When someone else will have to spend whole days with your children, you want them to be very trustworthy, kind, gentle, and responsible. It is, therefore, crucial that you take it very seriously when looking for a nanny. You will get recommendations, and several applicants will attend your interviews, but it can only come down to one or a few who you will decide to trust with your child. Here are a few tips to help you find the right nanny for your child without having to learn through experience:
Make Your Requirements Clear
A job description is the best way to sift for the best candidates. When you have clear requirements, the applicants will understand what is expected of them and apply.
For instance, if you need your nanny to have prior experience with children, you will cut down the number of newbies who apply. If you need the babysitter also to be the help and do chores like cooking and vacuuming, include it in the description. This will help you avoid narrowing down to suitable candidates who may walk away when new requirements are introduced.
It is essential to be as detailed as possible when writing your baby sitter’s job description. The clearer you are, the more likely that you’ll get the right candidate. Remember, however, that there is no such thing as the perfect babysitter and even you should be ready to make adjustments to your plan so that both of you can have an excellent working relationship. For instance, you may get a nanny with every quality you are asking for, but she won’t sleep in – she may have her place nearby and may not want to move in.
Check Their References and History
Your nanny’s working history is very important. It is the one way you can tell how good they are with children and if they have questionable incidences or traits that you should be worried about.
To avoid believing fabricated work experience, make sure to call the referees stated in their application. If you can, request a physical meeting and see what they have to say about your applicant. It may seem like way too much work, but for someone who you’ll be leaving alone with your child, it is more than worth it.
While you are at it, remember that no-ones perfect. Everyone makes honest mistakes, and you should be able to tell if they were just that. Repetitive mistakes may be tied to other issues that you may not really want to deal with.
Watch Them Work
Once you narrow down your list, give them a day or two at work and watch them. See how they relate to the baby and how they handle the pressure. Look at how they soothe the baby when he is crying and how gentle they are with him. Look for any alarming traits which will probably come out when they think that you are not watching. See how they organize their day and how they react when the baby is working them up. Check how they choose baby clothes and the way they dress the baby.
Some parents suggest that the best way to tell how good your sitter is by walking in on them when they are not expecting you. This, however, should take an adequate level of trust. You don’t really want to experiment with your child and stranger you are only just considering for the job.
There is much you can learn from just watching rather than hearing about.
Establish Ground Rules
It would also be a good idea to establish the rules to be followed as early as possible. Give them time to go through them and report back. If they are willing to follow those, well and good. If not, make a point of asking why – maybe some restrict them in some way or maybe others just seem unreasonable. You should be willing to bend some, but if you have any that are no-compromise, stick to them.
For example, you shouldn’t have to change any rules that restrict the sitter from feeding the baby sugary foods. You could, however, consider removing one that requires the sitter not to bring the baby out of the house – situations arise when the nanny has to go out and can’t leave the baby inside alone.
See How Your Child Reacts to Them
Your child should also be included as a major decision-maker when choosing a nanny. Their response to them should be a major consideration when making a hiring decision.
It is not really clear why children reject some adults and gladly take on others. It may have to do with baby stranger anxiety, but some children who have been known to kick and scream when in a stranger’s arms have also stopped crying and started giggling in another’s. Some people are also generally ‘good’ with children, and it is almost like they exude an air of calm and warmth that babies find welcoming and enjoyable. These are the people you want around your child.
Make Sure You Trust Them
Above all, make sure that you can trust your nanny. It is crucial that both you and your partner can go to work and focus well without calling home every five minutes to check if everything is okay. The best thing to do would be to follow your instincts. If something seems wrong don’t push it aside, try and find out what and if you can’t, it is better to go with the one you gut seems okay with.
In conclusion, you will get many applications when looking for a babysitter, but it is up to you to choose the right one for the baby and the job. You may want to get recommendations from friends and relatives who have worked with baby sitters before – it will be an excellent way to cut down some of the hiring processes. Don’t forget to listen to your gut – your instincts are always worth trusting.