Feb 18, 2007

Babysitting Etiquette

Going out and making date night is an essential part of keeping a strong marriage, but remember, keeping the babysitter happy is a great way of making sure they will give you a helping hand when you need a little time to yourselves. If you mistreat the sitter or ignore some basic principals, you may find that the sitter is not so willing to watch your little darlings. Here are some basic ideas:
Plan ahead, if your child is not up to being left and your plans allow it, reschedule; leaving a crabby or sick child with a sitter is stressful on the sitter, as well as the child itself.

Make sure you include everything your child needs, from necessities like diapers, milk, and a change of clothes for younger children; or snacks, and entertainment for the older child. Also, if your child is young, or prone to missing the parents, include any comfort objects like special blankets, toys or pacifiers.

Find out ahead of time what your sitter would like you to do for meal times, if your children will be there for a meal, and feed the sitter too, it gives them energy to run after your children!
If your child has been feverish, or gassy, include a fever reducer, or simethicone drops, along with written instructions on dosage and the time the child can take it again.

Include phone numbers (or cell phone numbers) and locations you will be going, as well as show times, if you know them.

Give notice, at least 24-4 hours, to the sitter so they know what time to expect you, or what time to be at your residence.

Don't change your plans without notifying the sitter. If you say you will only be gone 2 hours, don't change it to 4 or 5 hours without letting them know. An impromptu visit to the diner for steaks and eggs after a late night show may be fun, but remember, as parents, your responsibility to your children come first... and your sitter may not be too thrilled about your change of plans also.

Remember, sitters are people too and deserve a little common courtesy.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Very good advice! it seems almost impossible to get out unless you plan ahead. And even when you do it you have to make sure your other part is planning as well :)

I plan and my husband don't :)