No matter the age of your child, staying with a babysitter can be frightening. Even if they know the sitter, many children suffer from separation anxiety at the thought of their parents leaving them with someone else. And although adjusting to being taken care of by a babysitter and knowing that your parents will always come back for you is a normal part of childhood, there are lots of helpful ways to prepare your child beforehand. Books make the perfect teaching aid in new situations and these books every parent should read to their children before a sitter comes over are no exception.
As the parent of a 2-year-old who hates to be away from me or go with anyone else, I know the power of preparation. Giving your child a heads up of what's to come, even subtly through reading about it, will help them not feel taken by surprise when someone new comes to watch them for an evening.
Whether you're going on a week long vacation or just a night out, these books will help your child see that they're not alone in their fear and that, just like the parents in the books, you will always come back home too.
1. 'How To Babysit A Grandma' by Jean Reagan
Told from the perspective of a little girl going to her grandma's house, How to Babysit a Grandma will help make the situation humorous and prepare your kid for time with grandparents.
2. 'Just Me And My Babysitter' by Mercer Mayer
Just Me and My Babysitter will help your child see that having a sitter can be fun, as Critter tries to help his babysitter, often creating more messes than he intended.
3. 'No Babysitters Allowed' by Amber Stewart
For kids who have a bit of separation anxiety, No Babysitters Allowed will ease their nerves with a silly story about a very brave bunny named Hopscotch.
4. 'Baby Sitter (First Time)' by Jess Stockham
Baby Sitter is part of the First Time series meant to prepare young kids for a variety of "firsts." In this book, a father leaves his child with a babysitter and tells the story of all the exciting things they do together, proving that it's really not so bad to have a babysitter.
5. 'The Cat In The Hat' by Dr. Seuss
6. 'I Wanna Go Home' by Karen Kaufman Orloff
When his parents go on an exciting vacation, Alex is not happy about being sent to his grandparents house. I Wanna Go Home is the perfect entertaining story for kids skeptical about spending time with their grandparents.
7. 'An Evening At Alfie's' by Shirley Hughes
A warm and sweet story about a boy named Alfie and his sister Annie Rose, who try to solve a leaky pipe problem with their babysitter Maureen. An Evening At Alfie's has beautiful illustrations and is perfect for kids two and up.
8. 'Bear And Mrs. Duck' by Elizabeth Winthrop
When Bear tires of waiting for Nora to get home, he decides he can actually have fun with his babysitter Mrs. Duck. Bear and Mrs. Duck is a great story for kids of all ages.
9. 'Good Dog, Carl' by Alexandra Day
While it may depict lack of judgement on the mother's part, Good Dog, Carl is about the adventures of a baby girl and her babysitter, Carl the dog.
10. 'The Berenstain Bears And The Sitter' by Stan And Jan Berenstain
Mrs. Grizzle is intimidating at first, but eventually wins brother and sister bear over in The Berenstain Bears and the Sitter.
11. 'Pirates Don't Change Diapers' by Melinda Long
A hilarious story about a pirate who comes to the aid of a babysitter, before they can unearth their treasure buried in the backyard, Pirates Don't Change Diapers is the sequel to How I Became A Pirate.