Tips for Babysitting Twins

How to prepare your sitter to manage your multiples

Babysitting twins tips

Caring for one child is hard enough. Handling two -- or more -- can be total madness if you don't correctly prepare your sitter.

Prepare a Checklist

The first time you leave your twins or multiples with a new sitter, give her a detailed list that explains the following:

  • If the children are identical, how can you tell them apart? (And don't rely on outfits if the kids are old enough to dress -- undress and redress -- themselves!)
  • What unique traits and needs does each child have?
  • Do they eat the same thing at the same time?
  • Do they have the same bedtime routines?
  • Should they be disciplined the same way?
  • Does one child need more attention?
  • How do the children interact with each other? Are there rivalries? Is one child more dominant?
  • How should the sitter handle a power struggle?

Go over your notes when the sitter arrives. Make sure you're on the same page before you leave.

If you're going to be gone for a very long time, or if you have more than three children, you might want to hire more than one sitter. If you know and trust your sitter, you can ask her to recommend a friend, but make sure you trust her friend, as well. Give both sitters clear guidelines, letting them know that you expect them to focus on your children, and not each other.

The bottom line

Managing multiples is a challenge. Prepare your sitter beforehand. If she understands each child's needs and personality, it will make her job that much easier.

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Comments (1)
Photo of Christy K.
Christy K.
How about trying to juggle newborn twins? Yes, it really can be done if your care provider has strong arms and a strong back. Wearing one baby in a front carrier and holding the other is exhausting, but it can be done. I find the more hands on I need to be with a nanny position the more rewarding it is for me.

As for the divide and conquer approach to child care: it's fantastic for everyone if you can have two adults caring for the children sometimes. I have experience with this and since we are friends and each have a strong childcare background my charges benefitted from it greatly. We could each read to one child then switch places (rooms) and read to the other. We gave each child individual attention instead of just concentrating on ourselves and ignoring them. She was as much a part of the family as I was. We would take the children to amusement parks, go on picnics or to child centered festivals, etc all with parental approval beforehand. Having another close person with us that the children and parents knew and trusted was wonderful. The children always had our undivided attention and when a situation arose we had two of us to work it out instead of just one.
Posted: May 31, 2014 at 6:07 PM
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