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Babysitting Prep Lists

Thursday, November 12, 2015

You’ve remembered to make dinner reservations and used our helpful guidelines on selecting a babysitter. What else should you do before heading out? Take a few minutes to prepare some helpful reminders for your babysitter. It will make your children more comfortable and help you put your mind at ease.

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The home tour

Whether it’s the first time you’ve had this particular babysitter or the tenth, a quick walk through of your house is a good reminder for him or her. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you do the following with your sitter before leaving:
  • Show the sitter around the house.
  • Point out fire escape routes and potential problem areas. Instruct the sitter to leave the house right away in case of fire and to call the fire department from a neighbor's house.
  • Discuss feeding, bathing, and sleeping arrangements for your children.
  • Tell your sitter of any allergies or specific needs your children have.
  • Have emergency supplies available including a flashlight, first aid guide, and first aid supplies - and show the sitter where to find them.
  • Tell the sitter where you will be and when you will return.
  • Be sure any guns are stored unloaded in locked cabinet.

Woman writing documentEmergency info

Before you have a sitter come to your house, create a sheet with important emergency information listed. Display this list in a prominent place that is centrally located - it could come in handy for more people than just your babysitter. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
  • Parents’ phone numbers
  • 2-3 neighbors’ names, addresses & phone numbers
  • Doctor’s phone number
  • Poison center: 1-800-222-1222
  • Your home phone
  • Your home address and the nearest intersection (if someone needs to call 911, this information can help responders find you faster)

Today’s schedule

While you will review the following information when your sitter first arrives, it is helpful to have it spelled out for later. This list will help your sitter keep your child on his or her normal schedule and follow their normal routines. If your child is too young to speak, it will help guide the sitter’s actions. If your child is old enough to talk back, the list can come in handy so your child knows that the sitter is following your rules. Types of information to include on this list:
  • What your child is allowed to eat and drink, and when
  • Activity schedule for the day/night (i.e. how much TV they can watch, time spent outside, etc.)
  • Bedtime routine
  • Cell phone use: specify when/if your sitter is allowed to use their phone while in your house and what they are allowed to do. It doesn’t hurt to have it in writing so the sitter knows how important this issue is and can commit to your expectations. Need help laying down the rules? See our suggestions in this article: Selecting a Good Babysitter.
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