Yes: you’ve found or even booked your potential babysitter, great! What’s next? How do you make sure the babysitting service runs smoothly? We give you 5 handy tips for thé perfect babysitting service!
#1. Always meet beforehand
Whether you ask the babysitter to be there 20 minutes early, or agree to meet up a week in advance, getting to know each other while enjoying a cup of tea is always a good idea. During the meeting, you can see if there is a good match with your little ones and if the babysitter fits your family. But how to tackle this initial meeting? No worries! Ask after her studies and hobbies but also especially her babysitting experience. You can, for example, ask the babysitter how she would respond to difficult babysitting situations. From her answers, you’ll usually be able to tell if she would act correctly in such situations.
#2. Brief the babysitter
Is she coming to babysit for you? Yay! Always ask the babysitter if she can come a bit earlier for a short briefing. Bedtime, important phone nummers, possible dietary requirements, the football club’s address, the recipe for the evening meal… There are so many things for the babysitter to remember! Always make a clear list with all the important things the babysitter should not forget. Besides practical things, it is also always good to talk about certain norms and values or what does and does not feel right to the babysitter.
Experienced Babysitting Angel Josse says, for example, on having a baby monitor with camera at one of her babysitting families: “I always feel like I am being watched as a babysitter. It feels kind of odd.” It’s good that both you and the babysitter know what you’re both comfortable with during the babysitting service. If you, for example, dislike the dishes not being done when you come home, tell her so, even if she’ll only be able to do so next time.
#3. Be prepared
Is the babyfitter supposed to feed your littlest one at night? Be prepared! Always make sure you have the required items ready, and explain how the microwave works and how hot the baby food should be. This way, the babysitting service can start comfortably for both you and the babysitter. On preparing for the babysitting service, Charly says: “As a parent, you sometimes forget to have the money ready so the babysitter can get the groceries. This can be quite uncomfortable for the babysitter, who now has to pay for it herself and ask the money back from the parents. Make sure you always leave well-prepared.” Being well-prepared further ensures that the babysitter doesn’t need to ask you anything during the babysitting service itself. Yay! Let’s enjoy a night out.
#4. Get in touch afterwards
It’s understandable that when you come home from a long dinner, you don’t want to get into an extended evaluation of the babysitting service, but a short conversation is always a good idea! Babysitter Josse says: “The most important thing to me is that certain norms and values are handled well, both mine as well as the family’s. That’s why I always chat with the parents after the service has ended.” Are you happy with the babysitter, then tell her so! Charly says: “Don’t forget to emphasise how happy you are with the babysitter. Appreciation is paramount.”
#5. Give it time
The more often the babysitter babysits for you, the more trusted the contact will become. You can tell her next time what you would like to be done differently. Would you, for example, like the babysitter to walk the dog? Great! Let her know and see if she feels comfortable doing so. Make sure though that the babysitter doesn’t have too much on her plate, as mother Marie-José has learned: “We had a challenging package. We lived on the third and fourth floor and my partner and I were both working ten hours a day. The babysitter had to take care of three kids who were still in diapers. When the babysitter said she could no longer do it, I realised: damn, it is quite a lot."
Are you curious about the full article "Today's babysitter needs a lot"? You can read it here!
Other parents tell all
Ready for that first booking? Yes! Many parents preceded you and would love to share their experience. For example, read Michelle's blog here, for whom the ease of Charly Cares came exactly at the right time. The family van Vliet from Rotterdam en the family Vacca from Amsterdam would also love to share their experiences with the Babysitting Angels.