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Adventures in Babysitting

By Natalie Daniels

Do you like children? Are you bored at home? Do you need some extra cash for yourself? If you have answered yes to two or three of those questions, babysitting is the perfect proposition for you.

More and more parents have started going back to work amongst COVID whether it’s from home or in-person. With the lack of daycare or fear of the spread of COVID, a lot of parents are seeking babysitters to help them watch their children.

I’ve babysat for six years, and I’ve had experience with children from babies to toddlers to 7-year-olds. If you’ve ever had the interest of taking care of kids and earning some spending money, here are some tips and tricks on having a pleasant babysitting experience.

How to Get Your Name Out There:

The first step to seek out potential families you can babysit for. I recommend starting with your neighborhood. Find out what neighbors around you have kids and ask whether they would be interested in a babysitter. I lucked out finding families because my parents put my name out there to different neighbors.

There are also online platforms that you could use to help you find families. Websites like Sittercity and Care.Com have an age requirement of at least 18 years old to register. So if you’re younger than 18, you should start out in your neighborhood. You can make flyers or post on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

What You Need to Know

Taking care of a child is a big responsibility. You’re caring for another person who is not old enough to be independent, making them more vulnerable to risks. In order to have an easier experience babysitting, there are a couple of skills you need to learn.

Changing a diaper: Babies and some toddlers will be wearing diapers. You’ll have to learn the skills of cleaning a baby’s bottom and changing their diaper. Usually, you can have your parents teach you or the parents of the child/children you are watching.

Abdominal Thrusts & CPR: These are extremely important skills you need to have. In case a child starts to choke on food or a small item, you need to be able to perform the abdominal thrusts procedure (formerly called the heimlich maneuver) in order to remove the piece from the child’s throat. If a child stops breathing, CPR is the procedure to help provide air along while calling 911. To learn these procedures, there are classes online or in person you can find by researching. The Red Cross is an example.

The Red Cross babysitting classes will also provide you information on the following.

  • Basic Care for Infants and Children

  • Basic First Aid

  • Child Behavior

  • Age-Appropriate Activities

  • Emergency Protocols

  • Professionalism

  • Leadership

  • Growing Your Business

How to Keep Your Cool

After six years of watching children, I’ve dealt with kids with different personalities. Sometimes babysitting can be difficult and exhasuting. You can deal with many circumstances—like the child won’t fall asleep, the baby won’t stop crying, the children won’t listen to you, the parents are strict or they will critique your babysitting techniques. Whatever you do, don’t let it get to you. It can be easy to feel defeated and upset but in the end, you’re a big help to these different parents/guardians. Never be afraid to ask questions regarding the children you are watching. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Stay in the moment when babysitting because these kids just want someone to give them love and attention. Have fun with them! If you love kids, you’ll know how rewarding it can be. Trust the process. It’ll be worth it in the end.

Natalie Daniels is an editorial intern for Dreamlette. She is a journalism major at Emerson College with a love of storytelling. Her favorite topics include entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, social issues, and music.

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