As a parent, leaving your children in another person’s care can be a big and sometimes scary step; even when that person is a trusted family member or friend.
And whether you’re a parent of older children or a new Mum, you seem to always be juggling your child’s ever changing needs, so inevitably, it’s the one thing we forget to tell your babysitter that they most need!
So, here you go, the 10 most important things you must always tell your babysitter;
1) Emergency Contacts
It seems obvious, but we all remember to give them the six different ways they can contact us while we enjoy our date night, but what if they can’t? What if your iPhone goes for a swim or you’re in a ‘non contactable business meeting? Always leave the name, number and relationship to the child of at least 3 other people your sitter can call in an emergency.
2) Important information & Expectations of your babysitter
Each household is different, and each parent’s expectations are different. Be clear on what you expect from your babysitter. Do you want them to feed the dog? Are you happy for them to answer the door if someone drops by? If you don’t want to come home to find all the sheets in the house strung up to make an ‘awesome’ cubby, or all the lego scattered around the play room, then be clear. Don’t just tell them to ‘play with the kids and have fun’ Do you want the babysitter to tidy up after play? Do you want the dishwasher loaded or unloaded? Are you happy for your babysitter to put photos of your kids on her Facebook page?
3) Medical and allergy information
We all know the importance of this one, but it cannot be stressed enough, particularly if your children suffer allergies of any kind or require regular medication. Does your child have Asthma? Does the babysitter know how and what Ventolin to use? Do they know how to use the separator or nebulizer if needed? What about a first aid certificate? Would your babysitter know what to do if one of your children was choking? Even the simple stuff; not everyone knows that lactose intolerance means no Ice-cream…..
4) Routine for sleeping and eating
Particularly with little ones, routine is very important. Does your child have a drink before, with or after their meal? Do they bath before or after dinner? Do they have a favorite toy that they take to bed for their naps? The more information you can give your babysitter, the easier it will be for your child especially when you can’t be there.
5) Your house rules and discipline choice
Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on an iPad? Are they allowed to eat a snack before bed if they didn’t eat all their dinner? What if they have a tantrum, bite or throw something? Most parents have very clear views on what and how to their child can be disciplined. It’s very important you are crystal clear with your babysitter on what the boundaries are and how you would like them to deal with any behavioral issues.
6) Where fire extinguishers and First Aid kit is kept
What if the power goes out, or the stove catches on fire or someone grazes their knee? Be sure to show your babysitter where a torch is kept, fire extinguishers and fire blankets (and if you don’t have one, you should get one!) and of course the first aid box. Again, be clear on what you are happy for them to administer. Do you want them to check with you before giving any medicated pain relief?
7) Important contacts…. Including where the nearest hospital is
If your babysitter had to call an ambulance, do they know your nearest cross street? Do they know the nearest hospital? Do they have the poison control phone number? If your child is under the care of a medical specialist, your babysitter should have their name and number in case the hospital needed to get in touch.
8) Your child’s profile information
What if you child went missing while on a day out with the babysitter and they had to report it? Would they know or remember what colour eyes your child has, their height, weight or any distinguishing marks?
9) Custody or protection orders
Is there anyone that is not allowed access to your child? What should the babysitter do if they try to see or speak to your child?
10) Spare Keys & Alarms
Ever been locked out of the house? I have. Now I have a spare key in a security box at all times….just in case. Be sure to let your babysitter know where it is and how to get it. What about your alarm? Does your babysitter know how to arm / disarm it? Do they know how to set just the perimeter alarm? Do they have the voice code in case they set it off inadvertently?
I’ve used babysitters since my first born was just a few weeks old and I wish someone had given me this list when I first started! Don’t be afraid to leave your children with a babysitter. I’ve never had a bad experience and one with the right checks and measures in place I’m sure both your children and the babysitter will have a great time; which means you can go out, relax and enjoy yourself too!
You know the best part? You can now store all of this information one place and have it all at your finger tips exactly when you need it. You can SECURELY share it with whomever you choose and as you update your Kids Kard those whom you have shared the Kard with, will instantly have the most updated version. As a Mum of two I know that SECURITY IS KEY. Rest assured, only the Kard creator can AMEND or SHARE the Kard.
Get the just released Kids Kard app now for FREE on the apple app store. Just search under Kids Kard!