A babysitter playing with the baby.

Choosing a babysitter

Movie tickets: bought. Table for two: booked. A trustworthy babysitter whom Baby gets along with: on their way! At this point, you’re probably ready to fly out the door and enjoy a few hours of well-earned grown-up time.

How to choose a babysitter: A checklist

Before you give Baby a good-bye snuggle, be sure to have these babysitter essentials on hand to make for a smoother time on the homestead.

  1. Your digits
    If any questions or problems arise at home, your sitter will want to contact you directly. Write down or text them your cell phone number – and keep that cell phone on while you’re out and about. You might also save yourself a worried phone call by letting the sitter know if any friends or service providers will be stopping by that day.
  2. Emergency lifelines
    Suppose your cell phone battery conks out before you can make it home. In the event of any trouble, who would you want the babysitter to call next? Before leaving Baby with a sitter, you should have at least two official emergency contacts among your friends and family. This means talking with each contact about being your “backup” lifeline before you leave their phone numbers for a sitter.
  3. The blueprint
    You may know every nook and cranny of your home, but a babysitter usually won’t. Give your sitter a rundown of where the first aid supplies and fire extinguishers are stored, along with any doors and windows that could serve as safe evacuation routes in the event of a fire.
  4. Baby’s planner
    Once babies become adjusted to any schedule, many of them won’t take disruptions lightly. So before you leave, jot down the timing of Baby’s daily naps and activities. Leave this with your sitter and stick around to field any questions they might have.
  5. An edibles list
    Even if your sitter is raising a baby of their own, you should take some time to walk them through Baby’s dietary staples and limitations: their regular meals, what foods they can’t eat yet, and any established food allergies. If Baby will be drinking formula or bottled breast milk during your absence, take a minute to sit down with your sitter and show them the proper feeding technique.

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