at least? 
2.  Do you expect any special classes - Red Cross babysitting class or CPR for example?
3.  How much do you pay a babysitter?
4.  Other things I need to know when choosing one?
5.  And tips for working up the courage to leave that first time and/or anything else I need to know?



liz said...

1. I expect (hope) I will relax on this once my kid(s) are older, but I would not be comfortable with a teenager watching a young baby. I started baby-sitting when I was 11, and I was pretty mature for my age, but I just could not bring myself to let an 11-year-old watch Anna! I’d say college or older.

2. No, I don’t think so, but I’d want to make sure the person had experience with babies and knew basically what to do in an emergency. I don’t think official certification would be required, though.

3. Good question—I have no idea. I made $2.50 an hour when I was a kid but I’d guess the going rate is higher now! The only person I’ve left Anna with (besides my parents) is a friend my own age and she wouldn’t let me pay her.

4. I’d just want to make sure that whoever you choose will give Baby Goat his/her full attention and isn’t going to be using your house for free food, internet access, inviting boys over, etc. Boy, I am turning into that parent, huh?

5. Once you find someone you trust, then just trust him/her and don’t look back! I’m sure this is harder on you than B.G., but he won’t even remember and will do just fine. Couple time is essential!! :)

Shadeflower said...

1. For an infant, I would say at least 18. When the child is a older, then you can choose one that is younger (minimum 12), in my opinion.

2. Yes. Red Cross babysitting classes are very important! Or some other sort of training in kid management.

3. From what I hear the going rate is $10 p/hour. I would start with asking THEM how much they want to be paid and hope they come back with a lesser number.

4. Try contacting a college student from Concordia College in St. Paul. There is a program there that certifies students for daycare, etc. Many of the students are looking for nanny and babysitting positions to add to their experience. From what I hear, they are all given background checks in order to enter the program. You may want to verify that.

Be sure to meet with the babysitter in person and conduct an interview. See how Baby Goat takes to the sitter and how s/he responds to him. And trust your gut - if you have any weird feelings at all, go on to the next candidate.

5. Leave emergency numbers (including a neighbor). Provide food for your sitter (and hide your favorites - ha!)

Most importantly, once you finally get out of the house, pay careful attention that you don't focus all your conversation on Baby Goat. It's okay to call once or twice to see how he's doing, but remember that your night out is to reconnect with your hubby!

Valerie said...

So, I don't have any experience hiring a sitter, but I remember first being hired as a sitter. I was only 13, and, like any mom with a 5 month old, she was a little concerned about my experience and how I might deal with such a young child. So, she tested me. She hired me for just a few hours while she took care of chores, short errands, etc. She was there for me if I needed anything, but she was also able to witness how well I did on my own. Of course, this depends on your ability to just stand back and let it go. Either way, I ended up with a pretty good gig for a few years. It's just a thought anyway.

Anti-Supermom said...

Liz, our dates nights when Wyatt was really young were for times after he went to bed, he went to bed at 6:30 for a long time, so it wasn't a big deal and then yes, we did have a high school babysitter and it was fine.

If it was the whole feeding, changing, putting them to bed thing, I'd probably go with an older person, maybe even another friend. You could always swap nights with a friend.

We ask what they want to be paid beforehand. I don't think it's would be considered rude at all.

Good luck and have a fun night out when you finally do.

Rebecca said...

No ideas from me. I just reading what your other readers are saying. We have two kids and have yet to hire a babysitter. Thank goodness for grandparents...