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How to introduce a new babysitter into the family

Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest nights of the year for babysitters. That could mean you’re relying on a new sitter to look after the kids on February 14th. There are some extra steps to take before leaving your kids with an unfamiliar face.

Lisa Myers from College Nannies, Sitter and Tutors joins us now with some ideas to help “break the ice.”Q: What are the first steps parents need to take with a new sitter?

  • Set up a phone call with your new babysitter the day before they arrive.
  • When the sitter actually gets to your home to watch the kids, things can be a little chaotic and you’re probably rushing to get out the door. So having that phone call a day ahead gets the sitter thinking about your rules and expectations.
  • There are three main things you’ll want to talk about.
  1. The Basics
  • It sounds simple, but let the sitter know where your house is located and how to find it.
  • Reiterate the date and the time you want them to arrive.
  1. Info About Your Kids
  • Tell the sitter how many kids you have and their ages.
  • You should also give the new sitter some hints about what your kids like so they can connect with the children quicker.
  • For example, if your daughter loves dogs, maybe the sitter can bring a picture of her dog and show your child.
  • You should also make sure the sitter knows of things to watch out for. If your child is always trying to sneak candy, let her know to watch for that.
  1. Rules and Emergency Information
  • Make sure the new sitter knows your house rules and any emergency numbers she may need.
  • Let the sitter know of any allergies your child may have and the emergency procedures.
  • If you have a neighbor who can help in an emergency, make sure the sitter has their name, phone number and address.

Q: How can we prepare our kids for an unfamiliar face?

  • Just like you prepare the new sitter ahead of time, prepare your kids too.
  • Tell your child a few days before who this new person is and how excited you are for them to meet. Tell your kids what you know about the new sitter.
  • When the sitter arrives, have your kids answer the door with you.
  • If they’re old enough, ask your child to give the sitter a tour of the house. This gets the kids involved right away and gives them one-on-one time.
  • Allow an extra 15 minutes for a new sitter. That way you can go over expectations again, like bed time, with your child present.

Q: Do you have any Valentine’s Day crafts to help a new sitter “break the ice” with your kids?

  • At College Nannies, we prepare our sitters with fun activities for your kids.
  • If the sitter is new, crafts and activities can help break the ice.

Show the Love (accordion hands)

  • Take a piece of construction paper and trace the kid’s hands.
  • Cut out both hands and have the kids decorate them.
  • You’ll then need another piece of construction paper that you will cut into strips. Tape two strips together to make one 24 inch strip.
  • Have the kids write “I love you this much” on that strip and fold it like an accordion.
  • Tape that folded strip to the hands so when you open them you see “I love you this much.”

Valentine’s Craft

  • This is a Valentine kids can make and give to a grandparent or special friend..
  • Cut squares of tissue paper and print a heart onto card stock.
  • Wrap the tissue squares around an eraser and dip into glue. Attach to the paper heart.

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Twitter: @CNTCarmel