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Important Information to Leave for Your Babysitter

Important Information to Leave for Your Babysitter

In a world of constantly checking your cellphone, tracking your kids down via satellite, and nanny cams, it can be easy to forget to give your babysitter all of the information she may need when watching your kids. Fill out this handy checklist with tips and reminders from and Gina Lamb-Amato, M.D., Manhattan-based pediatrician at Agho Medical practices and Village Pediatrics. Give this info to your sitter to ensure that no question goes unanswered for everything from emergency contact info to your child’s favorite bedtime story.

What should she call your kids?

This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised! Include the names of all family members, any pets you may have, and the nickname your child prefers to go by (if applicable).

Important phone numbers

Home phone number, your and your partner’s cellphone numbers, and contact information for other family members such as nearby grandparents, aunts, or uncles, and where you will be while you’re out. And if email or texts are the preferred way to reach you rather than a phone call, leave your sitter that information, too. And this may not seem necessary, but leave your home address too. Your sitter may know where you live, but in case of emergency, it’s helpful to have that information written down for easy access, according to Dr. Lamb-Amato.


“When I go out, I leave the usual suspects with my sitter,” Mary Ann Malone, CEO of MetroTOTS and mom told Mommybites. “Contact numbers for myself, husband, friend close by, and doctors. I also leave snacks and take out menus. There are always games, puzzles, and crayons, and of course bribery treats in case things get hairy!”


Necessary medical details

This is crucial, especially if your child is too young to relay the details to the babysitter. This includes medications, food allergies, animal allergies, and other medical conditions or special needs, according to Dr. Lamb-Amato. Make sure you explain the severity of any given allergy to the babysitter. If your child is sensitive enough that even smelling something can do harm, it is important that the person watching your child knows the seriousness of it—especially so he can avoid coming into contact with that item before coming over. Dr. Lamb-Amato suggests listing required medications and any over-the-counter medicines your children need to take or can take if necessary, along with dosage and timing information.


When it's necessary to contact you

At what point should your babysitter contact you while you’re out? For example, if your baby has a fever or is vomiting, is injured past the point of a Band-Aid, or is inconsolable, or if the babysitter feels the home situation may be unsafe, or has questions about medication doses, your he should know it’s okay to contact you so you can handle the situation in the best way possible.


Where-to guide for emergency items

Your babysitter should know where to find a spare house key, a fire extinguisher, extra blankets, flashlights, and a first aid kit, as well as extra clothes and diapers, toothbrush, and other daily toiletry items.


Local emergency services

Dr. Lamb-Amato suggests that parents always provide the babysitter with local phone numbers that can work from any phone. This includes the fire department, police station, EMS, poison control, local hospital, veterinarian emergency number (if necessary), and pediatrician.


Pet info

Let your sitter know if your pet needs to be fed, walked, and any other information.


Do you have house ground rules?

Do you have restricted TV programs, foods, or any other regulations that are customary in your house? Don’t leave the babysitter with the task of determining whether or not your child is lying about his bedtime. If you have any rules the babysitter should follow regarding personal phone usage, rooms that are off limits, foods that aren’t allowed, whether she can order takeout, appliances not to be used, and visitors, include this info as well.


“With a first-time babysitter, I make sure before I go I give her the lay of the land: kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, areas that are off limits, and our house rules that may come in handy while we are out,” says Elise Jones social media director and blog editor for Mommybites. “I also show her how to turn on the TV and access movies.”


Homework info

Does your child need particular help with a subject or have to meet a daily requirement, such as reading for a certain amount of time?


Bedtime routines and schedules are important

A favorite toy that your child sleeps with, a book that will put your child to sleep, and any other things that your child loves to have around are all important details to leave with the babysitter. If your babysitter will be giving the child a bath, make sure she has the details regarding bath supplies and safety instructions.


Expected visitor information

If anyone is expected to come to the house while you are out such as a cleaning service, relative, or friend, the babysitter should know to not be concerned about letting them in.


Looking for a babysitter? Check out nannyboard.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes is a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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