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Old 16.07.2010, 13:15
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Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

We have three children and have never used babysitters (aged 5.5, 4, 3.5 ish).

I'm interested in hearing your experiences of using babysitters, specifically what age you started using babysitters (not your age, but your kids' ages ), what your concerns were, and which ones were justified.

To date our reasons for not having used a babysitter have simply been the language issue, lack of knowledge of the person (i.e. trust), age (we never felt comfortable leaving infants in the care of a babysitter) and finally our children aren't the easiest to get to bed.

Finally any personal recommendations for babysitters in around the central Basel area welcome .
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Old 16.07.2010, 13:18
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

my experience of using babysitters involves kathy dempsey ( she was a twin !! ) ... we were both 16... and you probably don't want to hear the rest.
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Old 16.07.2010, 13:43
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

I first used a babysitter here when my youngest was one but that's because we only moved when she was 10 months old. My other daughter was 5. We were lucky to find a very good babysitter who spoke 3 languages and who passt her abiture this year. She's 18 and leaves 200 meters from us.


With 3 young kids, I would have 2 babysitter. When our babysitter comes, the little one is already in bed.
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Old 16.07.2010, 13:46
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

Not sure I'm going to be much help but basically we're in the same boat as you - never used a babysitter and our kids are now 6 and (nearly) 3.

My main reasons are:
  • trust - I just couldn't have left a baby in the care of a teenager no matter how good they seemed with kids. Different now they are that bit older. The way I look at it is if the babysitter beat them with a stick then now they are old enough to actually tell me!!
  • money - it's expensive - assuming that you don't want the "just the babysitter course 15 year old" to look after your kids. If you want an actual nanny and not a teen then you have to pay upwards of 30CHFs an hour. Even for a regular teen you're looking at 15 CHFs an hour, which will add an extra 60CHFs to your average night out. It just doesn't seem worth it for a meal out or a trip to the cinema - different if it were a special occasion or something.
  • time - a lot of the teenage type babysitters won't actually put your kids to bed - they expect to just sit there watching TV while your kids are already in bed. For us that means that we wouldn't make it out of the house until 8:30pm, and since we don't live in town it would be after 9 before we actually got anywhere to go out.
  • out location - as I said we don't live in town so there is always the fact that the babysitter has to get home and if you're out too late then they really might not be able to get home - meaning one of us is going to have to stay sober enough to drive them home.
So all in all I have just never really seen the point and always kind of written it off - preferring instead to sit in the garden with a G&T or watch a DVD on the tele. To be honest even before we had kids we were never exactly the life and soul of the party anyway! So for us it's not been such an issue. Of course there are times when I wish we had a babysitter - someone that we know and trust - but even if it were someone recommended by a friend I'm not sure if I could really take the plunge and actually trust them.

We do regularly have kid-friendly BBQs and parties with our friends though - where you take the kids with you and either put them to bed and get them up later and stuff them in the car to take home, or stay over, or let them stay up until 9ish and then head home. I find this works really well. Obviously it's not a romantic grown up night out though!

Be interested to hear any babysitting recommendations though.
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:12
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

I had to use a babysitter for an evening when I had to go to a compulsory work event when my daughter was 7 months I used one of the ladies from her Kinderkrippe and everything was fine. She fed the little one, put her to bed and didn't even switch on the TV! It cost 15CHF an hour and she's qualified in every aspect of childcare.

As I was so impressed and felt I could trust them, I have since done it again to go to the Basel curry night Her dad lives in Zürich so he is not able to take her unfortunately....
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:47
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

I've not searched the forum but I have used Google... how does one become a "qualified" babysitter in Switzerland?

