Tips for Preparing for a Babysitter
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Tips for Preparing for a Babysitter
While it can seem like finding the right babysitter for your family is the hard part (though we hope to make it as easy as possible for you!), we know the reality is that preparing for the actual sitting job, especially for new parents, is where things can get tough.
Leaving your child with someone else for the first time, even though you know they've been diligently vetted by CareFinder and by yourself, is always a bit nerve-wracking. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to ease your mind and prepare the babysitter and your kids to ensure everything goes smoothly!
FOR THE SITTER
Family Info 101
Provide the sitter with all the basic info on your family that may be of use during the job. This is everything from your home address and children's names and ages, to allergies, medications and schedule outline. The babysitter will then have an at-a-glance view of the most important information they'll need. Take a look at our overview for ideas on what to include.
Does your refrigerator door get stuck if you don't close it just so? What do all the buttons on your air conditioner mean? Any rooms that are off-limits to the kids? As your babysitter gets a tour, take time to explain how major appliances work, if any shouldn't be touched or any other notes around how the house itself functions.
Have a list of emergency contacts (including neighbors, family, doctors and other medical needs) easily accessible. Provide multiple methods of contact for yourself, if possible, as well. As you show the sitter around your house, be sure to point out all fire extinguishers, first aid kits and any emergency supplies. You should also provide information on emergency communications and evacuation plans.
FOR YOUR CHILD
Give Them a Heads up
Even if you involved your child in the interview process and they have already met and interacted with the babysitter, be sure to let them know in advance when you'll use the sitter. Whether it will be every Thursday after school or this Saturday night while you go out for dinner, giving them notice ahead of time (even a day or so is helpful) lets them adjust to the idea before the sitter arrives.
When the cats away, the mice will play! Make sure your children are very clear that the rules of the household still very much apply, even when they're being watched by a babysitter. You can even have your child handle the explanation of rules to the sitter, that way everyone can be sure they understand expectations of behavior.
Put Them "In Charge"
Make your kids the tour guides! Have them show your sitter around the house, explain the house rules (see above) and/or give a rundown on their favorite activities, games and schedule. In addition to giving them a heads up on the sitter's arrival, putting them in charge of the babysitter's introduction gives your children a sense of control over the situation.
Short and Sweet Goodbyes
Sneaking out the backdoor while your kid is distracted may seem like the easiest route to leaving without causing a fuss, but they will eventually realize you've gone and your lack of goodbye could easily kick off an extended tantrum. Your best bet (especially with younger children) is to build in several minutes for a short and sweet goodbye. Your kids may pout, but taking the time to officially acknowledge you're leaving generally goes over better than the disappearing parent act.
Find the best babysitter for your family today!