Introduce your child to a new babysitter without causing stress

Picture it: You and your partner finally scheduled a date night, dinner reservations have been made, and you even splurged on tickets to the hot new play in town. But what do you do if you are hiring a new babysitter for your children? You will want to keep the following tips in mind so that introducing your young children to a new babysitter is stress-free.

Make your children part of the decision-making process

If you’re interviewing several individuals to be potential babysitters, then consider having your children sit through part of the interview process. You can use the opportunity to see how the potential babysitter interacts with your children. It also allows children to become familiar and comfortable with the babysitter. After the potential babysitter leaves, you can ask your children what they think of the interview candidate. Encourage them to voice their opinion, and show them you value their input in the decision-making process.

Don’t leave immediately

When the babysitter arrives, don’t dash out the front door. A sudden departure from your home may be distressful for your child. Instead, ask the babysitter to arrive about 15 minutes before you need to leave. This time allows young children to warm up to the babysitter, and also gives you the opportunity to show the babysitter around your home. Having the babysitter arrive a bit early also allows you to do any last-minute tasks with relative ease. You can also use the opportunity to observe how the babysitter interacts with your children.

Plan an activity

If your child has separation anxiety, you may want to consider planning an activity or two for him while you are leaving the house. Keeping your child busy and distracted will allow you to ease out the door and will help your child get used to the babysitter. Depending on your child’s age and interests, you can set out a favorite game or craft, or have the babysitter read a book while you are getting ready to leave.

Make it easy to follow routines

Whether your child needs to take medication while you’re gone or he likes his sandwiches cut a certain way, keeping your babysitter informed and knowledgeable of what your child is used to can make both the babysitter and your children comfortable. Before you leave the home while a new babysitter is caring for your children, take a few minutes to show the babysitter around your home and point out where the craft supplies and snacks are kept. To mitigate any anxiety your child has, write out your child’s routine, including bedtime. It can make for a frustrating situation if the babysitter doesn’t know where a certain toy or favorite book is located. By following an established routine, your child will know what to expect. Don’t forget to show the babysitter where emergency contact information is located.

Taking some time to prepare for a new babysitter’s arrival can go a long way to helping your child feel comfortable with the new caregiver. Before you leave, remember to tell your children when you will return. If it will be after they are asleep, promise to see them in the morning. Introducing your children to a new babysitter can help make the situation less stressful for everyone involved, too.