Have Baby, Will Travel

Traveling with a baby

Whether you’re taking a road trip or facing a long flight together, the thought of traveling with an infant can be daunting, especially for first-timers. But, the trip doesn’t have to be a hairy one.

In fact, infants often make for much better travel companions than their squirmy, mobile, older siblings! Consider these tips from the experts for smooth, stress-free travel with your baby this summer.

Tips for Traveling with Infants

  1. Travel Light. We think babies require a lot of stuff, but whittle down your daily baby care items to the bare essentials, and you’ll be surprised at how little a baby really needs. Unless you’re headed to a remote location, you can lighten the load significantly by renting the big, must-have items and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Rental companies such as Babyquip, Rents 4 Baby and Travelingbaby.com will deliver to your destination, so no need to lug a crib or pack-n-play, jogging stroller, high chair, bicycle baby carrier, swing or baby gates. Verywell has a list of the best baby rental equipment.
    • They’ll also deliver car seats. Another option is to reserve one through your rental car carrier. Just be sure to request one in advance, making sure it’s the appropriate size, since supplies seem to be limited.
    • Another helpful hint for keeping the packing to a minimum –  purchase diapers, formula and extra baby wipes when you arrive, rather than carrying a large supply with you.
  2. Think ahead and be prepared. Ever try to carry a baby through a busy airport, thinking it was easier to check the stroller at baggage claim? Ever try to hold an infant while using a public restroom? Not fun. Make it easier on yourself by becoming one with your stroller while traveling. Not only will it save you from having to carry your precious cargo, it will also provide a place to change a diaper or let a tired little one get some rest. Along with the stroller, be sure you have an especially well-packed diaper bag, carry-on or tote. A diaper bag packed for an infant should include:
    • at least two changes of simple, low-fuss clothes and socks (blow-outs happen when you least expect them!)
    • diapers and plenty of baby wipes
    • a bottle and formula if you are bottle-feeding, a pacifier (especially helpful to combat air-pressure changes while flying)
    • hand sanitizer
    • light blanket to warm a chilly baby, serve as a nursing shield or provide a place to lie your baby down for a stretch.
    • any necessary medications, sunscreen, and diaper rash cream.
  3. Consider applying for TSA PreCheck
    • To make traveling through the airport even easier, you might want to apply for TSA PreCheck.  Children under 12 can go through TSA PreCheck with an adult who has it. With TSA Pre, your family won’t need to remove shoes, belts, toiletries, personal electronics such as an iPad or laptop or jackets, plus the line moves much more quickly. Keep in mind there is a cost to applying, however many credit cards will reimburse you.
  4. Keep to a schedule. Most parents agree with the experts who tell us that babies who stick to a schedule or routine are often the most content.
    • While it’s not always possible to follow the exact routine you have at home, you can typically feed, change and put your baby to sleep with some consistency. You and your baby will have a happier trip if she’s not skipping naps or missing bottles or snacks.
  5. Incorporate time for yourself and time with your spouse or partner. No matter how well you plan and prepare, travel with a baby can be stressful and tiring. Give yourself a break by making time to take care of yourself and your adult relationships. Let Dad do solo duty for a bit while you splurge on a spa treatment, take a nap or simply lounge by the pool with a good book.
    • You can both get a break and a chance to see the sights by taking advantage of a local babysitter. Hotels can often recommend local babysitters, though it’s typically less expensive and more convenient to find and book a trustworthy babysitter on UrbanSitter. You’ll have greater peace of mind leaving your child in a new sitter’s care after reading her profile and other parents’ reviews on the site.

Before long, your tiny travel companion will become an energetic toddler in tow! Check out these tips for happy traveling with tots and little kids.

Looking for a babysitter or nanny while on vacation? Join UrbanSitter to find sitters at your vacation destination. 

7 Reasons to Book a Babysitter This Spring

Photo Credit: Mukumbura via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Mukumbura via Compfight cc

Why is Spring is a great time to book a babysitter? Read on to find out:

1.   Spring cleaning. Think of all you could accomplish without your usual distractions. Not sure where to start? Check out Over 100 Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks from How Does She? and the room-by-room checklist from the Huffington Post. You’ll have your digs sparkling like never before.

2.  Don’t give up on your new year’s resolution to get fit. Now is the perfect time to try that new exercise class… before bathing suit season comes knocking at your door.

