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Looking back, I can’t believe how often I took alone time with my husband for granted before kids.

I mean, when we were newlyweds we took several classes together at school. We even worked together at an early morning custodial job. We saw each other all the time. Date nights were regular and often no big deal. Somehow, ignorantly, I think I sort of felt it would always be that way.

I didn’t realize how significantly children would impact our life as a couple! I guess I thought kids would entertain themselves more than they actually do.

First-Family-Photo-3

After our babies were born, it took more than a year each time for us to feel comfortable leaving them. On one hand, we couldn’t wait to run out the door, but on the other hand, we were nervous to leave them in another’s hands. So far we’ve only trusted family members with several-hour date nights. Our parents, and my younger sister Lauren.

Our first full date-night out after both kids was over our anniversary and, even though we trusted our babies were in good hands with our parents, my husband made sure to give them an extra-detailed checklist and ran through it several times.

It was pretty adorable to see him go into hyper-protective daddy mode.

date night

As our kids get bigger, we become more comfortable with a greater variety of sitters, and I’m counting down the days until my 10-year-old sister can watch her niece and nephew for me. I’ll finally get to cash in payback for all of my babysitting hours growing up.

Lil’ J had admired her from day one, and it’s sweet watching them grow up together something like sisters.

aunt and niece

Occasionally, I’ll have her come over and help play with my kiddos while I get some work done. At first, I was so frustrated because they’d wind up arguing most of the time. But once I created a checklist and schedule, she quickly evolved into a legit babysitter.

I found this was a great way to help her feel in charge, and take responsibility for her job (even though I was just in the next room).

tips for creating a babysitters checklist

When making your own checklist, think of the dos and don’ts of your household and include that in a list of expectations for your babysitter. It also helped for me to write down our typical schedule so she knew when the kids would be hungry and expect a snack, or when my son would be ready for a nap. A little extra preparation on my end left me feeling more comfortable leaving her in charge. Having a list handy will help you take off for your first date and feel more at ease.

Some things to put on the babysitter checklist:

  • Your child’s before bed routine
  • Parent’s contact information
  • Emergency contact information (in case they can’t reach you)
  • Number for your pediatrician, hospital and local poison control
  • Special needs and sensitivities
  • Favorite bedtime stories
  • TV/ screen time rules
  • Meal schedule and menu
  • Special instructions
  • Medication reminders
  • Suggested activities

It’ll be nice when my sister is a little older and can fly solo with our little ones (man, it would be awesome to have a date night once a week!), but until then, she’ll be logging plenty of practice hours, and we’ll be dreaming of more fun dates.

indoor skydiving

What other tips to you recommend having in your babysitter’s checklist?

How to Be a Great Babysitter Tips & Babysitter Checklist! How to train your perfect babysitter or help your kids have fun.

This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. Allstate is here to help protect your firsts and the moments in between. Share your firsts with #HeresToFirsts.


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Cynthia L says:

This is a great check list. I have to admit that when my daughter was growing up, my partner and I never went on dates. I look back and I am really sorry we didn’t. When my daughter went to college, we found that we had to readjust to just being the two of us and finding things to talk about and do. I think if we had regular dates, we wouldn’t have that issue.

Shirley Wood says:

Because my children are 8 years apart, my oldest learned good babysitting skills as her little sister grew. Now my oldest has 5 children of her own and her oldest can babysit their younger siblings. Date nights are so important for couples! Be sure to always make time for each other. It’s so easy to get busy with life and getting things done that we forget to make ‘date’ time for each other!

Awesome checklist! I’m just like you, we have only had family members babysit. Since having baby #2 we have only left the kids alone for really short periods of time too – an hour or two max for running errands. Date night needs to make a comeback! Thanks for the checklist.

Jennifer B says:

This is a great check list! When my kids were much smaller, we would not leave them with anyone, so we were long overdue for a date night! Nowadays, my oldest child is big enough to babysit for short periods of time! 🙂

It is good to lay out your expectations for childcare. Your checklist is a reasonable one, not like some of the insane ones I have seen. Good job.

Ida says:

This checklist is excellent. My kids are 10,9 and 8 and I still feel bad for leaving them with a sitter. Luckily, we have family close by and that settles my nerves.

Family close by definitely helps!

Baby Bottle says:

This is a great check list.Good job!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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