How to Prepare for a Babysitter (for the first time)
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Leaving your baby for the first time can induce some serious anxiety. As if you weren't already nervous enough just raising the kid! Heck, I still don't like leaving my baby and he's one! This post will go into what I learned in preparing for a babysitter including a free printable cheat sheet template.
1. Find someone you trust.
The first step when preparing for a babysitter for the first time is really just to find someone that you trust. If you're like me, then your baby likely hasn't been out of your line of vision much less in a different location than you! I know it's difficult to take a night away, but trust me when I say it's as good for you as it is for your baby (at least that's what my husband tells me!).
2. Have the babysitter visit your home prior to the big day.
Once we had identified a babysitter, our next step was to set up a visit prior to the actual day of. This is very important because it allows the babysitter to meet your baby and get a lay of the land. You should take the time to show your babysitter where everything is located including diapers, wipes, food, bottles, and any other items that they may need to use. Also, show them where you keep your first aid kit and fire extinguisher. Finally, use this opportunity to discuss rate, payment, and number of hours.
3. Make it as easy as possible for the babysitter.
Prior to our babysitter's arrival, I made sure to lay out everything that I thought they would need. When our baby was 3 months, this included a change of clothes, swaddle, blankets, burp rags, bottles (in refrigerator), bottle warmer, and nuks. When Emmett was 11 months, this included an extra set of clothes, pajamas, bottles (in refrigerator), bottle warmer, food pouches, puffs, nuks, toys, and playpen. We also purchased an easy meal (like pizza or microwaveable lasagna) and snacks for the babysitter to eat.
4. Create a cheat sheet for your babysitter to reference during their stay.
You will use this cheat sheet to document all of your contact information, who to contact in case of an emergency, and any other special instructions or notes. Here is the information that I included in our cheat sheet:
Time we are expecting to return
Our names and phone numbers
Our home address
Nearest cross street and intersection
Who to contact in case of an emergency (911, Poison Control, pediatrician phone number)
Location of first aid kit
Location of fire extinguisher
Contact info for neighbor or family member in case we cannot be reached
Wi-Fi name and password
Eating schedule (approximate time to feed bottles/food)
How to operate the bottle warmer and/or other special instructions
Where the babysitter can find food to eat!
5. Make sure to let your babysitter know that they can contact you anytime for anything.
This applies to both before and after you leave your house. There really are no stupid questions when it comes to your baby and their safety.
I hope this helps you feel more comfortable leaving your baby in the hands of a babysitter for the first time (feel free to share)! Remember to download your very own free printable Babysitter Cheat Sheet by filling out the form below! Please leave a comment if you have any additional tips (or if you can help me get over my separation anxiety)!
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