Monday, March 3, 2008

Mommy diaries: simplified sitter search

Whether finally caving to your husband’s persistent whining or reaching the realization on your own, you’ve decided it’s time. Time to tweeze your brows, put on a skirt (a clean one), and ditch the diaper bag for an adults-only night on the town.

But where in the world will you find a sitter who knows your baby wants a cookie when she says “tootie”, or that the best medicine for a boo-boo is singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with a British accent?

Cloning yourself is not a possibility yet. But thankfully there are resources available to help you find someone better than your co-worker’s friend’s neighbor’s niece, Kimmy.

Other Moms
Conversations from the playground sidelines are brutally honest, so you can expect straightforward opinions from other moms.

You’re not the only one who has ever struggled to hire a sitter for the first time. Chances are pretty high you know a mom with a polished list of go-to sitters who have already passed her rigorous test.

Daycare Directors
Ask your child’s daycare director if anyone on staff is willing to watch your child after hours. A lot of teachers would probably work a little overtime for some extra cash.

They’re obviously passionate about little ones and they have all the necessary training. Best of all, they’re familiar with your child’s unique language and routine.

Neighborhood or Church Newsletters
Even though you may not know them on a personal level, the advertising teen’s family is already part of a group you associate with on a regular basis. Just treat it like any other hiring situation. Talk to the teen and her parents about her intentions and don’t be shy about asking for references.

Professional Organizations
Organizations like MommyMixer® ( are designed to facilitate meetings between mommies and nannies in a relaxed, social environment. This helps reveal true personalities and chemistry between care-giver and family.

Online Resources
With very little time to spare, moms research and shop online for everything these days. It makes perfect sense that searching for a sitter online followed suit.

Touts from Oprah, the Today Show, and Martha Stewart have helped build confidence in sites like ( and Sittercity ( to safely connect families with sitters all over the country.

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