Preparing for an Overnight Babysitter
If you are leaving your child overnight for the first time there are some things your overnight babysitter will need from you.
1. Do Your Research
For your own peace of mind, ensure that you have found a suitable babysitter who has experience working with children and holds a current first aid certificate. A good baby sitting agency will be able to assist you find a suitable match for your family and can verify the sitters working with children check on your behalf.
Once you have selected a nanny or babysitter in Newcastle who enjoys working with children, it is suggested that you have a daytime casual babysitting session so that your child is familiar with their new caregiver. It helps to avoid any unnecessary stress on the child should they wake during the night to someone they do not recognise.
2. Leave Phone Numbers
Besides a phone number for you and your partner, you may want to leave contact info for where you are headed, as well as a trusted family member or neighbour. Your overnight babysitter may not need these but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure you establish clear instructions on what level of contact you would like during your night off from parenthood. Don't be frightened to ask your sitter to contact you for several updates on your children during the night.
You may like to be informed of your children's behaviour or how they are settling into their bedtime routine. Good communication will ensure that you can relax knowing that your children are in safe hands.
4. Your Child’s Routine
It helps your child to stick to a routine so let your babysitter know the details of their normal bedtime routine. This way, your child will have something familiar to fall back on and the sitter won’t have to manage a full-blown meltdown.
If your child does not have a set routine it is still good to outline a rough idea of what times you do bath time, bed time etc. This will allow the sitter to keep the children in a similar environment and have an idea of their day to day life.
5. Sleep Habits
There are so many factors that go into an infant’s nighttime routine. Does your baby sleep through the night, are you in the middle of sleep training and does your baby cry as its falling asleep? Do you swaddle your child or use a sleep-suit? Are naps during the day apart of your babies sleeping schedule? Once your baby is awake does it go back to sleep on it's own or do you comfort them with a cuddle?
These are things that help your sitter avoid drowsy overtired, babies and children the next morning. Tell us your tips to settle your baby into a good night’s sleep.
6. Allergies and Food Aversions
If your child is allergic to a certain food it is important to have this noted before the sitter arrives. Often a sitter will bring their own meals so to ensure a certain food is kept out of the house it is important to pass this information on.
As well as how to prepare the foods your children like, kids will often have their food a certain way or cut in certain pieces. This information is important to disclose to the sitter and save the tantrums later on!
7. How to Soothe Your Child
If you have some secrets on how to get your child to calm down, it helps to share. This may include a soft toy, blanket or a cuddle. Your babysitter may have some secrets of her own once she gets to know your child.
It is important to disclose what not to do when your child wakes up from their sleep, you may try to get the child to sleep by laying them back down rather than picking them up. This is important to disclose as doing something different may confuse the child or encourage bad habits. Helping a child to fall asleep can be difficult so encouraging healthy sleep is our focus.
It is important to mention what you do if your child wakes at a certain time. Advise your sitter if your child wakes up for a bottle at night or has a certain sleep pattern. Your sitter is able to soothe your child instantly with this advice. This alleviates any sleep problems and ensures a good sleep for your baby.
8. Tantrum Triggers
If you know something will set off your child, it helps to share that information. Children often react when their environment or routine is different so it helps to keep your routine as clear as possible.
9. Rules of The Home
If you have certain areas or items of the home you wish for your child not to be around this is important to disclose to the sitter. Children may use “Mum/Dad let me” line, especially older kids.
Game consoles, certain foods or drinks that the children aren’t usually allowed to have is great to have noted or mentioned to the sitter before you leave.
10. Medical History
It is important to disclose if your child has recently been ill or may be coming down with a temperature or illness. Leave the medicine in a safe space where the sitter can access this easily, this may be teething gel for young baby’s or Panadol when older children have a fever.
A note of clear instructions is recommended that outline the times and amounts the medication was last administered. A key contact number is also important for continued updates on your child’s condition. All staff are equipped with first aid certificates and years of experience however to put your mind at ease we encourage ongoing communication whilst you are away.