5 Things to Know About Hiring a Virtual Babysitter

By Alicia Geigel on April 28, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has left just about everyone with some form of mental or emotional burnout. Adjusting to life during Covid has been a major shift for all of us, whether it’s working remotely, assisting your children with virtual schooling, or restricting the frequency of how often you go out. As a parent, the stress of the pandemic along with balancing the responsibilities of work and home can be enough for you to take a break from for a bit and hire a virtual babysitter.

I know what you’re thinking, “Virtual babysitter? Yeah, right.” While the world of virtual babysitting may be foreign to you, there is a lot to learn and explore if you are open to it. Virtual babysitting, sometimes referred to as remote babysitting, is a form of babysitting that is done through services like Skype or Zoom. With virtual babysitting, the babysitter will typically engage your child for short periods of time, whether it’s completing schoolwork, crafts, reading, etc. Doing so allows you, the parent, to take short breaks to do the things you need to, such as cleaning up the house, preparing dinner, or unwinding with a nice book.

Though virtual babysitting is by no means a good replacement for long-term, full-day babysitting, it is a great option if you are looking to help balance your children with other responsibilities, like working from home or maintaining your home. Are you a parent that is curious about hiring a virtual babysitter? Unsure of what doing so entails? Here are five things to know before diving in!

virtual learning, kid, child, boy, remote, tablet, home

Image via Pexels

1. Do a Thorough Search To Find the Best Babysitter for You: Conduct a proper screening of your babysitter candidates by asking the questions that mean the most to you and are the most important. This could be how they entered the field of babysitting, how they plan on spending time with your child(ren), how much experience they have, etc. While you may be inclined to be more lax about hiring a virtual babysitter, still make sure you consider a variety of candidates and select the best babysitter for not only your children but also your situation. Background checks and interviews still matter!

2. Discuss Your Child and Their Interests Prior to Scheduling a Session: Just as you would do with a ‘normal’ babysitter, discussing your child, their personality, as well as their hobbies and interests with your virtual babysitter is necessary for your new sitter to prepare for themselves for spending time with your child. Doing so can give him or her ideas on learning techniques, craft and activity ideas, favorite books or subjects, etc. Additionally, this helps your babysitter get an idea of how best to handle your child if a problem arises during the appointment.

3. Always Remain Close By: As stated previously, a virtual babysitter is by no means an adequate replacement for a full-time, in-person babysitter. A virtual babysitter cannot clean up a mess, help if your child needs to use the bathroom, or standby if they get hurt. This means you, as the parent, must still remain close by to monitor your child. While the virtual babysitter will be occupying their attention, this doesn’t mean that your child isn’t vulnerable to, well, doing child-like things such as making a mess or wandering somewhere they shouldn’t.

4. Prepare Your Child For the Virtual Session: Similar to how you would prepare your virtual babysitter for your child, do the same for your child regarding the virtual babysitter. Prior to hiring or even the first session, talk to them about the babysitter: show them a picture, discuss what types of activities they will be doing together, and what to expect. Doing so familiarizes your child with the idea of virtual babysitting and helps to get them comfortable with the idea. A blog post by Babysits notes, “This is particularly important for very young or shy children, who might take some time to adjust and feel comfortable with their new virtual sitter.”

5. Determine if Prolonged Screen Time is OK With You: Nowadays, many parents are concerned with the idea of their children glued to a tablet or computer screen instead of doing activities outside of the internet realm. With the current state of our world and especially technology, it’s hard not to have your child without some kind of screen in their hands. Whether or not you agree with this, it’s important to evaluate how much screen time you are OK with your child having during the day. With a virtual babysitter,  prolonged screen time is inevitable, and if this is something you are uncomfortable with, perhaps consider in-person babysitting.

virtual learning, babysitter, home, child, boy, computer, remote

Image via Pexels

Though the idea of virtual babysitting may be unfamiliar to you, it is a great option to consider if you are looking to balance your work and home life during the pandemic. Always remember to just do what is best for you and your child!

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