Here’s essential information every babysitter should have:
Contact information for you and your partner — Home phone, work phone, and cell phone numbers, as well as the number at the place you’ll be (restaurant, friends’ house, etc.). Tell your sitter not to open the door to anyone she’s not expecting, and warn her if anyone will be stopping by or calling.
Emergency contact information — This includes fire, police, doctor, poison control, and hospital numbers. If your children have specific medical insurance numbers, provide those as well.
(It’s also smart to designate one or two neighbors, friends, or relatives as local contacts. Leave their names, numbers, and addresses. That way your sitter has someone to turn to in case of miscellaneous mishaps, such as a pet that gets loose or a power outage.)
Medical information — If your child has any allergies or other medical conditions, or needs to take medication, tell your sitter about it in advance. Also inform her of any additional health problems — such as a bad case of diaper rash or a tendency to spit up food.
Food and drink list — Don’t leave this to chance. Your sitter may not be aware of foods that pose choking hazards. Leave specific instructions outlining what your baby can and can’t eat and drink.
Activity schedule — Your baby will feel more comfortable sticking to his usual routine, so let your sitter know what time he eats his meals, what time he goes to bed, and how his bedtime routine works. (If you usually read to him from a particular book, for example, let her know that.) Your sitter should know about any special words for favorite toys or security objects.