Every parent deserves the occasional night out on the town, but sometimes the preparation involved turns the evening into more work than it's worth. Securing a sitter, factoring in the additional cost, prepping the sitter . . . once you're a mama, there's definitely more to a night out than picking out a great outfit and calling a cab. Allow us to make at least one of those steps a bit easier. Since you're likely to be rushing out the door when your sitter arrives, we've compiled an all-encompassing checklist of what she needs to know before you head out of the house.
- The All-Important Contact Info: Your sitter probably already has your number programmed into her phone. Make sure that this is in fact the case, that her battery's charged (or she has access to a charger), and that once you're out, you're accessible as well. If you're at dinner or a movie, keep your phone in your pocket and on vibrate. Give her a backup number of someone you'll be with, too — just in case.
- Food and Drink 411: It's better to over-inform than leave out pertinent information when it comes to your little one's nutritional needs. Don't assume anything, and be very thorough in reviewing what your child/children can eat and drink, being sure to highlight any allergies.
- Where Am I?: Make sure that your address and (if applicable) landline are written down. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it's crucial that your sitter be able to tell the police or fire department where she's located. Also relevant in the more likely case of a pizza delivery.
- House Tour: If it's your sitter's first time to the house or apartment, have her come a good 30 minutes early so that you can show her around and answer any questions without being in a rush.
- Baby Bio: Again, if you're using a new sitter, you'll want to spend a few minutes going over your child's age, likes/dislikes, and what he or she can do and can't do. What's obvious to you may not be obvious to her, so be thorough!
- Just In Case: In case of an emergency, you should be the sitter's first call. But having the numbers of the nearest hospital, your pediatrician, poison control, fire department, and police department handy is a smart move.