When your kids don't get enough sleep, they're terrors in the morning. This probably won't matter to your babysitter, but it does matter to you. So make sure your sitter knows how to get them in bed -- and keep them there.
- Tell your babysitter when each child must be put to bed. If bedtimes are flexible, tell her how much leeway she can have.
- Review each child's bedtime routine. Who gets read to? How many stories? Who has a hard time falling asleep? When should they wash their hands, brush their teeth, and get into their PJs?
- Once the kids are in bed, do any need a light on or a door open?
- What can the sitter do if a kid won't get into bed?
- Should the babysitter check on sleeping children? If so, when, and how often?
For sitters, bedtime can be the hardest part of the night, especially when there are several kids to put to bed. Talk to your sitter about your kids' rituals and routines, and let your kids know the consequences if they fall out of line.
Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- that’s a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite.