5 Ways to Keep Your Babysitter From Breaking Up With You

Hot List 6

how not to get your babysitter stolenIf you have kids then you know that a good, reliable babysitter is really hard to find. Like holy grail kind of hard.

And with no family around, we depend on our babysitter!

But when you live in a neighborhood with tons of kids, it's inevitable that another parent will see your awesome sitter and want to use her (or him) too, which hey, I'm all for sharing. But I've seen sitters get stolen left and right. Talk about uncool.

So here are my tips for making sure your babysitter doesn't think about moving on.

1. Pay well. Find out the going rate for sitters in your neighborhood and pay a little more. It doesn't have to be a lot, but the extra cash will help them want to book you over another family. If you can't pay more per hour, then give them a little tip, which can make a big difference. And don't nickel and dime them: I always pay up if they don't stay for the entire hour, or if they leave a little early because I made it home before the allotted time.

2. Have good food. Make sure your pantry is stocked with good snacks or foods that you know your sitter likes. Even though my babysitter usually brings her own food, I know she likes healthy snacks, so I make sure to have them on hand so she's able to eat with the kids if she wants. But snacks they might not get at home are always a plus too.

3. Come home on time. If you say you're going to be home at a certain time, make sure you're there. You expect them to arrive in a timely fashion and you should show them the same courtesy. If I'm going to be late, I always call or text to see if it's okay. And if you do end up being late, for whatever reason, make sure you reimburse them for that time.

4. Leave activities for the kids. I always try to have a variety of crafts, activities, even movies on hand for my sitter so that they're not scrambling to try to occupy four rambunctious kids. If I can't have something ready, I'll leave a list of ideas of things that she can do with them. Often times, it's that extra effort that makes them want to stick with your family.

5. Make sure your tech works. These days, it's important to have WIFI and a working television (or movies) so that they can occupy themselves after the kids are in bed. Sure, they could bring a book, or homework, but I like to make sure that the TV and DVD player are set up, and that they have the WIFI code if they'd like to use the Internet. Just be sure you have secure settings and safety measures set up before you hand over the Internet to your tween or teen sitter.

What do you do to make sure your sitter doesn't leave you for another family?


Image via Alan Light/Flickr

boys, family, girls, kid activities, kid health, kindergarten, middle school, tweens


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Coles... Coles_mom

These are all very good suggestions. I haven't personally used a babysitter before (I have three kids and the oldest is 7!!) because I'm just too nervous about leaving them alone with anyone, but I'm sure a day will come. I may need to print this list because most of it I would never have thought of. Thanks.

nonmember avatar Meh

Several years ago I would get a little spending cash by babysitting on weekends. I gave it up after I was burned pretty bad by a parent who happened to be a coworker.

She dropped her 2 young kids (both under age 3) at my house late afternoon and she was supposed to pick them up around 10. She never gave me her phone number. She left me enough food to give kids dinner and that's it. 10 came and went and I figured she had been drinking or something and didn't want to drive. Morning came and went and by this time I was feeding kids my own food. At the 24 hour mark my husband was getting annoyed and *69 the parent and told her to come get her kids. I never did get paid.

daydr... daydreamer6170

im so glad I have family around for babysitting free of charge. but we only use them every few weeks or so, so they dont get sick of it

daydr... daydreamer6170

meh, just outta curiosity what did this woman have to say for herself

Annie Nanny

Things your nanny with you knew... 1. As soon as you leave, the kids will stop crying and start playing. It is heartbreaking to hear your children cry as they see you leaving for work each day. Your natural instinct is to rush to your children and comfort them. However, your children will be fine with their nanny once you are gone: your nanny will do a fine job of comforting your children and then... http://tinyurl.com/yg3wk65

medre... medresearch2012

As a babysitter with over 10 years of experience, I get asked a lot of times w/o even looking, to babysit.   You're right about all of these things. Although I might love the baby I babysit, wacky, anal, or passive aggressive parents drive me nuts!

I found this article because I was looking for how to break up with the family I babysit. The mother grossly underpays me for my experience as a nanny, my education and what I do for her--which is to say, fold laundry, clean up the whole kitchen and do dishes, and even water plants and clean the bathroom while her baby is sleeping. Not to mention she time manages me and asks me--dishes couldn't have taken an hour to do, what were you doing while the baby was sleeping? (Well not only did I put your baby to sleep without it panicking or crying, but I also decided to hold it for part of its nap on the rocking chair.) I had to apologize for rocking a baby! 

Feeling the need to wait that extra minute or two when the baby wakes up just so I can finish mopping was the last bit of nerve I had left in me.  

How do I go about leaving when I like the baby, but hate the parents? When I like the baby, but three other families are willing to give 2-3x more per hour and actually invited me over for dinner the first time we met?

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