Advice for first time babysitters

Babysitting jobs have been in high demand for many years, and parents are always looking for great babysitters to transfer the reins to when times call for parents having to travel alone. Being prepared and knowing how to be a great babysitter will likely turn into repeat business.

Here are some tips for babysitting beginners:

Take a local babysitting course through your local fire department, library or community education organization. Learn the ins and outs of what makes a great babysitter.

Enroll in a series of local First Aid/CPR classes. This will help prepare you for emergency situations and give your boss a feeling of security, too.

Talk to friends and adults familiar with babysitting costs. Determine a preset fee and be prepared to ask for it. Babysitting is an important job and you should be compensated fairly.

Be prepared to share referrals of adults who can vouch for you being a great person. Ask a favorite teacher, pastor or other responsible adult if he/she may be used as a reference and be called if a referral is necessary.

Ask questions about feeding, changing and number of kids to be watched. Inquire about routines parents have for the child(ren) such as: dinner time, food or bottle preparation, nap or bed times, appropriate snacks, etc.

Ask parent(s) how to be reached in case of an emergency and what should be done if an emergency occurs. A contact list is needed, and should be kept to hand for times when needed.

Be prepared to watch the children during wake hours. Never leave a child or baby unattended, unless, of course, he/she is in bed and asleep. Even then, be aware of the pitter-patter of little feet or the cry of a baby. Kids sometimes need just a couple of seconds before trouble can be found.

Prepare a babysitting bag full of goodies sure to make your little client a happy camper. Load that bag with the typical stuff kids love. Crayons, coloring books, markers, paper, scissors and glue sticks are a few of the items perfect for pulling out if there seems to be nothing fun to do. Be creative when putting the bag together. Parents will appreciate the your thoughtfulness and forethought.

If babysitting during nighttime hours, make sure to bring along things to keep yourself occupied until parents get home.

Once parents find a reputable and responsible babysitter in you, they will gladly call upon you again, and chances are they’ll likely refer you to friends and family also searching for an excellent sitter. Babysitters prepared for babysitting will find being prepared will lead to much success and fun while adding some cash to the pocketbook. It will make the job much more satisfying and provide some on the job training for a possible future with taking care of your own kids someday.