How to Prepare a Baby Sitter

Make caring for your child as easy as possible for the sitter by preparing your house and emergency contacts ahead of time.


Things You’ll Need:

* Emergency Instructions
* Emergency Telephone Numbers
* First Aid Kits
* Dry Erase Boards
* Dry Erase Markers
* Pads Of Paper
* Outlet Covers

Step1 : Check your home for safety. Put away items that may cause an accident or fire. Cover outlets and stash loose electrical cords. Lock doors that lead to a swimming pool.

Step2 : Invite your sitter over to meet your children before your first outing. Offer to pay for the sitter's time and watch how your child and the sitter interact.

Step3 : Ask your sitter to arrive 15 to 30 minutes before you are scheduled to leave, so your child and the sitter can spend some time getting comfortable.

Step4 : Provide your sitter with emergency information. Include a phone where you can be contacted, your home number and the name and number of a neighbor the sitter can contact for help. Also leave the name and number of your child's doctor.

Step5 : Write down your child's full name, age and insurance information.

Step6 : Write down directions to your house, should the sitter need to request help. Include your address and any important landmarks or cross streets.

Step7 : Tell the sitter about any medications your child must take. Write down amounts and times medication should be taken, as well as any allergies your child has to food or medicine.

Step8 : Give the sitter a tour of your house. Show him or her where to find anything your children might need and indicate which rooms are off-limits.

Step9 : Establish clear rules to be followed while you are absent. Include feeding and sleeping schedules and note which food is available for your child and the sitter. Let the sitter know your child's do's and don'ts.

Step10 : Go over any routines you normally follow. Following the same bath or bedtime routine will help your child feel more comfortable and create less chaos for the sitter.

Step11 : Clarify which forms of discipline are acceptable and unacceptable. Indicate where a timeout can take place and how long it should last.

Step12 : Let your sitter know if visitors can come by and how many you allow in your house.

Step13 : Leave paper and a pen for your sitter to take phone messages.

Tips & Warnings

* Use the Interactive Childcare Planner from the Related Sites list. You can type in the information and print a complete form for the sitter to follow.
* Try to use the same sitter every time you go out.
* Talk to your sitter immediately about any problems you feel are occurring in your absence.

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