How to Prepare Your Children for a Babysitter

Use these easy tips to help ease the anxiety of your children – before leaving.

No matter the age of your children, the transition process from mommy and daddy to babysitter is a tough one. Children tend to feel anxious and scared that their parents of leaving them in the hands of a stranger. Although you know better, your children don’t. To ease the transition into the care of a trusted babysitter follow these easy tips:

Talk About It: Ease the transition by speaking with your children about the babysitter and your plans. Don’t just spring a new babysitter on your children without first informing them. By knowing what is going to happen ahead of time, your children can get used to the idea. Something simple such as “Nina (the babysitter) will be coming over today while Mommy and Daddy are at work.”

Involve Your Children: As mentioned above it’s important to inform and involve your children. Ask your child if it’s okay if the babysitter comes to over to play with them, read them a favorite book or take them out for pizza. You can also help your children with a gift for the babysitter, something like a card or drawing, this gets your children excited about seeing the babysitter – children love to give gifts! By involving and exciting your children about the babysitter, they’ll feel comfortable and ready. Plus, your questions reassure the child that their feelings count.

Ensure a Transition Time: Have your babysitter come over a half hour, or an hour, before you’re scheduled to leave. This gives your child and babysitter time to interact, get introduced and play before you leave. This transition time also gives your child a confidence boost that you trust the babysitter, allowing your child to trust the babysitter as well.

Maintain the Routine: Ensuring your children remain on their familiar schedule is important. Give the babysitter a checklist which includes the children’s routine. Ask the babysitter to stick to the routine as much as possible. The children’s familiar routine helps your children feel at ease – and normal. This routine should include everything you do such as bubble baths, favorite bedtime stories and the works.

Get Everything Organized: Be sure your babysitter knows where everything is. Your children’s favorite toys, books, DVDs, snacks, ect. If the babysitter knows where everything is, she can easily stick to routines and keep your children happy. Before you leave be sure your babysitter knows how to work any electronics such as the TV and DVD player. If your child is promised their favorite DVD and she can’t figure out how it works, your child will become frustrated and maybe even scared.

List all Emergency Contacts: This is more for your babysitter, but it also goes a long way for your child. Ensure your children know that the babysitter knows how to reach you in an emergency and can take them some place safe. You should include your address, email address, home phone, work phone and cell phone. Neighbors, relatives and emergency contacts. Lastly, include each child’s name, age, school, likes and dislikes, bedtimes and health conditions. If your babysitter is prepared, she can continue to care for your children without interruptions.

This may seem like an outrageous amount of work to deal with beforehand, but it make the transition much smoother. A couple of hours, some communication and planning are all it takes to ensure that your children feel happy and safe with their babysitter.

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