10 Things the Babysitter Needs To Know - MetroFamily Magazine
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10 Things the Babysitter Needs To Know

by Heidi Smith Luedtke

Arm your sitter with this helpful, insider info so she’ll be ready for whatever happens in your absence.

  1. Approved snacks. Post a list of appropriate eats on the fridge, and show your sitter where to find them. When kids are hungry, no one’s happy.
  2. Clean expectations. Tell your sitter (and the kids) if you expect them to tidy up while you’re gone. Nothing ruins a romantic evening like coming home to a huge mess.
  3. Play-by-play. Unstructured time can be stressful. Leave a flexible schedule to help the sitter keep the kids busy.
  4. Pay plan. Be up front about money. Ask how much the sitter charges and/or explain how much you’ll pay. Going rates vary by location, number and ages of children, and the sitter’s level of experience.
  5. Tech specs. Establish screen-time rules and show the sitter how to operate electronics, so your toddler doesn’t have a tantrum when she can’t work the DVR.
  6. Secret soothers. Reveal your sure-fire tricks for comforting upset or overtired kids, including favorite songs, videos, books and blankets.
  7. Bedtime basics. Leave a step-by-step guide to your bedtime routine. Writing it down takes only a few minutes and may save your sitter hours of frustration.
  8. Hidden hazards. Alert your sitter to food allergies and other safety issues. These situations won’t be obvious unless you speak up.
  9. Discipline directions. Your sitter needs to know how to address bad behavior. Show her the time-out chair and toy jail.
  10. Contact info. Leave several contact numbers and tell your sitter whether it’s okay to call with questions. Most sitters won’t reach out unless parents give the okay.

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