If you do not have the luxury of having grandparents, aunts, uncles or good friends who are willing to baby sit, you might need to make use of a baby sitting service for a much deserved break occasionally. Even if we know and trust the person we are asking to look after your baby, they might not be familiar with baby’s routine and personality. In order to lower your stress levels, boost the baby sitter’s confidence and make baby as comfortable as possible, make sure to address the following issues:
- Make sure that the sitter knows what calms your baby – rocking, a song, the mobile or maybe a stroll in the pram.
- She has to know what your baby’s favourite toy is.
- Make sure that they know that your baby should always sleep face up with no pillows or duvet.
- Show them the way your baby is easiest burped – over the shoulder, sitting up, after feedings or during feeds.
- How to change and clean your baby, whether you use wipes or cotton wool, a nappy rash ointment and where all the supplies are kept.
- Show the sitter where extra clothes are kept in case of a serious mess.
- How to prepare a bottle of formula, or where to get the expressed milk. Very important to give exact instructions on heating the milk.
- Make sure that the sitter knows what your baby can and cannot eat/drink.
- The sitter should no not to administer any medication without consulting with you first. If you are not available she must consult with a doctor. Always leave your doctor’s number, because she is familiar with your baby’s medical history.
- If the babysitter has to bath your baby, make sure she will never leave baby unattended and that the water temperature should be perfect. Have everything she will need ready for her – clean nappy, cream, cloth, soap, towel and clean set of clothes.
- Make sure the babysitter knows your baby’s habits – eg. cannot fall asleep in the dark, spits up a lot, cries when wet, etc.
- The babysitter should know where the first aid kit is.
- Where a torch or candles can be found.
- The sitter should know who may and may not visit when you are not at home and what to do in case someone who is not cleared makes an appearance.
You should leave the following for your babysitter:
- Telephone numbers: Yours, your partner’s, where you can be reached, a neighbour, grandparents, poison control centre and the doctor.
- The address of the nearest emergency room and how to get there.
- A signed consent form authorizing medical care within specific limits, if you cannot be reached.
All this information can be used as your babysitter checklist.