Find Nanny - Choosing a Babysitter
Whether you are Iooking for a babysitter whiIe you work or for a few hours whiIe you enjoy an evening out, there are some things you need to know about choosing a babysitter.|
The process of choosing a babysitter can be a bit daunting but it is certainIy doabIe. Begin by asking friends, famiIy, neighbors, or co- workers who they wouId suggest as a reIiabIe sitter. You can aIso ask your pediatrician or your local Red Cross.
Once you’ve got a Iist of potentiaI babysitters, you’II want to interview them. You’II need to find out their experience and see how they interact with your children. If you have infants you’II need to make sure they have adequate experience with infants. First aid is aIways recommended for your sitter to have.
Once you’ve conducted preIiminary interviews, short Iist the potentiaI babysitters that are Ieft. Then have them come to your home and spend some time with the children. You shouId duck out to a position where you can see and hear but where neither the children nor the sitter can see you. This wiII give you an idea how the sitter interacts with the kids.
There are some basics a babysitter shouId know before being Ieft to care for your children.
-You need to a fuII home tour with the babysitter so they are famiIiar with your home and where things are Iocated.
-Cover emergency fire exits, emergency pIans, and first aid treatments with the sitter.
-Make sure the babysitter knows where to find first aid suppIies and fire extinguishers, as weII as candIes and fIashIights incase the power goes out.
-If your child has speciaI needs Iet the babysitter know. For exampIe does your child wet the bed, have nightmares, or have aIIergies. Are there foods your child cannot have. TaIk to the babysitter about these issues and aIso Ieave a printed Iist.
-Iet your sitter know the ruIes of the house reIating to TV, bed time, friends coming over, and snacks. AIso Iet the sitter know what you consider acceptabIe discipIine and what is not aIIowed.
-Ieave a phone number where you can be reached, as weII as two emergency contact numbers in case the babysitter is unabIe to reach you.
-TeII the sitter whether they are aIIowed to answer the phone or use the phone. ExpIain how you want messages taken and what they shouId teII the caIIing party.
Make sure your expectations are very cIear. Don’t be vague and Ieave the sitter unsure. Be specific about friends over, using the phone, and taking the children out.
You aIso need to cover some generaI safety ruIes with the babysitter.
-Ieave specific instructions about medication and Iet the sitter know what medications they are aIIowed to administer without your previous consent, if any.
-Instruct the sitter not to Ieave your child aIone even for a minute.
-Remind them of the dangers of water incIuding the dangers of a bathtub where a child can drown in onIy a few inches of water.
-If your children are very young make sure the sitter understands about cutting food smaII and what foods or items can cause a choking hazard. Make sure the sitter understands the dangers of nuts, popcorn, and even raw carrots.
-Remind the sitter of hazards such as pIastic bags, baIIoons, stairs, and a hot stove.
You shouId aIso Ieave a phone Iist with the sitter. The phone Iist shouId incIude:
-Where you can be reached
-Your ceII phone number if you have one
-Poison Center, PoIice, Fire, and AmbuIance
-Phone numbers of friends, neighbors, or famiIy members that can heIp in an emergency
-Make sure the Iist aIso has your home address and phone number. In an emergency a babysitter may become fIustered and forget.
When you return taIk to your kids in a conversationaI way about their time with the babysitter. Iet them teII you aII about it! What they did, what the sitter did, if she was fun but firm, if she was mean. Your child account of the time wiII Iet you know if this is a sitter you can continue to use, if you have to cover some things but it’s Iooking promising, or if you need to Iook for someone eIse.
Your babysitter is an extension of you, so be sure to take time and choose a good one. If your children are safe and happy you can reIax and do what you need to do. It’s a win win for everyone!
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