How To Find A Babysitter or Nanny for Your Newborn

By Ashley Paskill on May 26, 2022

Leaving your child with someone to babysit or nanny for the first time is daunting, but it is an even bigger deal when it comes to your newborn baby. Taking this leap is daunting, but you will have to do it eventually. However, there are qualities you can look for in a babysitter to help ease your nerves and ensure you get someone who will truly care for your child.

Knowledge of child development

This may seem basic, but your babysitter should have a basic understanding of child development. This includes when babies eat certain foods, teething, and even sitting up on their own. You may want to give some level of guidance on this, especially if you know your baby has special dietary needs, but overall, the babysitter should have a working knowledge of this.

Open communication

It is understandable that a sitter may not want to interrupt plans you have if an issue arises, but you still need them to alert you if they have a question or emergency. They should also be able to respond in a timely manner if you text to check in with how things are going. Be patient if they do not reply within a few minutes, but if they do not reply at all, this may be cause for concern, even if all is well. The sitter should answer any questions you ask thoroughly and be willing to provide thorough information when they tell you how things went.

Safety precautions

The sitter should have knowledge on how to best keep your newborn safe. As a newborn, your child is likely unable to hold their own head up, so the sitter should know how to properly hold and sit your child. The sitter should also be certified in first aid and CPR, specifically for infants. They should know to not leave a baby alone on a changing table and to keep harmful objects and chemicals out of reach.

Image: Daniel Reche via https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-lying-on-pink-bed-1556706/

Patience

It should go without saying that finding a sitter who is patient is a must. Your child is likely to cry a lot, especially right when you leave. This is especially true if this is your first time away from you. The sitter needs to be patient enough to go through what needs to be done to calm the baby down without calling you every two minutes or doing something that could harm the child. While you may be able to instruct them on what helps calm your child down, the sitter will ultimately have to figure out what works for them and the child as the relationship dynamic will be different.

Trial run

Before you leave the sitter or nanny alone with your newborn, consider having them come over when you are home to have a trial run to see how they would handle certain things with them. Observe their interactions and how they handle situations such as feeding, diaper changing, and playing. Get a feel for their personality and skills and see if these things are a fit for you and your child. If they have any questions such as how to change a diaper or any other situation, you will be right there to aid and help them when they have to do it on their own.

Have them arrive early

On the day that they are babysitting or nannying, have them arrive a half-hour early to go over any last-minute rules, questions, and emergency information. Leave things such as your cell phone number and the phone number of where you will be so they can contact you if needed. Discuss any procedures, such as a bedtime routine, that will help them help your newborn. Be sure to set clear expectations as to what they can and cannot do, use, and eat while watching your baby. Have a note that includes information such as allergies, likes and dislikes, and feeding and sleeping schedules.

Check in with the sitter

Call to check in every so often to see how the sitter is doing and how the child is. If you have a scheduled bedtime, call to check in with the sitter to see how it went. When you get home, consider talking to the sitter about how things went. This will help ease any concerns your sitter has and will comfort them if they were thinking the baby’s crying was a reflection of their inability to calm them down. See how they handled situations to see if you would have them watch your child again. If things went well and your sitter seems happy, having them back would be good, especially if your newborn was comfortable with them.

Hiring a babysitter or nanny for any child is difficult, but trusting someone is your newborn is daunting. However, knowing what to look for and how to approach the process can help ease your mind.

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