7 Tips for babysitters

Babysitting for a new family? Not sure what questions to ask about their child? Is the child a baby or toddler? Every family is different and wants a different experience for their child! Here are some tips to make you the best babysitter you can be!

  1. Ask what they want for their child. Do they want you to do arts & crafts? Do they limit screen time? Do they want outdoor time? Each family’s requests may vary! Some families may allow their children to watch television while others may rather you play with toys and work on homework.
  2. Bring something on the first day to spark their child’s interest. Parents love when you can easily interact with their child from the very beginning. Try bringing an age appropriate book to read together, or some coloring pages to work on. They’ll be entertained, and parents will feel confident in you.
  3. Always know where the first aid kit is. Parents are busy and don’t always remember to show you where the Band-Aids are on their way out of the house. If their child falls down and scrapes their knee when playing outside, you should know where to find the first aid kid.
  4. Ask about allergies. So many children have allergies to foods, soaps, pollen, animals and many other things. Make sure you know every allergy that a child may have. For example, if the child has a severe nut allergy, you may think that he or she is safe if they haven’t eaten or been around any nuts, but don’t forget about what you ate before you got to their house! Even eating a peanut butter sandwich as you walk out the door to go babysit can be harmful to that child if proper precautions aren’t taken. Don’t forget to ask about Epi Pens.
  5. Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers. It’s great to keep a phone number of one parent in your phone for easy contact, but always have a back up plan. If one parent doesn’t answer the phone for any reason, such as driving or his or her phone died, you need to be able to contact someone else in case of an emergency. Ask for numbers to be written down and put somewhere in the house in case your phone dies too!
  6. Ask about a schedule if the child is young. Are you watching an infant? Some parents keep their babies on a schedule for sleeping and eating. Naptime at 10 a.m. or tummy time at 12 p.m.? Try to follow what the family asks for their infant or toddler.
  7. Be fun, caring, and safe! Always pay attention to the safety of the child, but have fun while doing it! Dance, laugh, play and love your job!

Need a list of questions to ask your new family? Check below for a list of great questions to ask for teens, kids, toddlers and babies!

  • What are your emergency phone numbers?
  • Are there any allergies?
  • Do you allow TV or movies?
  • Does your child play outside?
  • Where is your first aid kit?
  • Are there any favorite toys or games?
  • Is there a bedtime?
  • What is the bedtime routine?
  • Do you allow your child sweets or snacks?
  • Is there an alarm for the house?
  • Is your child on any medications?
  • How do you care for any pets?
  • Is your child in diapers or potty trained/training?
  • Are there any dietary restrictions? Vegan, vegetarian, kosher?
  • Will you have to drive children anywhere?

Infants

  • Is there a schedule?
  • Do you do tummy time?
  • How do you clean the bottles?
  • Do you use formula or breast milk?
  • How much formula per ounce of water?
  • How many ounces does your child normally take?
  • How do you warm the bottles?
  • Do you use cream after a diaper change?
  • Do you use powder after a diaper change?
  • Is there a specific place you want your child to nap? Crib, swing, etc.?
  • Do you follow any specific parenting techniques?
  • Where do you keep extra clothes?