As hard as it may be to have someone else care for your baby, most working parents will have to settle for some form of child care. Some parents opt for daycare, while others choose to use a one-on-one babysitter. If you plan to drop your baby or toddler off at a babysitter or family member’s house, it is important to make sure that this home is kept safe for your child. Here are a few tips for keeping your baby safe at a babysitter’s house.
Communicate Potential Risks
Even if your babysitter has had kids of their own, it is still extremely important to communicate with them about any potential risks. This is especially important if the babysitter or family member hasn’t had kids or had kids many years ago and hasn’t had a baby around in quite some time. Be sure to inform your babysitter of all immediate risks such as power outlets, loose wires, swimming pools, unlocked windows, unlocked cabinets, cleaning products, and anything else you can think of. It would also be helpful to go to the babysitters house ahead of time to determine any potential risks that may be unique to their home.
Always Have a Safe Area Reserved for Your Baby
Utilize a playpen, bassinet, or baby gate to ensure that your baby always has a closed off, safe area to sleep and play. By having a playpen set up, the babysitter will always have a safe area to set your baby down if they need to step away momentarily. You can also use a baby gate to close off any particularly dangerous areas such as stair cases, kitchens, and bathrooms.
Your baby will also likely need an area to nap if they’ll be spending more than a few hours at the babysitter’s house, so a playpen is a great item to have since it can function as a play area and a travel crib. Always follow age-appropriate guidelines for keeping your baby safe while sleeping and be sure to let the babysitter know not to let young babies sleep with any loose blankets or pillows, and to always lay your baby down to sleep on their back.
Provide Some Baby Proofing Supplies
It can’t hurt to bring over your own baby proofing supplies to your babysitters house since they may not already have them. This way, you can ensure that the proper steps are taken to keep the home safe. You’ll likely have to buy baby proofing supplies for your own home anyways, so you might as well grab some extras for the babysitter’s house. Stock up on some power outlet covers, cabinet locks, corner covers, a baby gate, and anything else that can help keep your baby safe and comfortable. You can also purchase a baby proofing kit, to have everything you need all in one place.
Be Aware of Older Children and Pets
If your babysitter has any pets or older children, it is important to be aware of the potential risk that they present. Ensure that older kids know to play gently and be careful around your baby and ask that the babysitter never leave your baby unattended with an older kid or pet around. It’s important that larger pets are kept in a designated area — such as in the kitchen with a baby gate in place — and that your baby is kept in a playpen or bassinet when pets are freely roaming.
Check in Regularly
As a parent, it can be hard to let go when you drop your baby off at another person’s house. Asking that the babysitter send you updates regularly can help ease the uncertainty a little bit. Your babysitter will likely be kept quite busy with your baby throughout the day, but they should still be able to send you some updates such as how long your baby napped for or how much they had to eat. By checking in regularly, you can always ensure that your baby is staying well nourished and kept happy and comfortable. You can also ask your babysitter to send a few photos throughout the day as well.
Tips For Baby Proofing A Home
You likely won’t have to baby proof your own home right away, since your baby won’t yet be mobile. However, it never hurts to get ahead and baby proof before your baby starts to crawl or walk. Here are some tips to help you get started on baby proofing your home or your baby sitter’s if you haven’t done so yet.
- Cover all power outlets with outlet covers. Outlet covers are sometimes small enough to be a choking hazard so you want to be sure that they’re kept out of reach from your baby when the outlet is being used.
- Keep all windows and doors locked, especially windows that are above the ground floor.
- Use a baby gate to block off any staircases, the kitchen, and the bathrooms.
- Utilize cabinet locks to lock up all cabinets, especially those that hold dangerous chemicals such as cleaning products. We recommend storing all cleaning products on high shelves that are out of reach for children.
- Never let children play outside unattended. If you or your babysitter have a pool in your yard, be sure that it is kept fenced off and locked up. Never let babies play near pools unsupervised.
- Cover sharp corners with corner covers. These are ideal to use on coffee tables or any low-down tables that could pose a risk if your baby were to trip and fall.
- Make sure that any sharp kitchen tools such as knives are kept in cabinets, not on the counter.
- Never let babies or toddlers play in the kitchen while you are cooking.
- Keep bathroom doors shut, or keep toilet lids locked or taped shut.
- Never leave hot tools such as hair straighteners or curling irons out on the bathroom counter. Have the bathroom door shut if these items are left out.
Dropping your baby off at a babysitter’s house for the first time is bound to be a nerve wracking experience. It is almost impossible to not worry about your baby when they’re at another house for most of the day. If you take the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment for your baby, you’ll have one less thing to worry about and you can rest assured knowing that they’re in good hands.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen is an ideal item to bring to someone else’s home, given its portability and spacious design. This versatile playpen can serve as a play area as well as a travel crib.