I left Macks for the first time this week. He’s 5 months old today and I’ve spent every single day of his life with him. It’s very hard for me to leave him, especially with us only living in this town for a month and not knowing anyone nearby.
When searching for a babysitter for all three of my kids, I asked for recommendations from neighbors and our realtor. Most told me to go online to a babysitting website and work from there. Many of the sites now allow you to do background checks on the sitters as well as check references. There were about 30 people that I went through before choosing the babysitter that I thought was best for our family.
I made sure to have her show up to our home early so that I could leave her prepared for the day with my kids. Here are some tips if you are leaving your little one for the first time with a babysitter.
1. Give the babysitter a tour of the house. Before hiring our sitter, I had her come over to our house the week before so that I could interview her in person. I also wanted to see how the kids reacted to her. After interviewing her I showed her around our house so she could get the lay of the land. I didn’t expect her to remember it all right away, so when she got here to actually babysit, I gave her another tour to refresh her memory. I made sure to point out where the kids clothes and diapers were, where the snacks and bottles were. I wanted to make sure that she knew where all of the essentials were before I left.
2. Leave a detailed schedule. I probably went into a little too much detail on my notes, but I wanted to make sure everything was covered. Because I was going to be gone for the entire day, I left a schedule of what we usually do by the hour. I just went through my schedule in my head and then wrote it down. It included when Macks eats and sleeps, how I put him to bed, and other vital parts of our day.
3. Introduce a neighbor. I was going to be about two hours away, so if something were to happen while I was gone, there was no way that I could quickly and easily get home. Because we are new to the area we don’t know many people, but we have become close with our next door neighbors. Last week I told them that I was leaving the kids for the first time and if they would stop by while I was gone to check to make sure everything was going okay. I also made sure to introduce the babysitter to them as well. My neighbor checked in on the kids twice while I was away and even called me to let me know how everything was going. It helped ease some of my anxiety.
4. Leave emergency information. I made sure to leave the number of our pediatrician, our insurance cards, and who to call in case an emergency does occur while I was gone. I know it isn’t likely for something to happen, but I wanted her to have it for those “just in case moments.”
5. Check in to ease anxiety. As a mom, you can never check on your child enough when you are away from them. Don’t think of it as annoying the sitter, but just calming your nerves. I checked in every couple of hours to make sure that the kids were okay and to see if she had any questions. It helped me get through my day knowing that I knew they were okay and in good hands.