The time has come; you have to leave your child in the care of someone else, your first babysitter. For some parents this is not a big deal; for some it entails tears and screaming (for both the parent and child); for all of us, itâ€™s a right of passage.
Eventually we all do it; some go a little less gently into that good night than others. Some of us freak out and donâ€™t ever leave the neighborhood.
There are ways to make this mommy milestone a little easier though. Here are a few ways to prep your sitter so that you feel comfortable enough leaving your precious little one in her surely capable hands.
Itâ€™s no doubt that you have checked the babysitterâ€™s credentials and you have proof that she loves children and is not a serial killer. Sheâ€™s taken the babysitter class at her local high school, majored in early childhood at university and is certified in babysitter awesomeness. She is CPR certified, doesnâ€™t have a boyfriend, has a 4.0 GPA and youâ€™ve known her since she was born.
You know her parents, who conveniently live two houses down, and they are both pediatricians at her beckon call. But for your own peace of mind, here is a babysitter prep list.
- Leave a list of food and drink instructions. Provide a written food timetable and any food allergies, aversions or prohibitions.
- Leave the cell phone numbers of yourself and your husband, the number where you can be reached and address of your destination.
- Leave all emergency numbers, including your pediatrician, dentist and emergency family contacts.
- Make a list of any unusual habits that your child may have or hiding places, in case your child plays a game of hide and seek that your babysitter is not aware she is part of.
- Inform your babysitter of any favorite toys, treats or activities that your child may like in the case that your child gets distraught or sad when you leave, so that your babysitter can calm him/her down with distraction.
- Depending on the age of your child, leave the names and phone numbers of your childâ€™s friends in the neighborhood, just in case little Tommy sneaks off next door and forgets to tell your sitter, leaving the poor girl in a state of hysterics.
- Discuss ahead of time any health, sleep or behavioral issues that your child may have so that your babysitter is aware and can plan and react accordingly.
- Be clear with your expectations of your babysitter. Let her know that you expect her to pay attention to your child while he is in her care. Be clear that distractions like the phone, computer, friends and boyfriends are not to be tolerated while she is watching your child.
- Add her name at your pediatricianâ€™s office as someone who can bring your child to be seen by the doctor but make sure that everyone knows that only you and your husband have permission to okay treatment.
- Leave your babysitter a copy of your house and car keys in case of an emergency.
- Leave a credit card on the premises for emergency purposes.
Some of the things on this list may seem like common sense and others may seem a little extreme but believe me, it is better to be safe than sorry when your childâ€™s well being is concerned.
What would be on your babysitter prep list?
Photo Source: Ed Yourdon