3.   You don’t need a holiday party as an excuse to get out and enjoy your spouse. Plan a spontaneous date night just for the two of you. Make it dinner and a movie, or jazz it up to really reignite the sparks. Take a dance lesson? Relive your first date? Maybe tackle a tough hike or a long bike ride on an afternoon date that’ll make you feel like your pre-kid selves. Need more ideas? Check out our Pinterest Date Night Board.

4.   Throw open the windows and enjoy your newly cleaned home ALL BY YOURSELF. Remember how nice it is to be home alone? No? We didn’t think so. Send your babysitter and the kids on a fun spring outing while you have the place to yourself.

5.   Saturdays have never been busier. Does your Saturday to-do list look something like this:

    • Carpool to soccer game
    • Pick up dry cleaning
    • Stop at market for weekend necessities
    • Bring snacks to Little League
    • Buy treats and fill 24 plastic Easter eggs for class party
    • Take toddler to swim lessons
    • Drop off at birthday party (don’t forget to pick up a gift on the way)

Wouldn’t it be so much nicer if it read like this, if even just for one Saturday?

    • Hand over the kids to the babysitter on the way to grabbing coffee
    • Yoga
    • Lunch with pals
    • Shoe shopping
    • Cocktails with better half

Hire a babysitter to cover your duties for the day. The kids will enjoy mixing it up a bit, too!

6.   After you’ve cleaned out the closets and stashed the sweaters and boots, it’s likely there are a few holes to fill. We bet you’d rather Shop for Spring with a friend or go it solo – really, it’s unarguably no fun to shop with kids in tow. Better yet, if you’ve never had a shopping date with your oldest child, give it a go. He or she will adore having your undivided attention to pick out some new Spring favorites, and you’ll be feel refreshed after a day with just one child.

7.   Now that the holidays are over and before summer arrives, grab the opportunity to catch up those projects that always fall to the bottom of the list and are always hanging over your head. You know the ones – the baby book, photo album, family blog, school year scrapbook, or maybe you’ve Pinned a DIY project you’d love to try… if only you had the time.  Now you do.

Remember, it’s never been easier to find a babysitter to cover you no matter when or why you need one, whether it be for an hour, a day or even longer. Log onto UrbanSitter and find your new favorite.

5 Tips for Finding a Babysitter for Valentine’s Day

Photo: tinkernoonoo

Valentine’s Day is still a few weeks away, but if you hope to land a babysitter so you can celebrate without kids in tow, you’ll need to get a head start. Veteran parents insist finding a babysitter for Valentine’s Day is even tougher than scoring one for New Year’s Eve. Here are a few tips on how you can be sure to score a sitter for the big night (or day):

1. Start your search early. Now is not too soon!

You have to figure your sitter could likely land a hot date that night, too. If not, she’s bound to be bombarded with requests from parents who, just like you, would love to hand her the kids so they can sneak away for this romantic occasion. UrbanSitter makes it easy for both parents and sitters to connect by allowing sitters to post their availability well in advance, which gives parents the convenience of seeing who’s free and allows them to send an immediate job request.

2. Make your own holiday… another day.

If you can’t get away for the actual holiday, rest easy knowing you’ll have a much easier time securing a babysitter the weekend before or the weekend after the real holiday.  Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, it’s pretty reasonable to choose the weekend before, or the Friday or Saturday after to celebrate. You’ll likely have an easier time scoring a dinner reservation at a hot spot, too!

3. Share the love.

This is a fantastic opportunity to share a babysitter.  You can send your kids to a friend or neighbor’s house and have a beloved babysitter of yours or hers babysit the whole bunch. The sitter likely won’t charge twice her normal rate, but it’s nice to make it worth her while by paying a bit more for this popular night. If you offer a higher rate upfront, you might just entice her to accommodate your request regardless of her previous plans. And… there’s the added bonus of the night being extra fun for the kids, too. It’s a big playdate!

4. Be an Early Bird.

Who said Valentine’s Day has to be a romantic dinner? How about a lovely brunch together, or lunch after a round of golf or nice hike for two? Even if the babysitter has plans that night, she might be willing to help you out earlier in the day in order to earn some extra money.

5. Make it a romantic night at home.

If you are like most parents, the thought of having your own home to yourselves, sans kids, is too good to pass up. Have your babysitter take the kids out to an early movie and pizza (which might just be more fun for her, too) while you stay home and treat your Valentine to a homemade meal.

If your husband or wife likes to cook, let him or her share in the cooking and make it part of the fun. Otherwise, book the sitter a little earlier so you can prep and prepare. Don’t forget to chill a nice bottle of wine and light some candles so it feels like a truly special tête-à-tête, and not like just another meal at home. Here are a few favorite recipes that make the perfect feast for two:

  • Latin American-Style Mussels: Adds a little zest and a little spice to your night!
  • Photo by Browneyedbaker.com

    Steak for Two Dinner: Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon, Creamed Spinach and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes rival the menu at your favorite steak house, but take surprisingly little time or effort to create.

