A night out on the town sounds extremely exciting for the homebound parents of a small baby. However, a night out also means that someone else will be watching your baby. This can be a stressful thing if you have never left your child with someone before. But every parent must experience a few hours of baby freedom from time to time and being prepared for those moments is the best way to ensure they run smoothly.
Having a plan for your babysitter is an easy way to ensure your child is receiving the best care possible. Here are some tips for how to prepare your babysitter for the evening routine.
Make a List (or Two)
You may discover that you need lists for multiple things – and that’s ok! The more information the babysitter has, the less they need to improvise and possibly deviate from the schedule. Make a list of the timeline for the evening and make a checklist that details your child’s bedtime routine, such as brushing teeth, pajama time, reading books, checking diaper, etc.
Prepare Dinner Ahead of Time
Preparing dinner ahead of time will ensure that your child gets something they like for supper. There’s nothing worse than coming home and having the babysitter tell you that your child wouldn’t eat. If your child has any food allergies, it is extremely important to make the babysitter aware of such things, as well. Lastly, a babysitter may not realize what constitutes a choking hazard for a young child. Definitely explain how small food should be cut up, in particular items like grapes or hot dogs.
Place Emergency Contact Numbers in Convenient Location
The best place to put emergency contact numbers, included yours at the top of the list, is on the refrigerator. Everyone accesses the refrigerator and it is an easy location to spot. Use big, bold writing and tape the contact information on firmly to avoid it blowing off. Include the number of another family member or trusted friend in case you are unreachable for whatever reason.
Stick to Your Schedule
If you plan the night to last a certain amount of time, stick to that plan. This way the babysitter doesn’t need to question if they need to put the children to bed or if they should wait and see if you come home in time. If you require extra time away, be courteous to the fact that your babysitter is on a schedule too and may not be available to stay longer.
Run a Brief Orientation
It’s important that a babysitter knows where things are in the house. Show them where you keep essentials such as extra diapers and baby wipes, where pajamas and clean clothes are located, where cleaning supplies are in case of a mess.
Once a routine is established and you have a regular babysitter who knows your kids and knows your nightly schedule, things will become easier. But in the beginning, do not be afraid to over-prepare your babysitter as they are responsible for the most important person in the world to you in your absence. Now get out there and enjoy your night on the town, fellow parents!