UrbanSitter - find babysitters through your social network

This is a sponsored post. 

I’m at the edge of it, I can tell. One day, very soon, I won’t need to hire a babysitter anymore because my children will be old enough and responsible enough to stay home alone when my husband and I go out.

But that day has not yet come.

And so, because the sitters I was using have moved away, I found myself in the market for someone new, and I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t looked for a sitter in a couple of years and I was rusty.

Enter UrbanSitter. UrbanSitter, founded by parents, is a resource for finding Sitters based on recommendations by people in your social network. I logged in through Facebook and created my account. From there I was able to see babysitters in my local area and scan their profiles.

UrbanSitter - find babysitters through your social networkEach Sitter has a photo and bio, which tells about their schooling, training and experience. Plus it lists whether they drive, when she (or he) is available – and here’s the cool part: you can see if anyone you know has ever hired them, and if so, whether they’ve given them a recommendation.

I was lucky to see a great recommendation from one of my Facebook friends who had already joined up. She raved about this young woman taking great care of her kids, and that was a good sign.

I clicked over to see if she was available when I needed her. There’s a handy calendar with each Sitter’s times and dates open in Green. Easy!

I used the contact form and sent her a message, telling her how many kids I had, that I would need her to serve them dinner while I was out, and asked if she had any questions for me.

She replied that she was available and we made it a formal booking. I had a sitter!

Each Sitter has set her (or his) rate (and it’s listed in their profile) and also whether they accept payment via credit cards, which are processed through UrbanSitter, so all of that can be determined ahead of time. Payment is not processed until after the job is complete, by the way, just in case the hours are longer or shorter than originally planned.

I was initially skeptical about finding a Sitter this way, but the recommendation really swayed me. I knew my Facebook friend and trusted her judgement.

For those who, like me, might be a bit squeamish about using a Facebook login for a site like a Babysitting service, I can tell you it has its advantages. (See above.) Plus, I was able to choose the privacy level as I set up my account so that none of my friends can see when I’m looking to book a sitter, which keeps my private life as private as I want it.

For me, the story has a happy ending, because PS – the whole reason I was hiring a Sitter in the first place was to go on a date with my husband, which I did, and which was really fun!

I’m happy enough with UrbanSitter to be hiring another Sitter through the site right now.

Want to try it out yourself? Or have you already tried it and want to have them pay your next Sitter for you? The enter the contest! We’re giving away $100 in UrbanSitter credit to one lucky winner! That’s $100 in Free Babysitting! Simply leave a comment below telling us why you want to win the prize by Wednesday, November 14th at 12 Noon PST. Rules: Only one entry per person. Winner should live in a City served by UrbanSitter already. No Cash Value. Winner will be chosen using Random.org. Good luck!

UPDATE: The Contest is now over and the Winner has been notified. Thanks for entering!

{This post is part of a sponsored campaign, but I paid the Sitter I hired out of my own pocket. The opinions expressed are my own.}

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10 comments

  1. Kyra 1 November, 2012 at 11:25 Reply

    I would LOVE to hire a sitter. I have two kids, two dogs and three jobs that I juggle around my mom duties. Being able to have a skilled and responsible babysitter for a few hours a week would allow me to concentrate on my work. Thanks!

  2. Marissa 6 November, 2012 at 15:38 Reply

    I have two kids and a job I love but that’s taking up all of my free time right now – I am out 5 out of 7 nights this week alone for work. Yikes! My husband, he’s pretty cute, and I dimly remember a time when we’d drive around listening to late-90s indie rock before splitting a pitcher over a game of pool. Those days are gone, but I’d still love to hang out with him. Our regular sitter moved to the valley to become a TV star. Help us find a new one!

  3. Elle @ SeeMomWorkBlog 8 November, 2012 at 00:35 Reply

    Desperately seeking a sitter! 3 kids, 1 full time job, 2 disconnected parents = a date night needing to happen! As long as the kids are alive, unharmed and fast asleep in their beds when we come home, that’s all that matters at this stage.

    Pick me! Pick me!

    Elle
    All work and no play makes mommy a dull chick

  4. Lexi 13 November, 2012 at 23:41 Reply

    With four girls including twins, I’d love to have a chance to see a movie with my honey. We usually count on family for sitting, so we have to work around their schedules.

  5. Brigitta 14 November, 2012 at 08:12 Reply

    Our relatives live so far away, with the price of gas it’s cheaper to get a sitter than to import them from points south. My trusted fprmer sitter is now in med school and too busy (how dare she get an advanced education instead of waiting around for me to call her for a few hours a week of work!), so it would be a relief to have a new one!

  6. Erica 22 December, 2012 at 09:30 Reply

    If you’re looking for easily and reliable babysitting, I’d recommend a babysitting coop — where you trade free care with other families in your community.

    You can locate a coop near you on SittingAround (www.sittingaround.com). I’ve been in a coop for years and love it. So does my 7 yo son. I also run the site, so I am happy to help you find a coop in your town or start your own.

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