Yes, you need a babysitter. And yes, you can find an awesome one on the Internet. I used UrbanSitter and the experience was great.
When I had my first child in 2003, I knew few other parents. My family lived in California. None of my close friends had children yet and most of them lived in other states. I did not have many options for childcare help. It was really, really tough.
Fast forward ten years to three kids and a phone packed with babysitters and parent friends whom I can ask for their sitter recommendations. But the sitter career is often a short one. They go to college, grad school, get full-time jobs, move, have kids of their own. Even with oodles of options, often a Saturday night with sitter needs will roll around and there is no booking in sight.
I know that so many of you fellow parents in the DC area feel my pain. We are many of us transplants, and this area is full of comings and goings. Our families may not live near us, and if they do, many of our parents are still working as hard as we are.
We need quick, safe ways to find childcare. So when UrbanSitter contacted me to try out their service, I felt this was a good service to review for the blog, not simply serving my own marriage’s date night needs.
Aspects of UrbanSitter I liked:
- Setting up a parent profile was very simple.
- Achieving child care coverage can happen very quickly. It was the fastest online sitter service I have used, and I have used several of UrbanSitters’ competitors. You can reach out to one babysitter you choose, and then also obtain backups if she does not accept your request.
- You can search for sitters who have a connection to your contacts! I found sitters who had helped out my fellow MOMS Club members. I may not know those members, but I felt a friend-of-a-friend connection.
- You can search for sitters who have been background checked.
- You can choose to interview a sitter over the phone or via web-cam or in person, if you choose.
- You can read reviews of sitters. I read both negative and positive ones! It was very two-sided, not all just rants or raves. You could read which sitters were chronically late, or which ones got down and actively played with kids.
- You can pay some sitters by credit card.
- You can choose your hourly rate.
We found a wonderful young woman to watch our three children on a Saturday night while we went out. She was definitely one of the most professional sitters we have ever employed. She was lovely and kind to the children. Even two-year-old Alice in her major daddy phase did not cry when we left, and was busy with introducing her to the cats and making sure she had pizza on Alice’s favorite Dora plate (that’s love, right there). If you go to UrbanSitter and search for DC-area sitters, you may find the positive review I wrote about this fine young woman.
We will be using this sitter, and UrbanSitter, again. Definitely. I am also hoping to win a YEAR OF FREE BABYSITTING! Wouldn’t that be like the most awesome holiday gift in the entire freaking world? Click the image below to enter, too.
Hands down, the number one question I receive from readers on my Washington, DC local blog A Parent in Silver Spring is for help finding a nanny, babysitter or child care provider, and one of my most popular local posts is my list of childcare resources. So I hope this review of UrbanSitter helps you out when you need it!
Disclosure: This post and my date night were sponsored by UrbanSitter. All opinions and experiences expressed are mine.