How to Describe Babysitting Responsibilities: 7 Steps
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Clear expectations for the babysitter prevent misunderstandings.

Finding the perfect babysitter isn't always easy. But once you've put your first choice through a grilling a Navy SEAL would find challenging, you may think your job is done. You have, after all, checked your sitter for a criminal record, assured her values match yours and introduced her to your child -- all without tears. As far as you are concerned, you are now cleared for take off while the babysitter keeps your household under control. But, before you go, describing her duties is in order.


  1. 1
    Lead the sitter on a tour of your home, pointing out emergency exits, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and any other safety devices. Note any areas that pose a risk to your little one, such as staircases and balconies. This is a good time to point out potential hiding places if your toddler is likely to play a little hide 'n seek when things get boring.
  2. 2
    Explain clearly what you expect the babysitter to do in your absence. While some are willing to combine sitting with light housework, others are not. Discuss any other chores besides childcare that you expect to be accomplished during your absence.
  3. 3
    Describe your child's normal routine to the sitter. This includes meal and snack times, television or video game times, story time and playtime. If you expect the sitter to bathe your child before bedtime, be specific about products to use and the location of nightwear. Leaving your youngster in charge of filling in the sitter on normal routines is a recipe for disaster.
  4. 4
    Make a list of emergency numbers, including your child's doctor, the location where you can be reached and who to contact in case you cannot be reached. Add specific instructions for any medical conditions or medications your child needs in your absence, including routine allergies.
  5. 5
    Outline your expectations for your child's behavior and the discipline expected if she fails to comply. Be specific and don't rely on her honesty in this department.
  6. 6
    Add any concerns or behavioral issues that may arise. Knowing that little Johnny is apt to throw a fit if his bunny slippers are not located before bed gives the sitter a heads up before problems arise.
  7. 7
    Note your expectations about leaving the home with your child. If the sitter drives, specify whether she may take your child in her car.


  • Put all of this information in writing in advance and keep it on the family bulletin board.Include on the information sheet that the sitter is to have no friends over and to watch your child at all times, especially in the tub.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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