When Babysitting Is the Answer

Before you entrust any caregiver with your baby, you should make sure you agree with the answers they give to these questions:

• What is the most important part of your job?
• If my child makes you angry, what will you do?
• Should you admit someone into our house if he says he is a friend of the family?
• What steps would you take if you detect fire?

Most important, you need to feel comfortable with your potential babysitter's overall personality and level of responsibility. Asking a lot of questions does not make you "nosey" or "picky" -- it is simply the best way to ensure your child is in the very best hands possible.

The following are instructions you should provide anyone you entrust with the care of your children. Print this information and place it on your fridge, under your favorite magnet. Refer to this handy list the next time you leave instructions for your caregiver.

The Numbers

• Your address
• Your phone number
• Your cell phone number
• Your pager number
• Where you can be reached (address and phone number)
• What time you will be home

Special Instructions/Rules

• Meals
• Snacks
• Bed time
• Play time (outside/inside)
• Medications
• Allergies
• Television watching
• Always off limits
• Did you lock doors and windows?
• Have you turned off appliances after use?

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