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Babysitters and Your Choices

Your children are an important part of your life. Getting out of the house is often required and something you desire after working hard all day for a little rest, relaxation and for visiting with other adults. What this leaves you with is having to put your child or children in the care of someone else which is usually a babysitter. Sometimes babysitters are grandparents, friends, neighbors, someone from down the block, and sometimes you even have to put an ad in the paper to find that someone special that you will trust your childís care to. In this article I am going to give some of you first time parents and those who need a few more ideas, about how to find a babysitter, and what you should be looking for in a babysitter.¬†

First letís start with the information that should always be posted on the fridge or by the phone. This will include basic information about how to reach emergency services, police, poison control, and your cell phones or emergency numbers for others such as grandparents or special people such as relatives who live nearby. If you are going off to work, your work numbers should also be listed here.¬†

What may be most helpful if you donítí always have the same babysitter or if you feel that you are not good in explaining things about your house it to create a babysitters notebook. In this notebook you can keep all the same information that would be by the phone, emergency numbers, alternative numbers and then on another page rules of the house.¬†

Explain what is expected of the sitter, if they are allowed to have friends over, how much sitters are generally paid, how often a sitter may be needed, what sitters are expected to clean up and what chores are to be left for you as the parent later. 

Explain how to turn the heat on, how to turn on and off air conditioners, televisions, and such other appliances that you might want the sitter to know about or that they may have to use. 

Explain in this babysitterís notebook about where all the phones are in the house, where all the exits are in the house in case of emergency and what they should expect when the children need to get to bed or if they are on a schedule that may be a little different from other children.¬†

Explain any special medications, needs, bath toys or expectations that you may have for your babysitter and the children. Perhaps the children arenít permitted any television until their homework is done, or they are not allowed to have sugar before bed, or they need to brush their teeth right after supper, these are the types of things that need to be explained in the notebook for the babysitter so there are not misunderstandings at all when you leave the house.¬†

You should show your babysitter where the first aid kit is, where the band-aids are, where children are allowed to play and where they are not allowed to be. If your bedroom is off limits then say it aloud. If you phone should be kept open tell the sitter not to be on the phone. If the computer is something that you donít allow others to use or the children to play with while you are not there, be sure you say this to the sitter so there are no problems later on.¬†

When you are hiring a babysitter for a night when you are out visiting, you should leave the name and number of where you are going if you arenít going to be able to be reached by your cell phone.¬†

Leave a listing of television shows that the children are not allowed to watch if this is an important factor in your home. 

When you come home, you should always have a plan to discuss for five minutes anything that happened that night that was important. The babysitter should have a planned way home, if you are taking them, if they are taking a cab, or if a friend is taking them home. If you are dealing with a young babysitter, sometimes their parents will arrange to come get them their selves. 

What you should look for in a sitter? Someone who wants to spend time with the children and someone who appears old enough to ask for help when it is more than they can handle but they are quite capable of giving baths, making supper and putting the children to bed.

Look for students who have taken a cpr class, those who come recommended by others who have had this sitter in their home, and for someone who is willing to discuss with you the interesting and important parts of the day or night with the child.

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