Every parent knows a good babysitter is hard to find. We’ve compiled a list of must-have instructions for your babysitter to ensure a good experience for everyone.
1. Give the babysitter your cell phone numbers and tell her if she should call or text. Also provide an emergency contact name and number, such as a close neighbor or family member.
2. Let the babysitter know where you will Leave the exact name of the restaurant or theater and the phone number, in case she can’t reach you on your cell phone. Inform her of anyone you are expecting to stop by and your house rules regarding answering the door.
3. Talk to your sitter about your pets. Not just when to feed or walk them, but also if she’s comfortable around them. A friend of mine came home to find her cat locked in her bedroom because the sitter was “creeped out” by the cat’s affectionate nature.
4. Write down your home address. If your babysitter has to call 911, she may not remember the address, so keep it in plain sight.
5. Boo-boos happen, so show the sitter where the first aid kit is kept. Note any allergies your child has and, if mild enough, let her know how she can treat them (antibacterial ointment, antihistamine, etc.). I also keep sunblock and bug spray close by in case they play outside.
6. If it were up to kids, candy and ice cream would be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Write down some options for what the kids can (and will) eat and drink.
7. These innocent little angels can be quite the tricksters, so let the sitter know what is completely off-limits, such as video games, sugary snacks or jumping off the furniture. Inform her of rules regarding playing with neighborhood friends outside or having friends over when you’re not home.
8. If applicable, outline the typical bedtime routine. Knowing the right story to read or nighttime snack to serve can ease the transition from silly time to sleepy time.
9. After a night of relaxation and fun, you don’t want to come home to a complete mess. Let the sitter know any extra chores you’d like her to complete after the kids go to bed.
10. Even the best babysitters have to face meltdowns. Siblings fighting, milk in the wrong colored cup, or accidentally repeating the same episode of “Peppa Pig” can set off a mood swing. Let your sitter know how to handle it — a hug, a distraction or even a quick phone call to Mom and Dad can help.