The first time a sitter comes to care for your child can be full of fears—for both of you. Our little ones crave stability and they’ll need reassurance that this tiny, temporary change won’t completely upend their world. It’s important to take time to properly introduce any new person into their life, even if it’s just for a single night out. In all likelihood, it will also help calm your fears as well!

Get to Know the Babysitter More

The best way to help break the ice between your little ones and the new sitter is to break the ice between the two of you beforehand. Your interviews are a great time for you to make sure they’re qualified, but they also lay the foundations for building a rapport with the person that’ll be taking care of your child. Take some additional time after the interview to get to know each other more. Building your own relationship with the sitter will make it easier for you to introduce them to potentially nervous little ones.

Talk About the New SitterThe cover of the book, Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter

You can do this in two phases: first, introduce the concept of a babysitter. A great resource for this is Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter, an Anna Dewdney Book from Penguin Young Readers. Nervous kiddos will be able to relate to Llama’s concerns and will love that everything turned out fine—like it can for them too!

“I have something new to talk about…tonight I will be going out,” Mama gently tells Llama Llama. At first, Llama feels okay with this. After all, Mama has gone out before and Gram and Grandpa have stayed with him. But this time they can’t. Someone new is coming over, and the more he thinks about it, the more he worries!

Second, talk about the sitter with your little one. Share their name, what they’re like, and other tidbits you learned during your interviews. Then spend some time talking about things they might like to do together. Repeat these conversations during comfortable times, like at dinner or in the bath. Every new piece of information will help build the excitement of the new friend. Use this handy downloadable Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter activity kit to make your discussions fun!

Build-in Time For Walk-Throughs

On the day of the sitting, make sure you build-in time to walk-through the routines and any extra details that’ll be helpful (where the games are, kid-friendly snacks, art supplies, etc.). Don’t ask a new babysitter to arrive the moment you need to be walking out the door. That timing stress affects everyone involved. For first sittings, plan to spend up to 30 minutes getting everyone introduced. You can even get the kids involved. Sometimes a task (like showing the sitter where the games are) will help break the ice with a new person.

Have ThingsThey Love Handy

Setting things and activities your kids love out will help make the goodbyes quick. For babies, that’s lovies and pacifiers. For toddlers and older kids, it’s the activities they love to do, but don’t always get the chance to do. Think about some of the things that need supervision. i.e. science experiments, play dough, games, etc.

Don’t Draw Out the Goodbyes

Once the new sitter is settled into the house, don’t prolong the goodbyes. At this point, you’ve done the work to make sure you and the sitter are comfortable and set to move on. Nothing throws a wrench in that work like long, belabored goodbyes. If it’s the first time you’re leaving a little one with a new sitter, this might be the hardest part, but it’s important to keep it brief. A quick, c

onfident goodbye sends signals that everything is, and will be ok.

Bringing in a sitter for the first time doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. With helpful resources like Llama Llama, you can ease your child into spending time away from you. When you’re ready to find the sitter that’s right for your family, Sittercity can connect you to experienced sitters in your neighborhood.

Enter the Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter Sweepstakes!

The cover of the book, Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter

We’ve teamed up with Penguin Young Readers to give away three prize packs full of Llama Llama goodies! Each prize pack includes:

  • 1 Copy of Llama Llama Meets the Babysitter
  • 1 Quarterly Premium Membership to Sittercity
  • 1 Llama Llama Jack-in-the-Box
  • 1 Llama Llama Bean Bag plush
  • 1 Llama Llama large plush
  • 1 Llama Llama soft book
  • 1 Mama Llama animated plush.

Click here to enter!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between May 4th, 2021 and June 4th, 2021. Open to US residents, 18 and older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules for full details.

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