Babysitters can play a crucial role in the life of a family: they give parents freedom. Parenting 24/7 can put any nurse into the “deep end” of parenting!
When moms and dads work out at the gym, take a class that inspires them, spend time with close friends, and go on "date nights," they fill up their energy tank so they can give more to their children. Quality time away from your kids is just as important as the quality time you have together as a family, and babysitter tips can make it all that much easier.
In my parenting book, When You’re About To Go Off The Deep End, Don’t Take Your Kids With You, I state: “Self care for moms (and dads) needs to be a necessity—not a luxury.”
Having a babysitter you can trust can dramatically increase your ability to take time off. Finding a good babysitter is easy if you follow these babysitter tips.
Babysitter Tips to Follow
Having babysitter tips and babysitter policies in place makes it easier to find and keep good sitters who will care for your children and maintain your "house rules" (and not just let your kids run wild!).
Even if you've already found a good sitter, it's worthwhile reviewing your expectations, setting up policies and communicating them clearly.
Use the following babysitter tips as a guide:
Find a baby sitter that is trusted. Hire either a trusted family friend (trading childcare can be a great way to save money and build community) or a highly recommended person with relevant experience.
Make certain your sitter is at least 12 years old and has taken a baby sitter and first aid course. If they haven't yet taken these courses and you really like this person, offer to pay for these two courses in exchange for future babysitting hours.
Train ahead of time. Have the babysitter spend time with you and your children before you leave them in charge.
Check your child's reaction. Be aware of how your children react when they find out who is going to be their sitter. Pay attention to the comments they make—they may be warning you of potential problems.
Prepare clear babysitter instructions. Write down your children's bedtime and routine, your expectations once the children are in bed, and house rules for the sitter (for example friends over only after asking you, calls from friends only after the children are in bed, if they are tired where they can sleep, what food they can eat etc.). Also include an emergency list as outline in the next section.
Have your babysitter arrive 30 minutes before you have to leave. Take the time to go over the following:
- Your instructions and any questions they may have with your house rules.
- Review bedtime routines in front of your children (so they don't try and take advantage of the sitter)
- Your emergency numbers and how and when to contact you
- Take them on a tour of your home (if you haven't already done so) and give them a key (in case they take the children out).
In addition to this, create an emergency check list that your babysitter can refer to in the unlikely case they need it. Your Emergency Babysitter List You can make it easier for your babysitter to respond to emergencies by leaving the following information with them: Knowing you've taken the extra time to find a good babysitter and to give them all the information they need, can make your evening out that more relaxing.
In addition to this, create an emergency check list that your babysitter can refer to in the unlikely case they need it.
Your Emergency Babysitter List
You can make it easier for your babysitter to respond to emergencies by leaving the following information with them:
Knowing you've taken the extra time to find a good babysitter and to give them all the information they need, can make your evening out that more relaxing.