Bringing a new babysitter into your family can seem exciting, overwhelming, or even nerve-wracking. You’re putting the care of your children into arms of someone else. Even if you use Carilly to find and screen your new caregiver, set expectations with your babysitter to clear the way for an experience that everyone is happy with.
While our babysitters know how to interact with children and make their care and entertainment a priority, every household is slightly different.
What is a priority for you may be a non-issue for another family.
It’s important to share the rules, your priorities, and your expectations with your new babysitter.
Before Your Babysitter Arrives
If possible, have a conversation with your sitter before she arrives. Talk to her over the phone or send an email. Then, to help you keep from trying to remember everything when she arrives, make a list of talking points.
We recommend setting your start time about 20-30 mins before you need to leave.
That gives you time to share details with the new sitter without feeling rushed.
This extra time also gives your children time to process the new changes when you leave so you can still enjoy your night out temper tantrum free!
On the First Visit
Before you head out, make sure you’re prepared for the sitter. Use your list of talking points to guide the conversation.
Think about these things ahead of time so you can share with your sitter:
- Your house rules for both the sitter and your children
- Your stance on visitors
- Screen time and technology limits
- Whether pictures be shared on social media
- Social media expectations in general
- First aid supplies location
- Your home address (if she needs to call 911
- Child allergies if any
- Dietary restrictions
- Will the kids be eating with the sitter? Do you have something quick they can whip up for the kids?
- Clean up from dinner if needed and toys, etc
- Are the kids allowed snacks?
- What time is bedtime/nap time?
- Bedtime routine if sitter will be putting children to bed
- PJs to wear/special lovey
- Do the kids need a bath or shower?
- Can the sitter take the kids outside? To the park?
- How does the sitter handle disciple?
- Does the sitter needs to help with homework?
Before You Leave
Give your new babysitter plenty of time to ask questions, especially during her first couple of visits.
You’ll also want to make sure to cover these:
- Emergency contact information
- Where you will be
- Estimated time you’ll be home
- Can they text you with questions?
- If your child is upset, what is the best way to soothe them?
As a bonus, the most information you can write down or type up in advance, the better! You need to be able to set expectations with your babysitter, but also understand that a lot of information is being thrown her way.
Finally, before you leave, go over expectations with your children.
One way we love getting the kids involved in welcoming a new babysitter is to position your children as helpers.
They can help the babysitter remember the rules.
They can help her find the first aid kit or which drawer their pajamas are in.
Then can help her find the arts and crafts.
This level of interactions helps children feel involved and important and allows your babysitter to begin bonding right away.