6 Things Every Babysitter Should Know
Yes, being a parent is rewarding but it is also a lot of hard work and eventually even the most devoted parents need a break. As a babysitter, you have been given one of the most important jobs in the world, the responsibility of ensuring children in your care, stay safe and content while their parents are away. The best babysitters know that certain tools are essential to doing the job. Before accepting your next babysitting gig, make sure you have these 6 things down.
Basic Contact Information:
Before the parents walk out the door, you should get their cell phone number and home address. This information will be needed in the event of an emergency to call an ambulance or inform parents of accident or injury. If a situation does occur, having the phone number for the children’s pediatrician and poison control is also useful. Contact information for others to call if the parents are unreachable in an emergency should also be provided.
Handling Health Issues and Emergencies:
Basic and emergency numbers should be posted somewhere in the home to make them easily accessible; on the refrigerator or in the speed dial of the home phone is probably most convenient. Babysitters should also have current knowledge on CPR and first aid. If a first aid kit is not in the home, bring your own when working.
Specific Information on Each Child:
Before agreeing to baby sit, find out as much as possible about the children you will be taken care of. Information on allergies, medications that the child is required to take and special dietary needs will help you ensure children in your care stay safe. For example, if taking care of an infant, review of how bottles are prepared and how the diaper should be changed might be needed if the parents require things be done in a specific way.
To prevent any miscommunication find out the rules of the home. For example, if the house rule is no TV after 10pm, allowing the kids to watch TV anyway could cause you to lose a client. In addition, certain areas such as a basement or attic may be off limits. Bedtime, giving candy as treats and if neighborhood friends can come over to play are house rules you need to know beforehand.
Make sure to discuss appropriate punishments with the parents. Some parents approve the idea of time out corners while others would prefer you call them for disciplinary problems. Taking away toys, making the misbehaving child go to bed early and isolating from siblings might be allowed. As the babysitter you should also known how to stay calm and keep from showing anger when babysitting. Being able to speak to children on their level and letting them know that bad behavior will be dealt with can often prevent situations from escalating.
Create Fun Activities
As a babysitter, your task is often just to keep the kids entertained. Fun and safe activities like coloring can keep a child’s attention for hours. Having coloring books and blank paper to draw on will also be useful. You can even create games around coloring, such as coloring their name in big letters, tracing and coloring their hand or coloring a card for their parents using crayons. Other toys such as children’s books, jump ropes and balls are also easy to enjoy inside and outdoors.