4. Make Your Exit
Before heading off for the evening, give the new sitter both your and your husband's cell phone numbers, along with the numbers of the local hospital, fire, and police departments, says Angela Mickalide, program director for the National Safe Kids Campaign.
And be sure to thoroughly explain your baby's schedule so your sitter will know when your little one needs to be fed and how he likes to be put to sleep. "Babies are creatures of habit, and you want yours to feel secure and comfortable in your sitter's care," Varden says. "If your baby always goes to sleep with a teddy bear in the crib, the bear should be in his crib."
Once you've settled in your child with his new babysitter, the best thing for you to do is relax and go. And while you're out, don't be surprised if all you talk about is your favorite subject -- your baby!
Rosemary Black, mother of six, is a writer in Pleasantville, New York.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, December 2004.