Read these 7 Babysitters Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Nanny tips and hundreds of other topics.
Teenage babysitting is a harder job than many people realize. It must be understood that teenage babysitting is not a job where you can spend time on yourself, call your friends and eat from the fridge. As a sitter you have a lot of responsibility because you are taking care of a human life. Children take a lot of attention so this job requires 100% of your focus. Make sure the children are your top priority while you are babysitting. Engage them in activities and respect their opinions, without giving in to their every whim.
Being a babysitter is a serious job and the children you are caring for require constant attention. Under no circumstances should you invite your friends to the house where you are baby sitting. Don't use the phone unless necessary and save your homework for when the children are asleep. Review the proper discpline techniques with the parents before they leave, just in case they are needed. A good tactic for sitters is to give children "five minute warnings" - five minutes to clean up, five minutes until bedtime, etc. After the children go to sleep there are special rules you need to follow. When you're a sitter for infants and toddlers, check them every 30-45 minutes to make sure their airway is clear. Keep volumes low on the stereo or TV because you need to listen for the children. Clean up the areas that were messed up during the evening and wash any dishes that you and the children used.
New to babysitting? Start by being a babysitter to just one child. Meet the parents and the child ahead of time so you can all get to know each other and decide if the arrangement will be a good fit. Its also not a bad idea to consider spending the day with the kids and their mom or dad before you spend a night alone with the child. You can learn about the child's daily schedule, favorite activities and food preferences. Before the parents leave, make sure you know all of the emergency numbers and a number that you can reach the parents at if need be. Some basic safety tips for sitters include never opening the doors to strangers. Also, never tell anyone on the phone or at the door that you are "just the sitter". Approach your job professionally and respect the parents' home and valuables. Before the parents are expected home clean up any messes you and the child have created and tidy up the main living area. Make sure to leave the house in the same or better condition than when you arrived. The parents will appreciate your respect for their space.
When you are hiring someone as a live in caregiver, make sure you take all the necessary steps after you hear from the agency about their choices. It is best to meet the candidate in person and interview him or her. Ask the live-in siter how he or she would handle different situations, like discipline, playtime, sleeptime etc. Make sure to check the references of the nanny candidate and ask them if they have taken any courses in childcare or CPR. Define your expectations of the live-in caregiver and clearly define their responsibilities.
If you are looking for a low cost way to get quality childcare, consider joining a local babysitting co-op. A co-op is a network of caregivers in your neighborhood who create a system, or co-op. When you join a co-op you agree to care for other children, as well as receive childcare for your children. The co-op is a barter system where the services are traded for no fees. Although no money is involved, technically you're required to pay federal income taxes on the value of the services you receive. This figure is based on the rate for sitters in your area.
A live in caregiver for an adult can find support groups in churches, community centers and assisted living centers with trained class leaders. Classes for caregivers offer practical lessons in caregiving that can improve skills. There will also be group discussions about reducing stress, taking care of personal needs, communicating in difficult situations and learning from emotions. A caregiver can also find a wealth of support on the web with discussion boards online.
While background checks and references provide good framework for making informed decision in hiring a babysitter, parents are often left with a level of uneasiness when trusting their children to someone else. If you are at all suspicious of your sitter, you might want to look into a "watch service." A "watch service" provides home monitoring using the latest technology so you can keep tabs on your sitter and observe their behavior. All of the technology used in the watch system is completely legal. The "watch system" will allow you to see how your babysitters interact with your child/children. It gives parents the ability to make the best decisions in hiring sitters.