Deciding to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time raises many questions one of which is “how old should my baby be before I leave them with a babysitter for the first time?” This question is a hard one to answer and has many factors to consider but we feel there are three main considerations which are covered below.
Are you and your children ready?
The first big question to ask yourself when you start looking for a babysitter is “are you ready?”. The idea of heading out for a date night or dinner with friends sounds brilliant but its no fun if you’re going to spend the whole night worried about your children or if your children are likely to be distressed at having been left.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question and its certainly not the same for everyone. It is however something to think about before you start looking for a babysitter. Remember that usually a parent is more upset about leaving, than the child being left. Something to consider however is if for example your children often wake in the night and can only be settled by you then maybe its not the right time, but if your children enjoy going to nursery or other childcare settings then perhaps they are able to trust other adults enough to be settled in your absence?
Either way, be sure both you and your children are ready before looking for a babysitter and don’t feel pressured into heading back out socially before you’re ready.
Is earlier better, when leaving a child for the first time?
There are some schools of thought that leaving a child at an earlier stage is better for them especially if done prior to them developing Separation Anxiety (find out more from the NHS here), however whilst there are merits in this theory, not every child is the same, nor are their family circumstances.
Some children will find being left for the first time very upsetting whilst others will take this in their stride. Much of this comes down to how well prepared the children are, and not what age they are. Children are little little sponges and they feed off the trusted adults in their life, so if parents are presenting as anxious about leaving, then the children will pick up on this and will become anxious themselves. This is why our first point is probably the most important in making sure that you as a parent are ready and happy with the arrangements, which will give you the confidence to leave your child for the first time with a babysitter, resulting in a happy child and parent.
SafeCircle has another blog on Preparing Your Child for a New Babysitter which gives parents great advice on ways they can prepare their child for a new babysitter and making this a positive experience.
Your family needs vs babysitter experience and skill
When considering when to leave your baby or child for the first time with a babysitter one of the things you will need to consider is the needs of your specific child and whether the babysitter is able to meet those needs. If you have a child with special educational needs you may wish to consider someone with experience of working with the behaviours and needs of your child vs using a local teenager. The same goes for a newborn or young infant.
All of these considerations will help you to feel more comfortable and ready to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time. Being anxious about whether or not the babysitter is able to meet the needs of your child in your absence won’t be an enjoyable experience. As a parent you need to be confident in the babysitters ability to provide not just adequate care but exceptional care, after all compromising on the quality of childcare is not an option just because its evening babysitting.
SafeCircle has a variety of babysitters on our team all mature adults qualified in a childcare related field with proven professional experience (not just babysitting family and friends). We have babysitters with specific skill sets in caring for newborns and those with special educational needs (area dependent). Our babysitters are able to care for children of any age and we help to match you with your ideal sitter through our complimentary Expert Consultation service.
Parents can feel confident when booking our exclusive 5 star SafeCircle babysitters, knowing they are qualified, regulated and trusted by our returning member families including; small and large scale business owners, sport professionals, Doctors, and many more.
For parents looking for a babysitter the decision of leaving your child for the first time is not an easy one and comes down to being ready and having the right babysitter to meet the families needs. Book your complimentary Expert Consultation with SafeCircle today and let us help find your ideal babysitter.