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You are here: Home > Toddlers > Parenting

The Top 10 Tips on Hiring a Babysitter

by Dr. Clare Albright |
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1. Encourage your babysitter by keeping their favorite foods/snacks on hand. Write a thank you card to your babysitters a couple of times a year. Experienced parents always say, "When you find a good babysitter - keep them happy!"

2. Hire a "mother's helper" to come in to your home to play with your child. This extra help will enable you to get those unfinished chores done - while knowing that your child is happy. Since you are in the home it is possible to hire a younger, less expensive babysitter.

3. Consider letting a teenage babysitter watch your child in their home instead of in your home. If an emergency occurs, there is a greater likelihood that the sitter will be able to get assistance from a family member or a next-door neighbor.

4. Learn to express your desires in the form of concrete requests, such as, "Could you put Emily on the potty for two minutes tonight?," if you use the same babysitter regularly. Many parents develop resentment towards their babysitters and forget that a simple request might remedy the problem.

5. Leave the number for the poison control center by the phone, both upstairs and downstairs. Show the babysitter where you keep the ipecac syrup in case vomiting needs to be induced.

6. Remind your babysitter that safety is your primary concern while the child is in their care. Otherwise, you babysitter's focus may be scattered among their many responsibilities, and safety issues may not get enough attention.

7. Tell your babysitter that your child must be in view at all times. It may be helpful to remind the babysitter of specific dangers, such as swallowing a popped balloon that the child is trying to blow up, chasing a ball into the street, etc.

8. Instruct babysitters to ignore the phone if the child is in the bath tub.

9. Take seriously any signs that your child has been molested, such as a child demonstrating sexual behavior in their play or a terror of a certain babysitter. Child molesters come in every age, size, and gender. Young adolescents may have less of a handle on understanding the intensity of their sexual impulses than adults do, leading a young adolescent to feel tempted to explore their sexuality with your child.

10. Keep an open mind. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents who babysit have all been known to molest children. Being a dear relative does not exempt someone from molesting a child.

More Toddler Top TenLets Play a Game! Family Activities

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