Taking time apart from your baby, even just for a few hours, can be stressful, especially the first time you do it. Finding the right person, someone you can trust to take good care of your child, is obviously very important. And so is leaving your caregiver with the vital information they might need while you’re away from home.
Here are some things to write down on a sheet of paper or a dry erase board that is easily visible for your caregiver.
- Phone numbers – Provide them with your cell phone number, and also leave the name and number of someone else to call in an emergency, just in case you can't be reached immediately.
- Doctor information – Write down the name and phone number of your child's doctor.
- Health insurance – If for some reason your caregiver needs to take your child to the hospital emergency room, you'll want them to have your health insurance information.
- Special needs – Be sure to clearly communicate your child's special health needs, allergies or medicines they might need to take. Leave a list on the refrigerator door of all food allergies. And if your child needs medicine, leave clear instructions on how and when to give the dose.
- Feeding instructions – Tell them how to store and heat your breast milk or formula.
These are just suggestions. You might have more or other information you want to leave with your caregiver. And it’s a good idea to go over this information together before you leave. This conversation with your caregiver is also an opportunity to discuss your house rules or bedtime routines. Clear, open communication will help you and your caregiver feel more at ease while you’re out and about.
Ofelia Gonzalez is the public information officer at First Things First. You can reach her at email@example.com