  • Gooey Chocolate Cakes. Even if you aren’t a baker, you can pull these off, and no one will soon to forget! Top the rich chocolate with a scoop of ice cream and a handful of perfectly ripe berries. It looks and tastes like love on a plate!

Who is more deserving of a romantic break than two harried parents? Book a babysitter on UrbanSitter and don’t let Valentine’s Day pass you by!

7 Reasons to Book a Babysitter This Summer


Why is summer a great time to book a babysitter? Read on to find out:


 1. School’s Out For Summer!

frank-mckenna-127295-unsplashSummer break is here, which means a whole new schedule for the whole family. Make the transition easier for everyone with a summer sitter or nanny to help with the new routine. Part-time, full-time, anytime. We’ve got you covered!

2. Summer Camp, Soccer Games, Swim Lessons…Oh, My!

maarten-van-den-heuvel-105902-unsplashSchool may be out, but the kids’ schedules are busier than ever. Find and book a sitter who can help you manage all of the drop-offs, pickups, and everything in between! *Pro tip: Search for sitters that are willing to drive before you book!

3. “Me-Time”

rawpixel-369784-unsplashSummer break is filled with activities and family fun, but let’s be real, parents…sometimes we need a break. Book a sitter and take a time-out for some quality alone time.

4. Hosting A BBQ or Pool Party

matthieu-joannon-666745-unsplashThe summer is the perfect time to have friends over for a bbq or pool party, but we also know it can be overwhelming trying to entertain and watch the kids. Book a sitter to help keep an eye on the kids while they swim and play. *Pro tip: Search for CPR certified sitters before you book!

5. Summer Fun is Here and So Are Your Errands 

jeshoots-com-462287-unsplashTaking your kids to the grocery store or your hair appointment isn’t usually efficient or time-saving. Book a sitter and get through your to-do list faster this summer.

6. Date Night…or Day!

20180228_URBANSITTER_SHOT_09_0480Take advantage of summer weather and plan the perfect date. A day trip to a winery or dinner and a movie. The possibilities are endless when you unlock your sitter network.

7. It’s Wedding Season

chuttersnap-461238-unsplashHave an upcoming wedding? Kids not on the guest list? Don’t miss out! Your sitter network has wedding season covered.

Whatever your summer childcare needs, UrbanSitter lets you find and book sitters of people you trust. Unlock your personal network to book babysitters and nannies you’re connected to today!









5 Tips for the Perfect Date Night!

As busy parents, we know that planning date night can sometimes feel like a daunting task. That’s why we put together this handy list of 5 quick and easy tips to make the most of date night!

1. Keep it casual… Who says date night has to be fancy? Planning a low-key evening out can be just as fun as going to a black tie event, plus it’ll help keep the mood light and breezy!

2. …Or get all dolled up! Even the most routine of date nights can be spiced up by donning your very best attire. Getting glammed up for a fancy night out is just as much fun, too!

3. Do something new. If you’ve ever wanted to take a cooking class or have thought about learning to scuba dive, make date night your excuse to jump headfirst into something new. Learning a new skill with your partner can help bring you closer together and builds up intimacy and trust! Instead of falling back on dinner and a movie or just heading out to your normal neighborhood restaurant, try to do something that breaks the mold for both of you.

4. Explore your city. That new restaurant down the block? Book a table! Have a local performing theater? Get two tickets to an upcoming show! Wherever you live, take advantage of the opportunity to explore your city—and maybe find a new favorite spot or twotogether.

5. Give nature a shot. Have a picnic for two under the stars at your local park or plan the perfect day-hike for two, either way, getting outside with your partner puts a fun twist on date night!

Make date night a regular occurrence and try reserving at least one day each month for some quality time with your spouse. Challenge yourself to turn off your cell phoneor at least not check it every five minutes. If you’re worried about missing updates from your sitter during date night, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” mode and only let calls and texts from your sitter come through.

At the end of the day, date night is supposed to be a happy occasion for you to spend time with your spouse. No matter what you end up doing, be sure to enjoy it and have fun spending time with one of the people you love the most!

Find a date night sitter on UrbanSitter now and put a night out on your calendar!

