10 Ways to Prepare Your Overnight BabysitterLauren Jimeson
My husband and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary over the weekend. To my surprise, my husband booked a hotel for us to stay in this coming weekend here in NYC for a little staycation. I honestly don’t remember the last time that we had a weekend to ourselves without the kids. While I am sure it is going to be tough leaving them, I am looking forward to some much needed relaxation time.
I am very grateful to have my sister live in the same city as we do and for her to agree to watch both girls while my husband and I celebrate. Both girls love her and I completely trust her with them for the weekend. While I know that she is going to be able to handle it, I also want to make sure she is prepared for the weekend. She’s watched the girls for us before, but never for an extended period of time.
There are many things that I have done to make sure that she is absolutely the most prepared that she can be while we are away. Although we are staying in the same city and can make it home in a matter of minutes, I want her to have everything that she needs for the weekend.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to prepare your sitter for an overnight stay with your little one. Check it out after the jump!
Give Them a Tour of the House 1 of 10Make sure your sitter knows the lay of the land. Show them your baby's room and where all of the necessities are in there. Show them the room they are staying in so that they can make themselves comfortable. It's important for them to be comfortable in your home so that your baby will be comfortable while you are gone.
Image via Flickr User agizienski
Explain the Bedtime Routine in Detail 2 of 10Putting your baby to bed can sometimes be a lot of work. Avery is a sucker for a great routine. We do the same thing every night so that she knows what to expect at bedtime. The second it is broken, she doesn't sleep as well. Verbally tell your babysitter the bedtime routine and maybe walk it through with them. Another idea is for your sitter to come by a couple nights before you leave so that they can watch your bedtime routine to get the hang of it.
Image via Flickr User janetmck
Leave an Emergency Contact List and Introduce Them to Neighbors 3 of 10It's always very important to leave an emergency contact list just in case. Introduce your sitter to neighbors just in case they need something and can't get in touch with anyone. It's also great to give your neighbors a heads up that you are leaving so that they can keep an eye out as well.
Image via Flickr User stigster
Show Them Where Your Baby’s Favorite Toys Are Located 4 of 10If your little one is anything like Avery, there is a must have toy that will always keep them happy. Make sure your babysitter knows what toy that is so that they can make sure to have it with them where ever they go.
Image via Flickr User dannyelbrazil
Introduce Them to Your Pets and What They Need 5 of 10If you have pets in your home it's a good idea to introduce your babysitter to them so that they can get used to them and comfortable. If the pets need to be let out or fed, make sure you remember to leave that with them as well. Let them know the boundaries for the pets around the baby as well.
Image via Flickr User magnusbrath
Give Them a List of Local Places They Can Take Your Baby to Play 6 of 10If you don't want your baby stuck inside the house while you are gone, give your sitter a list of places that you frequent for playing. Whether it's a park, playground, or even a playdate with another friend, just let them know!
Image via Flickr User listener42
Leave a Schedule 7 of 10Even if your baby isn't on a strict schedule throughout the day, it's a good idea to give them a rough idea as to what should be happening throughout the day. Share with them what time your baby usually naps, what time they eat, etc. It will help your sitter get to know your child better and learn for what to expect.
Image via Flickr User MorgueFile
Let Them Know How to Soothe Your Baby in Those Uncontrollable Situations 8 of 10There are always those moments that your baby is very hard to soothe. For some it's the dreaded witching hour. Let your sitter know what soothing items that they can use to help calm your baby. Avery loves playing with Harlan; Harlan always knows how to bring a smile to her face. It's definitely something I will let the babysitter know!
Image via Flickr User tudor
Give Them a List of Local Food Places Where They Can Order From (or Ask in Advance What Food They Would Like and Keep the Refrigerator Stocked) 9 of 10You want to take care of your babysitter while they are watching after your little one. Leave your house stocked with food that they enjoy. If you don't want to do that, then leave a list of local restaurants they can order from and have delivered.
Image via Flickr User raes_antics
Let Them Know They Can Call You For Anything 10 of 10Some babysitters always feel bad about calling the parents because they feel like they are incapable of handling a situation. I always want my sitters to know that they can call me for anything at any time. I spend all day with Avery, so ultimately I know her best. If the sitter ever has a question regarding Avery or Harlan, I want them to know that they can call and ask me and I won't think anything less of them. Even if I am going away for a weekend, I am their mother and always know whats best for them.
Image via Flickr User MorgueFile
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.