When Should You First Leave Your Child With a Babysitter?

As new parents you’re likely finding yourself caught between the opposing camps of ‘desperate to go out’ and ‘don’t want to leave baby’.

At Sitters, we know there is no right or wrong answer as to when you should first leave your child with a babysitter. What is right for one family won’t necessarily be right for another. This can leave you with even more questions.

Everyone loves to give new parents their opinion and you can be left bewildered weighing up between your antenatal buddy’s staunch belief that you must not leave your baby until they are two, and your mother-in-law who insists they must be left with others the minute you’re discharged from hospital.


At Sitters we want to reassure you that whenever you feel that you are ready to leave your child for a few hours, then that time is right for you.

If that means you’re ready to leave baby for a night out with friends when they are a few weeks old then we’ll be there.

Or if you aren’t ready until they are pre-schoolers then we’re in your camp too. No judgement, just support. There is no minimum age at Sitters.

Leaving is generally harder for parents than children

Given that babies are experts on the heart-wrenching cry, and toddlers are capable of clinging to your favourite blouse like a monkey, it can be easy to think that leaving your baby or child with a babysitter is harder on them than it is for you.

In reality, although they are worthy of an Oscar performance, in our many years of experience, it is generally harder for the parents than the child.

However, this can be confusing. On the one hand you’re worried about being judged. You may be wondering if a babysitter will be as careful as you? Will your baby or child be upset? Will they take their milk? It’s perfectly normal to be nervous when you first use a babysitter.

On the other hand you are likely to feel a sense of excitement. This is the first step to regaining some sense of yourself. Perhaps it’s the first chance to catch up with friends that you miss. Or an important date night with your partner who has been a little neglected since the birth.

You’re also likely to be concerned about having a positive experience that can act as the building block to rebuilding your social life.


Why starting early can help

Although there is no fixed age when it’s best to leave your child with a babysitter, there are some key benefits to leaving your baby before the classic Separation Anxiety phase begins (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/separation-anxiety.aspx).

Separation Anxiety occurs when your baby begins to realise they are dependent on their caregiver, and a separate entity from them. Therefore, leaving them with a babysitter before this point can get them used to the idea of their parents returning, and feel secure in being left.

How do I know my child will be well cared for?

When you choose to use professional babysitters from Sitters you’re not getting a local teen who is more interested in keeping up to date on social media than your baby’s feeding routine, or a doting-but-outdated family member who is itching to give baby their first taste of chocolate and doesn’t know about current SIDS guidelines.

Instead, you’re getting a professional childcarer, someone who has been reference-checked, and is likely a parent themselves: Someone who will listen to you and be guided by you. After all, you know your baby best.


Babysitters – here when you’re ready

We’re here. Whether you simply need a night off from the demands of colic, or you’re ready to get your glad rags on - as soon as you’re ready, we are. Babysitters you can trust. Register today to get started. 

Sign up now to receive more great parenting content and newsletters

Need a babysitter?

Enter your postcode below to find out if we have Sitters in your area:


Consent Preferences