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how to help your babysitter

How To Help Your Babysitter (When You're Still At Home)


So you're about to bite the bullet and bring in a babysitter to occupy the kids for a few hours.

Maybe you need to get that article published before deadline, or finish painting the nursery. Maybe you just really want to wash your hair and have a nap without interruption.

Power to you!

Here's 8 key tips to help your babysitter whilst you're still at home.

1. Talk to your kids about the babysitter coming. Let your kids know that the babysitter is coming and familiarise them with the person. Mention their name in conversation and prepare the kids for the change. Note: wherever possible, it's always best to ensure your kids have met the babysitter before the scheduled babysit job.

2. Get Clear On The Rules. When you "hand over" to the babysitter, whether it's for a 2 hour job or an entire day, make sure everyone knows who's in charge. Give the babysitter a run down on the family rules and values and let the kid know that the babysitter is running the show whilst you're not around.

3. Remove Yourself From The Area If you're getting in a babysitter to help out whilst you're still onsite, set yourself up in the study or the bedroom so that your kids aren't constantly coming into contact with you. This will make it easier for you to get your work done, and gentler on the kids when transitioning to the change. This is especially important for the little ones who might not understand that you're there but not really there. Tip: this will also make a more conducive environment for the babysitter to properly occupy the kids and carry out any planned activities, confident in their abilities.

4. Have A Schedule + a Planner. You don't have to be organised or a stickler for routines to do this. But it will save you a lot of hassle. Before the babysitter arrives, jot down the schedule covering the time period that the babysitter will be there for. Write down things like if you want them to answer the phone, where to find the First Aid Kit and medicine cabinet, the preferred temperature of the baby bottle, and that little Miss has her sandwiches cut in triangles with the crusts off. Anything that will make things easier for the babysitter will mean you don't get interrupted or pulled away from your work.

5. Have the toys and craft ready. A good babysitter will come prepared, either with their own stash of craft supplies and activities, or armed with plenty of ideas. Even so, it's a good idea to have a few of the children's favourite toys and activities out in the playroom or in the general area as an invitation to play. If you think your children might have a hard time accepting that mummy is home but they can't play with you, the babysitter will be able to entice them with their favourite activities and win them over.

6. Discuss payment beforehand. There's nothing worse than getting to the end of a babysit job only to stand there awkwardly whilst the two of you try and agree on an amount and payment method. Before the job, discuss both of your expectations and meet in the middle. Agree on an amount and stick to it. If paying cash, have the money ahead of time ready for payment. If doing a transfer, follow up with a text message after the job to confirm that the money has been transferred.

7. Know the time constraints. Give the babysitter a rough estimate of hours required, and ask if they'd be happy to stay longer if necessary. If you've finally found your groove and are in the zone only to have to stop because times up, you may find yourself wanting to extend the job length. Suss out before hand whether this would be ok so you don't have an unhappy babysitter feeling caught in the middle.

8. Make sure the house is a "liveable tidy" It can be very challenging for a babysitter to come into a foreign house with new children and have to step over mountains of rubbish and washing just to get to the playroom. You're hiring a babysitter to help whilst you're still at home, which means you're busy. We get it, ain't no time for cleaning too. But taking 15 minutes to do a power clean of surfaces and common areas prior to the babysitter's arrival will ensure everything runs smoothly.



By Hope from

Hope Skinner is a professional nanny based in Sydney, Australia. Founder of Nanny Shecando, Hope works to support and promote professional nannies and sitters in the in-home childcare services industry.

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