Closing the Deal
If the references check out and you hire her, go over house rules. Be really clear, especially with a teen. Rose suggests telling your sitter to limit phone use, even after your child goes to bed, and not allowing her to have friends over. And if you're employing a teen, you might want to meet her parents for peace of mind.
Before you leave, make sure you go over your child's routines together: when he goes to bed, whether he's allowed to watch TV, what to feed him. Most important, review safety and emergency information. Point out your baby's gates and your smoke detectors, suggests Paul. Tell her where the first-aid kit, flashlight, and fire extinguisher are located. If you have an infant, remind the sitter that babies should be put to sleep on their backs.
Don't forget to give your babysitter the phone number of the place you're going and your cell phone number, if you have one. At home, post these numbers by the phone:
- Your child's doctor
- The police
- The fire department
- A neighbor who can be contacted for help
- The Poison Control Center's local emergency number
The final step is to walk out the door. But be forewarned: Now that you're free to have an uninterrupted adult conversation, you'll inevitably find yourself talking about -- what else -- the kids!
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.