5 Things You Might Forget to Tell the Sitter

Whether you’re leaving the kids with a sitter for the umpteenth time or you’re about to hand over your new bundle of joy to his first-ever babysitter, there are a few details you might forget to share before you leave the house. Take the time to add these things to your list of things to tell the sitter before you head out on your much-deserved time away.


1. What your child expects from bedtime
There’s a lot more to your child’s bedtime routine than the time he goes to bed and the book he prefers to read before turning in. Help your sitter navigate bedtime and improve the odds of your child getting a good night’s sleep by filling the sitter in on the details.

Does she need to pull the shade or drapes? Lights on or off – or somewhere in between? Do you use a night light? Should the door be open or closed? Do you typically leave the hall or bathroom light on? How about covers – is the duvet turned down or pulled up? And don’t forget to let her know about any special doll or toy that your little one can’t sleep without. You may fear sounding like a neurotic mother, but these little details could make all the difference in how easily she gets the kids to bed…and whether or not tears are involved.

2. How to safely take your child on an outing
It may seem obvious to you, but don’t assume the sitter knows how to install your car seat, strap on a baby carrier, unfold your portable stroller or knows that she needs to put a helmet on your tot before he rides his scooter to the park. Take the time to show her how everything works – let her give it a go while you’re still there to answer questions. Be sure that she knows where to find what she needs, including diaper bags, spare blankets, sunscreen, water bottles and even your child’s jacket.

3. Where to find the first aid kit
You likely remembered to leave your sitter emergency contact numbers and maybe even a copy of your family’s emergency evacuation plan. If not, see our post on Preparing Your Sitter for an Emergency and download a free printable that makes it easy to leave all the pertinent information a sitter may need while you’re away. Don’t forget to also leave her a handy first aid kit to deal with any minor mishaps that may happen on her watch. Make sure your kit includes band-aids, Benadryl (with clear instructions about when and how much to give), antibiotic cream and an ice pack for bumps and bruises.

4. The 4-1-1 on your pets
Your sitter is there to watch the kids, but if pets are part of your family she’ll need to know what to expect from them, too. Let her know how much contact your kids and their pet have. For instance, do you allow your dog to cuddle with the baby and is it ok for your tot to chase the dog? Does your pet need to be let out and fed (and what to do if there’s a potty accident)? Do you absolutely forbid your puppy from eating people food scraps and should your new sitter expect some playful nips? Also let her know where your pets are allowed in the house. Is the nursery off limits? Is the cat permitted to scoot outside when she and the kids do?

5. The location of a spare key.
It happens. The sitter, just like you, ducks out of the house as the locked door slams behind her leaving her (with or without the kids) locked out of the house. Save her the panic and yourself from having to run home to let her into the house by leaving a spare key with a neighbor or in a safe, hidden spot. Some families prefer their regular sitter keeps a spare key to their house on her own key ring.

Giving your sitter this extra info could save her and your family from more than a few unpleasant situations. She’ll appreciate the details and be more confident in her ability to take care of the kids and hold down the fort while you’re away.

How Often Do You Plan a “Date Night”?

In a recent national survey, UrbanSitter asked parents how often they schedule a babysitter.

33% of parents surveyed say they hire a babysitter 1-2 times per month. And, 1 in 6 parents hires a babysitter on a weekly basis. Perhaps date night isn’t a dream after all?

Date Night Infographic

For more stats like this one, check out the full: National Childcare Rates Survey and infographic.

Looking for a babysitter? Join UrbanSitter to browse babysitter profiles, sort by pay rate, and book jobs online.

Welcome Philadelphia Babysitters and Parents!


Hello Philadelphia!

Now that you have joined the UrbanSitter family, we thought we’d help you get to know each other a little better. Parents, there are many great reasons to get a babysitter and plan a date night in Philly this month. Take a look at these fun ideas we’ve tracked down, just a few of the slew of events and activities the city has to offer this winter, so book a babysitter for your great escape!

Center City Restaurant Week

Now through February 1, 2013

Don’t miss it! Here’s your chance to enjoy a fabulous meal without breaking the bank. You can feast on a delicious, multiple-course meal for just $20-35. More than 100 of Center City’s finest restaurants are offering indulgent prix fixe menus with three-course dinners for only $35 per person, and more than 50 participating restaurants will also be offering a three-course lunch option for $20 per person. You’d be hard pressed to find a cuisine not represented. Participating restaurants include Alma de Cuba, The Dandelion, Garces Trading Company,  Barbuzzo, Lolita, Mercato, Table 31 and Amada.

Click here for a full list of participating restaurants and preview their menus for Center City Restaurant Week. You can visit centercityphila.org to make reservations online. Do it now, as tables fill extremely quickly!

