All parents get the leaving-their-children-for-the-first-time jitters. You’re not alone. This
emotional first-time experience may have you feeling overwhelmed or nervous. So, here are 6 basic ways to help you be prepared for that first twinsitter (aka: twin babysitter) experience and help lessen your anxiety.
1. Plan ahead of time
Once you’ve chosen a twinsitter who has experience with babies, who can be trusted with your most precious loves, and as a bonus is someone who’s familiar with your multiples individually, the first thing to do is be as prepared as possible. Don’t wing it. Take time to plan for this first sitter, then as you’re comfortable, preparing for sitters will become a habitual part of going out. Mentally run through the routine of tasks they’ll need to do to care for your multiples while you’re out and make sure they have what they need to get them done.
2. Get things ready beforehand
Pretty much, do as much as you can for them. What’s the point of a twinsitter if you’re going to do things for them? You’re allowing them to spend the time they need caring for your babies, instead of running around the house looking for a refill on diapers or trying to figure out how to make a bottle. Make the diapers and all that’s needed for changes clearly accessible and easy to use.
3. Prepare bottles, clothes and explain the routine.
Prepare the bottles and lay out bibs or burp cloths that need to be used. Layout clothes or pajamas you want them to use. Make things easy for them. Not only having things prepared and ready for them to access, but making a list of the babies’ routine will help the twinsitter know what to expect. Do your multiples drink their bottles at a particular time? Tell the sitter what time that is and show them the procedure for heating and administering them so there’s no questions or confusion when it’s feeding time. If you’ve mastered, or at least use an efficient way to feed both at the same time, share that with your twinsitter. Do they have a specific bedtime routine? Share that too. Make their life easier since they’re doing the same for you. The sitter should know about what time to expect your twinnies to get hungry, sleepy, fussy, or messy. Then, they should be armed with the supplies and actions it’ll take to calm them because you’ve prepared what they’ll need.
4. Make sure you can be contacted
Make sure to give multiple contact methods to the sitter to call in the event of an emergency is a must. This may seem obvious, but for a new sleep-deprived mom, it’s worth the reminder. Leave at least two easy to find and read contact methods for emergency or, Where’s the diaper cream? calls. Your contact plus a person who will be with you if you’re going out together and even a contact of someone else familiar with the multiples can’t hurt. This will make you feel more at ease and will give them another outlet to contact if they get overwhelmed. Along with the contact phone numbers, write the address of where the little ones are being twinsat. You know the address by heart, but in an emergency or rush, someone who doesn’t have the address memorized would likely have to take the time to look it up. So, make it easy for them to see.
You should have the babysitter’s number too. Not that you’re going to be one of those parents who calls and checks in on them every fifteen minutes, but having a way to reach them is a good idea. Also part of being prepared for the first twinsitter is to have the mindset to get a call while you’re away. Most probably check the phone plenty often and would quickly answer, especially when you know it’s the twinsitter calling since you have their number. You gave them at least two phone numbers to call, so be prepared and expect them to use them. Maybe you’ll be fortunate to even get a picture of your babies sleeping perfectly to put you at ease.
Once all of the physical items are prepared and written, ask your sitter to come over at least 30 minutes before you need to leave. If you’re a detailed person or if you foresee having a hard time leaving without your little ones for one of the first times, plan the time accordingly. This will allow you to comfortably explain and run through the routine and items you’ve taken the time to think through and lay out for them. Be sure to let them ask questions to be clear and comfortable with your expectations. It’s likely a lot of information that you’ll be sharing and won’t be as obvious to them as it is to you.
6. Get The Twins Ready
Now that your home is prepared, your twinsitter is prepared, and you’re prepared, don’t forget to prepare the twins! Having them content when the sitter arrives is a good idea. That way, they’re not overwhelmed and thinking, “What have I committed to?” as soon as they arrive. Make it easy and inviting for them to twinsit. If you have to feed you twins a little earlier than their normal schedule in order to have them content when the sitter arrives and while you explain your expectations, so be it. It’s worth the peace.
Being prepared for the twinsitter and showing you put thought and time into them being willing to help will prove to make them feel more at ease and might even encourage them to come back for a second twinsitting experience. Yes, a willing person to give you free time…on your own… as an adult…with no diaper bag! Do everything you can to be prepared and encourage them to want to help again.
Liza Mead is a stay-at-home-mama to fraternal twin boys and has a background in interior design and marketing, both of which she works in second to her favorite titles as Wife and Mommy. In Raleigh, North Carolina, when her twins are content or sleeping, she spends time organizing, being involved in church events, and event planning. She’s thankful for the blessing of each day’s new memories created. For articles by Liza on Twiniversity, click here
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