We were really lucky. When our son was still pretty little, we had trusted family that would come by and watch him while he napped so we could get out of the house for a quick cup of coffee and some fresh air. As he grew, we put a high priority on being able to take time every now and then to spend just as a couple, because date nights are important and reconnecting in that way can work wonders on a relationship.
Here are my top five (mostly comical but still truthful) tips for having a date night!
1. Have a babysitter cheat sheet. The key to a successful date night is one where you aren’t constantly preoccupied with worry over your little one. I’ve found a few things to help with that. Practice makes perfect. Having a babysitter cheat sheet (like the one in the photo at right) helps a lot to put my mind at ease. Emergency contact info, our home address, and allergy and food info is all listed.
2. Avoid baby talk. And I’m not talking about the romantic kind. Try to keep your conversations away from talking about the baby. Talk about friends, dreams, goals, things you want to do, things you love about the other person, work, whatever. Reconnect with your partner and try to be 100% focused on them for this short amount of time. If they do the same, you’ll both recharge your love batteries. ;)
3. Try not to talk about who is more tired or who is more busy. Those types of conversations seem to happen pretty naturally when you’re a new parent, but they really aren’t that productive and can lead to hurt feelings. Instead, focus on the positive. It will make the whole night more fun!
4. Remember it’s a date! Make sure to schedule it in advance for a day and time that works great for both of you so you can both be ready and excited.
5. Lay everything out if it makes you feel better. If you get nervous that no one will be able to do things like you do with your baby, then lay everything out before you leave. I’m guilty of this. I like to think I’m the best at everything when it comes to our son. So when we leave him, I lay everything out… food, play clothes, changing supplies, toys, books, snacks, bath stuff, PJs, and a little notepad with our nighttime routine (if the babysitter is putting them to bed). Of course, now that we’ve used the same babysitters for a while, they know the drill. But in the beginning, it put me at ease knowing our son would be getting the same treatment as if I was home.