Sitter/ Nanny Question

Updated on August 11, 2011
L.A. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
11 answers

Ladies -

My parents had been watching our now 10 month old, while I work full time, and hubs is in grad school. They are finding the long days difficult 12 hrs a day 5 days a week, and who can blame them. We tried for infant care, but can't find any in our area. (If you know of one with openings, we are all ears).

We're now looking for a long term part time sitter. Which way do you think we'll have better luck?
option 1. Looking for someone to do two 12 hour days say Thurs and Friday from 7 am to 7 pm?
option 2. Looking for someone to do three afternoons and one full day. 3-7 on T,W,H, and 7am to 7pm Friday?
option 3. Looking for someone to do three mornings and one full day. 7-11 on T,W,H and 7 am to 7pm on Friday.

What should I ask for in terms of qualifications?
What should I look for in my child, in terms of how he is fareing?
How much would you pay for this kind of service? I thought about $700 a month sounds reasonable.
What would you expect in terms of child care? I thought they would be expected to feed, change, bathe, nap, read to, play with, and weather permitting, take the baby for an outing a day. Is it reasonable to expect them to leave the house as tidy as they found it? bottles in the dishwasher, a wipedown of the table, toys put away, spills addressed, etc.

Any other tips or recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated.

Entering new territory here, and trying to make it work well for all involved.

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answers from New York on

First, check out the NYS website for Child and Family Services. They will have a complete listing of licensed providers in your area. That list will also include any and all infractions/citations as well as the date of "correction". The website also has lists of questions to ask when interviewing a provider!

I could be doing my math wrong, but if you are looking to pay someone $7 an hour you are going to have a very hard time finding a qualified caregiver. $700 for 96-100 hours per month is very little.

- Prior experience with references
- CPR/First Aid certifications
- Good health (able to physically keep up with a baby)
- Overall cleanliness
- Transportation

Look fors in your child:
- Is she happy to see the person?
- Unexplained injuries or bruising (kids fall, but just keep an eye out)
- Your child's growth and development (is someone talking to her all day, is she eating enough, etc)
- Your child's daily cleanliness

You are reasonable in your job expectations, but you are going to have to pay more than what you are offering. Whatever you decide to do, have something in writing! If both parties agree to the terms of employment, you will be much better off in the long-run.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I think you'll have better luck finding someone for two full days - that will allow the sitter to have another job. But, like everyone else, I think you'll have to pay more. Nannies in my area ask for $15/hour and you're thinking of paying $7. You might find someone for $10-12, or you could look for someone who brings their own small child and the cost would go down. There are a lot of moms who search for nanny work and bring their own kid.

Your expectations are similar to what we required of our nanny - but no bathing. An outing a day might be too much as well, unless you're talking about a walk around the block some days. And yes, you can expect a nanny/sitter to leave your house in the same condition they found it. But that means you need to start with a clean and picked up house. If they come in to a mess it's not realistic to expect they'll put all the toys away, put laundry away, wipe up spills from the weekend, etc. and sittercity are good places to look for sitters, as is Craigslist. Ask for references no matter what.

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answers from New York on

I have a totally different vote and this is obviously something you can take or leave since who am I to you but a stranger on mamapedia. Please think about your child - 60 hours a week of babysitting away from mom and dad is too much. Consider reducing your schedule and changing your lifestyle. I have made MAJOR changes and we are sacrificing alot so I can work from home and be with our kids. It is TOUGH on us and my DH is working his butt off too but our kids are #1 for us. Anyways I am sure this is advice you did not ask for and I understand but it upsets me to see someone in childcare away from their parents for basically most of their waking hours in a given week.



answers from Seattle on

The comments about costs are spot on. Expect to pay about $12/hour (and maybe $15 to $18 an hour).

Look for a nanny share, if possible. Or maybe a SAHM that would like to care for another child. That will cut down on the cost. We've used Craigslist before. We used a university site for matching nanny-share families once (check out the university your hubby attends). We have a local mom site that is a great resource (check for one in your area). Etc. If you use a nanny service, expect to pay a lot of money. It's a great service, but $$$.

