Getting Ready for Your Sitter

Sitter feeding baby a bottle while talking to toddler

You’ve done it! Booked a sitter via SitterTree, snagged that hard-to-get dinner reservation and picked up your favorite dress from the cleaners. Now what? It’s time to get ready for the sitter.

I’m a “planner” by nature and making sure the babysitter is well prepared for her time with my son is important. Hiring sitters through SitterTree takes ALL the guesswork out of things because I know my son will be in very capable and compassionate hands. Yet it’s my job to ensure the sitter can ‘jump right in’ when she arrives and that’s why I use this Babysitter Info Sheet. I fill out an updated version and share it with my sitters via email ahead of their time with us and have a copy printed out at our home when they arrive. In my email, I also include specific directions on how to find our house and where to park; it’s a little tricky. Sharing this information in advance gives me peace of mind because I know the sitter has all of the details she needs.

If your kid(s) are older and can advocate for themselves about what they want and what they need, maybe you don’t need to share a lot of information with the sitter. Or, maybe your baby will already be sound asleep, so you’re wondering what the sitter could possibly need except the remote and WiFi password.

Creating A Helpful Sitter Info Sheet

Not sure what to include in your ‘sheet’? Think about it this way – if YOU were babysitting at another family’s home, what information would be important to you?

Click HERE to create your own Babysitter Info Sheet!

  • Sitter Arrival: When the sitter arrives at our home, consider asking your child/children to be there to open the door and welcome her in. This helps to build a bond, even if your child is hesitant about meeting new people.
  • Sitter Walk-through: I like to take at least 10 minutes to walk the sitter through the completed sheet and list of instructions and then review where things are kept in our house. If I’m not able to because I’m still curling my hair or putting on makeup, my husband will handle it. This is important because our son has food allergies, so I show new sitters, and remind our favorite sitters, where food is kept that’s safe for him. If a sitter is going to be putting our son to bed, I also show her my son’s bedroom so that she can get the ‘lay of the land.’

Communication Starts with Me

I’ve found SitterTree sitters to be very open and willing to work with you – just ask them to meet the needs you have when it comes to communication.

  • How to reach me: I always make sure the sitter has my mobile phone number (and my husband’s) written out for easy reference and that she knows where we’re going to be. For example, if we are going to see a show at The Fox – our phones won’t be on until intermission. Same thing if we’re going to a movie – I don’t want to be ‘that lady’ in the theater.  
  • Text Updates: Most SitterTree sitters will send you one text message while you’re out.  However, I like to communicate when and what information I would like. For instance, I like to get a text message so that I’m aware of when our son has gone to bed and fallen asleep. If we’re out during the day, I like to know what they’ve been up to – riding bikes, going for a walk, things like that. Getting a couple of texts helps put my mind at ease so that I can enjoy my time off.
  • Clean Up: While you can expect SitterTree sitters to clean up after all activities and meals, I find it’s easier if I simply communicate what I want my house to look like when I come home – i.e. I am clear that I would like her to clean up the dinner dishes and put the leftovers in the refrigerator. In addition, if I have one or two extra household tasks on my wishlist, I clearly communicate these ideas before leaving.

I hope you’ll use this information sheet the next time you’re lucky enough to have a SitterTree sitter in your home. It’s a great way to keep everyone on the same page and let you have some well-deserved downtime.

Click HERE to create your own Babysitter Info Sheet!

A note about the author:

Rebecca Farrell works full time as a Senior Vice President at a Healthcare Public Relations agency. She’s been married to Christian since 2006, mom to Ronan since 2013 and a Midtown Atlanta resident for the last six years. The Farrell family are avid Disney fans and Rebecca blogs about their experiences on her website, A Mom with Mouse Ears.

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