During a visit with one of my clients, I stayed home with her baby while she went to get a haircut. I like giving my clients time for themselves and even perhaps a little pampering. I have her and her spouse’s cell phone numbers, but I got to thinking while she was gone about what information parents should leave their sitter. Leaving good instructions for the person in charge when you’re not home makes good sense.
Rather than posting the information on a sticky note each time you head out the door, put a little effort in up front, and it will last you for years. Consider using a small binder (1/2 to 1 inch) with extra paper in it behind your details. That way, the sitter can leave notes for you, like how much the baby ate, diapers, phone calls, etc. I like to leave feel-good information, too, like how awesome the baby did with tummy time.
What I’m suggesting is a lot, but it will be appreciated by both first-time sitters for your children and close family members alike. And it will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve been thorough.
Here’s what to include in your babysitter information notebook:
Names of all family members
Address and telephone numbers, including cell phone numbers
Names and contact details of other family members, such as grandparents or a close neighbor who is on your emergency call list
Allergies suffered by the children, including food allergies
Medications required while you are out, including incidental ones such as for asthma or teething
Where To Find:
Spare house key
Spare car keys
First aid kit and medicines required
Flashlights in the event of a power failure
When You Should Be Contacted
If a child is inconsolable and the babysitter has tried unsuccessfully to remedy the situation
If a child has developed an illness such as vomiting or fever
If anyone is injured and more than a simple bandage is required
Any time it seems there has been a breach of security in the home, such as phone calls where no one answers, suspicious visitors, etc.
Emergency Contact Numbers
Poison Control Center
Neighbor assigned to help in emergencies
Rule number 1: Everybody out!
Provide a map showing the most logical exits
Detail locations of fire extinguisher/s and blanket/s
Outline any other pertinent details
Television programs that are off limits
Rooms that are out of bounds
Foods that are allowed or not
Where You Will Be:
Details of locations where you will be while out
Phone numbers where you can be reached
What time you expect to be home
When you expect to call in to check on everyone
Do you have other suggestions of things that should be included in the notebook?