Babysitting is a great way to get experience working with small children – not to mention a fun way to make some extra money! But remember, when parents trust you with their growing family, it’s a big responsibility. Before you accept your first babysitting job, check out these do’s and don’ts, and go into your first gig confident that you’re prepared for anything:DO's
- Learn CPR, first aid and food safety guidelines – taking the American Red Cross babysitter class is a great start!
- Know the poison control hotline in case a child gets into something they shouldn’t: 1-800-222-1222.
- Get the parent’s expectations – time, dates, pay, special instructions, etc.
- Write down all the emergency information you need before the parents leave.
- Learn about the children’s food and drug allergies.
- Meet the family pets and learn how they interact with the kids you’re watching.
- Lock the doors and windows after the parents leave.
- Turn on outside lights at night.
- Always put babies to sleep on their backs – never on their sides or tummies.
- Check on the kids every 30 minutes after they’ve been put to bed.
- Know where all exits are in case of fire.
- If you need a question answered or are concerned about anything, remember to call the parents and ask – they’ll be happy you turned to them.
- Call 911 if someone unwelcome enters the house or if you feel unsafe in any way.
- Remember not to give children food or medicine without the parent’s instructions.
- Don’t leave the house with the kids unless given permission.
- Don’t have friends over while you’re working.
- Never shake a baby or young child.
- If someone calls, don’t identify yourself as the babysitter. Simply say the parent can’t come to the phone and take a message.
- Don’t leave a child alone in the bathtub – even for just one second.
- If the parent comes home and seems drunk or is acting strange, don’t let them drive you home. Instead, call and have someone come and pick you up. You can even have a code word or phrase if you feel awkward making the call in front of them.
Use this list to help you improve your babysitting skills and you’ll become an expert in no time!