How to Instruct a Babysitter on Their First Day of the Job

Leaving children with a babysitter is often a painful situation for many parents. They will be worried about staying away from their little ones, especially, if they are leaving their children with the babysitter for the first time. But if babysitters are well instructed before taking charge, you can rest more peacefully as things are expected to go smoothly. Unlike other caretakers, babysitters are typically young, energetic and can learn things quite easily. It is your responsibility to teach them what to do and what not to do while babysitting your children. The better the guidance you provide, the better your chances are for success.

Introduce your house: Showing the babysitter around your home is important, and is often ignored by many parents. Ensuring that the babysitter is familiar with your home will make her feel less anxious when caring for your children in the home.

Next, as the babysitter for your children, she needs to know where things are – like the telephone, which rooms are OK to play in, where food and drink are kept, where emergency items such as the fire extinguisher can be found, where the children sleep, etc. Also, let her know which areas of the home are off-limits to her and/or the children.

List all the duties: Whether for a couple of hours or for a whole day/night, you should instruct the babysitter regarding her duties. This helps you utilize her services better. If she is left uninformed, she will do as she wishes, which may or may not be comfortable to you and your child. It is better to provide her with a list of her duties while babysitting your children. For instance, if the babysitter is expected to feed your children it is better to tell her when the children should eat as well as what she should be feeding them.

Give a schedule of your children’s activities: If you expect the babysitter to stay with your children for an extended period of time, for example overnight, it is a good idea to go over your children’s daily schedule. Providing the babysitter with a timeline of what the children do and when they do it can be very helpful. For instance, if the children are expected to do homework while the babysitter is there, let her know when it should be done and whether or not she is expected to help them with it. Laying out the daily schedule in such a fashion will help to ensure that the babysitter knows what is expected of them, and will ensure that the children stick to their schedule and do not miss anything.

Special needs: Special needs may include things such as changing baby diapers, giving children medicine, ensuring that the children do not eat certain foods that they may be allergic to, and so on. Providing a list of such special needs to the babysitter helps in creating a safe and comfortable environment for your child.

Playground and pool safety: If your child’s daily activities include playing outside or near a swimming pool, you may want to consider skipping the activity while your child is with the babysitter. Instead consider asking the babysitter to engage the child in an alternate activity in the home. However, if you choose to let your child do such activities while they are with the babysitter you should leave the babysitter with strict instructions on safety measures that she should take.

How to react during emergencies: You cannot foresee an emergency, nor can you always stop something from happening. The only thing that you can do is to take the necessary steps to ensure that an emergency situation is handled in the best possible way. A babysitter who is trained in first aid and CPR will likely be able to effectively handle many emergencies. If your babysitter is not trained in first aid and CPR, it is wise to instruct her how you expect her to react should an emergency situation arise. Provide her with all of your emergency contact numbers; let her know if she should enlist the help of the neighbors if she is unable to reach anyone. Provide her with contact information for urgent care/emergency rooms in your area, etc.

The above are few things that should be considered and discussed with the babysitter when you engage her for the first time.