Yes, there’s more to babysitting than making sure the children are still sound and safe by the time the parents return. How about a mini guide to help you get ready for the important role of a babysitter? Read on and find out what a babysitter does to become a valuable and trusted member of the family!
Being a great babysitter means knowing what to do when an emergency arises. Take a class on children’s first aid and CPR. And do not allow parents to leave without giving you some emergency phone contacts.
A babysitter doesn’t instinctively know what’s off-limits. Ask and find out the rules of each family and stick to them, even if you disagree. When in doubt… toss the idea out!
Do the children have any allergies or need to take medication? And what about bedtimes? Is there some kind of stuffed animal or toy that the little ones may want to have with them in order to sleep?
Being on time sets a good tone. Parents make plans based on your commitment to be at their home to babysit their children at a certain time. Everyone may be a little bit late occasionally, but in general you should arrive 5 minutes before your shift is due to start. And whatever you do, don’t cancel at the last minute!
Babysitting involves bending, lifting and climbing. Wear clothes that are comfortable enough; yes, you’ll probably carry a baby, or get on the floor and play with the children. And even if you are super confident of your ability to walk in heels, they aren’t a good choice when a running toddler is part of the job description, so bring comfy flats.
Cellphones are addictive; we know. This is a hard one for us too! However, you should be really present. Young children can get into dangerous situations very quickly, so you can’t be distracted while on-duty; sometimes even seconds of turning your head can lead to a disaster!
Think like a kid, be goofy and make it fun, but encourage the children to take part in creative activities rather than just watch TV or play computer games. Trust us, most kids are pretty awesome miniature human beings, and you can have so much fun with them when playing and teaching instead of looking at a screen!
Add some finely chopped carrots into a colorful pasta sauce, sneak some greens into a smoothie, or try dipping fresh strawberries in chocolate sauce. And be aware of foods that pose choking hazards!
Messy activities are fun, but if you decide to show the kids how to make their own play-dough, the living room shouldn’t look like a play-dough factory when the parents return!
A great babysitter happily tells parents what their little ones did while they were gone. You can also leave parents with a written “what we did” recap with all the fun moments!