Prepping for a weekend away – how to acclimate your sitter & child!

This past weekend Duncan and I took our second weekend away from Cam – and our first using a non-family member. Not only were we traveling out of the country – from San Francisco to Toronto – but none of our family members were in town during this specific weekend to serve as emergency contacts. Cam is very social and loves new sitters – or playmates as he sees them – but I wanted to make certain I set everyone up for success. Whether you are utilizing a sitter to go away for a weekend or stay over night while you are delivering baby number two, use the guidelines below to acclimate all parties & manage expectations.

  • Host a playdate with the sitter: We had our Celine – our Sensible Sitter – come over in the late afternoon to play with Cam while I prepared dinner,and then join us for the bedtime routine. This allowed for Celine to become comfortable with Cam’s night time routine & for Cam to get used to Celine in his own environment.
  • If you are leaving on a red eye, have the sitter present at bed time. We had Celine come over before Cam went to sleep the night we were leaving and explained to him that Celine would be there in the morning when he woke up. As to be expected, he was a bit confused in the morning but had a reference for Celine – which was most important.
  • Leave a schedule! We wrote out Cam’s daily schedule with options for outings. If there is anything you are not comfortable with, outline this. For example, if you prefer they not drive your child or go beyond a specific boundary it is best to outline those rules.
  • Leave a menu & stock the fridge. Leaving a menu of Cam’s favorite foods made it very easy for Celine to prep his meals. I stocked up on plenty of snacks – as well as all his staples – and left spending money for any forgotten items. I also checked in with Celine to ask what she would like handy for meals and left some fun desert treats. Who doesn’t want chocolate covered almonds after a long day with a toddler?
  • Leave all emergency information. This should include a copy of the child’s health insurance card, emergency contact information, the nearest hospital, pediatrician’s number & the information for where you will be staying. We also included a release form to drive Cam & left in his diaper bag along with his museum memberships.
  • If you would like texts, call updates and/or photos: outline those expectations. Let the sitter know how frequently you would appreciate them.
  • While your child may be sleeping through the night on a regular basis, give them instructions on how to comfort your child if the should wake up.
  • Show the sitter where all children’s medicine is kept & leave specific instructions (in writing) as to your preference on medicine being administered should it be needed.
  • We opted to not facetime because it tends to confuse Cam – he is 21 months and we tend to still be “out of sight, out of mind” but if we facetime, he can get a bit sad or confused. Do what feels right for you!
  • Enjoy the weekend away!

We received this photo montage, which made our day!



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