Babysitters and childcare
Finding the right person to take care of your baby can be difficult and stressful. Our tips and resources can help.
Choosing and using a babysitter
Planning time away from your new baby means that you will need to find a trusted babysitter to care for your baby like you would. That may seem impossible. But knowing what qualities you need in a babysitter will help you to find the best person to take care of your child. Womenshealth.gov recommends taking the following steps to help a new babysitter get to know you, your baby, and your home.
Tips for familiarizing a new babysitter with child safety and your home
• Ask if the babysitter knows infant/child CPR and first aid.
• Remind the babysitter that infants should not be placed on an adult bed of any kind.
• Remind the babysitter to place the baby on her/his back to sleep.
• Be sure that the babysitter knows the signs of illness in an infant including changes in skin color, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
• Show the babysitter where the fire extinguishers are kept and explain how they are used.
• Be sure to show the babysitter where the first aid supplies are kept.
• Remind the babysitter to keep all balloons or plastic items away from the baby.
• Tell the babysitter that children should never be left alone in the bathtub. The sitter should always bring along the children should she or he need to leave the room, such as to answer the telephone or the doorbell.
• Remind the babysitter to keep the bathroom door closed and the toilet seat and lid down when not in use.
Familiarity with your house:
• Be sure to give the babysitter a tour of the house.
• Ensure that all windows have been closed and that the babysitter knows to keep them closed.
• Show the babysitter how to operate your child safety gates and where they go.
• Show the babysitter where the flashlights are located.
• Make sure that you have put away all sharp items including scissors, knives, and any other objects that can cause injury.
The following online resources have more information on first aid for babysitters:
• American Red Cross Babysitter's Training Course
• The National Safety Council fact sheet on babyproofing