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How to Help Your Child Adjust to a New Babysitter


Posted on by admin | in Babysitting Jobs

When it’s time for mom and dad to run errands, splurge on a date night or head to the office, it can be stressful to worry about child care. However, when hiring a babysitter whom the children love and one you trust, it can bring a sense of relief knowing your children are in the best care and happy with the new sitter.

Ensure that your children will adjust to a new babysitter by taking it slow and arming both the sitter and the children with creative activities and helpful strategies.

Prepare for the Sitter

When bringing a new babysitter into your home, you first need to have a thorough interview followed by a trial meet and greet to ensure the sitter is going to be a good fit for you and your family, says Robert Nickell, father of seven and founder of Daddyscrubs.com. During the meeting, observe how your children interact with the new babysitter and spark up discussions about your child’s interests so the sitter is aware of your child’s passions.

“Give your new sitter the inside scoop, along with tricks and tips that you know work or don’t work for your child,” says Nickell.

Share information about your daily routines, too. “Make sure that the new sitter fully understands your daily routines,” says Nickell. “You can create a sense of normalcy by sticking to a consistent routine.”

For example, if you sing a special song when changing diapers or putting your child to bed, the caregiver should be encouraged to mirror such behavior, says Natasha Eldridge, founding partner of New Jersey-based educational firm Eldridge Overton Educational Programs. “The parent should tell the child that she is going to meet a new sitter who doesn’t know their song and have the child ‘help’ the sitter learn the song in the parent’s absence,” says Eldridge. “This sets the stage for the child and sitter to bond while offering a comfort to the child.”

Make sure you compile a babysitter binder that includes important phone numbers, meal ideas and activity ideas. “This seems to be a helpful resource for nannies and sitters to use while they’re settling in,” says Nickell.

Most importantly, ease your child into getting to know your new babysitter gradually. “Talk to your child about the transition and introduce your child to the sitter in a positive manner,” suggests Nickell.

Make it Fun

If your child is apprehensive to a new sitter in the home, Eldridge suggests expressing the need to get to know new people to preschool or school-aged children to help them open up to a new babysitter. Make it fun by asking the sitter to bring crafts or activities to keep your child engaged.

Age-appropriate activity books, small toys and games will show your child that the sitter is there to have fun with him or her. You can also put together a babysitting basket full of games and activities that are reserved for when the babysitter comes to stay with your children. Access to these toys will not only excite your child but leave her eager to see you leave and the babysitter arrive.

Start Small

If your little one is clinging to your leg and missing you before you step out the door, help her adjust by taking baby steps. “Start small and work your way up to longer hours away from the home,” suggests Nickell.

Begin with a sitter session while you are still in the home. For example, have the new babysitter play and interact with your child while you complete household chores, work from home or prepare meals. With you in close proximity, your child will still feel secure while getting to know the new babysitter.

Gradually work up to short trips outside of the home. “Before leaving each time, the parent should remind the child how special she is to offer comfort; thereby, alleviating any attachment issues that may potentially arise, suggests Eldridge.

When your child realizes that you will be home shortly and that your love is reassured, he or she may be more willing to let go of your leg as you attempt to walk out the door. This strategy will pave the way for a better adjustment when you will be leaving for longer periods of time.

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