The New Parent’s Guide to Babysitters

babysittingAt some point after bringing home a new baby, parents face situations in which they need a babysitter.  Whether you have to get back to work, have some errands to run, or just need a relaxing night out, leaving your newborn for the first time is a step all parents eventually have to take. For first-timers, it can seem a bit scary to leave your little one in the hands of someone else, but communicating openly with your babysitter and preparing them can help ease your worries.  Below are some tips and suggestions to help you prepare for your first time leaving your baby with a sitter.

Work your way up

It is completely normal to be nervous about leaving your child for the first time. To make it easier on yourself, try starting small and working your way up to lengthier periods of time.  For example, have a sitter watch your baby while you get some housework done or even while you run errands for a couple of hours.  Once you’re feeling better about those shorter time periods and are more comfortable with your selected babysitter, you can enjoy a day or evening out without feeling like you have to call every half hour (which is still okay if it makes you feel better).  

Prep your Babysitter

If your babysitter is a new face in your child’s life, you’ll want to get acquainted and go over important information before leaving.  Be sure your sitter knows where you’re going and what time they should expect you to return.  Show the sitter around your house, making sure they know where all entrances and exits are located.  

Outline your baby’s routines for eating, bathing, and sleeping.  Leave a list of emergency numbers including yours, a trusted neighbor’s, and your doctor’s.  Also write down your address and home phone number in case your sitter needs that information for an emergency.  

Inform Them About Safe Sleep

If your babysitter will be putting your little one down to sleep, remember to tell them the ABCs of Safe Sleep, which mean that your baby should be Alone, on their Back, in a Clean, Clear Crib.  Remind the sitter that the baby should not sleep on the couch or in an adult bed with or without anyone else.  They should always be placed on their back to sleep, with no toys or loose blankets in their crib.

Prepare Them For Emergency Situations           

Instruct your babysitter not to open the door for any strangers.  Make it very clear that they can phone you for any questions or concerns.  Have an available first aid or emergency kit and make sure your sitter knows where it is.  While this might seem like a lot of information, it is important to cover all of your bases both for your child’s safety and to keep yourself at ease while away from them.  

Time with your baby is special, but remember also to take time to cross things off your to-do list or just to relax! Leaving your child can be hard, but the above tips should help calm your nerves and prepare your babysitter to safely care for your baby and handle any emergency situation.  Being away from your baby is an adjustment and the most important goal is to keep them safe in the arms of another caregiver.