6 Things Your Babysitter Wants You To Do

By Elise Nelson on April 1, 2021

Hiring a new babysitter can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time doing so. The hiring process alone is usually lengthy as you search for the perfect sitter who fits both your and your children’s needs. And when you do find someone, what comes next? You may feel some anxiety and uncertainty as your first time leaving the kids with the babysitter approaches. Thankfully, experienced babysitters will be able to tell you how to make the transition a bit easier. Here are six things your babysitter wants you to do.

a baysitter plays with a young boy

Photo by Singkham from Pexels

Keep your phone handy

Your babysitter may have questions for you after you leave, especially if it’s their first night in your home. Or worst case, there may be an emergency and they will need to reach out ASAP. Things will only get more stressful if the babysitter struggles to reach you. Make sure your phone is charged, its sound is on, and it’s easily accessible.

If you won’t be able to answer a call, let the sitter know that they can text you with any questions or concerns. Alternatively, if you’ll be somewhere that you can’t answer your phone at all, provide the phone number for another trusted contact. If you’ll be at a hotel or restaurant, you may also want to give the company’s phone number as a backup. When the sitter calls, an employee can let you know.

Tell them where you’re going and when you’ll be home

In the same vein, your babysitter should have all the details about your outing so that they know where to reach you. Before you leave, jot down where you’re going, even if it’s just some afternoon errands at various stores. Additionally, give your sitter an estimate of how long you’ll be out or a time that you expect to be home. If something should happen to you, your babysitter will know that you didn’t come home on time. Plus, it can ease an anxious sitter a bit to know where you are. This will in turn ease any anxieties that your children have about where you are.

If you know you’re going to be late, even if by less than an hour, it’s courteous to let your babysitter know. They might start to worry if they don’t see you on time, and then they’ll probably be annoyed when you come home later than expected without having made an effort to contact them. 

Carve out enough time to prepare them for the job

As Houston Moms suggested, you should try to schedule the babysitter to arrive at your house at least an hour before you plan to leave. This may become less necessary the longer your babysitter works for you, but when they are first starting out, you will need to prepare them. In the hour before you leave, you can tell your sitter about your outing, walk them through the kids’ routines, show them around the house, and make sure they’re settled overall. Make sure any initial questions that your babysitter has are answered. The more ground you cover before you leave the babysitter, the more comfortable they’ll be doing the job.

babysitter reads with child

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

Be clear on rules and routines

When your babysitter is first starting out in your home, make sure you give a detailed rundown of your children’s routine(s) and any rules you have for them. Are the kids limited to a certain amount of screen time? Is there anything that they are not allowed to do? Around what time do your kids typically eat dinner or get ready for bed? You may feel like you’re overwhelming the sitter with all the details, but every bit of structure will help them deliver the best service. Hearing the rules and routines directly from you will also ensure that the kids can’t trick the sitter into letting them get away with something!

It may help to build a checklist or a schedule for the sitter to have on hand. Here, you can also make a note of any behavioral issues, allergies, or other concerns that the sitter should be aware of.

Provide food or money for food

You aren’t necessarily required to provide food for your babysitter, but it is polite, and the sitters will appreciate the gesture. Of course, this is mostly in situations when you’ll be away over lunch or dinner time and the sitter will be feeding the kids. You may want to plan an easy meal that the sitter can cook or reheat for themselves and the children. Even just a snack will make your babysitter feel welcome and will fuel them enough to take care of your kids.

If you plan on letting the sitter help themselves to any food in the kitchen, make sure you’re really okay with them eating anything in the kitchen. As Kidsit For Parents said, “Don’t be upset if you tell your babysitter to help themselves to anything, and they eat the leftovers that you had wanted to save for lunch tomorrow.”

Keep check-ins to a minimum

If you’ve truly prepared your sitter for the job, then you won’t need to check in too much during your outing. We know it can be hard to not worry about your kids while you’re away, especially if it’s your first time leaving them home with a sitter. However, you will be able to enjoy your outing much more if you leave the babysitting to the babysitter, and the sitter will know that you trust them. A check-in every now and then is perfectly fine, but try not to call or text every hour.

When you set your babysitter up for success, they will feel more confident about the job and you will be happier with their performance. Follow these tips to ensure that both you and your babysitter have a positive experience.

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