Turing over the Reins & Living it Up
You're not out the door yet. Be sure to take these five extra precautions.
- Post emergency numbers in a visible place. It's not enough to leave your cell-phone number -- if you're somewhere loud, you may not hear it ring -- so write down direct contact info as well (such as the restaurant's phone number). Local emergency numbers should be posted and also listed in your baby-sitter binder.
- Say good-bye and mean it. Your infant may become distressed that you're leaving, especially if you're nervous yourself. "Your baby picks up on your emotions," Dunkley cautions. Kiss the child and walk away, resisting the urge to run back if you hear him wailing.
- Don't stray far or long. Make your first outing to a place nearby, advises Tori Kropp, R.N., author of Ask Tori, a syndicated pregnancy and baby-care column. You and your sitter will both feel better knowing you could get home in a hurry. And limit yourself to one or two hours.
- Check in while you're out -- once. Keep the call brief, unless there's something specific to discuss.
- Check in when you're back. "Take a few minutes to talk to the sitter and find out how the experience went," Dunkley advises. The feedback will help you fine-tune future preparations.
Living It Up
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once wisecracked about his disappointment with some instant soup he'd made. "Then," he quipped, "I realized I'd forgotten to follow the final step of the directions: 'Enjoy!' "
He's on to something: You can hire the most responsible sitter in the world, but it will all be for nothing if you fret the entire time you're out.
Relax. Going a few hours without you is good for your child. "It gives her a chance to grow accustomed to different people," Kropp says. And it gives you a chance to get reacquainted with someone near and dear whom you haven't had much time for lately, like a friend, your spouse -- or yourself.