Conversations Parents Should Have with New Babysitters (or anyone who is caring for your child)

Author: one tough job

Conversations Parents Should Have with New Babysitters (or anyone who is caring for your child)

Parents are scrambling to figure childcare with schools closed and moving to hybrid and remote models in the fall. Deciding who will care for your children as we go back to work during the coronavirus is a tough decision many families are faced with right now. Regardless of what you decide is best for your family, here are some conversations you should have with new babysitters.

1. Do they know your expectations and your family's house rules? Tell your babysitter your expectations for conduct. Explain the family rules and the ways to enforce them. Let them know that you will be in contact with them and your children during the day.

2. Have you explained safety instructions that are specific to your family? Review basic safety rules with your babysitter, such as being extra careful with children when they are around water, what foods to avoid, etc. You also want to talk about safety instructions that may be specific for your children, such as allergies and typical behaviors. For example, if your child likes to climb, let your babysitter know what you do to prevent your child from putting himself at risk.

3. Do they know who to call in case of an emergency or if they become overwhelmed? Tell the babysitter that he or she can call you if they are feeling overwhelmed or need help. Provide the phone number of a neighbor or friend in case you cannot be reached.

4. If your children will be cared for at the new babysitter's home, have you asked if they have guns or other dangerous weapons in the home? This may feel like an uncomfortable question to ask. You can start the discussion by saying, "If you have any weapons in your home, I assume that they are locked and out of reach of our children."

5. Tell them you will check-in with your children regularly. Let your new babysitter know you always check-in with your children when they meet someone new to make sure they are comfortable with whoever is caring for them.


It's common for children to show resistance to their parent leaving, especially when they are very young and meet a new babysitter. As your child becomes more comfortable with her babysitter, signs of fear, anxiety, and discomfort should decrease. However, sometimes, the refusal to be left with a certain person can be a sign of something more serious.

Always, listen to your instincts. Do not hesitate to stop hiring a babysitter or allowing someone to care for your child if you have any concerns or are uncertain about their abilities.

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