Leaving Your Child with a Caregiver

**UPDATE: So obviously we are already back from our trip but I completely forgot to post this before we left! And in retrospect, although some of this was excessive, my mom did find the medical sheets helpful when she had to bring Max to the doctor for a little cough.**

Ok, so- Ryan and I are going to Greece tomorrow- our first trip sans-kids, well….ever!  And despite my snowballing anxiety about leaving- I’d say we are long over-due. Anyways, ever since I posted on my instagram stories about leaving behind a full-blown pamphlet for my mom who is watching the kids, I’ve gotten so many questions. I figured I’d tell you quickly about what I’m leaving for my mom.

First of all, I should start by telling you that my mom is the most trustworthy, capable human for the job. Not only did she raise three of us, but she also ran an in-home daycare for most of her/our lives. She’s been called “The Baby Whisperer” and it’s not even a joke. So, the job is not daunting to her in the least, it’s in her nature and she thrives with a household of children. That being said, I simply cannot control my OCD, Type-A personality and therefore am leaving her with a complete novel about the runnings of our household.

As crazy as you may think I am (and I well in fact may be!), there are some documents and pieces of information that should ALWAYS be left behind when you are leaving your children with someone-even an overqualified grandparent. Here is what I left my mom (I’ve starred the ones I think are crucial):

  1. DAILY LIFE: I leave a full blown schedule of the day: morning to night. This list includes meal times, meal ideas, bottle/nap times, camp pick-up/drop off times, activities the kids are and are not allowed to do while we are away (ex. No swinging from the dangerous gymnastics bar in the garage while Mimi is in charge), bath schedules, diaper size, locations of all shampoos, bug sprays, sunscreens ect. I discuss monitors, bedtime routines, including how to handle wake-ups in the middle of the night. Literally anything that happens from the minute they wake up to the minute the wake up the following day is included…you know, just in case! 😉
    • Camp: I signed the girls up for camp M-F from 9-2 to give my mom a break and keep the girls busy (and get them super tired!) So I left a full page all about camp:times, address, directions, required attire, what the girls need to pack/bring each day.
  2. FOOD: Since my mom doesn’t live in the area, I left her a bunch of restaurant to-go menus and menus from restaurants that will deliver. I also gave her a list of meal ideas that I know the kids will eat without complaint, and a list of nearby drive-throughs. We also went grocery shopping for the week together and talked about things the girls like in their lunchboxes (for camp) and then created a big “snack basket” in the pantry with individual bags of snacks to make packing lunches super easy. I usually don’t give the kids lots of snack like this- so they think it’s SUCH a special treat!
  3. * MEDICAL:
    • I walked through our medicine cabinet with my mom. Made sure it contained essentials and non-expired meds like: thermometer, tylenol, benedryl, etc. I also left a post-it note in the medicine box with each kids current weight for medicine dosing purposes.
    • Next, I printed out a sheet with the name, number, address AND typed directions for the following: our Pediatrician, our “Pediatrics After Hours” Facility, Urgent Care ER, and Hospital.
    • Another SUPER important thing you should always leave your caretaker is a CONSENT FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT. You can type one up yourself but I used this one from Rocket Lawyer and then just printed the draft because I’m cheap and didn’t want to pay for the professional docs. Don’t judge. If you make one yourself it should include a statement saying:
      • “I  (your full name) give (caretakers full name and address) consent and authority to obtain medical treatment for the following child(ren): (include name and date of birth of each child)”
      • Include the dates the caregiver has this authority
      • Include preferred hospital/doctor name and address
      • Include full Insurance information
      • Sign & Date
  4. *OUR ITINERARY: You never know when cell service will be spotty, so we left her a loose itinerary of where we will be traveling, hotel addresses/website and phone numbers, and all of our flight information so that she could ALWAYS find us in case of emergency.
  5. *LIST OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: We lucked out in this department! We have the best neighbors and friends who all volunteered to help if need be. So I left my mom a page of my friend’s names, kids names, and phone numbers. I also left instructions/permission for which kids are allowed to have play dates, etc. (If you’re wondering I said only Q was allowed play dates, only with the people on the list, and that no sleepovers were allowed.)
  6. OUTFITS: Ok, this one, I admit, is my full-blown OCD kicking in, but I paired up and laid out enough outfits for each day we’d be gone. I put them all in Ardyn’s room so that my mom can use that as a sort-of “giant closet/dressing room” for the kids…since the girls sleep together in Q’s room most nights anyways! For camp, I made sure I had the girls daily camp attire (leotards, shorts, hair clips, flip-flops) set aside as well.
  7. *STROLLERS/CARSEATS: We walked through how to open/close all the baby gear she would be needing/using. Those contraptions can be tricky sometimes.
  8. ELECTRONICS: Since we have some tvs in our house that are kind of complicated to use, we have typed-up remote control instructions that we leave with any sitter we use. My mom will find this helpful so that she can maneuver apple tv, DVR, etc. in case she needs to put something on for the kids or wants to watch her own shows at night.
  9. BEHAVIOR INCENTIVE FOR KIDS: We talked a lot to each kid about behavior expectations and responsibilities. I then sat with the girls and created this pom-pom jar with their help (based on an incentive jar I used to use in my classroom). We did it quickly and it’s NOT perfect, but I allowed the girls to help set the rules so that they understand how it all works. We left lots of “incentives”  and “goals” for them to work towards so I don’t think behavior will be a problem. They are already SO excited about filling that jar and earning some prizes. I’ll include the page I typed up, but again…it’s nothing fancy or perfect. Just the quick work of me and my 6 & 4 year old! 😉  Pom Pom Rules

That’s it…I think! Hope that was helpful and answered some of your questions!

I think I’m forgetting something though, I’m sure of it! 😉

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