Blog Babysitting

Expats and babysitting in Dubai - Choosing a proper person

New parents your new-born is coming home, and it is probably one of the most everlasting memories of your life.

A sentiment all couples and parents cherish for the rest of their lives. If you are a first-timer everything is probably a little bit more hectic and you’re dazed and confused with where and why and how to properly take care of your new role and responsibilities. Babysitting can be a stressful experience, especially if you are an expat in Dubai, so entrusting someone to be a qualified babysitter involves extra time and effort.

Even if your kid is older, whether you have to go somewhere, get back to the office, you are late for a meeting, have some errands to run, or just need a night out with family and friends, leaving your child in the beginning is a step all parents eventually are not keen on taking. At one point after bringing home a new baby, parents will come to actual situations in which they need a reliable partner for a babysitter and someone who is mature and sociable, has common sense, and is genuinely friendly and fond of children is a real assurance that your loved one is in capable hands.

So, what are the best traits of a good babysitter and what is the best and easiest way to find one in Dubai?

First and above all, good observation and analysis are the key to success. Apart from typical and non-typical qualifications, the initial personal approach, creativity and connection up to evaluating your kids' strengths and reaching out for a word of mouth for a person you can trust - you will probably end up cross-checking daily availability and costs as well.

Many experts agree that his/her external traits and qualifications are the first step to acquiring a positive first impression of the babysitter and you can even book a babysitter online, however traditional word of mouth “advertising” is still THE BOSS around here and probably the best choices are made with personal references and recommendations? However, what you should probably need to look and analyse in the first place is your own child and his/her character and needs.

Kids are always fragile, strangely temperamental and require constant care and undoubtful attention. Therefore, you need to know as much about them as possible to be prepared to handle any situation before you commit your focus and attention to the sitter.

After you are done with “scrutinizing” your own child’s needs and habits you can put the emphasis on the needs of the person you'll trust with your life's blood. You would argue that your requirements are simple, right? You just need someone to make sure your kids don’t die and/or write on the walls while you’re gone. But we all know there’s a lot more to it than that, so at least in the beginning, writing out what you want from a babysitter will help you determine what you as an expat need in a sitter and narrow down your applicants later. As you fill in the list, rank which qualities are indispensable and which ones you can do without.

We are living in one of the busiest and culturally and linguistically most diverse cities in the world, a home to over 200 different nationalities so one of the best advices a person can give you as an expat is to listen to other people’s advice before making an important decision.

Dubai boasts with an outstanding and well linked expat community and regardless whether you speak Arabic or not, there’s always someone who can give you a helping hand. The recommendations of people you know and trust are your best bet for finding a reliable and capable babysitter. If you're new to the area or you know nothing about how to go about finding a sitter, these are the first step you need to take to find a good feedback:

  • ask your neighbours or colleagues for recommendations;
  • book a babysitter online on popular sites like;
  • ask staff in your doctor’s office for suggestions;
  • inquire at your place of worship;
  • the gym and sports centre you visit often.

But above all, ask other parents since they are often great sources of sitters, and they are usually keen on sharing experiences. However, be sure to ask for both positive and negative feedback. Once you have your list of potential candidates, you can start the screening process. Don’t wait for one person to get back to you before going on to screening the next one, try to go over and interview as many people as possible so you have an in-depth list of acceptable back up sitters. It is always good to have back up, right?

As an expat you will be quickly and firmly introduced to how the market works and how personal recommendations are more valuable than a newspaper ad and how word of mouth still dominates and influences decision we make every day. Websites like offer a wide variety of services, advices and valuable guidelines which will definitely make your decision-making much easier.

So, as a couple who would like to find a reliable partner and have their kid in safe hands and well taken care of, you have to consider the references first. When narrowing down the top picks for your babysitter, consider the families listed as references. Check how similar were the duties and responsibilities, the age of the kids, the duration of the service and what you would like your babysitter to do for your kids? At the end of the day if the babysitter’s tasks were similar to the ones you have outlined in your initial plan it's likely to be an easy transition for everyone involved.

Now, after you checked the background, got informed about references and experience, it is high time to be done with calculations and start developing a relationship with your prospective sitter and trust me, finding the right questions to ask when interviewing a babysitter is not an easy thing.

In any case, you own the game, you dictate the rules and it is your personal piece of mind at stake so trust your gut. You may discover a candidate who has an outstanding babysitter CV, fantastic references and flawless and right answers to all your interview questions -- but something just seems quite off. You might not be able to bet on it, but you don't need to explain it. Trust your instincts.

At the end of the day, a person you can trust can only be a person that can do well on the kid test. This is not about you and your qualifiers – it is about your kid and a professional which you can rely upon. Give it a shot with your kid, give the sitter a chance to interact with your child. An experienced professional won't blink an eye at the demand for a trial run. Be patient and observe.

  • Do you like his/her style?
  • How about his/her teaching skills, playfulness, character?
  • Are you comfortable with the way he/she disciplines?
  • How does the kid connect with the candidate?

Think about all of these aspects because, after all, children are the ones who will be spending the most time with the babysitter, so seeing the child-sitter interaction first hand can be a big help when making your final decision.

Finally, when developing a relationship and preparing ground for reaching a decision, think about how often you’ll need a babysitter (daily – weekly) and how many hours you’ll need them. You should also know what their schedule is like in case you ever need them on short notice. And sometimes you should just ease them of and show them you are their friend because they will help you to learn what your kids are like with other people, and it’ll support your relationship with your sitter (maybe next event when you are in a pinch they will be the ones who will change their plans around to help out and accommodate their favourite client).

Build this relationship and make grounds for making deals because child care is really important and necessary and as an expat in Dubai without the help of your family and friends it will be a rather expensive and time consuming one. Therefore, if the candidate will put too much strain on your budget, discuss it with him before moving on to someone else. At the end of the day it is a dynamic market and you can find ideas, advices and book a sitter online easily on popular spots like It doesn’t feel good to do this—you will not save in costs when it comes to your kids—but with proper and well-focused effort you should be able to find a quality sitter within your price range.

Finding a sitter isn’t an entertaining process, and you probably aren’t itching to do it again soon. But once a year, revisit whether your sitter is still a good fit for your family. Check their ideas for engaging your kids, follow up closely on their work, observe your kids reaction and If your or their circumstances have changed—like your kids getting older and needing someone to help them with homework or your sitter moving too far away to be easily available—they may no longer be the right person for the job.

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