New parents have a lot on their plate when trying to get used to life with a new baby. There’s a lot that they need to get used to, not least the lack of sleep that they will experience through the nights. There’s no wonder that many new parents are super ready for a night off after a few months of parenthood. There’s just one thing holding so many parents back from taking a well-earned break – they are worried about leaving their child with someone else.
There’s no doubt that parents become extremely attached to their babies and many do have doubts about leaving them for a night. However, starting to leave them will help them develop a healthy relationship with their parents and it won’t lead to any attachment issues as they grow older.
If you think that you are ready to leave your baby with a sitter for a night, you will no doubt be feeling slightly anxious and will want to make sure that you do everything possible to ensure that this night away is as stress-free as possible. Here are some great tips that can help you know everything you need to when it comes to leaving your baby overnight.
Leave Them With Someone Who Has Experience With Kids
First of all, you need to decide who you want to look after your child. Most parents choose a family member or close friend to be the first person they leave their child with as their baby will probably already be very familiar with them. However, a relative or friend isn’t enough. Ideally, it needs to be someone who has plenty of experience of looking after young children already. They will then have plenty of knowledge and will have a better idea of how to act in any unusual situations or emergencies.
Don’t Let Yourself Feel Guilty
It is perfectly natural to start feeling guilty about leaving your child for a night. You might start to think that you are abandoning them, but this really isn’t’ the case. Your baby will be in good hands if you leave them with someone who is responsible and has plenty of baby experience. It’s also important to remember that you do certainly deserve the night off looking after your baby. You will have worked so hard already and it’s probably high time that you enjoyed a date night with your partner.
Get The Sitter To Stay At Yours
It could be tempting to take your baby to stay the night with their sitter. You might think that this would make sense especially if your baby knows the friend or relative who you are leaving them with really well. However, the little one might not be so used to the sitter’s house, and this change of scenery and environment might be quite unsettling for them. It could be better to get your sitter to come to you so that your baby can stay in your own home. They will then find it a lot easier to settle for the night as they will be surrounded by familiar things even if you aren’t there.
Leave Your Baby’s Favorite Toy Or Blanket With Them
I’m sure that your baby will have their preferred comforter, which could be anything from a special toy to a cozy blanket. Having this item close to them will help them settle better while you are away and it will also help the sitter to soothe them if they start to cry. All they will need to do is show them their favorite item, and it should help to calm the baby. One extra little tip is to sleep with this item the night before you leave them. Your scent will then transfer onto it, which will again help to settle them when you aren’t around.
Give The Sitter A Short Plan
It’s always worth writing up a quick plan that includes everything your sitter will need to know while you are away. This may include things like your baby’s usual bedtime, feeding times, nap times, and any special information like dietary requirements and medication that they may be on. If the sitter is staying overnight or for part of the night, it’s also worth including a few pointers about your home as well. For instance, you might want to leave some instructions on how to turn the central heating or air conditioning system on.
Expect To Feel Nervous
It’s perfectly fine to feel nervous about leaving your baby for the first time, as it will be a completely new experience for both of you. Plus, not really knowing how your baby is going to react will also be quite a worry. These nerves are to be expected and all new parents feel them when they leave their young child for the first time. Don’t let these nerves put you off from going away for the night. This is definitely a treat that you and your partner deserve!
Get Discreet Updates
If you want, you could ask your sitter to send you regular updates so that you have an idea of how your baby is doing in your absence. It is always best for your sitter to send you discreet updates so that your baby isn’t aware of them contacting you. For instance, if they hear your voice over the phone, it could really upset them as it reminds them that you aren’t there. It’s best to send a SMS message or online fax via email if you are able to. Your baby won’t be aware that you have been in touch, but you’ll still be able to get some updates about how they are doing.
Make Sure There Is Plenty Of Milk In
If your baby still has lots of milk through the day and night, you need to make sure that there is plenty in your kitchen. Then the sitter will be able to feed your baby at the usual times without any problems. You should leave any necessary instructions with regards on how to prepare any formula and how to heat up the milk to the correct temperature.
Tell The Sitter Where The First-Aid Kit Is
Your sitter needs to be prepared for every kind of eventuality, that includes any emergencies that might occur. So, you should tell them where you keep your first-aid kit. They will then be able to quickly access any band aids and bandages in case they or the baby have an accident. It could also be useful to show them where your medicine cupboard is so that they have access to any pain medication and other syrups and ointments that you have.
Leave Them Some Emergency Phone Numbers
Another way you can ensure your sitter is well prepared for every eventuality is giving them a list of useful emergency numbers that they will be able to use if they ever need to. This list should include your mobile number and the phone number of the restaurant or venue you will be at for most of the night. That way, there won’t be any difficulty in trying to contact you if something does happen. It’s also worth leaving the phone number of another close friend or relative who the sitter could get in touch with if you were unavailable for whatever reason. As well as these numbers, give them contact details for your family doctor and anyone else who you think might be useful in an emergency.
Stock Up With Plenty Of Diapers And Wipes
Another thing that you need to stock up on is diapers. If your baby still wears diapers through the night, your sitter will need to be ready to change them. If you use any specialist kind of diaper, be sure to give your sitter a quick run through of how to put them on the baby before you leave. Don’t forget wet wipes either – your sitter will need plenty of them to clean up any mess!
Consider Doing A Trial Run
One great idea is to do a quick trial run with your baby and the sitter. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to leave them for a whole night together. However, it could be useful to see how your baby is with being left for an hour or two with the sitter. Before you do leave them together, it’s worth introducing them to each other while you are there if they don’t already know one another. This trial run will help get the baby used to their sitter so there should be fewer tears when you leave them for the night.
Make Sure You Enjoy Your Night Out
One of the most important things to remember is that you need to enjoy your night out! If you don’t hear anything from your sitter, then it’s perfectly fine to assume everything is going just swimmingly back at home.
If you follow all of the tips above, then you will be able to enjoy your night out without worrying about your baby!