If you are lucky enough to have family (siblings, or parents) who live in town with you who offer to babysit, take them up on it, even if you don’t have plans. So often when people offer to babysit we think to our selves we can only use that offer for special occasions. But there isn’t any rule that says you have to have big plans or any plans just to have a baby sitter.
Next time someone offers to babysit say yes, pack everything they need to take care of your child and then take the night off. Its best if you can arrange for them to sit at their own home, that way you can take the evening off and stay home, even if it is just to catch up on laundry
Every find yourself out without all your baby supplies. Or even worse, go to grab your emergency bag and find that the diapers you packed last month don’t fit? Using the leftovers method, leave yourself a reminder to check your emergency bag.
Start by making up your emergency baby supply bag. Find a small duffel bag, use something you already have is you can. I personally have several old canvas/nylon briefcases, the kind you might have gotten as a promotional item from your bank/broker/vendors. Now for the supplies, which of course will vary by age. I suggest 3 diapers, its not so many that if you don’t use them it a big deal, but its enough to manage 2 blow outs. Next, take 3 or 4 paper towels per diaper and fold them in half, wrap them around the diapers then wrap this bundle with 2 plastic grocery bags and put a big rubber band around the whole thing.
I use the paper towels because in my area (Minnesota) wipes will freeze and there’s nothing worse than a frozen wipe. Plus, you can almost always get some water to moisten them with (coffee shop, fast food, gas station. Even most retail stores have an employee break room where you can get some water). For this I include an empty water bottle. I like the small ones that you get at the gas station, drink the water, smash it flat (without breaking it) and then screw on the lid to keep it from popping back into its original shape. When you need to use it, take the lid off and blow it up like a balloon.
Now, depending on your child’s age, your emergency food will vary. If they are still on formula, load enough dry formula for 4oz into a bottle, stick the nipple in backwards (pointing in) place a piece of Saran wrap over the nipple and screw on the lid. The Saran wrap will help to keep things clean. Make sure everything is clean and dry before you do this. Again, we are going to rely on being able to get water from somewhere. For older kids, try to use things that are dry like cereal.
Last, find an outfit that is just a little too large for your child now. Something basic like a jumper or a onesie. The extra large size gives you some room for error.
Ok, anyone can do this, but now 2 months pass and you go to get your kit and those diapers don’t fit and your baby doesn’t eat formula any more. To prevent this from happening, use you trusty online calendar and set up a recurring event to check your emergency kit once a month. Use the email reminder so you don’t forget.
You don’t have to be parents to have a problem with remembering what you have in the freezer. How many times have you carefully packed some leftovers and put them in the freezer, neatly labelled with what it is and when you put it in there, only to come back 6 months later and not recognize it. Storing leftovers is a great idea, but remembering to use them is always a challenge.
Enter the simple solution. Remind yourself when to use your leftovers. If you don’t already have an online calendar, get one. Google Calendar is my favorite but there are plenty of other choices (online calendars). Once you have that its a breeze to keep track of your leftovers.
After you pack your leftover dinner and put it into the freezer, log into your calendar, go a couple of weeks into the future and set up a reminder to use your freezer supplies for dinner. Most online calendars have the ability to send you an email reminder, so set it your “appointment” for dinner time and then set the reminder for 2 hours before. That should give you plenty of time to defrost it. You can also set it to remind you the day before so you can move them to the fridge to defrosting.
This way you can use your leftovers in a timely manner and not have to worry about cooking dinner every night.