Babysitting Techniques

Good Babysitting Strategies to
Make Babysitting Easier

Good babysitting techniques and strategies are great to know whether a babysitter is just getting started or is already a seasoned kid-watching pro.

These babysitting strategies and techniques help take the pressure off because they are all about being better prepared. Plus, they can also be used you can used as a great starting point for a babysitter's own personal tips list.

Good Babysitting Techniques - Before the Job

good babysitting techniques

Before a babysitting job even kick off, there are some basic items the babysitter should have covered:

  • Safety is paramount. Have all the safety stuff under control. Check out the safe babysitting page of important safety tips for additional information.
  • Preparation for the age and interests of the kids being watched. Toddlers will have different interests and attention spans than kids who are 7 or 8. Crafts for kids are something that can cover different age groups - even if they are being babysat at the same time.
  • Determine how much flexibility is allowed in how time is spent. Will the parents be setting out a specific schedule to follow? Or is the babysitter expected to plan the time? The more flexibility involved, the more responsibility the babysitter has in taking charge of the agenda.
  • Is there a general schedule? Do the kids need to be fed? At what time? Do they need baths? What time should they go to bed?
  • What are the limitations? Don't plan lots of outside activities if the parents don't want the children outside while they are gone.
  • Scheduling and payment details. Discussing money can be uncomfortable for some, but it will be worse if it isn't disdussed until after the job is done. Parents expect to pay for babysitting, and a babysitter should already have a good idea of the market rate. When discussing the details of the job with parents, the babysitter should know about how long they will be watching the kids and what, if anything, specifically needs to do with them. After that, it will be much easier to determine an appropriate rate snd to communicate that with the parents.
  • Kids - limitations and opportunities. It should be understood in advance that children can be picky, but that they are also excited about doing different things. Even if they've been watched before, they might not want to do the same activities or games again. That's why it's important to bring along along books or activities that are new to them since they are more likely to get excited. Remember this - kids love new things! For examples, check out these fun babysitting ideas.

Good Babysitting Techniques - On the Job

Aside from the safety considerations, what are the other good babysitting techniques and strategies to be used on the job?

It often depends on the kids who are being watched. The needs of a 1-year old, for example, will be different than those of a 6-year old. Still, there are also some basics that apply to all ages and jobs. Here are some good babysitting techniques to use on the job:

  • Punctuality and Appropriate Attire. That means be on time and dress appropriately. Professional appearance is important, but wearing comfortable clothes is also important since a lot of time will likely be spent doing a lot of activities, including sitting or crawling on the floor.
  • Notifying parents of accidents or sickness. While it may be difficult to call the parents while they are out, it is not a good idea to wait until they come home. Accidents can happen - even to a great babysitter. Parents need to know that their babysitter is mature enough to report incidents.
  • Be respectful. That means respect for the children, the parents, and the house. The house should be as clean at the end of the job as it was at the beginning ("Clean as you go" is a sound policy and the kids being watched can also help out).
  • Taking care of kids' necessities. This may seem really basic, but it's crucial that a babysitter knows how to change a diaper, fix a simple meal, and give a child a bath. Any or all of these may be part of the job, and they are skills that every babsyitter needs to have.
  • Tantrums and fears are part of the job. The successful babysitter is patient and prepared for less than ideal behavior. Remember that these are younger children, and even the best kids will have an occasional tantrum when things don't go exactly their way. They might also get scared at night as they go to bed. These are all normal things that come with the kids' ages. Talk to the parents in advance about these things to get some ideas on how to handle them. Don't discipline children without specific permission and guidance from the parents. And a sitter should never spank a child.
  • Being professional. Yes, even if the kids are asleep. A good sitter will still check on them periodically to be sure they are doing fine. Don't the music down and the TV off, even if it won't wake the kids up. This is not the time for complete freedom since the job is not done yet.
  • Having a positive attitude. It shows - to the parents and to the kids. It also goes a long way to in making the job more enjoyable and time pass more quickly.

Good Babysitting Techniques - After the Job

So what's the best way to end a babysitting job? Hopefully, the same way it was begun - in a professional manner. Here are some specific ideas:

  • Fill the parents in on the activities that occurred while they were gone. Did the kids eat well? Was there anything unusual or funny that happened while they were out? What time did the kids go to bed?
  • Be polite and ask them how their evening was.
  • Thank them for the opporutnity to babysit for them.
  • Tell them how much you enjoyed babysitting and be sure they have your number to call again or for referrals.

Making sure that you are always professional, even if you are having fun with the kids, is the best way to ensure future babysitting jobs. And the best way to be professional is with good babysitting techniques!