8 Tips for a Smooth Introduction to a New Babysitter

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Image via Flickr/ Ed Yourdon

Leaving your children with a babysitter can be nerve-racking for moms, even when they are going to be in the care of a trusted family member or good friend. But sometimes, we have to leave our children in the care of a sitter who they may not be too familiar with. The Red Cross has a certification course that prepares lots of anxious young teenagers for the rigors of babysitting. In a pinch, they're a great go-to, but that doesn't mean your children are going to like it! The sitters may be prepared, but what about the children and your home? That's where you come in, mama! There are some simple things you can do to help make the transition to a new babysitter work. I call it “Mom's Arsenal,” and there are 8 important things that you need.

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Image via Flickr/ medisave

Important Information for Your Sitter

This information, all in one easily accessible place, is a great resource to have on hand for new sitters. (I may or may not have a laminated copy.)

Good information to include is:

  • Your home address and phone number
  • Cell phone numbers for you and your spouse
  • Any medications (with proper dosage) and allergies for all of your children
  • Phone number for pediatrician, emergency room, and poison control
  • Locations of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flashlights, or any “in case of emergency” equipment
  • A basic rundown of daily/nighttime routine
  • A list of house rules
  • Anything you feel is important information about your children

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Image via Flickr/ jeffadair

Favorite Treats

Maybe my kids are the only ones who would happily choose a lollipop over mom, but somehow I doubt it. I always like to leave a couple of “special treats” for the kids “from” the babysitter. That way, even if it's someone they're a little unsure about, they feel a little bit better with a treat!

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Image via Flickr/ ginnerobot

A Highly Anticipated Movie and Popcorn

I like to have something that my kids look forward to doing while mommy and daddy are away, so I try to keep a few of their favorite movies out of the everyday rotation and save them for an occasion where they'll really look forward to watching that special movie. And what movie watching experience is complete without popcorn?

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Image via Flickr/ Richard Elzey

Stocked Baby Supplies

Diapers, wipes, diaper ointment, baby powder, burp cloths, teething toys, nasal aspirator, pacifier. All of these baby things that can sometimes get spread around the house and need a search party to find should be rounded up into one place (maybe even a diaper bag) where the sitter can easily find what they need to tend to the needs of the baby. If you have older children that the sitter is also watching, these things need to be at arm's length so that he or she is not spending time looking for baby items instead of looking after your other children.

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Image via Flickr/ chrissy.farnan

Fun Craft

If at all possible, I love to have a seasonal craft or fun activity set up for the babysitter to lead the children in. This way, I know they're not destroying the house looking for something to do while I'm away! The more structured the time with the babysitter is, the less likely the children are going to try and get into mischief. They're going to be too busy to make a mess!

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Image via Flickr/ wEnDaLicious

Takeout and Paper Products

You're headed out to a nice restaurant with your spouse, and you're excited to enjoy a meal you didn't have to cook or have to get up from 10 times for a spoon, ketchup, another glass of milk, a napkin, or any other request. Keep it easy on yourself and order takeout for the kids. Who wants to cook a meal they're not going to eat? Leave paper products out for the sitter to use. Chances are, if it's their first time with your kids, they'll be too busy to get around to doing the dishes, and you don't want to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes! Keep it easy!

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Image via Flickr/ AmateurArtGuy

Nighttime Ready

Each of my kids has to have his or her room “just so” before bed. Curtains are drawn, covers are pulled down, night lights and air purifiers are turned on, favorite teddy bear is in his spot, kids are clad in their favorite PJs. Eliminate the “that's not how it's supposed to be” excuse at bedtime and set everything how it should be before you leave. Turn on the night lights, draw the drapes, and lay out or put on their PJs before you go. This will make bedtime easier on everyone.

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Image via Flickr/ futurestreet

New Story

Unless your kids want the same story for bedtime every night, a new story to read is always a nice touch. I like to rotate books on and off the bookshelf after they've been there awhile, and even if they're not “new,” something they haven't read in a while is a great way to end a night with a babysitter.

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What did we forget? Do you ever leave your kids with teenage babysitters? Do you feel like a babysitter tote full of these items is doable? Why or why not?

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8 Tips for a Smooth Introduction to a New Babysitter

Jeanna Strassburg is a wife, and mother of three, who enjoys kitchen dance parties and summer time! Jeanna received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho in April of 2007. She enjoys spending her time cooking, cleaning and tending to the proper duties of a stay at home mother… NOPE! Truthfully, she enjoys eating the food, but not making it or cleaning up after it. She likes to have a clean home, but loathes laundry and dishes. Loves her children, but coul ... More

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1 comment

  1. LIZ says:

    good tips tnx so much

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