Questions You Should Ask When Interviewing a Babysitter

Questions to Ask When Interviewing a BabysitterFinding a babysitter can be a challenge. How do you pick someone that you don’t really know to take care of your child alone? It took us forever to find a baby sitter and a few months after we finally did we moved cross country and had to start all over again in a town where we didn’t know anyone and couldn’t get any references from people we trusted.

I’ve always been leery of teenage babysitters solely because of age and felt more comfortable with older sitters–until this time. I tried using a popular website to find a reliable sitter that was older and had more experience with kids. Five sitters flaked on the interview at the last minute and tried to reschedule, and the one that I did end up interviewing sent me a text message to cancel just hours before she should’ve been there.

Then, I met a junior in high school that I just loved. It just goes to show that older doesn’t always equal more responsible.  If you’re looking to hire a babysitter for the first time, here are some great questions to ask.

  1. Do you have siblings/nieces/nephews or anyone that you have cared for before?
  2. What do you think is a good form of discipline for a baby/toddler/child? What would you do if my child doesn’t listen or do what you ask them to do?
  3. Are you comfortable preparing snacks and meals? What kinds of things do you prepare for kids you babysit? Do you have any experience preparing bottles or handling breast milk?
  4. Have you even been in a situation where you had to call the parents of the child you were babysitting? Why, what happened and how did you handle it?
  5. Has anything every happened that you’d consider an emergency?
  6. What will you do if my child won’t go to sleep?
  7. What would you do if my child won’t stop crying?
  8. Do you have experience with any health issues?
  9. Have you taken a babysitter preparation course and do you know baby CPR?
  10. What are some examples of problems you’ve had with children, how did you handle it?

Always ask the babysitter for references and a trial day. During the paid, trial day try to keep yourself busy while still being available. Observe how the sitter interacts with your child and offer some advice on what your child likes and good ways to keep them entertained.

Make sure to let the sitter know of any special routines, lovies, nicknames for things and what they’re allowed to feed them for snacks and meals and what’s off limits. Always follow your intuition, and never hire a sitter that may answer everything perfectly and have impeccable references but just doesn’t feel right to you.

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor focused on nutrition and green living strategies. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception, through pregnancy, lactation and beyond to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mother and baby.



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