You’ve pictured this moment for months – putting on your pre-baby clothes, doing your hair and maybe even slapping on some make up, and then stepping outside the front door without your baby. A night of freedom (or a few hours at least…)!  Your first evening away from your little one might feel long overdue, but that doesn’t make it any easier to leave them…

Find someone you trust 
Leaving your baby with a babysitter will seem far less terrifying if you use someone you trust.  If you can’t rope in a family member, using one of their key workers at nursery (if they’ve started yet) or asking a friend to pass on details of one of theirs will help give you peace of mind. Qualified is great – personally recommended is even better. If you’ve got to use a complete stranger to babysit, for example from an agency or app, just make sure that their experiences, references and DBS checks are thoroughly checked and up to date.  It’ll help to reassure you that your baby is in safe hands at least.

Don’t go far 
If it’s your first time using a babysitter, try and go somewhere not too far away and use it as a bit of a dummy run. That way you can leg it home if there’s a problem and you’ll probably find you relax more if you know it’s not going to take you too long to get back if needs be.

Go post-it crazy 
It’ll annoy the hell out of the babysitter (who probably wants to sit and watch Netflix in peace…) but by writing some important bits of info on post-it notes and sticking them in relevant places you’ll at least feel like you’ve got everything covered.

Ask for text updates 
Ask the babysitter to give you regular text updates throughout the evening. Again, guaranteed to make them moan about you to their mates but who cares, you’re paying them after all, so if a text every hour gives you peace of mind then it’s the least they can do.

Drown those fears 
We’ve all heard of alcohol being a good way of drowning our sorrows, but it certainly seems to take the edge off of worry too (until you’re hungover the next morning and feeling paranoid and sorry for yourself obviously). So make the most of the rare night out safe in the knowledge that once you’ve sunk a glass of wine or two you’ll be much less panicky about leaving them with a babysitter.