Over the last year or so, our babysitting options have completely opened up! Our oldest son Daniel has begun to babysit for us a little bit, and Kaitlyn is testing and figuring out carb dosing on her own with supervision. Those two things have made all the difference! We still hire babysitters in addition to our son, and they really are terrific. Evan and I need time together away from the kids, so we try to have a date night once a week.
Well, I finally figured out something that made date night even better! We’re starting to leave the meal prep and serving to the babysitter as well. Before, we would always make sure to start our date night after dinner was all taken care of. That way, we could ensure Kaitlyn was checked and dosed and that she finished her food. Most of the time, we would tell the babysitter not to feed anything to the kids until we got home, so she wouldn’t have to worry about dosing Kaitlyn.
While that worked fine before, we came up with a new system to help the babysitter dose Kaitlyn: texting pictures!
You might be thinking — well, duh! I may be the last parent in the world to figure this out, but nevertheless, it’s awesome. Here’s what we do:
1. Before we leave, we make sure that the babysitter has our cell phone numbers and we have theirs. We agree upon what the kids will eat for dinner, and ask the babysitter to text us when the kids are ready to eat.
2. Kaitlyn tests her blood sugar, and the babysitter texts her number to us. If she’s in an okay range, we text back to go ahead and feed the kids.
3. The babysitter dishes up the plates for everyone and takes a picture of Kaitlyn’s plate, and she texts it to us.
4. We look at the picture and text a carb count back to her.
5. The babysitter tells Kaitlyn how many carbs to dose on her pump, and she does it. She sends us back a text letting us know how many units she gave and that she’s eating her food.
That’s it! Easy as pie! The sitter doesn’t have to be an expert at carb-counting or fuss with measuring or weighing. We no longer have to depend on our diabetes expert helpers — grandmas and aunts — when we want to leave for a longer time. Best of all, we don’t hesitate leaving the babysitter with the dinnertime routine any longer.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.