(Long Island, N.Y.) Preparing for a Las Vegas vacation—a little weekend getaway for just the two of us—was no easy task. Packing was a breeze, but making sure everything was set for the kids proved a bit challenging. The kids were going to spend the entire weekend with grandma and grandpa, and we figured it would be easier on everyone to have them watch the kids at our house. This way, the kid’s routines would not be shaken up too much. They get to sleep in their own beds, play with their own toys, and it’s pretty much business as usual.
If you’re planning a get-way without the kids, having the sitters watch your kids in the comfort of their own home is the way to go. Here are some tips to keep in mind to make the weekend go as smooth as possible.
Medicines. Make sure you leave any medicines your kids may need in a place that the babysitters can easily find. Another important tip to remember is dosage. A simple as possible, write down the doses your child gets on a piece of paper and tape it to the inside of the medicine cabinet. It will help take the guess work out and avoid any harmful overdoses.
Re-child proof. If your kids are young, chances are your house is already child-proofed, but there may be some areas that you’ve overlooked. YOU may know that the kids are not allowed in your bathroom closet, but your babysitters may not. When in doubt—don’t assume the babysitters know you keep a bottle of spray cleanser underneath the unlocked bathroom sink. Go through everything and anything that may be a potential hazard.
Phone numbers. I left a list on my refrigerator of numbers that the babysitters might need. The hotel we were staying at, our cell numbers, neighbors who could help out if they needed someone in a pinch, the children’s pediatrician, and poison control. This way, in case of an emergency, there wouldn’t be any scrambling around looking for phone numbers.
Food It’s a good idea to stock up on all the food your kids enjoy. I filled the pantry with their favorite snacks, to help the sitters in case of tantrums. I even filled what I call “the naughty drawer” with candy. Open this drawer only in emergency and the chocolate inside works best for bribery. I also made sure I had plenty of things on hand for grandma and grandpa, making sure there were plenty of good things for them to eat.
Goof-Proof Everyone’s television and cable works differently, so I left a detailed list how to work the television—how to access the DVR and put on a DVD. This way they didn’t have to fumble with the remote looking for the kid’s favorite channels. Sure, it doesn’t take a brain scientist to work a television, but I tried to make the whole house as goof-proof as possible—leaving simple instructions for all the electronics around the house.
Once all these things were taken care of…it was off to Vegas we went. (YES!) I did leave a note for grandma and grandpa pertaining to the kids schedules that I asked them to stick to whenever possible. Here’s the exact letter:
FOOD AND BED TIME SCHEDULE
These are my preferences for the kids while we are away. Their food and bedtime routine is as follows:
- Breakfast: Whatever they are screaming for
- Lunch: Same as above
- Dinner: Whatever you’re in the mood to eat
- Snacks: Whatever keeps them quiet
- Sleep: Whenever they pass out
- Wake-up: Just pray they sleep past 6:30