First Night Away From Baby Checklist

We took the plunge and spent our first night away from our baby. My parents graciously watched H while we gallivanted off to Louisville for a wedding. I knew it would be difficult to tear myself away from my sweetie, but I didn’t know how difficult it would be to relay all the ins and outs of caring for him each day. Here’s a checklist to help you communicate to your babysitter when you spend your first night away.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of an over-planner, so it looks like I’m preparing for a launch to the moon with all this information. But hey, I’m a first time mom. Cut me some slack.

General Care

  • Naptimes and Bedtime
    • what time and for how long will he sleep
    • detailed naptime and bedtime routine descriptions
    • bathtime tips
    • what to do if he doesn’t sleep — how long do you let him cry, etc.
  • Bottle Feedings
    • when to feed him
    • in what room and in what position does he like to eat
    • how much should he eat
    • how long is a bottle “good”
    • what if he refuses it
    • how to wash the bottles
  • Solids Feedings
    • when to feed him
    • where to feed him — how does the high chair work
    • what to feed him
    • how much should he eat
    • daily vitamins
  • Playtime
    • favorite activities
    • typical active and inactive times of the day
    • safety concerns
    • fussy baby fixes
    • how to work any strollers, swings, favorite toys, etc.
  • Baby Monitor
    • draw a diagram and label what all the important buttons mean
  • Where to Find…
    • diapers
    • wipes
    • diaper rash ointment
    • burp cloths
    • bibs
    • pacifiers
    • toys
    • clothes
    • sleepsacks
    • baby food
    • bottles
    • sippy cups
    • first aid materials


  • Preparing the Baby
    • how to use the carseat
    • pacifier clipped to baby
    • sunscreen
    • bib and bottle in the car
    • toys in the car
  • Diaper Bag Essentials
    • your wallet
    • key to our home
    • iPhone
    • wipes
    • hand sanitizer
    • extra pacifier
    • emergency contact information card
    • diapers
    • bib and/or burp cloth
    • sunglasses
    • extra outfit for baby
    • toys for baby
    • first aid kit
    • formula
    • bottle with water
    • stroller
    • plastic bag for diaper disposal
    • sunhat for baby
  • Printed Maps and Directions
    • grocery store
    • nearby park or other activity


  • Pets
    • when and how much to feed
    • favorite activities
    • pet/baby safety
    • sleeping arrangement
  • Home
    • how to work the TV
    • alarm system and code
    • key to the home; how to lock and unlock doors
    • food — consider making or buying dinner for your babysitter ahead of time, so they don’t have to worry about it
    • any necessary chores — watering plants, dishwasher, laundry, etc.
  • Emergency Information
    • parents’ full names
    • parents’ phone numbers
    • parents’ location address and phone number (cell phones sometimes fail)
    • trusted neighbor’s name, address, and phone number
    • child’s full name
    • child’s birthdate
    • child’s weight
    • pediatrician’s name, address, and phone number
    • insurance card
    • hospital of choice
    • pharmacy phone number
    • poison control phone number
    • ambulance service phone number
    • fire department phone number
    • police department phone number
    • when in doubt, dial 911 copy

It was absolutely wonderful to hit the road without a panting dog or crying baby in the backseat. It felt just like the carefree old days with my main man, Andy. The wedding was lovely. We danced the night away without a care in the world — except for all those times we looked at pictures and videos of H on our phones. Enjoy your first night away, and try to get some sleep.

You might also like 5 Month Favorites and Guest Post: Travel Tips — Flying With Baby.

Pre Oscars Date Night

Pre Oscars Date Night

One of our favorite annual traditions is watching the Oscar nominated animated short films at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis. It’s the perfect date for Andy and I: he likes to check out the latest animation technology, I like to see the arsty films, and we both like the popcorn. As the Oscars rolled around this year, it was clear that leaving H at home with a babysitter just wasn’t in the cards; however, we couldn’t let our tradition die. Andy managed to find the animated short films online. What a great date night for new parents. The films don’t take long to watch, and you don’t have to leave the house. I’ve gathered links to the short films below. Enjoy your at-home date, and don’t forget the popcorn.

Note: These films may be taken off the internet prior the Academy Awards. If my links no longer work, search online for the films after the Oscars, when the studios usually make them available again.

Adam and Dog

Adam and Dog

This unusual take on the story of Adam and Eve certainly appeals to us dog lovers. The animation style is lovely, as is the story. It’s a bit slow-moving for my taste, but still an enjoyable view. You’ll definitely squeeze your pet a little closer after you watch it.

Fresh Guacamole www.wisemamablog.comFresh Guacamole 

Though it lasts only 90 seconds and lacks a real plot, this was my favorite animated short. It’s fresh and inventive. I found myself laughing with delight throughout, and I’m guessing you’ll get a kick out of it too.

Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels

Creative and sweet, with an unexpected ending, I couldn’t ask for more from Head Over Heels. It explores an elderly couple’s relationship. Let’s just say they don’t see eye to eye. Soon, Head Over Heels will only be available on iTunes for $1.99. It’s worth the price; I predict it as the winner.



This Disney film has all the ingredients of a smash hit — beautiful animation, whimsical story, and a happy ending. For some reason, I found myself lacking an emotional reaction to the film, but the black and white animation sure is lovely.

The Longest Daycare

Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

The Longest Daycare has the humor and zip of The Simpsons without the cynical undertones. We see the world through Maggie’s eyes, and it turns out she’s a pretty clever gal. The full-length film was taken down recently, but you can get a feel for it by watching the “summer’s shortest trailer.”

Enjoy watching the Academy Awards on Sunday. Don’t forget to make your Oscar predictions using the Oscars app, and set up a friendly reward for the winner. Maybe the hubs has to take out the diaper trash for a week. Just a suggestion.

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