When it comes time to leave your baby in someone else’s care, you want to feel confident in your babysitter or any other care giver who may be watching your little one for awhile. Part of ensuring proper care for your baby is arming your babysitter with the information she needs to know. Whether she’s watching your baby occasionally or will be a long-term care giver, you’ll want to offer these reminders for your babysitter for the safety of your baby.
If your baby is on a sleep schedule, be sure to give your babysitter the details on when to put your baby down for a nap or to bed for the night. Remind her that nothing should be in the crib except the baby. That means no toys, no blankets and no pillows. Also, make sure she knows to only lay your baby down in the crib on his back. Even if your baby rolls and prefers stomach sleeping, your babysitter should put him down on his back. If you have a naptime or bedtime routine such as reading a book or singing a lullaby, explain it to your babysitter. This routine is probably comforting to your baby and will help him fall asleep as usual.
Most babysitters who have cared for babies know how to change a diaper but do make sure yours knows were to find all of your supplies. If you have different diapers for daytime and nighttime, show her the difference. Remind your babysitter never to leave your baby unattended on the changing table. One hand should remain on the baby the entire time. If she needs to get something that is out of her reach, she should pick up the baby to go get it.
Like sleeping, let your babysitter know your baby’s feeding schedule. If she will be thawing frozen breast milk, explain to her how to do it. Remind your babysitter never to put your baby’s bottle in the microwave as this could create hot spots. Running it under warm water, setting it in a cup or bowl of warm water or using a bottle warmer are the best ways to warm up breast milk. Also let your babysitter know that once your baby drinks from a bottle of breast milk, it should not be reused for another feeding. Additionally, show her how to wash and sanitize the bottles after use.
In Case of Emergency
Leave a list of emergency numbers by the phone including yours, local family members, your pediatrician and poison control. It’s always a good idea for your babysitter to be CPR certified. If she is going to be a long term child care provider for your baby and she is not CPR certified, offer to pay for the class for her. Also, remind your babysitter never to give medication without your consent. In case she does call and you agree to her administering medication, make sure all of the medications in your baby’s medicine cabinet are in date and appropriate for your baby’s age.
General Safety & Other Instructions
Clearly express your expectations to your babysitter. Babies should be watched constantly and, depending on your baby’s age, should be checked on periodically while sleeping. Show your babysitter where it is safe and not safe for your baby to play. Give her access to your cleaning supplies to clean up any spills but also to ensure your baby doesn’t get into them.
If your babysitter will be driving your baby, double check that the car seat is properly installed in her car and go over driving safety expectations like not texting or talking on the phone when your baby is on board.
Also let her know what types of activities are appropriate and any limitations to them. For instance, you may want her to do tummy time several times a day or you may not want your baby spending her entire day looking at electronic toys. Make your wishes known so your babysitter can engage your baby the way you see fit.
Leaving your baby in someone else’s care can be difficult for some new parents. Uses these reminders for your babysitter to ensure she is prepared to care for your little one successfully.