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Finding A Babysitter

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 18, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Calvin Leong

 

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Babysitters can be found online, through newspaper ads, through childcare agencies, and by word of mouth. If you need help finding a babysitter, consider asking another parent or a neighbour for suggestions.

What Should I Look For In A Babysitter?

You should look for a babysitter who is:

  • Trained in CPR
  • Trained in basic first aid.
  • Experienced in babysitting.

You may also want to look for a babysitter who has taken a babysitting class.

Arabic mother with baby at home

What Should I Do Before I Hire A Babysitter?

Consider setting up an interview. During the interview:

  • Try to get to know the babysitter.
  • Get a feel for the babysitter's personality.
  • Ask what the babysitter would do in certain situations.
  • Have your children spend time with the babysitter.
  • If the babysitter has experience, ask for the contact information of the families whom the babysitter has worked for.

After the interview:

  • Contact the families whom the babysitter has worked for and ask if they would recommend him or her.
  • Ask your children how they felt about the babysitter.

It may be helpful to start by hiring the sitter to help take care of your children while you are at home.

 

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How Should I Prepare?

Write down important details for the babysitter, including:

  • The best way to contact you.
  • The phone number of the person whom the babysitter should call if you cannot be reached.
  • Information that the babysitter may need in case of an emergency. This includes:
    • Your full name.
    • Your children's full names, heights, weights, hair colours, and eye colours.
    • Your home address and the closest landmark.
    • A neighbour or a relative who lives near you.
    • Your children's doctor and the nearest hospital.

What Should I Do When The Babysitter Arrives?

  • Give the babysitter a tour of the house. Show the babysitter:
    • Where you keep first-aid supplies, including bandages, a thermometer, and creams for scrapes.
    • How to get out of the house in an emergency.
    • Danger areas, such as hidden steps.
    • Where you keep flashlights.
  • Remind the babysitter of basic safety rules like these:
    • Never leave the children alone in the house.
    • Always be present if a child is in a stroller or walker.
    • Stay with a child if he or she is in the tub.
    • Do not let a stranger enter the house.
  • Tell the babysitter about any rules that you have. These may include rules about having visitors, watching TV, smoking, drinking, using a computer or other electronic devices, and taking your children outside.
  • Give the babysitter information that is specific to your children, including:
    • Routines for mealtime and bedtime.
    • What foods to give your children and which foods should not be eaten.
    • Information about any health issues that your children have.
    • Directions about how to give any needed medicines or treatment.
  • Review with the babysitter what he or she should do in case of an emergency.
  • Go over anything else that you think is important.
  • Ask the babysitter if he or she has any questions.

Cute baby reading with his mother

General Instructions

  • Support the babysitter's authority whenever possible. If you do not, your children may lose respect for the babysitter.
  • Make sure the babysitter will get medical help right away if:
    • A child is choking
    • A child is having trouble breathing.
    • A child is unconscious.
    • A child has a seizure 
    • The sitter thinks that a child may have swallowed something that could make him or her sick.
    • A child gets hurt and the injury is causing pain, severe bleeding, or swelling.

Summary

  • It is important to find a responsible person to take care of your children when you are away.
  • Babysitters can be found online, through newspaper ads, through childcare agencies, and by word of mouth. If you need help finding a babysitter, consider asking another parent or a neighbour for suggestions.
  • Before you hire a babysitter, consider setting up an interview.
  • Remind the babysitter of basic safety rules.
  • Review with the babysitter what he or she should do in case of an emergency.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

References:

Abner KS, Gordon RA, Kaestner R, et. al.: Does child-care quality mediate associations between type of care and development?.J Marriage Family 2013; 75: pp. 1203-1217.

Chee, S.N. (2020, July 16). Personal interview.

Laughlin L: Who's minding the kids? Child care arrangements: spring 2011 Current Population Reports P70-135.2013.U.S. Census BureauWashington, DCLaws of Malaysia, Childcare Centre Act 1984. Available at: http://www.agc.gov.my/agcportal/uploads/files/Publications/LOM/EN/Act%20308%20-%20Child%20Care%20Centre%20Act%201984.pdf

Murkoff, H., & Mazel, S. (2004). What to Expect. Babysitter and Nanny Handbook. London: Simon & Schuster.

 

For more information on child care services, visit:

Caregiver Asia (Malaysia) - Babysitter Services

Red Cross - Infant and Child CPR

 

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Topics: Wellness

Calvin Leong

Written by Calvin Leong

Calvin Leong holds a Master in Medical Education from the University of Dundee, United Kingdom. He is certified in Clinical Wound Care by the ASEAN Wound Care Association. Calvin has 20 years of clinical and lecturing experience focusing on Mentoring in Healthcare, Traumatology and Medical Sciences. Calvin is HRDC certified trainer. He is also a Life Member of The Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP) and the Malaysian Society of Wound Care Professionals (MSWCP).

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