As my maternity leave drew to a close, I started feeling anxious about leaving baby home with a babysitter. You can do thorough background checks and verify lots of references, but that won’t stop the nagging worries.
What if the baby misses me while I’m gone? Will he take his nap on time? Will she know the proper way to soothe him when he cries? What if the babysitter got locked out of the house after taking baby for a walk? And do I even feel comfortable giving out a spare key to my house? If the babysitter lost the key or if things didn’t work out with her, I’d have to change all the locks in my house and incur a considerable expense.
While I will never find a solution to my worry that baby misses me when I leave him with a babysitter, at least I was able to find a solution to my home safety concern. My husband and I recently installed a Schlage Electronic Keypad Lock on our front door. This lock supports up to to 19 different four-digit access codes, so we can give the babysitter her own unique code and activate/deactivate it as needed. My husband is fairly handy, so it took him less than 30 minutes to install the lock using the easy-to-read instructions. I’m not handy, but I found it easy to add/delete/change the access codes myself. The lock is powered by an included 9-volt battery, which (according to the manufacturer) has an average three-year battery life. You can use the included key as a backup or re-key the lock to match your existing locks.
You can find Schlage Locks online or in-store at www.homedepot.com and www.lowes.com. I have the Plymouth Keypad Front Entry Set in Bright Brass, which sells for $209 at Lowes. That price may strike you as steep, but changing all of your locks when a babysitter leaves or misplaces your spare key is much more expensive as well as time-consuming.