And since your time is flexible, identify the potential times/days and overall hours and say you're flexible. You'll likely get more responses that way. No need to narrow down that choice too early.



answers from Austin on

Hi. There is a website called and u can have many people to choose from and they have background check. I am a babysitter myself and an asst teacher in a preschool and when I have babysat I have gotten paid between $12-$15 and hour. The duties that you should look for is feeding, playing, reading, bathing in fine, singing and outdoor activities clean up after babies things. I think option 2 would be good because even though they are only working a few days its enough for that person only to be with your baby instead of being tired for working two jobs.



answers from Chicago on

Whatever you decide I just wanted to advise to negotiate a weekly salary not hourly like some people suggested. Hourly is for short- hours sitters. you need a full time nanny. Negotiate weekly salary, you will get the nanny cheaper that way. Since you have a 10 mo old who takes naps, include cleaning, laundry, possibly cooking when the child is napping. Have your parents pop in unexpectedly to check how the baby is doing several times a week. My mother used to do that, oh, the things we uncovered with some nannies! From leaving a child for too long in jumper to watching TV soaps while telling the baby to shush on her lap!



answers from St. Louis on

for the sake of your child, consistency is the key. My vote would be for the 2 12hr days....which then also translates into only 2 days of paying for transportation, allowing for some economy strategy. It also allows the sitter to hold down another job somewhere else, without breaking up the other days. A win-win for both your child & the sitter!

Qualifications: experience, references, & commitment to early childhood education.
Checklist: is your child happy & at peace with the sitter? Is he moving forward in development?
Fees: don't know! Call your local daycares & nanny services.
Duties: bathing ....I think that's too much. I realize that the childcare ends at 7pm, but bathtime provides you with some much-needed bonding time with your child. It also provides you with a "wind-down" time before starting your own evening. & if you're hiring a responsible adult, then I would hope that basic clean-up would come naturally!



answers from Chicago on

I can tell you off the bat that your not going to find a decent babysitter for the amount you have listed ($700) a month for the hours you have listed which add up to 96 hours a month. I get $10 an hour. I come in watch the kids do homework. I do take them to the park. I do not do any sort of cleaning. if you want a house keeper that is a separate issue. In terms of childcare that should be all that is expected. feed, change diapers, naps and playtime. bathing is a parent responsibility at that age. I would also not expect at that age to have an outing each day unless your talking about a walk around the block. It is totally in her job description to clean up after the child's meal time. putting dishes in dishwasher but not cleaning up the living room after a weekend of chaos lol. Nanny's are a wonderful convenience and you will love it. I hope you find a good one.



answers from Des Moines on

Use a nanny service or kind of site. It will probably help that you're schedule can be flexible and just advertise that way. I have nannied before and I did the baby's laundry once per week including putting it away, put toys back away at the end of the day, washed bottles and food utensils that we used, and basically picked up after anything we did. Nothing additional for the family or house, because just picking up after a baby and watching him is a lot of work. As far as pay, it's hard to talk about this, because this varies so much by region! I would find a local board such as this to ask that question or talk to a nanny agency about the going rate. Also, if you use you can see what others are asking in your area.


answers from Portland on

What does your area call for? I see different hourly rates with the other responses and I know around here it's about minimum wage for sitters and nannies I'm sure are more expensive b/c they usually do more. If I had a sitter or nanny in the house I would expect the house to look the same as I left it (or better, I won't complain lol). Qualifications: I would say infant CPR certified, experience, references. Child care: everything except for baths, I have reservations about people giving my daughter a bath. Outing is the immediate outside to me or a nearby park (like ours is around the corner), but I want to know beforehand and the times (I don't want to come home and wonder where the baby/sitter are).
I would meet the babysitter/nanny, have the interview type setting where only you meet them, and then have the baby interact with them for a little while and see how the baby likes her. As far as your child, a baby is a bit hard to look for signs that the baby likes her... some babies will freak out if someone has mistreated them but some won't. Just always be aware of how your baby responds to the sitter/nanny and pay attention when you change the baby's diaper and in the bath. I'm sure nothing will ever happen, but just saying always be aware and not turn a blind eye :)
Two full days would probably work best, but if it's the 12 hours in general that stresses your folks out, option 3 might work, but you can always run it by the sitter/nanny.


answers from St. Louis on

Since your hubby is in Grad school does the college offer a daycare for students with children. This may allow your child to attend for 1/2 day for much cheaper then your parents could pick him up for the remainder of the time.

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