1. The biggest mistake you can make when selecting a babysitter is to hire a sitter without hearing what other parents (preferably parents you know and trust) say about him or her. Recommendations by a friend mean everything!
2. Budgets are almost never tighter than when you’re a parent, but placing too much emphasis on a sitter’s rate might not be the best idea. What seems like a big hourly rate difference might only mean the cost of a glass of wine or two coffees over the course of the night.
3. Never leave your kids with someone you’re not sure about. If you’re not certain they’re a great fit, then schedule a trial sit first. Have them meet you at your home or a neutral place and watch your kids interact to gauge their response first.
4. Leaving the house too quickly when it’s a new sitter can be a big mistake. Make sure she knows where the emergency numbers are listed, where the closest bathroom is, and what’s behind that scary looking cellar door!
5. Don’t hide a sitter cam! If you want to install a camera to keep an eye on the home and scene while you’re away, be sure you tell your sitter about it ahead of time. Not doing so can make them feel undermined and inadequate and could put you in a tricky position later.