If you are using a nanny or babysitter service for the first time there are a few things to think about when it comes to the needs of your children.
If you don’t have the luxury of family to look after your children a nanny or sitter is the next best thing.
There are many ways to prepare your children for a sitter and we have our tips and tricks to help!
See our insights for preparing each age group for a babysitter.
Infants and Newborns
Toddler and Primary Years
Infants and Newborns
Often babies have a certain routine they have put themselves into day by day. Keeping track of this and writing it down is a great way to assist your sitter in knowing when they may be hungry or tired. Keeping your nanny or sitter up to date with this is important as when the children get older their routines tend to change. This might be because they are sleeping less or eating more.
As a parent you often know what your child needs by the cry they give, however for a sitter this cry could mean a number of things. If a routine is written down or the sitter notified, it is less stress on the infant as their needs are met with ease.
If your baby is breastfed It is key to ensure they are able to take a bottle and are used to other people giving this to them. This will prevent stress on the child and you will be able to enjoy your night off knowing your baby is happy and well fed. When your baby starts
Soothing Your Baby
Lots of children won’t self-settle and need assistance. This may be a night light, cuddles, a bottle or their favourite blanket. Leaving these out for your sitter and notifying them of how they go off to sleep is important. This will create a calm environment for your child; knowing that mum and dad are gone can be stressful so soothing techniques from mum and dad are much appreciated!
Toddler and Primary Years
Prepare Your Child For A Sitter
Often we will advise a meet and great before you go out to make sure the child is settled in and comfortable around the sitter. Make sure you are letting your child know you will be back soon and make sure to get them excited about someone new coming to the house.This gives them reassurance that mummy and daddy will be back soon and your babysitter is here to play! Allowing your children to become involved enables a connection and a sense of "power". Children respond to the fact that they are in "control". Allowing them to ask your sitter questions and getting to know them creates a structured bond between the children and sitter.
For older toddlers It is important to know that in young infant’s separation anxiety is quite common, this starts around 8 months of age and peaks when the child is around two years of age. Don’t stress if your child is sad to see you leave, this is very common and your sitter is equipped to handle this situation.
While your sitter may already have games or arts and crafts planned it always good for the kids to have something to look forward too. This may be buying a special money box to paint or even saving up some cardboard boxes to make a house! It is always important to let the babysitter know your kids interests prior to coming over, this allows them to be prepared and have something planned. Boredom is often the cause of children acting out so keeping kids busy before their night time routine is great way to occupy their minds and prevent boredom!
Dinner, Bath and Bed Routine
Toddlers more often than not will have a night time routine. If not, it is important to start implementing a rough time you do things. This way your child will be in a familiar environment and routine. Depending on the time your sitter is booked for it is important to start this routine the same time as every other night.
Going through the house rule with both your sitter and child at the same time is important. This lets the teen know that the sitter is aware of what happens during their night time routine. This can range from what time dinner is to what time their iPad must be put away. If your child is aware that your sitter knows these things it will encourage them to obey these rules.
Planning activities for the children to do while you’re gone will make them feel as though the sitter is there to “hang out” rather than be a babysitter. Older children often act out knowing the sitter is there to watch them so doing activities together can put aside those feelings and allow the sitter to bond with the children.
The general readiness of a child can be well planned for however if not your sitter is able to handle these situations. Getting your child, no matter the age into a routine is a great idea to ease them into having a babysitter.
Children are not the only members of the family that should prepare for a babysitter.
Your reassurance is important too; let the sitter know how much communication you wish to receive. They will be happy to provide as much or as little as you find necessary. Whether it be photos or updates when they misbehave, your sitter will have no issue keeping you in the loop. Communication is key; our sitters will not hesitate to send you as much communication as you wish. Its a personal choice, whatever puts your mind at ease knowing your kids are in the best possible hands.
This provides a peace of mind for you to enjoy your well deserved night out too!
Our Babysitting and Nanny Service provides friendly, responsible, caring and trustworthy babysitters that you and your kids will want to use time and time again! Our caregivers are available to you on call when you need them, day and night, for before and after school care, on a casual or long term basis. We are here to support and care for your children around the clock!
Learn how you can find a babysitter perfect for your family at Evelyn Johnson Babysitting!