Oct 2012

Tips on babysitters

Likeminders are one of London’s favourite babysitting agencies offering safe, flexible and reliable babysitting. They have over 15 years experience in childcare and pride themselves on only using the very best, CRB checked childcarers, all of whom have to pass a strict selection process including thorough reference checking.
Over the years they have dealt with many nervous parents who have never left their child with a babysitter before. It can be very difficult to leave your precious little one with someone new, but everyone needs a break sometimes. I still remember my very first ‘date night’ with my husband after our little one was born. It felt so odd to be going out and leaving him behind, yet at the same time we had such a lovely night.

I asked Likeminders to put together a few helpful tips for parents who are using a babysitter for the first time, and this is what they said.

• Always check references if you are not using an agency who will have already done this for you.
• For your first booking make sure you book the babysitter to turn up an hour before you are due to go out. That way you can show them around, advise them on what you would like them to do and watch them interact with your child.
• Leave detailed instructions outlining your child/ren’s routine. The more information the better if the child is very young.
• Take the telephone number of the babysitter and make sure that they have yours in case they need to contact you.
• Ask the babysitter to text you at hourly intervals or a few times throughout the day or evening so that you can feel at ease.
• Don’t go far for the first time, go for drinks or dinner near to your home so you can go back easily if you feel uncomfortable or even want to check in half way through.
• For older kids let the babysitter know about any favorite books/hobbies etc. This will help the child feel at ease with a new person.
• For very little ones leave a pashmina or an item of clothing which has your scent on it. If your child is not happy the babysitter can let them smell it and it will calm them down.
• Relax and enjoy your time to yourself!

For more information about the services that Likeminders offer (which includes emergency childcare and caring for your older child when you go into labour with your 2nd baby), please visit their website

The importance of Mummy friends

I remember when I was pregnant with my first son, a close friend gave me her top baby tip, and that was to make sure I did classes before I gave birth to make new mummy friends. I had at the time thought it was a bit odd. I’d never had to sign up to something before in the hope of meeting people!! But as she was such a good friend, I did as she said, and she was right.

Having and caring for a baby is really wonderful yet everyone has bad days, and as a new mum you can sometimes feel quite isolated and lonely when you’re at home with your baby. The world can sometimes feel as though it’s rushing on past you while you’re getting to grips with being a mummy at home. I found it comforting having a diary scheduled with coffee dates and trips to the park. It’s a chance to get out of the house and speak to others about what you’re going through. The old saying a problem shared is a problem halved is true when you’re going through those early weeks, and it’s really reassuring to know others are going through the same thing as you.

I’m still really good friends with those first mummy friends. You don’t have to meet scores of people, just a couple going through what you are. If you’ve been up a lot in the night, or just having a bad day, a chat over a cup of tea and a piece of cake can make all the difference.