You should know and feel comfortable with the person you choose to leave your toddler with – even if it’s just for a few minutes. Check to see if the sitter has taken a recognized babysitter course.
- Have the babysitter play with your toddler and watch how they act together.
- Ask how they would deal with a crying/fussy toddler.
- Watch as they feed and diaper your toddler.
Be clear about your expectations regarding care of your toddler. Things you might mention:
- It is never OK to hit or shake your toddler.
- Never leave your toddler unattended.
- How often you expect your toddler to be checked when sleeping.
- Pay attention to how you feel about the potential babysitter. Do you feel secure and confident? Or tense, worried, and ill at ease? Remember – the goal of leaving your toddler with a sitter is for you to have time to relax.
When the babysitter arrives:
- Allow time for them to play with your toddler (if awake) before you leave.
- Review your expectations regarding care, safe sleep practices and play activities.
- Show your babysitter where things are kept.
- To make the babysitter’s job easier, and to make you feel more confident about leaving your toddler, be sure to leave this information:
- where you are going, when you expect to return, and how you can be reached.
- Insist that if there are any problems, she or he should call you home early.
Keep these emergency telephone numbers close to the phone:
- poison information
- health care provider
- hospital (pediatric emergency number)
- helpful neighbour (name and number)
- closest relative
Some personal information may be needed in an emergency, so leave the following close to the phone as well:
- toddler’s and your last name(s)
- home phone number
- home address
- toddler’s BC Care Card number or photocopy