Preparing for a New Babysitter - For young parents, having time alone during ‘date nights’ can ease stress, refresh harried outlooks, and help keep romance alive. But even if your little one is in daycare during the day, the prospect of leaving the child with a sitter at home can be a little worrisome.
Meryl Teague, who teaches babysitting classes for the YWCA, offers parents five tips to help ease their minds when preparing for a new sitter:
Make a list of resource people – Create a list of people who can be called upon in the event the sitter needs help. Start with your own cell phone number. Then add your physician’s number and the numbers of one or two nearby relatives or friends who could be helpful.
Outline the child’s routine – Knowing when your child routinely naps or snacks, how much television is allowed and when, and when meals and medicine are due, makes the sitter more confident and the child more content.
Go over the house rules – Write down any house rules your child is expected to follow, such as putting toys away, not eating in the living room, or not jumping on the couch.
Set out needed items – If you will not be home before bedtime, lay out the child’s pajamas and any favorite bedtime toys or blanket. Prepare and refrigerate meals or snacks that will be needed while you are gone, and leave a note regarding any medication the sitter will be expected to administer.
Prepare your child – If your child is old enough to understand, explain that someone new will be coming to play with them while you are away. No matter the child’s age, try to arrange for a short transition time, when the child can watch you interacting with the person who will be staying after you leave.
By Barbara Pronin
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