Preparing for your First Babysitter

preparing for first babysitterParenthood can be very overwhelming in the first few months. And going out without the baby can seem like the last thing on your mind. But when you’re ready, a dinner date with your partner can be a nice boost to your relationship and give you renewed energy to return to feeding and diapering.

How to Prepare You and Baby for a Night Out

Ease into it. If you’re nervous, make your first date a short one and go to the restaurant around the corner from your house. The first time is always the hardest, but it’s liberating, so go for it!

Interview a handful of babysitters. Pick your favorite two and have them come over for a paid “working interview,” where you’re in the house doing chores while they watch the baby. That way, you can see them in action and when the big date night arrives, you’ll feel more confident leaving your child in their hands.

Create an emergency contact list for your babysitter. Your babysitter will likely know the basics, but it’s never a bad idea to go over emergency procedures. Also make sure she knows if you prefer a phone call ONLY in case of emergency, or if you want to be notified even if baby just seems extra fussy or won’t eat or sleep. Here’s a free printable emergency contact list form.

Make sure baby will take a bottle and that there’s milk to spare. Babies seem to get hungrier when mom is not around to monitor feedings.The moment before you leave is not the time to realize your baby won’t take the bottle. Practice a few weeks prior.

Give specific, written instructions on timing of feedings, changes, and sleep. This takes the pressure off the babysitter and gives you peace of mind. Write it as a timeline with lots of details, i.e. “7p.m.: Change diaper, put on pajamas, swaddle, and place in bassinet with pacifier.”

Let go of the guilt. You deserve time away from the baby. Of course, parenthood is amazing and rewarding, but it’s also very difficult, physically and emotionally. Give yourself permission to leave and have a good time. The baby will be just fine without you.

UrbanSitter is an online resource for new parents looking to book a reliable, experienced first babysitter. You’ll find babysitters recommended by fellow local parents and see others you’re connected to through your mother’s group or friends.

UrbanSitter’s online booking tool allows you to schedule babysitters for jobs or interviews conveniently online–and even pay them by credit card. Learn more at UrbanSitter.com.