As a stay at home mom, I, of course, spent much of my second pregnancy anxious for the hospital stay having baby number two while away from baby number one. Luckily my mom, Brielle’s “Gwenma” (her personal Grandma name since her first name is Gwen) will be staying over to help take care of her during this time. Gwenma doesn’t live close so she’s never babysat Brielle before. But since Brielle has been going to daycare two days a week for over 10 months now and has been babysat by a few other family members, I know they’ll both be fine.
Don’t get me wrong, I have full confidence that my mom can handle a few days with my crazy girl but, as a planner, I’m trying to think ahead and help my mom out on a few things she might not know, especially since she’s not from our area of the state. Those who know me in real life will not find it surprising to know that I’ve been putting together a “Guide to Babysitting Brielle” Google doc for this special time. :)
If you too are expecting to be away for an extended period of time and want to think ahead, here’s what I included in our babysitting guidebook:
- Typical Daily Schedule – Since Brielle is in daycare two days a week, we do our best to follow the same schedule she expects there on days she’s home. While I do realize there might be some different things happening while I’m away, it will probably benefit my mom to know what a typical day is like since Brielle is a girl who loves her routine (just like her mama!)
- Naptime/Bedtime Routine – Brielle has been luckily sleeping through the night since 15 months but many of the things that lead up to bedtime help make that happen. It also helps to know about the things we learned the hard way (like pushing the crib away from the wall since she found the light switch and likes to flip it on and off)
- Shopping List & Typical Meals/Snacks – Having a baby is unpredictable so while I hope I’ll leave a stocked fridge/pantry for my mom’s babysitting adventure, it might not be the case. I’ve written up a short list of basic fresh items Brielle consumes in case my mom has to go out to shop. I’ve also listed the common options Brielle eats at each meal but I’ll leave the actual meal planning to her!
- Daycare – It’s likely I’ll have the baby during a time when Brielle would typically go to daycare so I’d like to keep that routine if it’s her day to attend. This sheet explains any routines the daycare requires (id card usage, sign in sheet, hand washing), the address and contact information, and supplies that we need to bring daily.
- Directions to Local Park – Our neighborhood has lots of similar looking houses which can be overwhelming. I’ve written out the left/right turns needed to get there when out for a walk. (At my mom’s request, I also put the step by step directions to return so she doesn’t have to think and just follows the sheet :) )
- For Her Entertainment – In case Brielle is in daycare one of these days, I’ve highlighted a few places my mom might enjoy for shopping adventures. This page also includes the address to the hospital where I’ll be so she can visit her new granddaughter.
- Miscellaneous notes – Things like how to turn the TV on (yes we have several remotes), favorite channels where you can easily find Sesame Street, or a reminder on where we keep the magnetic lock for all the babyproofed kitchen cabinets.
What else would you include on your list for first time sitters?