I don’t think it’s any secret that eventually we all have to leave our precious babies with a sitter. If you’re just going out for a few hours with your husband, it’s pretty easy to explain a bedtime routine to your babysitter. But what if you’re going out of town for a few days? Or what if you’re leaving them all day while you have a conference to go to? That’s where you may need something a little more in-depth.
This is not about being a control freak. It’s about giving your sitter all the information they may need to get your kids to eat, sleep, etc. Here’s what I would recommend including. Keep in mind that this may change depending on the time of day you’ll be gone, as well as how long you’ll be gone.
This includes everything having to do with bedtime. Obviously, you need to include the time, but don’t forget about what your toddler should wear to bed. Is he or she potty trained? Include things like bath routines, teeth brushing, and how many books you normally read. You want your kiddo to feel like this is as close to normal as possible since she’s missing mommy and daddy.
Similar to above, include the time, as well as tricks to get them to lie down. For instance, L takes a little coaxing to go to sleep for a nap even though he’s perfectly fine at night. I often include that he needs some rocking and back rubbing to get him settled down during the day.
If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, try to include everything for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What are your kids’ favorite foods? Is there anything they can’t have? Don’t forget to include drinks and snacks. If meals and snacks are at certain times, state that too.
This is the section where you can leave all your random information. If you have small children, write down where their extra sheets are in case of an accident. Let your sitter know where extra diapers are or sunscreen, in case your kids want to go outside. I also include the location of cleaning supplies, not because I expect our babysitter to clean, but in case there is an accident; I want her to know where to go if one of the kids pees on the floor. I also include alarm codes in case there is an overnight stay.
Make sure your babysitter has both you and your spouse’s cell phone numbers. Also include your address in case there is an emergency and the sitter needs it. Include where you are going and when you are planning on being back.
We never want there to be an emergency, but the best thing to do is be prepared. Include your child’s date of birth and his or her pediatrician’s phone number. I also tend to include my parents’ phone numbers in case our sitter can’t get ahold of us, as well as a neighbor’s number.
I know this whole list may seem overwhelming, but it’s helpful to include tips for your babysitter to rely on. I think it’s also important to stress to your babysitter that nearly everything is flexible. Remember, your kids won’t have you there, so they may not do as well with bedtime or eating. Give your babysitter some grace to do what she needs to do to keep your kids safe and happy.
You can include everything above in a document on your computer, or your can download my printable to fill out. I recommend printing one for each child so it’s easy to include quirks for each one.
Click on this link to download: