A mom-to-be has a lot on her mind as she prepares for the birth of her baby. As she considers nursery colors, researches pediatricians, and shops for diapers and onesies, she should also add "finding the right babysitter" to her checklist. A babysitter provides definite benefits over other childcare options. Listed below are a few of the most important advantages offered by a babysitter. Hiring a babysitter is convenient, as a babysitter provides in-home care for the child. There are no worries about traffic delays to and from the daycare center, being waylaid by dialog with staff or other parents at the daycare center, or the myriad other issues that may make a parent late to work due to dropping the child off at daycare. Since the parent does not need to allow time in the morning for taking the child to daycare, the parent can allow him-/herself additional sleep time (and who doesn't need a little more sleep at night?). On an inclement weather day, the parent will not need to bundle baby up to go to daycare because the babysitter will come to the home to care for the child. As the child becomes old enough to gravitate to familiar items in his/her environment, a babysitter will enable the child to spend his/her day in his/her own home. S/He can play with his/her own toys, nap in his/her own bed, and have all the comforts of his/her own space. Additionally, having a babysitter in the home will allow the child a lesser exposure to the germs that are omnipresent in larger groups of children (these germs are commonly found in a daycare center). Fewer sick days for baby means less worry for the parent, less missed time from work since the parent won't be taking baby to the doctor as often, reduced medical expenses, and a happier baby (and a happier parent as well). Hiring a babysitter can relieve a mom of some of her housework. It is not uncommon for a new mom to feel overwhelmed with the sheer size of her to-do lists, especially if she is trying to balance working outside the home with all that is involved with her role working inside the home. Consequently, a mom will often delegate to the babysitter a variety of household chores such as house cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation. Effectively delegating such tasks frees mom up to spend more quality time with baby when she gets home from work. Hiring a babysitter can provide educational opportunities for the child as s/he ages. For example, if baby is a foreign adoptee, the parents may wish to hire a babysitter who is fluent in the language of the baby’s birth country. The babysitter may also teach the parents and other family members about the language and culture of the baby’s birth country so that the child can develop or maintain some familiarity with his/her country of origin and the family may learn and grow together from the experience. Once the decision has been made to hire a babysitter (as opposed to utilizing the services of a daycare center, etc.), the next big decision is WHICH babysitter to hire. A new mom is likely to be anxious about how to find the right babysitter for her family, and companies like Care4hire.com are a great resource for securing extraordinary babysitters. It's important for parents to interview thoroughly each prospective babysitter and carefully conduct background checks to ensure that the hired babysitter will be a good fit within the family. A variety of factors must be considered when determining fit: • How does the prospective babysitter feel about nutrition, schedules, and discipline? • Is she interested in a long-term position? (Often, the child becomes attached to his/her babysitter and subsequently experiences grief and anxiety when the babysitter resigns her position.) • Does the babysitter have experience with newborns? • Is the babysitter caring, patient, and nurturing around babies? • Is the babysitter interested in the terms of employment that are potentially being offered (full-time versus part-time work, with or without employment fringe benefits, etc.)? • Does the babysitter possess the skills sought by the parents (i.e., first aid certification)? Care4hire offers information and how-to tips about selecting a babysitter that is a good fit. Care4hire also provides a host of other information that a parent needs to know in order to hire and employ a babysitter. Care4Hire.com gift certificates are available for prospective, new parents, and experienced parents. These gift certificates make thoughtful baby shower gifts. An expectant mom may indicate a preference for Care4hire gift certificates, and she may encourage other moms to experience the benefits by giving gift certificates at their baby showers. Copyright © Nannies4hire. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.