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New Baby? Make a Good Contact Sheet!

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Lara Shriftman: Hi, new mommies! You're probably tired and can't think of anything rational right now. Trust me: A good contact sheet can help set your mind at rest.

Black Telephone

With a new baby, you should always have a contact sheet available for when you're not around. If an emergency arises, you want to make sure that the person taking care of your child -- whether they be a nanny, a friend or a family member -- has the proper contact numbers for all occasions.

Be sure to include all of the necessities, such as your home address, all of your own contact information (including an office number or an assistant's number, if you have one), your doctor's information, the address and phone number of the nearest hospital and a taxi company's number in case the person caring for your child doesn't drive.

Making a contact sheet will also help keep you organized for the future. As your kids get older, you can always add new information as it applies, such as school location or details about extracurricular activities.

Personal Info
Include your cell phone number, home phone number, residential address with zip code and e-mail address.

Work Info
Include the address and phone number(s) you can be reached at while at work.

Family and Friends Contact Info
Include the contact information for family members and close friends whom you would trust with your baby if an emergency were to occur.

Doctor Info
Include the address and phone number of your baby's pediatrician.

Hospital Info
Include the address and phone number of the closest hospital(s).

House Info
Include any pertinent information about your house, such as the code and instructions for operating your alarm system (i.e., "The alarm must always be turned on. Enter the code plus 'stay' when you go to bed at night, and code plus 'leave' whenever you go out"). Make a note that caretakers should make sure that all doors are locked.

Make a contact sheet that caters to you. The list below is like the one I made; you may need to include different information and/or care instructions (such as details pertaining to any health conditions your child may have): 

Safety for the Baby
  • Do not leave the baby unattended, especially when on the changing table or in the high chair, bouncer, etc.
  • If you leave the baby when he is sleeping, bring the monitor with you.
Taking the Baby on Walks
  • Take the baby on walks around the neighborhood. Make sure you only take the baby to areas you know are comfortable with and that are safe. 
  • While walking, always bring a phone with you.

Babysitting Responsibilities

Keep a daily journal of the baby's schedule. Here is an example:

  • Wake up at 7 AM.
  • Clean the baby.
  • Dress him every day to be ready to go, changing him from pajamas to day clothes.
  • Give him one ml of vitamins every day before the formula. If you forget, give him the vitamins before his next feeding.
  • If the baby has gas, give him three MYLICON drops or five ml of Gripe Water.
  • Play the iPod in the room softly.
  • Read him books.
  • Keep toys in the cabinet.
  • Play on gym and tummy-time sets.
  • Take the baby outside for fresh air.

  • Changing His Diaper and Dressing Him
    • Pull the skin back first.
    • Change his diaper every two to three hours. When changing, clean the baby with wet wipes and apply Aquaphor after cleaning.
    Feeding the Baby
  • The formula is Enfamil (pre-made liquid).
  • Wash the bottles and sterilize them with Seventh Generation every day. Make sure the bottles are dry before putting formula in them.
  • Make all the bottles for the day and keep them refrigerated until feeding time.
  • The baby uses BornFree bottles.
  • Do not warm his bottles.

  • Supplies List

  • Aquaphor
  • Pampers with aloe
  • Wet wipes
  • Formula
  • Dreft (for washing clothes)
  • Seventh Generation (for washing bottles)

  • Laundry

  • Do the laundry every three days.
  • Wash the laundry with Dreft.
  • Iron and hang all of the clothing.
  • Clothing is hung in the closet and arranged by size.

  • Bath

  • The baby gets bathed at night every other day in warm water.
  • Prepare everything before giving the baby his bath.
  • Use Mustella for the bath.
  • When he is out of the tub, put Mustella lotion on him, and don't use powder.
  • Towels and washcloths are kept underneath the sink.
  • Clean just the outside of the baby's ears with Q-tips after his bath.

  • Cleaning the Baby's Room

  • The baby's room must be cleaned every day.
  • Your bed must be made.
  • The sheets and duvet need to be ironed weekly.
  • The closet must be organized by size of clothes.
  • Floors must be cleaned daily with the Swiffer.
  • Leave nothing on the desk except for the changing pad, cover and blue boxes. There is an alternate cover for use when the other one is being washed.
  • The slipcover on the chair must be washed and ironed. It is to be line dried, not put in the dryer.
  • The diaper décor, must be emptied every two days.
  • The bathroom cabinet must remain organized.

  • The Baby Journal
    • The baby journal must be updated daily. In it, record every feeding, pee, poo and nap.
    The Blinds
    • Every morning when he wakes up, the blinds should be opened; at the end of the night, they should be closed.
    Baby's Nails
    • File the baby's nails every two to three days while he is sleeping.
    • Sign a confidentiality agreement.
    • Do not answer the home phone.
    • Place cell phones and BlackBerrys on vibrate.
    • Do not let people in if you don't know them.
    • Do not entertain vendors.
    • Do not give information to anyone regarding Lara or the baby's father.
    • Always keep the doors locked.

    next: How Two Moms Brought Organic Food to an Urban School
    5 comments so far | Post a comment now
    Anonymous June 9, 2010, 11:17 AM

    I LOVE the idea of having my babysitter keep a baby journal! This way I can always know what my baby is doing, even when I am gone from the house.

    Erika  June 20, 2010, 7:28 PM

    Thank you for suggesting that in addition to keeping a contact sheet you should always keep specific babysitting instructions so you don’t have to rewrite them multiple times. This is great if I need to quickly take off.

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