When was the last time you and your husband had a night to yourselves? Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, a special anniversary, a birthday celebration, or just a random Tuesday night – date nights are important! Every couple deserves (and needs!) time together without little ones in tow.
A lot of families who start Sleep Training wonder, once we solve our sleep struggles and get into a good groove, does that mean I have to be there every night? If I leave my kiddos with a babysitter, is all of our hard work going to immediately go down the drain?
I want you to know that this doesn’t have to be the case! When I work with families, my goal is to find a plan that works for everyone. That includes you – the parents! I want you to be able to spend time together. Not only will you have time at night after your little one goes to sleep, but you’ll also feel more confident leaving them with your favorite babysitter.
If you’re ready to schedule that date night, here are a few tips to help the night go smoothly for everyone!
1. Set the Stage for Success
Before you head out for date night, you have to lay the groundwork. That means creating a bedtime routine that you can, and will, stick to night after night. Consistency will train your little one’s bodies and brains to recognize the predictable signals of their bedtime routine. So, when it comes time to have someone else sub in during their bedtime routine, they know the drill. Your babysitter will probably tell you that your kiddos told them exactly how bedtime should go, instead of it being the other way around!
2. Put Your Kiddos to Sleep, Then Head Out
Depending on what time your little ones go to bed, you could time your date night so that you put your kiddos to bed before the babysitter even arrives. Or you can assist the babysitter with bedtime, then head out. If you have a new babysitter, recently made any changes to bedtime, or you’re just nervous about putting that much pressure on the babysitter, this is a great solution for everyone. Your little ones will be sleeping soundly when you leave, which will help you enjoy your time away from the house without stressing about what is happening at home.
3. Make a Cheat Sheet
Help your babysitter out by giving them everything they need to know, all in one place. Give them a “Babysitter Cheat Sheet” that tells them exactly what time bedtime should be, what bedtime routine looks like, and any other important information that will help them get your kids to bed without trouble. Your cheat sheet should also include your contact info and all of the information about where you’ll be, so if anything does go sideways, she knows where to find you.
4. Don’t Stress
Kids pick up on much more than we give them credit for. If you’re visibly anxious about leaving your child for the night, and make a big deal about it, chances are they will too. And that could lead to your child hanging onto your leg and screaming when it’s time to walk out the door. To avoid this kind of situation, stay calm, cool, and collected, and communicate to your little one that having a babysitter is something fun and exciting. If you can tell your little one is feeling nervous, remind them that you’ll be home soon and that they are going to have a great time without you.
5. Have Fun!
Picture it: You finally made it to that fancy new restaurant, you’ve been seated at your table, and you’re having a great time. Is this a dream? You think, “Maybe I should check-in. Just to make sure everything is alright.” Resist the urge! Your babysitter knows where to find you. There’s a reason you hired her! Now I’m not saying turn off your phone and throw it across the room. You still need to be available in case your babysitter needs you. But, try not to spend the entire night focusing on what is going on at home. This is your time to connect with your partner, so stay in the moment. Enjoy the kid-free time guilt-free!
I hope these tips help you and your spouse have a great night out on the town! If you haven’t had a date night in a while because your little ones are struggling with bedtime or just not sleeping well, Sleep Training might be the answer. Did you know I recently launched a FREE Sleep Community on Facebook? Join my Formerly Tired Moms Club to get all of the incredible FREE training I’ll be offering, exclusive to the group!