Overnight Babysitting: What To Know About Hiring A Babysitter

By Ashley Paskill on January 7, 2023

Hiring a babysitter to watch your kids overnight is daunting, especially if it is your first time. You need to know that your sitter is someone you can trust and the kids will love. As difficult as it seems, there are things you can do to ensure that you find the right overnight babysitter for your kids.

Set expectations

Your babysitter is spending the night in your home, but they are still just your babysitter. They do not own your home and they are not responsible for everything you are responsible for as a parent. Set clear expectations on what you want them to do, whether it means doing the dishes or just putting them in the dishwasher or more. Having them do basic cleaning tasks, such as picking up after a meal or activity, is okay, but having them clean your whole house goes beyond their responsibilities. Their first priority is taking care of your kids. Let your babysitter know about the rules and routines you have in your house so you can help keep things as normal as possible for your kids, even if it is only for one night.

Plan ahead

Plan an evening where you have your sitter come over to follow you and your kids so they can learn your nighttime routine and see how you handle certain situations. This will give them a chance to ask any questions they have and learn how you do things. Have a notebook or a binder in place with information such as emergency contacts, meal options, and important information about your kids. Have this information to them a few weeks before babysitting overnight so they have time to look it over and come up with questions.

What to look for

When hiring a babysitter for a few hours, you want to ensure that you have the most qualified person for the job. This is even more crucial when you hire a babysitter to stay with your kids overnight. It is important to hire someone who is flexible, patient, and kind. You also want your babysitter to be certified. While basic first aid and CPR may seem like enough, there are courses for advanced babysitting to help your sitter prepare for even more in-depth scenarios that may arise. Be sure to check your babysitter’s references so you know they are trustworthy and capable of handling the job.

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Separation anxiety

If your kids have never spent a night apart from you, they may struggle with separation anxiety, which occurs when they are afraid or worried about being apart from someone or something they are attached to. Knowing how to handle separation if it arises is crucial for aiding the success of your child and the babysitter. Do not rush out the door, but do not prolong the goodbyes more than necessary. Before the evening the babysitter is going to be there, explain to your children what will be happening and assure them that you will be back. Remain calm when you are leaving as children will pick up on how you feel. Provide distractions so that your babysitter can avert their attention to an activity other than worrying about where you are and when you will be back.

Communicate with the babysitter

The most important thing you can do for your sitter is to communicate. Be available to answer any questions that arise in the days and weeks before the overnight stay, and keep your phone handy in case an emergency arises. That said, avoid checking in too often as it may come across that you do not trust the sitter. Let your sitter know where you will be, when you will get back, and what you expect of them. Give them the phone numbers of emergency contacts and the places you will be so they have a way to get in touch if they need to.

Consider your pets

If you have pets in your home, your babysitter will be responsible for taking care of them as well. This may involve giving them food, taking them for walks, or even giving them medication. If you feel comfortable, leave instructions for the babysitter so they know the procedures and routines for taking care of your pets. Otherwise, you may decide to put your pets in a kennel or a dog hotel overnight so your sitter can focus on your children. If you do keep your pets at home, you may even have your kids help your babysitter with the pet care routine.

How much to pay

When you have an overnight babysitter, you must pay for every hour they work. This includes when they are sleeping as they still are in charge of taking care of your kids at night. Some sitters charge more for overnight babysitting, while others stick with their usual hourly rate. Talk to your sitter to make sure you are both in agreement on what payment amount works for both of you. Be sure to keep in mind that it may seem like a lot, but it is because you are paying for overnight hours as well as daytime hours.

Hiring an overnight babysitter is challenging, but knowing what to do beforehand can help you manage the process and help you, your children, and your sitter be successful.

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