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A Twin Twin Situation

How to prepare your sitter to manage multiples

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Caring for one child is hard enough. Handling two—or more—can be total madness is 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-and 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?
  • Are they disciplined the same way?
  • Does one child need more attention?
  • How do the children interact with each other? Are their rivalries? Is one child more dominant? How should the sitter deal if there's 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.

The Bottom LineManaging multiples is a challenge. Prepare your sitter beforehand. If she understands each child's nuances, it will make her job that much easier.

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