Tips to transition to a new sitter

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Whether it's searching for a regular baby sitter or someone to fill in on a Friday night, finding the right fit for the family isn't always easy. Flourish, the Southeast Missourian's new women's magazine, offered these tips to find sitter success.

Start early. The best time to start searching for a replacement sitter is before losing the current sitter, allowing time to screen new candidates, check references and run background checks.

Ask for references. Katy Hart, a mom of four who lives in Lilbourn, Mo., said finding a sitter capable of handling her children -- three of whom are 6 -- can be tough. "I need someone who can give me a good idea of whether or not the sitter is responsible and level-headed enough to take care of my children," she said.

Cover the details. Before a new sitter starts, make sure you have thought through the details. If she will drive the family car, be sure to add her to the insurance and get her a key. Also, make sure the sitter has a cell phone in case she needs to reach you or vice-versa.

Local hospitals offer safe sitter courses to help baby-sitters. They cover rescue breathing and anti-choking techniques, appropriate action steps and more.

To subscribe to Flourish, e-mail cellis@semissourian.com

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