Hotel Babysitting Service
Hotels are amazing, like mini cities they can handle your sleeping arrangements, travel plans, transport, dining, and relaxation but what about your child? Do you trust hotel babysitters? I do, but only because I vet them before arranging the babysitting.
The downside of Hotel Babysitters
It hasn’t always been this way. I had just moved to India, I was completely overwhelmed with the uncomfortable realities of living in a foreign country. Simple things like ordering a pizza were suddenly impossible because, even though we were all speaking English, no one could understand my accent. We were living in a hotel, our house hunting wasn’t going as planned and I missed the freedom I had in the US to just get in my car and go anywhere. (Don’t worry I’ve found plenty of freedom here and learned how to order anything straight to my door since then.) I needed a break. So I booked a massage and decided to hire a hotel babysitter for my 11-month-old twins. I was a bit wary because my kids were so young but I trusted that a 5-star hotel would only be sending well-qualified babysitters. Whoops.
I left my kids each napping in their pack and plays in separate bedrooms because they sleep better that way. I told her once they woke up, they could play in the living area. When I returned, both my kids were screaming which was very unusual for them. The hotel babysitter came out into the living area, closed the door behind her (leaving my screaming child inside) and calmly said: “don’t worry, everything is fine.” I mean, everything was fine in the long run, but at that moment, I had two distressed, screaming babies, sitting on top of beds (wtf), ready to topple off at any moment.
The good news is they couldn’t have been away for any more than 10 minutes in that hot mess of a situation (they would have just woken up from their nap) and I scooped them up before any tumbles occurred. You live and learn, right?
Afterward, I swore to never leave my kids with a hotel babysitter ever again. I realized that might be a bit of an overreaction and hesitantly gave it another try. Since then, I have had nothing but positive experiences because I vet everyone. Here’s how you can too:
Hotel Babysitting Checklist
1Ask the person scheduling the Hotel Babysitting service about their qualifications, training, and experience.
2Tell the person arranging the service that your kids might be difficult to manage (even if they’re not).
When I do that, the pool of available babysitters goes down from half a dozen to 1 or 2 people who are brilliant with kids. If they are unsure of who would be best, find someone who does know.
3Ask the hotel babysitter to come early and I do a mini interview.
By this, I mean schedule them 20 minutes before you are planning to leave. Ask open-ended questions related to your child’s direct care. For example, if your baby will be needing a bottle in an hour ask the hotel babysitter “how would you go about preparing the bottle” instead of yes/no questions like “are you familiar with preparing baby formula.” or “How would you respond if hitting occurs?”
4Teach your hotel babysitter specifics.
If the babysitter is unfamiliar with an aspect of your child’s care, for example, if the diapers you brought from overseas are a different style than they’re used to or your baby needs to be swaddled a certain way. Show them first and then have them show you. See one, do one, teach one.
5Account for potential language barriers.
Have them repeat instructions back to you to ensure nothing was lost in translation. any people will reply with “yes” even though they didn’t understand what you were saying. If language seems to be an issue, the hotel can send someone else to clearly relay instructions. In this case, your little ones will have the added benefit of hearing a new language in your absence.
6Schedule hotel babysitters to come after you’ve already put them to sleep.
Then they literally have to just sit there and make sure nothing crazy happens.
7Ask the babysitter to send you photos or videos of your kids while you are away.
For peace of mind – unless they’re sleeping, that would be creepy.
8Arrange for the hotel babysitting to occur in the kids club if your resort has one.
Generally, kids club employ full-time employees who are educated in child development and hold certifications. These kids club though usually have a minimum age of around 4 otherwise you’re not permitted to leave your kids in their care. A loophole to this is to hire an on-call babysitter through the hotel and have them meet you in the kids club. This way, you have more eyes on your child(ren) and they have plenty of toys and activities to enjoy instead of a boring hotel room. You can enjoy your time while knowing they are enjoying theirs.
9Be sure your hotel babysitter has access to anything they might need.
Food, formula, Paci, swaddle your contact info, emergency numbers, etc.
10If you’re not comfortable, don’t leave your kids.
It doesn’t matter what experience you would miss out on it’s not worth it – plus you’ll be too worried that that point to enjoy anything anyway. Worst case you will most likely need to pay the hotel babysitter for at least an hour or two, but you’ll at least have peace of mind.
The main reason for this hotel babysitting checklist is to give YOU peace of mind.
The vast majority of babysitters arranged by hotels are great with kids. The last time we left our kids, the babysitter had 25 years of experience and I was comfortable after only checking off a few of my questions. I swear she has super toddler whispering qualities because she got them to bed on-time while I had been struggling the previous 3 nights. Don’t hesitate to hire a hotel babysitter during your family vacation. Just because you’ve decided to bring your kids doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a few hours to yourself. Make it a vacation, not just a family trip. You’ve earned it!