When the adrenaline of having your first baby finally subsides, you’re hit with a load of new things to worry about. Not least, who to leave your baby with when you go out for the first time.
Many parents openly admit that their first night out is not exactly relaxing or fun.
This is totally normal – it feels peculiar leaving your child with somebody else (particularly someone you don’t know well) – but there are definitely ways to make the experience easier.
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First up is the vetting process. If you’re using an agency, it’s essential to make sure they are stringent about who they hire (see below for our own vetting process), and if you’re responding to an advert, you need to do the ground work yourself. Call up their referees; check they have relevant first aid training and a DBS check.
When you’ve found the perfect babysitter, follow our 6 rules to ensure your first night out on the tiles goes as smoothly as possible.
1. For your first booking, make sure you book the babysitter to turn up around 30 minutes before you are due to go out. That way you can show them around, advise them on what you would like them to do and watch them interact with your child.
2. Leave detailed instructions outlining your child’s routine and any requirements you have for them during the booking.
3. Take the telephone number of the babysitter and make sure they have yours in case they need to contact you.
4. Ask the babysitter to text you at regular intervals to help you feel at ease.
5. Don’t go too far the first time – perhaps go for drinks or dinner near to your home so you can go back easily if you feel uncomfortable or even want to check in half way through.
6. Leave a pashmina or an item of clothing which has your scent on it. If your child is not happy, the babysitter can let them smell it and it will help to calm them down.
The Likeminders babysitter check
At Likeminders all babysitters and child carers have completed a detailed application form outlining personal information as well as all of their education and previous experience. The should all hold an enhanced DBS police check and have provided a minimum of two excellent, verifiable references all of which are checked thoroughly.
Only then will they be interviewed. We invite them in to our offices and grill them about their past experience to check up on their suitability for babysitting roles.
The final – and most important step – is to pass the “mum test”. Each candidate is interviewed by a mum who will ask the question “would I be totally comfortable having this person looking after my own children?”