Leaving your baby with a person who is not your partner for the first time brings with it mixed feelings. However, there are situations in which this is a must, so you have no choice but finding a good and trust able babysitter and go along with it. Of course, there are some things you will need to consider.
First, when you are looking for THE person.
- State clearly which is the profile of the person you want to find. If the baby loves spending time with grandma, look for an older woman, while if his teenage cousin is his favorite, look for a young babysitter with some experience and lots of patience with the little ones. This is not discrimination; after all, you want to leave the baby on the best hands, right?
- Establish the rules from the start – like the hour she (considering it is a woman you want, although this is not a pattern) needs to arrive, the things she needs to do, how much does she have to stay, if there’s a possibility to prolong her stay and which are the conditions.
- Think about the future – maybe you’ve found yourself in a new situation – of leaving the kid with a stranger now, but what if this circumstance repeats? Try to find someone who may be available other times too, on the long run.
- Provide the house rules – maybe if you find a teenager she’ll want to watch her favorite show at 8 PM, but the baby is not allowed to watch TV and he’s still awake. Or, is she allowed visitors? Can she have something from your fridge or order pizza? And so on, tell her everything what’s important for you and make sure you settle the conditions of this collaboration (because this is what it is, after all) clearly.
When she arrives to take charge of the baby.
- Show her around the house – the rooms where she should stay with the child, the kitchen, the bathroom, the emergency numbers on the fridge or in a place easy to find, a charger for her phone in case she needs it.
- Show her throw the baby’s room. Where are clean clothes, where are the diapers and wet wipes, or the towels in case she needs them.
- Explain her how to feed the baby – how to warm the breast milk in case you are leaving this for the baby, or how to prepare the formula. How much to offer to the baby and how to know he wants to stop eating.
- In case the baby has already started weaning, explain what and how to prepare and how to feed the baby. Also, show her how where the high chair and all the utensils she’ll need for solid foods are.
- Explain her how to put the baby to sleep, what he likes and dislikes and anything else that’s specific to him.
- Encourage her to call you for any baby-related query she may have in order to make sure they get along just fine.
Breathe in, breathe out, everything will be fine. No need to stress yourself, as probably your babysitter is more experienced with babies than you are. Of course, you will think about the child non-stop and you will want to call home a thousand times, but try to relax and only make short calls to check if it’s all ok. You could also consider texting in order to avoid disrupting all sorts of activities (play, meal time, a nap) the baby may have. This is definitely not the last time you will need to leave his side, so try to enjoy your personal moments too.