If you're like pretty much every single mom I know, then the mere thought of leaving your baby with a sitter for the very first time makes you want to hide in a closet while clutching and rocking the baby and cry your eyes out for a good two hours or so.
That pretty much sums up how I felt when trying to decide whether or not it was time to surrender control of my precious baby over to another human being -- other than immediate family, of course.
And apparently fearing the babysitter isn't a phenomenon that only happens to first-time moms. A good friend of mine just welcomed another little one into her family, and at 8 weeks, she's definitely not ready to pass her off to someone else just yet.
And I can't say that I blame her, because it took me WAY longer than that to get comfortable with the idea.
But looking back on my experience with my son, there were a few clear signs that told me he was ready to be cared for by someone else. I was at a point where I was ok with it too.
Here are six ways you know your baby can handle being left with a sitter, not to mention you being able to deal with it.
- He goes to bed without a big fuss -- If you can't get your baby down easily, there's no way the babysitter is going to be able to do it. But once your baby nods off at night without fighting it, odds are good he'll fall asleep for a sitter too.
- The "witching" hour period has passed -- The first couple of months with a new baby are so tough, especially when he has times of day where he cries for lengthy periods of time for no reason. When it's over, however, a whole new world opens up for parents -- and it's one that welcomes babysitters.
- He's off the boob -- Or at least he's able to be bottle fed if you are pumping. Um, if the sitter can't feed your baby, things aren't going to go well. Period.
- He has an established routine -- This one is particularly important if you are headed out for the night. Getting into a good bedtime routine that a sitter can easily follow is key to making sure your baby is ready for her.
- He'll let someone other than you hold him -- I was lucky -- my baby would go to anyone right from birth and never had an issue with it. But it takes a little longer for other infants to get used to anyone other than mom. Once you can hand him off without a major meltdown (from one or both of you), you're good to go.
- You can leave the house without your baby without hyperventilating -- Let's face it, you're a huge part of this equation too. It's HARD to leave your baby with a sitter for the very first time no matter who you are. But if you're so freaked out that you can't even relax and enjoy your kid-free time, you may want to consider giving it another month or two before booking a sitter.
Have you left your baby with a sitter yet? How did it go?
Image via Mary Fischer