With Art Philadelphia Hotel Package

Now through March 31, 2013

Why not take a staycation and get to know your town? No need to hop a plane for a weekend getaway. Philadelphia’s Visitor’s Bureau makes it easy on you by partnering with several top hotels and museums to offer the With Art Philadelphia Hotel Package. The package gives you one or two nights accommodation at one of several luxury hotels and access to many of the city’s great museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Perelman Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) and the new Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Participating hotels include Sofitel Philadelphia, Hotel Monaco, Loews, Westin, and the Four Seasons Hotel, among others.

Photo from Cole Haan Facebook

Girls’ Day – Shopping at King of Prussia Mall

If you need an excuse to shop, how about taking advantage of your proximity to the East Coast’s largest mall for the ultimate girls’ day?  Nowhere else on the left coast can you shop more than 400 stores under one roof!  After-Christmas sales make it an ideal time of year to shop ’til you drop. While you’re there, you can check out the newly expanded H&M and get inspiration for your house at the new Arhaus store.

March Madness

Starts March 19th, Final Four is April 6 & 8

Why not make a plan to get out and watch a few NCAA games without kids to worry about. You may just have a hometown favorite to cheer on! The 2nd and 3rd round games are played at Temple University this year, and there are no shortage of haunts to watch the games. Pick a neighborhood favorite or try a new spot. Check out this helpful guide to Top Sports Bars in the city.

Philadelphia Flower Show

March 2-10, 2013

Did you know the Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s longest-running and largest indoor flower show? It’s quite spectacular. This year’s show, dubbed “Brilliant!” is focused on Great Britain and inspired by centuries of British culture, including the urban design of modern-day London. The show is held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but is truly a city-wide event with windows and lobbies all over the city decorated for the show. Local restaurants and bars also get in on the fun by competing for the best Flower Show-themed beverage.

Do you know of other great excuses for hiring a babysitter and getting out in Philadelphia this month? If so, we’d love to know, so please share!

Welcome Dallas Parents and Babysitters!

The Dallas Fort Worth Area is the newest addition to the UrbanSitter family. We are pleased to offer parents and Dallas babysitters a safe and reliable way to connect.

Parents, you now have access to top-rated sitters whom you can conveniently and easily book within minutes! What a way to start the year… and just in time, as there are scores of opportunities and events going on that would make for the perfect day or night out without the kids.

Here are a few favorite Dallas date night ideas:

Image from Dallas Museum of ArtDallas Museum of Art – Late Nights

You may be no stranger to the museum’s late nights held the third Friday of each month. Whether you are a regular or a first-timer, this month’s Late Night, held January 18th, is a can’t miss event. It’s the museum’s 110th Birthday Celebration, complete with dancing, artist talks and tours.  January 18th from 6 pm to 12 midnight.

Image by Dallas By ChocolateDallas by Chocolate Taste Tours

We love this idea for a fun girls’ outing! Dallas by Chocolate Taste Tours give you a tour of Dallas bakeries and “chocolate-related emporiums,” with ample taste samples and an insider peak at the behind-the-scenes secrets that go into making chocolate treats. Tickets start at just $30 per person, which includes bus transportation, wine, and tastings. Many tours begin at Empire Baking Company. Tour itinerary and meeting place will be sent after tickets are purchased, or you may call 972-814-5997.

Logo Courtesy of ImprovComedian Pablo Francisco, AKA The Movie Trailer Guy, is at the Addison Improv

After his wilding successful Comedy Central Special and DVD, “They Put it out There,” Francisco is known as one of most popular touring comedians worldwide. Get a group together to share a hilariously fun night out at the Addison Improv. Showtimes: January 17-20th. Thurs. 8:00PM / Fri. 8:00PM & 10:30PM / Sat. 7:00PM, 9:00PM, & 11:30PM / Sun. 7:30PM Tickets: $25 – $35. Call 972-404-8501 or visit web site.

Image by Eismann CenterFor the Whole Family – Charles W. Eismann Performing Arts Center Presents “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” Family Theater Series

The cast brings to life seven popular children’s stories, including Amazing Grace, Borreguita and the Coyote, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Imogene’s Antlers, Master Man, Math Curse and Owen. Here’s a nice opportunity to spend time with your older children, leaving the baby home with a sitter. Held January 20th at 2:30 pm. Details and tickets here.

Regardless of how you spend your much deserved time away from the kids, we hope you give UrbanSitter a try for finding a babysitter or nanny. You may just find your new favorite!