It can be nerve wracking to leave your baby with a sitter for the first time. Actually it can be...
It can be nerve wracking to leave your baby with a sitter for the first time. Actually it can be nerve wracking to leave your baby alone with even your partner. I think mamas have a little gene that makes them think no one can care for their baby better. Still, even if you believe that to be true (I do) it's important that you get out of the house and have a date -- with a partner or buddies. It can pep you up and allow you to feel like part of the world. But what to leave with a babysitter? Can one checklist cover it all? Nope it sure can't but there are some key points to consider when leaving a checklist with a sitter.
  • First there's the obvious -- phone numbers. Your cell, where you'll be, the pediatrician, a trusted neighbor who will for sure be home, your mama, and the poison control are all good numbers to start with. Feel free to add more.
  • Leave a consent form that states emergency care of your baby is authorized in case you can't be reached.
  • A book on baby CPR; you should try to only hire babysitters certified in infant CPR and first aid. But during an emergency people can panic. It's nice to have a handy little manual around.
  • Your baby's likes, dislikes, eating schedule, sleep schedule, and how to get him to stop crying.
  • Your baby's favorite toy, blanket, and place to play or sleep.
  • Who if anyone is allowed to come over if you aren't there.
  • Where all the baby essentials are -- diapers, wipes, pacifiers, bottles, changes of clothing, and burp cloths.
  • Where the first aid kit, flashlight (power outage), and electric breaker is.
  • If you have pets; info on how your pets interact with your baby. Although, in this case I'd leave the pet in another room because your dog may be great with your baby when you're there but a babysitter can inadvertently make your pet feel ill at ease and he might act different than usual.
Whew, that's a long checklist -- and not even all inclusive. Also be aware that just because you have an older individual watching your baby doesn't mean much. When my son was tiny I left him with my mother-in-law, who as I was walking out the door, said, "Don't worry about this crying, a nip of brandy will cure that." Yikes! I almost didn't go out that evening and MIL and I had a long talk about giving alcohol to babies. Clearly alcohol + babies is a bad idea; just not in her day. Make sure that anyone who watches your baby has the above information and understands how to properly care for a baby. If you want more info here's one handy checklist... and one more for good measure.   Don't forget to enter Pregnancy & Baby's great new contest!

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