How to leave your kids with the babysitter
The day arrived and I was nervous, super nervous. We would be leaving our precious children with a babysitter for the first time ever.
The process of finding the babysitter
- We had found her through a Facebook group (you can check out how we went about finding a babysitter here).
- Then we met up with her and did the whole vetting process (check that process out here) so now we had to follow through, had to convert all our efforts into an actual date away from the kids.
As is to be expected in a world full of Murphy’s Law our little daughter got quite ill during the beginning of the week. Consequently she had to be put on some serious antibiotics. There were constant doubts in the run up to Saturday as to whether our little one would be well enough to be left with a stranger.
At one point I did think we should just back out. Just in the interests of our daughter’s health you know 🙂 Not just because I was too nervous to do so.
The day arrived and she was doing much better. There was no risk of vomitting on the babysitter and it wasn’t contagious so we were going to do it! We were going to leave the children for THREE whole hours.
Leaving the kids with a babysitter for the first time
In a perfect world we would have gone far far away and had drinks. Instead we decided to stay close to home in case anything went wrong. Do you know how many worst-case scenarios a neurotic mom and dad can cook up while away from their kids. Okay, just mom not dad too.
Notes to the babysitter
Like any slightly crazy mother would do I prepared three information sheets for the babysitter. No, I’m not joking.
- Guidelines for looking after the kids (when they eat, how much TV, what they like to eat etc).
- Strange words the kids use and their interpretations
- Activities that the kids enjoy
The babysitter said these notes had really helped her so I will be sure to do this again if we ever have need to get a different babysitter.
Before we left I made sure we had changed the baby and that both kids had their lunch.
What I left out for the Babysitter
To make sure the babysitter didn’t have to rummage around the cupboards trying to find everything, I set up the following:
- One shelf in the fridge had everything they needed (fruit, juice and snacks)
- On the kitchen counter I laid out the cupcakes I had made for them to decorate together with all the sprinkles, glitter sugar and mini-marshmellows and crackers.
- On the dining-room table I put out the arts and crafts they could play with: crayons and paper, play-doh and shape cutters, glue and crazy eyes.
How we prepared the kids
We had talked to the kids and reminded them throughout the week that the babysitter would be coming on Saturday.
We’ve managed to somehow convinced them that she’s their friend who comes especially to see them 🙂
This worked wonders as the kids were happy to see her when she arrived. The only problem with this approach was that they were sad to see her go and couldn’t understand why she couldn’t stay the night. We compromised and agreed that she would come to play next weekend (I think we’re winning).
I completely forgot about asking the babysitter to send me photos during the afternoon but she did so of her own accord which was great – it put us right at ease.
As for my husband and I, if you’re wondering what we did during our Time Out, we went to shops and bought the kids some new clothes and toys…
Information to give the babysitter
Other things you need to remember to give the babysitter:
- Emergency contact info and medical info
- Location of all nappy changing tools
- Wifi login details
- Instructions on how to use the tv / DVDs / Netflix / Stan
- (maybe) directions to the nearest park if you’re happy with the babysitter leaving the house on the first visit
- Details on how to lock up the house if there are any complicated steps.