First time bookings - getting comfortable the first time you use a sitter
Having your first child is a hugely significant life moment - and for many months you can't imagine a day when you'd want to let them out of your sight. But as life progresses, and perhaps a second or third child joins the first it becomes time to head out on your own - either for an evening out with friends, heading back to work, or a day time trip for some 'me time'.
That first moment that you decide to use a babysitter to help out can be scary, and maybe even put you off making that decision for a few more months. But there are some simple strategies to follow to make sure that you and your little ones have a fun and safe experience that leads onto many more days and nights out.
The easiest way to relax and get a good plan in place is to think well in advance. If you are planning a theatre trip to London, or you are off to a comedy night with friends then you'll have your tickets way in advance - so sort the babysitter early as well. By booking weeks or even a month or two in advance you'll have the best choice of all the sitters available, as well as having plenty of time to get to know your sitter and find out which of your friends have used them. Last minute bookings work well - but might make you feel rushed and concerned about the speed of the process if it is the first time.
Let everyone choose
Run your search when the family is around and when the app presents you with the available Kowalahs you can all read the profiles and look at the pictures. This will give you the confidence that it is a joint decision and that you are making the right choice. If your child is old enough, get them involved as well - it will make them feel part of the process and excited to welcome in the Kowalah they choose.
Plan the call
Every Kowalah will telephone you within 24 hours of a booking confirmation to introduce themselves. If this is your first booking and you are nervous, then plan out a list of five or six questions to ask them:
- How long have you been babysitting for?
- How many other families near me have you looked after?
- Have you looked after children the same age as mine?
- What activities would you arrange with the kids?
Get a conversation flowing - find out about their background and their experience. Remember - you are not using "an app" to look after your children, you are using Emily, or Helen, or Tom so get to know them and become comfortable that they are the right fit for your family. If you don't feel 100% then just let us know and we can suggest another Kowalah for you.
Settling In Sessions
If you'd like some additional comfort before you leave your little one alone with your chosen Kowalah then we'd recommend a Settling In Session. This runs like a normal 3 hour booking, except you stay at home with the Kowalah and your child. You get to see them playing together and you are confident that they are a good fit for your family.
Find out more about Settling In Sessions in our recent blog post!
Getting ready for a night out is always hectic! Clothes, hair, taxi's here - got to go!!!! Instead of booking your sitter for the same time you are supposed to leave, ask them to come 30 minutes or an hour earlier - then you can gently settle them in with your kids - making sure everyone is relaxed before you head off for your evening.
Kowalah has your back
We're confident that if you follow some of these tips, you'll have a really enjoyable and relaxed first booking, and see that adding a Kowalah or two into your life can be a real benefit to you as well as your kids.
If you'd like some hand-holding when you run your first booking then just let us know - we can provide some additional support in choosing the right Kowalah for your family and make sure you get off to a flying start!
Kowalah is a mobile app delivering On Demand Childcare across the Cotswolds by connecting parents with local babysitters and providers of childcare. Parents are connected with up to 5 available Kowalahs in 15 minutes giving them speed and flexibility. All Kowalahs have been interviewed and referenced providing parents with peace of mind.