Date night is really happening. You’re dressed and ready to go. The babysitter is here. You have actual plans. Now comes the long list of instructions and suggestions before you even walk out the door. What feels like hours later you drive away from the house only to realize you forgot to tell the sitter something. Leaving the house for an adult evening is no small task, but getting out the door to enjoy said evening doesn’t have to be tough.
The Knoxville Moms Blog and I are here with the ultimate babysitter checklist! Did I mention the free printables?
Stating the obvious, stuff happens. Your emergency contact sheet should have more than just dial 911 and the name of a dependable neighbor. There are some free online resources, but I thought they all fell a little short. I combined their best attributes to craft my own emergency contact sheet. Your list of emergency numbers should include Poison Control, the nearest hospital, your pediatrician and dentist, along with the nearest pharmacy. Be sure to provide your health insurance information including your policy and group number. Your list of emergency contacts can be family members, friends or neighbors. Be sure to include all the ways those people can be reached (cell, home, work, etc.). Finally, provide your family contact information (you and your spouse) and your home address. Heaven forbid your babysitter has to call 911, they need to be able to get help to the right address.
I can’t take credit for coming up with this one. Grandpa and grandma came from out of town to watch the kids overnight. They requested a list of all the nearest medical facilities and our pharmacy. (My enthusiasm for preparedness is clearly genetic!) Your list should be the facilities closest to your house complete with full addresses and telephone numbers. I also included East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for obvious reasons and the closest urgent care clinic. Don’t forget your dentist and pharmacy.
Some of you will be leaving really little ones at home. You know, the ones that coo but don’t really communicate. One of our awesome babysitters asked for a list of the things our child loves to do. Favorite toys, books, dancing to music, etc. This is also a good spot to list tried-and-true tricks. Singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” softly to my son always seems to soothe him. For older children this could include your rules for screen time and more.
A rough chronological breakdown of the day — nap and bed times are key. I also include a short list of mom-approved snacks and meals (be sure to mention any food allergies), because even though pizza is being delivered, someone may inevitably change their mind. Hello toddlers!
5. Your Plans
Where are you going on this magical/romantic/once-in-a-blue-moon date night? Leave the name, address and phone number of the spot. And how can you be reached? Is it your cell and your spouse’s cell? Write it down. Again. Also include pertinent information like when you scheduled that pizza delivery.
6. Keep It Organized
I found a plastic folder for my array of lists. I typed and printed out all of them except “Your Plans.” When it’s time to leave the house kid-free again, you just have to grab your folder and you’re (mostly) ready to go. My mom found a cute “Parents’ Night Out” notepad to help streamline your lists from Knock Knock. It’s been discontinued, but you can still buy one through Amazon.
In addition to the sitter’s folder I also have a designated first aid kit at the ready. Though I have a giant basket of that kind of stuff, I realized I didn’t want the babysitter to dig for what was needed. Instead, I keep a compact first aid kit purchased from Amazon in our central bathroom. Of course, I let the sitter know it’s there. The first aid kit is only for that use so no one is allowed to snag a Band-Aid from it.