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babysitting etiquette... help please!

8 replies

wenceslaligo · 24/11/2005 10:41

we are about to start having evening babysitters for ds (nearly 6mo) occasionally. loads of questions!

  • we would like to pay a reasonable rate to babysitters who are doing it for money eg students from my dp's work (don't worry, all experienced/checked out and trusted) - how much to pay? i'm thinking £5/hour going by babysitting service rates... is that ok?

  • when do you pay - at the end of the night? one bs will be staying over as she also needs a place to stay when she's in town, and we are timing this with our nights out. pay her in the morning?? sorry this might sound trivial but i find money matters like this so embarrassing and don't want her to feel awkward too...

  • on the other hand several lovely but childless friends have offered to bs too, i'd like to accept esp as ds knows and loves them... but how do we pay them back? feels wrong to offer an old friend cash - but also wrong to not acknowledge at all and we can't babysit for them in return if they have no kids. do you give people a bottle of wine or something?

  • lastly i know i'm going to worry myself sick but i know i have to take this step. any wise words to make me toughen up and feel ok about it?

OP posts:

beejay · 24/11/2005 10:50

Start off slowly, maybe just for a couple of hours at a time
I think £5 an hour is a very reasonable for a stranger
As for friends, a bottle of wine is a lovely gesture, don't worry about cash thought sometimes I do pay for my friend's cabs home on the basis that they shouldn't have to lose out by doing me a favour...
As for wise words just remind yourself that by spending time apart you are investing both in yourself and your relationship -- which will make you a better and happier mother in the long run!
Good luck


jellyjelly · 24/11/2005 10:52

£5 ph should be a good rate but it depends on where you are

Pay her in the morning not before as you dont generally do that when paying for services except full daytime care.

I do alot of babysitting and always get paid cash at the end of the night,iwould never expect it before i have done the job.


AUBINA · 24/11/2005 11:50

I live in London and a friends teenage daughter babysits my 7 and 5 year old girls. I pay her £6.50 an hour. I put her money in an envelope which feels better than counting it out, I give it to her as she is leaving. My husband walks her home, she lives nearby. If it was further away I would pay for a taxi. Sometimes a kind friend of mine babysits. I give her a bottle of her favourite wine. A good idea is to prepare a tray with a mug,tea,coffee,something sweet and savoury to eat, eg cake and crisps. It saves the babysitter hunting for anything. I always say to help themselves to any food or drink they want.


matnanplus · 24/11/2005 12:11

Leave a list of your contact numbers.

Leave out or show the babysitter where snacks, drinks and bread are.

A bottle of wine or some lush bath bubbles would be a great thank you to a friend.

Enjoy the time away as will your lovely son.

It is important for child free time to help you and your partner develope together and to air any touchy or difficult decisions in a stress free enviroment.

Build up to it, but be aware that some agencies set down a minimum number of hours so that it is worthwhile the babysitter working so if you only want 2 hours check the sitter is happy as they'd often expect 3-4 hours on average.


RTKangaMummy · 24/11/2005 12:26

Oh and please tell them if your child has a special cuddly toy and what it is called

years and years ago when I was a teenager I was babysitting for a toddler and he was crying cos he wanted his * and I hadn't got a clue what he meant, anyway it all worked out ok cos his older brother came home early and told me and found it for him.

SO show the babysitter where and what the cuddlies are called etc


wenceslaligo · 24/11/2005 13:40

thanks for all these - feel so much better, just had no idea what the norm was...

will probably be posting next week though saying "help i can't do it!"

OP posts:

deegward · 24/11/2005 14:04

Very paranoid mum here, I have a list which I have prepared and leave for anyone who has my two dss.

It contains;

OUr name and address, Sounds stupid but if had to call an ambulance would want right address given.

Both ds's full names and dates of birth ( see above)

Any medication they are on, and when they last had it

My and dh mobile numbers

Another contact number ie other neighbour who know the boys and my mum in Edinburgh (we are in Watford), it makes me feel better

Normal routines,eg if ds2 wakes give him a drink , if ds1 ventures out of room tell him to go back.

I know all this sounds over the top, but it makes me feel secure and I know if anything goes wrong the babysitter has all the info to hand, and is not relying on remembering things


jellyjelly · 24/11/2005 14:09

That is the stuff i ask the parents to leave so i dont think you are ott or anything just very wise.

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