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Do you need a babysitter?

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Do you want a babysitter? Well having a baby shouldn’t mean you are confined to your home and child for the next 16 years. Every now and then, you and your partner may want a night off from baby duties to get out and enjoy a little ‘grown up’ time. As well as being a mum or dad, you are also a husband, wife, partner or individual who is also entitled to a little time out to maintain healthy relationships with our other halves or friends.

Who to call on first?

Our children are the most precious things in our worlds, so you want every reassurance they are in good hands when they aren’t with you. For most, the first people on the list would be grandparents. They did a good job of raising you so you know they will be able to handle any temper tantrum or emergency. Your child will know them and they should recognise your parenting skills and follow on in your footsteps while you are out.Do you want a babysitter?

If grandparents aren’t readily available, then a brother, sister or close family member may be the next option. They may have children of their own already or will have been around your child for longer periods of time to know their personality and habits and of course, family should be the most trustworthy people you can count on. Even though most family members wouldn’t expect to be paid for baby sitting, remember not to take them for granted and consider getting them a take-a-way to eat while they are there or buy a little gift as a token of your appreciation.

Friends or neighbours?

If you have friends or neighbours who regularly declare ‘we will look after them any time’ then why not take them up on their offer? If your friends have children of their own, offer to baby sit there’s in return on an alternate night or if you are close with a neighbour that you trust, offer to cut their grass or take their bins out if they don’t want to accept any money. As long as you trust them and are happy your child or children will be safe in their care, don’t be afraid to take them up on their offer now and then and where possible, reciprocate with their children.

Get references!

If you haven’t family or friends that are able to take care of your little one and you are happy to call in a babysitter you may not know personally, then you may want to get someone through recommendation or word of mouth from another parent. Be sure to get references from parents they have worked with before and check them out!

Age appropriate

Believe it or not, there are no laws regarding the age of baby sitters or the age you can leave a child alone. However, you can be prosecuted for wilful neglect if you leave a child unsupervised ‘in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health’. There are also guidelines set out by the NSPCC to help determine what ages are appropriate. Firstly, they believe that no child under 13 would be mature enough to cope in an emergency situation and so shouldn’t be left alone for a long period of time and they also recommend that no-one under 16 should be left alone to look after young children. If for any reason a child under 16 does look after another child, they will not be legally responsible for them. That responsibility remains with the parents or guardians.

Think about maturity

Even if a child is 16 or over, they may not be mature enough to babysit, so you should use your discretion and judgement wisely when deciding if someone would be an appropriate babysitter. An older teenage sibling may be perfectly capable of looking after their new born brother or sister and younger teenagers may be able to take care of older school age children and be aware of potential dangers.Do you want a babysitter?

Sort out the essentials

You should expect your babysitter to look after your child in your own home and ensure they know where the food and kettle is. You should leave contact numbers and back up numbers in case of emergency and leave a guide to your child’s routine. Make sure they know where nappies, wipes or toys are and whether you child needs feeding while you are out. Any instructions such as how to use the microwave or change TV channels will be greatly appreciated as well as either a taxi ride or lift back home. You should agree the rate of pay beforehand and ensure you pay promptly at the end of the evening.

Whether a family member, friend or professional babysitter, trust your instincts and only leave your child with someone you trust. Once you have – relax and enjoy! You will be back with your little one before you know it so make the most of your time out knowing they are well taken care of.

 

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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