I earned my share of "spending money" as a teenager by babysitting neighbor's kids and watched over my own siblings as well of course... but that was a long time ago and far away. I believe I've read here that qualified babysitters have to pass some sort of course here, maybe I'm misremembering though?
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:53
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

I'm not sure Peg All I know is as the girls at daycare have to do first aid courses and an apprenticeship to qualify as a child carer. I think they also have a criminal record check.
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:54
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

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I've not searched the forum but I have used Google... how does one become a "qualified" babysitter in Switzerland?
I'm not sure Peg All I know is as the girls at daycare have to do first aid courses and an apprenticeship to qualify as a child carer. I think they also have a criminal record check.
This is Switzerland. There's a certificate for everything
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Old 16.07.2010, 14:57
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

We got our babysitter from an official list of qualified babysitters provided by the Eltern club of my town.. But don;t get excited the course only last 2 days
http://www.faeger.ch/joomla/events/d...=614a&finden=1
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Old 16.07.2010, 15:04
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

We used babysitters since our children were infants, though the older they get the less we use them because we either take them with us or they stay at friends'. However, when they were younger we always got our babysitters from the Red Cross list: these are young people (mostly girls) who have done a course and are able to look after babies- detect a fever, what to do if baby is choking... things like that. You need to pay for the list of names but we felt it was worth it for peace of mind. Whenever we have a new babysitter we don't go too far away from home, just incase, as the babysitter and children get into a routine we venture further from home.

Here is the site: http://www.croixrougevaudoise.ch/saf/baby.php
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Old 16.07.2010, 15:29
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

I understand your post completely. In the UK we had my parents only a 15 minute drive away and were very lucky to be able to leave our daughter pretty much whenever we wanted to be able to have some couple time.

Since moving here just over 1 year ago, it was this aspect of life that I struggled with the most.

I asked around and most people said they just didn't go out as they wouldn't have a gemeinde list babysitter as they are so young. I got the list and looked through anyway, the rates are fine (7 to 12CHF per hour) and it says they have completed a course before being allowed on the list. My daughter is only 2.5 years and I personally think that is too young to be left with a relatively young teenager for several hours.

After many more months of not going out, or waiting until parents visited us, I spoke to a few friends of mine, also Mums from the local playgroup and suggested a babysitting circle between us. This has been set up for about 2 months now I guess and is slowly but surely starting to work out.

We all hold tokens (10 each to start) which have a "value" of 1/2 hour each. When we want to go out, we email the group asking for a babysitter, giving details of time the sitter is required and with an estimated return time. If someone can do it, then they reply and the details are arranged between us.

The "sitter" is then paid in tokens at the end of the night which they can spend on their next night out.

The advantage with this scheme is that we all know each other, we all know each others kids, it is free and you trust the person you have left your child with. I find this makes for a far more relaxed evening out, not having to consider whether you risk another drink for the sake of 25CHF for the next hour of babysitting with a private sitter.

All in all, a great system if you can find a few other parents to join in the circle, who are willing to actually use it.

Maybe something worth trying in your area?
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Old 16.07.2010, 17:57
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

Prior to moving to Switzerland, we would have one of my daughter's preschool teachers babysit for the few times a year when my mom or brother couldn't babysit. I didn't want the kids having a babysitter they weren't familiar with and we didn't have babysitters often enough for the kids to get to know them. I figured that if the teacher can be with 6 kids at school, she could handle my 2.

Now that our kids are 6 and 10, we get one of the neighbor boys to watch the kids (he's now 17). Also, the babysitter's mom is in the building next door to ours so if there's an emergency and we can't make it back fast, she can come over.

You might also try checking with an international school in your area, I know ours has a list of babysitters who are looking for work.
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Old 16.07.2010, 18:34
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Re: Babysitting - share the who/how/what of your experiences

we've been quite lucky in terms of babysitting here so far! our son is 9 and until we came here last year, we never had to use a babysitter- it's always been family or friends who watched him, which was sooo much easier!

but as i said we've been lucky- our neighbor's son and our son are best friends now and we swap days pretty often. i was very nervous leaving my son with someone we didn't know, but we've found two excellent babysitters (from the forum!!!) who are both american (that was important to him!) and my son actually asks us to go out sometimes so he can spend time with them. they are wonderful, they play board games and bobbyfoot with him and he is so happy to be able to talk to them in english and that they understand his jokes...

if anyone is in the lausanne area and looking for babysitters feel free to pm me, i would highly recommend them both or start something like the network above with the tokens- what a great idea!
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