Choosing and Preparing a Baby Sitter
Almost all parents periodically need a baby sitter, as certain appointments or functions are not appropriate for children. Sometimes parents simply find it beneficial for their own well-being to spend a few hours without their kids, tending to adult matters and doing something they enjoy.
New parents frequently find baby sitters by asking friends, neighbors and family for recommendations. Baby sitters also can be found through local organizations like churches, libraries and the local high school.
Consider hiring a neighborhood teen-ager to watch your baby, as many teens enjoy caring for children, are responsible and trustworthy, and want to earn some money. Ask about previous experience caring for children the same age as your child, and question whether he or she has taken a baby-sitting course or classes in CPR or first aid. Before hiring someone you do not know, ask for and check all references.
Once you have chosen an individual, invite him or her to your home, in advance, to get acquainted with you and the baby. At this meeting:
- Take the baby sitter on a tour of your house, pointing out door locks, fuse boxes, flashlights, water shutoffs, fire alarms, fire extinguishers and other emergency supplies.
- Show the baby sitter how to feed and change the baby and where essential baby-care supplies are kept.
- Tell the baby sitter what likes and dislikes your baby has, such as favorite ways to be held or burped.
- Allow time for the baby sitter to play with your baby. Closely watch their interaction.
When the baby sitter arrives to care for your child:
- Post the InteliHealth Record of Emergency Contact Information , so the baby-sitter knows how to reach you in case of an emergency.
- Write all of your instructions in a notebook that you can leave out for the baby sitter in an easily accessible location.
- Review any last-minute instructions.
- Establish that the baby sitter cannot have visitors and will need to keep the telephone clear for check-in calls.