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You’re about to leave your child with a babysitter for the first time.
It’s a big step in your life and the life of your child.
You are undoubtedly nervous, but you needn’t be. Leave the right information for your babysitter, and everything will go well.
What Information Does the Babysitter Need?
You can give your babysitter as much or as little information as you like. At a minimum, provide a list of expectations, any allergies your child may have, and emergency numbers. You can also leave the sitter with ideas for things to do with your child, favorite stories, and snacks.
Provide The Basics
The babysitter needs to know what you expect from them. If you have a baby who is on a sleeping and food schedule, leave that information for the sitter.
A slightly older child might have a more open evening, but you will still need to leave the sitter with a list of appropriate snacks and a reminder about bedtime.
Special circumstances require even more information. Does your child have any food allergies?
Let the sitter know.
This is vital even if you don’t expect the sitter to feed your child. You may also consider leaving a list of your child’s fears or worries. The sitter should be prepared if the child is afraid of clowns, spiders or the dark.
Does your child take regular medication? The sitter will need to know how much medication is needed and what time it is given.
They also need to know what to do in the unlikely case of an accidental overdose.
Probably the first thing that comes to your mind is a list of emergency numbers.
Your sitter is already familiar with 911 but that’s not the only number they might need.
Give the sitter your cell number as well as the name and number of the place you are headed. In addition, provide numbers for close friends and neighbors who could be reached if you’re not available.
Let your sitter know about any dangers in the home. The sitter should be aware of which cabinet has cleaning supplies or other items that might become dangerous in the hands of a child.
Not all emergencies are managed by a phone call. Leave the sitter with information about where to find your fire extinguisher in case of a fire.
If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters like tornadoes or earthquakes, show the sitter where they can find shelter. You can also go over your family preparedness plan.
Entertainment and Other Information
Your babysitter probably already has some ideas about how to entertain your child.
Still, you could make their job easier and make your child happier by supplying a list of things to do that you know would be entertaining to your child.
Provide a variety of things to do that range from reading a favorite story to video games to craft time. Babies love being read to. Offer a list of your child’s favorite books.
It’s not a bad idea to leave another list of activities your child would not enjoy.
For instance, when I was a babysitter, I learned the hard way that a young charge had nightmares after watching “The Lion King.”
As that was my go-to movie in those days, it never occurred to me that bringing the VHS with me (yes, I am that old) would cause trauma.
The babysitter doesn’t need an entire novel detailing everything there is to know about your child.
What they do need is emergency numbers and basic duties. Can you think of other things a babysitter should be told before you leave? Tell us in the comments!