7 Essential Questions to Ask Potential Babysitters for Your Toddler

The Best Questions to Ask Potential Babysitters for Your Toddler

Having someone look after your favorite person is a big deal, especially if your child is a toddler. Here are the questions to ask potential babysitters if you’re looking for someone warm, caring and trustworthy. Their responses to these questions will help you determine if the babysitter is the right fit for your family. Here are a few to add to your list:

1. How many hours are you usually asked to watch a child when babysitting?

This is one of the essential questions to ask potential babysitters. Why? If your potential babysitter usually babysits for 2-3 hours and you’re looking for a full day of care, you may want to think through how you can help support the babysitter on a long-haul visit so it is less overwhelming.

2. What are some hobbies of yours that you like to introduce to the children you babysit?

With this question, I’m looking to hear if you have any hobbies.

3. When was the last time you babysat someone my child’s age? How did you spend your time together?

This is one of the most important questions to ask potential babysitters for your toddler. If the answer to this question is ‘never’ or ‘a long time ago’, I’m probably going to pass. Also, if they don’t remember what they did during their time together, that’ll be a ‘no’ for me.

4. What do you do when you realize you are running late and won’t be arriving at the scheduled time?

You probably won’t realize the value of some of these questions to ask potential babysitters until you’re in a situation and you’re glad you discussed it beforehand. With this particular question, I’m looking for a response that indicates they will communicate with me that there will be a delay. I would rather know in advance your new ETA than wonder if you are going to be a ‘no-show’.

5. I practice xyz parenting which means when my child does x or y, I do z. Is that something you feel comfortable doing?

If you want your babysitter to be aligned with how you handle things at home, be specific with your requests. And always ask if this is something they are able to do, instead of assuming the answer is ‘yes’.

6. If something bad happens <provide an example>, how would you handle that situation?

You want to be able use realistic examples. If you’ve had a near miss, use that example. If you have more than 1 child, you could ask…if you take my children to the park and they go in opposite directions, what would you do? If my child has a melt-down, how will you react?

7. Do you plan to have technology-free fun? If so, what does that look like to you?

It may sound old-school to some, but there are a ton of things you can do nowadays without a WiFi connection. Let’s see if they can come up with some. When you find yourself in a situation where they can’t, it becomes painfully clear why this is another one of our most important questions to ask potential babysitters.

Pro Tip:

If your gut is telling you that a potential caregiver isn’t the right one for you, know that the right one is out there (somewhere!) waiting to be found. If the health/safety of your child is the most important thing to you, then pick someone you feel GREAT about, to look after your little one.

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25 thoughts on “7 Essential Questions to Ask Potential Babysitters for Your Toddler

  1. This is so helpful Crystal. We have never used babysitters before, but we need to start as Mummy and Daddy need some time together. I will be referring to this when the time comes – thanks so much for sharing. xx

  2. Selecting a babysitter to take care of your toddlers isn’t an easy task. Not everyone can be trusted. These are good questions to ask. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for reading, Fadima! I agree with you; trusting someone with your most precious being is scary. But once you find that wonderful person, hold on tight to them!

  3. I think nr 5 is really important to discuss with anyone with whom kid is left, not only paid help. To avoid unpleasant surprises – extreme example spanking or how to handle when kid doesn’t listen. And kids will push boundaries with every new person πŸ™‚

  4. Providing them with scenarios is a great idea! I always hate the scenario questions in interviews haha, but I think in this case you just need to know that your child will be their priority- whatever happens. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

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