Avoid these Babysitter Red Flags to Find the Perfect Sitter

avoid these babysitter red flags to find the perfect sitter

Wondering how to find the perfect babysitter? We spoke to the Everyday Health Group about the warning signs you should look out for when searching for the one.

Taking care of a baby or toddler is immensely rewarding but equally challenging. Whether you require a regular sitter or a one-time caregiver, you need to make sure that the person you are leaving your child with is capable and trustworthy. A potential candidate may have the basic qualifications but the interview will help you decide if the person is the right fit for your family. Vigilance during the interview and trial period will help you recognise some common signs of a bad babysitter.

5 Warning Signs of a bad babysitter

Finding a babysitter within your budget can be a herculean task, but it is well worth the time and effort. Even if you are pressed for time and need to hire someone asap, don’t try to rush the process. Here’s how you can recognise the warning signs and avoid bad sitters:

1) Impatience and Irritability

Candidates who are impatient to end the interview or get irritable when interacting with your child are a definite no no! People who are irritable are more likely to shake your baby or toddler in frustration – which can result in Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS). Approximately 1000 to 3000 children in the US suffer from SBS each year which is why you need to be sure that the person you hire has a suitable disposition for dealing with toddlers. 


2) Ignores Instructions

Do not hire a babysitter who ignores instructions – either during the application process or the trial period. A candidate who shows little to no interest when you are informing them of their responsibilities is unlikely to be a good sitter so you should continue your hunt. Instead look for a candidate who engages with you and even takes notes and goes over the instructions to make sure that there is no scope for misunderstanding.

3) Signs of weed usage

Whether you approve of recreational marijuana or not, babysitters need to be on their toes at all times, especially if there is an emergency at home. If a candidate shows up with bloodshot eyes and displays confusion or a lack of focus, just show them the door – this simple tip will help you ‘weed’ out bad babysitters!

4) Invites friends/dates without permission

Babysitting is a job which is why you pay a sitter to take care of your precious little ones. When a babysitter invites friends over, it means that she has less time to devote to caring for your kids. In addition to this, you have no way of knowing what her friends are like and the kind of influence they can have on your kids.  

5) Sudden changes in your child’s behavior

If your child shows signs of anxiety and has become withdrawn or if he seems afraid of the babysitter, it could indicate neglect or even abuse. As parents, it is very tough to consider such a scenario but it is important to keep a close eye on your child so that you can decisive steps quickly.

According to Whattoexpect experts, warning signs can help you steer clear of bad babysitters but don’t ignore your intuition either. If you have a gut feeling that this is not the right person to take care of your child, trust your instincts. Keep in mind that your sitter is your childcare provider and should be someone who will provide physical and emotional care for your child in your absence.

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