When parents are away, info provided to the caregiver helps them care for your child. In today’s world, parents travel more than previous generations. And with many families living further away from their extended families, children often have different caregivers when parents go out of town.
Sometimes it’s a grandparent or other family member, and other times it’s not. A Caregiver Binder is a great way to provide crucial and helpful info to your caregiver. It allows you to keep things consistent for your caregivers and your children. And to keep YOU mama, from stressing out!
When Parents Go Away:
Leaving your child with a trusted adult isn’t easy. Besides worrying about their safety, you worry about them getting sick and needing a doctor, or Emergency Room visits. If you’re anything like me, you welcome these chances to get away.
But the thought of leaving your kids (and missing them!) is hard on you. The caregiver binder is not only a useful tool for the caregiver, but will give you peace of mind knowing that you armed them with important information to care for your precious babes.
With that said, it is good when parents go away and spend time together. . . alone. My husband and I went on an anniversary trip to Hawaii this year and it was not only the longest stretch of time I’ve been away from my kids, but the furthest distance I’ve been from them. I couldn’t just drive home quickly if they needed me. And a few months before that, my mother-in-law flew in to watch the kids for a few days while I accompanied my husband on a business trip—a plane ride away.
Creating a Caregiver Binder:
For each of these trips, to ease my worries when leaving my kids, I created a binder for their caregivers. The first time, their grandmother came to our home. But the second time the kids went to their grandparents’ house out of state; therefore, I had to tweak a few things when they traveled out of state.
Below, I’ve listed some info that I include in my Caregiver Binder. I give even more details, along with bonus tips in the FREE 9 Page Caregiver Binder E-Workbook I’ve created, so YOU can have one too!
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Info for the Caregiver Binder:
A Caregiver Binder is one easy place for caregivers to access information. Most likely they will find the info in the binder useful. And in that rare chance there’s an emergency and they need a piece of info quickly or they cannot reach the parents, it will be at their fingertips.
Caregiver Binder Layout:
Inside front pocket:
List of important phone numbers:
I listed this page first in the binder in case of an Emergency. The 9-1-1 Emergency Line, along with the number to Poison Control are first on the list. There are other important numbers I included and I explain more in detail in my Free Caregiver Binder E-Workbook.
Medicines and Doses:
If your child/children are currently taking any medications (or could potentially use any medicines while you’re away, list the medicine name (and strength) along with the dosage. In the notes write any other specifics like type of syringe, dosing device or other special notes related to the medications, e.g., whether or not to be taken with food. I even bought a first aid kit to have everything for minor cuts & scrapes in one place.
For each of your children, list a few for each of these categories to help the caregiver know what your kids will eat: for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This is where I’d re-state any allergies or food restrictions, any needed specifics like puree, cut into bite-sized pieces etc. This pertains more for younger children/babies where choking is more of a concern. Bottle preparation for babies would be listed here as well.
I list my kids’ regular daily schedule to help the caregiver in case they want to keep the children’s routines close to their regular schedule. With parents away, kids could be anxious or excited and regular routines might be a source of comfort for them. But I also want my kids to have a good time with their caregivers. Therefore, I don’t have strict expectations or mind if they’ve stayed up a little later or had an extra snack or two. But keeping a normal routine is helpful for all.
Nap and Bedtime Routines:
If children are different ages, they may have different nap and bedtimes (young children often have more than one nap, while toddlers usually have only 1 or no naps.) Here I’d also list any special clothing (ex. sleep sacks, swaddles) that you prefer the child to be dressed in.
Also include any special items for the crib (teether, water cup, etc.) and preferences for music, fans and anything else specific to your child’s bedtime routine. I also list other parts of the bedtime routine like baths, brushing teeth, books, prayers, songs, etc.
It Will Be OK:
Try and relax. It’s hard to let go when it comes to your child’s care because we moms feel more secure when we’re in control of their safety. But remember the person you entrusted your children to after all, is quite capable of keeping them safe or you wouldn’t have chosen them in the first place. Both my mother and mother-in-law raised several children of their own. They are two of the best moms around. So why would I even fret the littlest bit?
Because it can still be hard to leave your child, no matter who they’re with.
I was quiet on the ride up to the airport as my Dad dropped me for my flight to Hawaii. As excited as I was to be going on a fabulous vacation with my husband, it still felt unnatural to be without my kids.
As my Dad got out of the car to hand me my bags and a give me a hug goodbye, he quoted a line from the movie “The Godfather”: “I’ll Take Care of Everything” complete with imitation Italian accent and hand gesturing. It not only made me laugh, but melted away any lasting anxieties I had. I knew the kids were in good hands. . .and yours will be, too.