Ask the Experts: Interviewing babysitters

I’ve interviewed several sitters, and think I may have found a good fit! She’s coming over for a meet-and-greet with my baby—what should I look out for while she’s here?

A: Whether hiring someone part-time or full-time, you’ll want to transition slowly. Take a day or two for her to shadow you and your family, learning your routines and observing your parenting style. At the same time you’re teaching her, be open to her teaching you. There are a lot of things you can learn from an experienced sitter. Just discuss how your styles can work in parallel.

Once you’ve shown her your style, notice hers. Watch her feed and burp the baby. Watch how she soothes and plays. Is she a natural? Is there any sense that she’s not genuine?

Once you’re comfortable, you can give her some space to move around the house a bit. How does she do something in the kitchen while taking care of your child? Try asking her to get the baby ready for a walk, and see how she responds.

Keep in mind that you might fall in love with someone who is a true baby whisperer, but you want to make sure you’re finding a good one-to three-year fit. Your baby will soon become a running wild child—be sure your whisperer can adapt for all energy levels.

—Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor at



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