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Video:How to Prepare for a New Babysitter

with Kathy Moore

You can ease the stress of a new babysitter with a little bit of planning. Find out what information you should give the sitter and how to prepare your children for the new visitor.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Prepare for a New Babysitter

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Utilizing baby sitters is a vital part of any healthy family. With a little bit of planning, introducing a visitor into your home and routine can be simple.

This program offers advice on how to prepare your home for a new babysitter.

Make a List of Important Names and Numbers

First, create a list of important names and numbers that any babysitter would need to know. This should include your homes address and driving directions, the children's physicians, and maybe any other relatives or neighbors who could be helpful.

And, of course, do not forget to note where you will be and your cell phone number.

Outline Your Child's Normal Routine

Next, make an outline of your normal routine. This is especially important for children under the age of 2 who cannot communicate as well as the older ones.

Knowing when the kids normally play, nap, have a snack, and more is key to keeping them content and comforted with this new visitor.

Review the Rules of the House

It is also wise to list any important house rules--such as no jumping on the couch or no eating the living room--to make sure the kids do not take advantage of an unknowing sitter.

Review the list with the sitter when she arrives, and leave it for her to refer to after you leave.

Also, ensure the house is clean and orderly. No one wants to enter a house with piles of dirty laundry or dishes.

Set Out All Necessary Items

Make finding necessary items easy by setting them out. For example, if I know we will not be returning until after the kids are in bed, I lay out their pajamas on the bathroom counter so there will not be any question about what should be worn.

Prepare any meals needed, or at least set out the items needed for the meal to save the babysitter time.

Predetermine portions of snacks and label with a small note to create a conversation for your children and the sitter while you are gone.

Prepare Your Child for the Babysitter

And lastly, prepare your kids for the new visitor. Explain to them what will happen while you are gone and what is expected.

If possible, you could also make sure you allow time to transition between your care and that of the sitter's, especially if the babysitter is new.

That way, the children have an opportunity to see your interaction with her and can get comfortable and engaged with the sitter.

Time away from your kids is not only important to your relationship, but also the entire family. Planning ahead and preparing your house will make the transition simple for you, your kids and the babysitter.

Thanks for watching. To find out more visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.
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