Workshop Getting a babysitter


  • Provide a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
  • Promote safe, secure attachments.
  • Prevent child abuse.

Background information

Sometimes we want to have time for ourselves.

It’s normal for parents to feel stressed sometimes when caring for their baby or toddler. Having some fun and time out from being a parent can help us to be more patient and better able to deal with all of the day-to-day needs of our babies.

Maintaining contacts with other adults is important, too. It’s great if you’re lucky enough to have close friends or whānau who are willing and able babysitters. But if you’re going out and leaving baby with someone unfamiliar to them, this needs a bit more planning.

Having the prospective babysitter come and meet your baby before you need them to babysit is a really good idea. It will help baby to be more comfortable with that person, and you can talk about baby’s likes, dislikes or routines. Knowing what comforts baby if they become upset can be really helpful for the babysitter and for baby.


Discuss the following questions as a group, or in pairs:

If you want to leave baby with a babysitter:

  • How do you find and choose a babysitter?
  • How old should the babysitter be?
  • What needs to be organised for baby for when you’re away?
  • What does the babysitter need to know?
  • What do you want the babysitter to do if baby cries, is unwell or if there’s an emergency?
  • Is it okay with you for the babysitter to have a friend over?
  • Can the babysitter contact you, or is there another adult they could contact?
  • How do you feel about the babysitter smoking or drinking alcohol while they’re looking after baby?

You may want to open up discussions about some of the other topics listed below:

  • How do you feel when you leave baby with someone else?
  • How does baby react to unfamiliar people, especially if baby is upset or unwell?
  • How would baby react if they woke after you went out, and someone else was caring for them?
  • Who is going to be looking after baby if you ‘don’t feel so well’ the next day?
  • What if other people want to come back to your home to carry on partying?


  • Well Child/Tamariki Ora My health book
  • SKIP Child development and behaviour module 2: Emotional and social development chart, pp. 9–10.

Home visiting pages