Of all the new experiences you’ll share with your new baby, perhaps one of the more challenging is leaving your newborn with a sitter. Whether because you’re going back to work or the need to take some time for yourself, trusting the care of your baby to someone else is nerve-wracking. Check out our list of the top 5 tips for leaving your baby with a sitter for the first time.
Finding a reliable babysitter is crucial, especially if you’re going back to work, since you need to know your sitter is available at the same time every day. It’s great if your mother or neighbor says they’d love to watch your little one for you, but you need to make sure they can commit to a set schedule. When interviewing potential sitters, follow up on their references to ask about their punctuality and communication style.
When in doubt, write it out! Start with a brief schedule of what your baby is likely to do and need while you’re away. Include notes for nap times, food, activities, as well as emergency contact information. Not only will making a list help you organize your thoughts, it can also relax nerves and ease your anxiety about leaving your baby. Don’t worry if you forget anything—your sitter can always call or text you if they have questions.
After you organize your thoughts about what your baby needs, take a moment to prepare yourself for your time away from home. This could include making sure your work bag is packed, your lunch is ready, and you have your cell phone charged. If you're breastfeeding make sure you pack all your pumping supplies if you need to pump while away. You may also need to do some mental preparation before leaving your newborn with a sitter. It’s a big change, especially after spending so much time with your baby. The Owlet Cam is a great way to stay connected to your little one while you’re away. Stream HD video of your baby’s nursery right to your phone and even say hi with the two-way talk feature.
It might seem like a good idea to distract your baby then run out the door, but a vanishing act can actually cause more problems. To make your departure as easy as possible it’s best for your baby to have a positive first interaction with their babysitter. Encourage your sitter to engage your baby’s attention, then say a happy, quick goodbye. If your baby becomes upset the sitter should pick them up to reassure your little one they aren’t alone.
Understandably, you’re nervous about leaving your baby with a sitter for the first time. But keep in mind that even the most devoted mamas need time for themselves. So whether you’re headed out to relax or go to work, you and your baby will be okay. Yes, you’ll miss your baby, and there will be times your baby misses you, too. But coming home and seeing their sweet smiles and giggles will make you forget what you were ever worried about.