What Your Babysitter Needs to Know

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While it may seem like overkill to provide your babysitter with tons of information when you’re only going out to dinner and a show, it’s not. How long a caregiver will be with your children shouldn’t determine whether or not you’ll give her important information that can help her care for your children and keep them safe and engaged while you are away.

If you’ve hired a new babysitter, consider asking her to come 30 minutes before you plan to head out so that you can review important information. If you have a regular babysitter or two, consider posting important information on the fridge so that it’s obvious and easily accessible.

So what constitutes important information that all babysitter’s should have?

Basic Information

Provide the babysitter with basic identifying information about your family.

  • Parent’s first and last names
  • Children’s first and last names
  • Children’s dates of birth
  • Children’s height, weight, eye color and hair color
  • Home address
  • Home phone number
  • Nearest intersection or cross street

Medical Information

Provide the babysitter with any medical information she needs to know.

  • Allergies
  • Medications
  • Permission to administer medications, if necessary
  • Medical concerns
  • Pediatrician’s phone number
  • Health insurance card / information
  • Authorization to treat a minor

Emergency Information

Provide the babysitter with information she’d need in an emergency.

  • Poison Control phone number
  • Emergency phone number
  • Fire department phone number
  • Nearest hospital name and address
  • Name and phone number of a neighbor
  • Name and phone number of a family friend
  • Location of first-aid supplies
  • Location of fire extinguishers

While You’re Out

Provide the babysitter with information about where you are going, when you’ll be home and how you can be reached.

  • Location and phone number of where you will be
  • Parent’s cell phone numbers
  • Estimated time parents will be home

House Rules

Provide your babysitter with information about what’s acceptable and what’s not in your home, as well as an overview of typical schedules and routines.

  • What can the children eat? When?
  • What can the children drink? When?
  • What time is bedtime?
  • What is the bedtime routine?
  • What are the screen time rules?
  • What activities are encouraged?
  • What activities are prohibited?
  • How is misbehavior handled?
  • Is there a house alarm and is it used?

Children’s Interests

Provide your babysitter within information on your child’s likes, dislikes and interests.

  • Child’s favorite toy
  • Child’s favorite activity
  • Child’s favorite comfort item
  • Anything your child does not like

Additional Information

Provide your babysitter with any additional information that will help her to care for your children.

  •  i.e., My child typically asks for a drink before bed. We offer her water only, in a sippy cup, to keep by her bed.
  •  i.e., If my child tells you he has to tinkle, it means he needs to use the bathroom.
  • i.e., If my child starts to cry for Starblaze, that’s her favorite blue blanket that is on her bed.

Leaving your children with a new babysitter can be stressful, but the more prepared your babysitter is to care for your children the more relaxing of an experience it will be for both you and the babysitter. While it can be tempting to just leave your cell phone number with the babysitter and nothing else, don’t. Provide your babysitter with the important information she’ll need to keep your children safe and engaged while you are away.

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