Parents, It’s Time for a Time Out! Hire a Babysitter!

As parents, when we hear the words “time out,” we immediately think of an act of parenting used to modify inappropriate behavior. In this article however, the time-out involves you and your spouse!

It’s difficult and challenging — between parenting, working and other commitments — to take time out for yourselves. However, time away from your child allows you to better manage the daily trials and tribulations of parenting. You probably all agree with this, but you might be wondering, “Who will care for my baby?”

Here is a list of some important things to consider when looking for the right babysitter:

  • Look for a babysitter in the right places: your network of friends and relatives, co-workers, neighborhood middle schools and high schools, your local senior center, churches and synagogues, playgroups and parenting programs.
  • Interview the potential sitter in your home and observe the interaction of the potential sitter with your child during the interview. During the interview:
  1. ­Ask how he or she would handle discipline issues.
  2. Ask if he or she is trained in rescue breathing and care of the choking infant and child.
  3. Ask what he or she would do if injuries or illnesses occurred.
  4. Ask if he or she has completed a babysitter preparation course.
  • Remember that your child’s needs change with age. Taking care of a toddler is different than taking care of a nine- or 10 year-old.
  • Check references and make observations: Did the sitter arrive on time?
  • Perform a trial run with the sitter. Stay home and do some yard work or read a book while the sitter cares for your child.  Observe how the sitter handled stressful situations.
  • When you hire the sitter in the future, notice if the children look forward to the sitters’ arrival.

It is very important that you trust your instinct — you know, those parenting instincts that you all have by now. If you’re uncomfortable during an interview, or your child appears uncomfortable, then stop right there. There are many responsible certified babysitters waiting to care for your precious child and you will find one that is the perfect fit for you and your family.

So start interviewing and start planning that night out that you well deserve!

– Linda Reetz, R.N., B.S.N., Director of Emergency Services, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak

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