If you’re one of those parents that are lucky enough to have found a babysitter that you really like, then here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to retain that babysitter (rather than scaring her off).
*By the way, I am aware that both males and females babysit – but for the sake of simplicity, I use only the female pronoun in this article.
With that being said, here is my list of ways to keep your babysitter happy:
1. Pay a reasonable rate.
Underpaying a babysitter is a great way to assure that this babysitter will be “busy” the next time you need someone to watch your little bundles of joy. Pay well and you’ll have a sitter that is ready to show up at the drop of a hat.
2. Keep snacks and treats around that she can eat.
If you are out shopping and you know that you are going to be having a sitter in the next few days, then try picking up a small box of cookies, some ice cream treats, and/or some chips & dip. Find out what your babysitter’s favorite snacks and drinks are then do your best to have some on-hand for the next time she comes to watch your little one(s).
3. Provide clear instructions and expectations.
Write them down if you need to. Without clear instructions, it is difficult for your babysitter to know what you expect of her. Don’t forget to leave a number where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
4. Allow him/her to have a friend over.
This can be a gutsy move…but if you know the friend that she is having over…or if you are comfortable with this idea…then it may be worth the risk – especially if the babysitter is babysitting on a holiday or on some other special night.
5. Explain the TV/cable.
Many times, babysitters don’t know how to operate the TV/cable in your house because it is different from what they have at their home. Too often, they don’t notice this until AFTER you have left. Make sure that the instructions on how to use the TV/cable are clear – otherwise it could make for a long night for your babysitter. Also, if you have WiFi then you might want to share your password before leaving.
6. Spend a few minutes chatting before you leave.
Don’t just run out the door when the sitter arrives. Take some time to greet and chat with your sitter. This will make her feel a little more at ease and will also make her feel a bit more valued.
7. Rent a movie and/or order a pizza.
This would probably make your babysitter’s night! You could even ask ahead of time if there is a movie that she would like to see – or if pizza sounds good to her (if so, then ask what toppings she would like!).
8. Return when you say you will.
Nobody likes it when people are late – especially babysitters. Follow these tips and you’ll have one happy babysitter working for you. It also helps to have well-behaved little kiddos – but that’s a whole different article!