Des Moines Moms Blog loves sharing resources for moms in the metro! Three of us from the DMMB team had the honor and privilege of working with WHOtv Channel 13 News for a recent segment all about babysitting.
That got me to thinking about these four common questions moms may have regarding babysitting.
1. How much should I pay my babysitter?
This one totally depends on how old your kids are and how many kids you have. You can always ask the sitter what her going rate is, but whenever I do that they never give me a price. So, as a former babysitter/nanny/employee of a nanny agency, I can tell you that if your babysitters feel valued and appreciated, you will keep them around and wanting to come back. Don’t we all want consistency for our kids?? So don’t skimp on paying your sitters. I would say a good range in the Des Moines area is from $7 to $12 an hour. I have three kids all under the age of 5, so I typically pay around $10/hour but when our fourth comes it’ll be more like $12/hour. When we had just one kid we paid $7-$8/hour, and for two kids we paid around $8-$9. When it comes down to it, this person is watching your KIDS – the most important humans in your world – so this is just my opinion, but the better you pay, the better.
2. How do I go about finding a babysitter?
The first and most obvious places to look would be friends, family and neighbors. Think about your friends with kids and ask them if they want to do a babysitting swap for date night!! Can’t loose with this one. Kids get to play with friends and you get free childcare, and all you have to do is watch their kiddos another evening!! WIN WIN. Also, churches are a great place to find high school or college girls who love babysitting! If you are new to the area or the above options aren’t helpful for you, check out care.com as well as some local nanny agencies in Des Moines. We love Central Iowa Nannies here at DMMB. They are a wonderful resource not only for qualified nannies but also for babysitters. They are a great agency to work with, so check them out!
3. Why is it important to find a good babysitter?
It goes without saying that time alone with your significant other is important, and there are times when you may just need some “ME time.” Having a reliable and dependable sitter is such a great thing for both you and your kids. I think it is very important for kids to grow up with outside influences other than mom and dad. Having a sitter is a great way for your kids to learn to obey and respect another person as well as to be flexible and helpful. My kids ask us to go on dates so they can see their favorite sitters. That makes me so happy!!
4. What information do I need to leave for my sitter when she is watching my kids?
It is critical to leave your sitter feeling prepared and equipped in case of an emergency situation. Leave the following information on the counter:
– Your home address
– Your cell phone number, your spouse’s cell phone number, and I would also leave a grandparent’s and neighbor’s name and number
– Name, number, and location of the place(s) you will be going
– Name, number, and address of the child’s doctor
– Any medical information for your kids (allergies, medications, etc.)
– A schedule of how things should go at home while you are away – being detailed is important, especially around meal times and nap or bedtimes. For example, if your child uses a noise machine or pacifier, be sure to inform your sitter of those things. Having the time go as normal to routine as possible will help everyone!!
– What foods and drinks you would like your kids to have
– Ideas of things to do
A great idea is to type information up in a document and print it off so you are ready to go each time you have a sitter!!! Just be sure to keep it updated as things change.
If you missed the segment, please take a minute to check it out!