Things to Consider Before Hiring a Babysitter


Things to Consider Before Hiring a Babysitter

Let’s take a breather

By Christabel Tan | 5 August 2022

It was the weekend. The grandparents were busy. The husband was tired from a hectic work week. And I was near tears at the idea of parenting our active toddler who has gleefully decided to drop her afternoon nap. It had been an exhausting week and the idea of parenting for an entire weekend without support stirred feelings of anger and resentment within me.

Maybe this describes your weekend too. Or have you had days when your child’s kindergarten is closed, but you and your spouse have important work matters to attend to and could not afford to take leave. Or maybe your child was down with the flu, and you really wished you had an extra pair of hands to support you for a few hours.

You may find this all too familiar.

In desperation, I turned to my Instagram stories and posted a call for help: “Babysitter recommendations, anyone??” Thankfully, fellow mothers dropped me messages and suggested that I try out this babysitting app called Aunty.SG. Let’s just say that I tried it once, and never looked back. For fellow parents who are wondering if you should hire a babysitter, here are some tips to consider when using the Aunty.SG app.

  1. Shortlist

    When looking for a sitter, be sure to read their profile bios and reviews. Some babysitters are better with babies, while others with older kids. Another tip is to pick a sitter who lives around your area, as that means they are more likely to agree to your sitting job.

  2. Interview

    Before hiring them, you’re free to "interview" them over text. Tell them your job scope and ask them if they have experience with such tasks.

    For example, I told our potential sitters that my child loved art and enjoyed chatting. I gravitated towards sitters whom I felt would complement my daughter’s personality and interests.

  3. Make payment

    Once you’ve agreed on a date and time with your sitter, you can make payment via the app. The money is only released to them after your sit is over.

Now that you’ve interviewed and paid online, what next? Here are some things to bear in mind before your first-ever babysitting session.

  • Consider doing a trial session

    In our first sitting session, my husband and I were present with the babysitter. My husband took the opportunity to tackle his work emails. I did the laundry and snuck off for an afternoon nap once I saw my child happily settled with the babysitter.

    This first session allowed us to see how our child interacted with the babysitter. Through our observations, it gave us peace of mind that the babysitter knew how to engage her.

    If you’re unsure, why not consider a babysitting session when a parent can be around? The parent can answer any of the sitter’s queries, and get to catch up on some emails/housework/much-needed shut-eye. Win-win!

  • Communicate with your sitter

    Before the first babysitting session, be sure to tell the babysitter important information, such as:

    • Emergency contacts, if you are leaving your child and sitter alone at home.
    • If your child is young, let her know where the diapers are and about your child’s potty habits
    • Which snacks/fruits your babysitter can give your child if he/she is hungry, and what foods to avoid
    • Your child’s temperament, interests and preferences
    • General house rules

    During our subsequent babysitting sessions, my husband and I left our sitter alone with our child as we went out for coffee and a grocery run. Before leaving, I laid out some snacks that she could feed my child and explained my daughter’s potty preferences and habits.

    During the session, the babysitter engaged her with arts and crafts, story-reading, and brought some toys to play with her. She also updated us with a few photos, which I appreciated and gave me peace of mind.

If you are in need of some help, why not consider a babysitter? Though the session may just be for three or more hours, these breaks can do wonders for your mental health. It truly takes a village to parent a child. And when the usual “village” is busy, consider hiring one! All the best to you, fellow mums and dads. You’ve got this!

© 2022 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.

Keen to book your first babysitter? Enjoy 10% off your babysitting session with promo code: focus10aunty!

Christabel Tan is a lover of good coffee and heartfelt conversations. You will often catch her playing with her daughter, exploring a new crafting hobby, or coming up with exciting marketing collaterals. If you’d like to connect with her, drop an email at [email protected]!

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