The top priority when seeking a babysitter is to find someone who can keep your child safe and happily entertained.
A good babysitter will:
- Have the attention span needed to actively watch your child.
- Have the patience to handle difficult behavior.
- Be able to keep him/herself and your child safe.
- Have the presence of mind to stay calm in an emergency.
- Know when to ask for help.
Before you leave the babysitter with your child:
- Allow enough time to orient a new babysitter to your child, your home, and your routines.
- Discuss expectations, additional responsibilities, and family rules.
- Discuss what to do in case of fire or another emergency.
- Take the sitter on a tour and show him/her the location of all doors, the burglar/fire alarms, the fuse box, and the first aid kit.
- Make sure the sitter knows where diapers, clothes, bottles, and other important items are kept.
- Leave written instructions for warming up food and bottles.
- Leave a list by the phone with your home’s address and phone number, the number where you can be reached, emergency numbers including Poison Control (800-222-1222), your child’s doctor, and a readily-available neighbor.
- Include a signed consent form to be used if your child needs medical treatment.