Babysitting a small child, whether it's a sibling or a neighbor, takes practice, patience, and understanding. Many teens babysit, but it can be scary without preparation. With a little organization and coordination, babysitting can be both enjoyable and lucrative.
Part 1 of 4: Set up an action plan
Step 1. Set up a program
You are probably self-employed and must prepare and stick to your schedule to do so. This might sound a bit old-fashioned to you, but it would be very handy to jot down on a calendar all of the days and times that you are free, so that when a parent calls to offer to babysit you, you would know immediately when. are you free.
- Color coding could also help you organize your busiest days.
- Update your schedule regularly so you don't accidentally engage with two parents at the same time.
Step 2. Set your rate
Some parents will already have a price in mind when they contact a babysitter, while others will ask the babysitter to set her price. There are two options: to be paid by the hour or to be paid according to the number of children. The first option will work best for small families, while the second will be better if you plan to look after more than one child at a time.
- Per hour, the price of a babysitter is generally between 6 and 12 euros, but can be much more or much less depending on the family that will employ you.
- If you are paid per child, count 3 to 6 euros per child per hour.
Step 3. Attend a babysitting, care or childcare class
While you don't need to be licensed or qualified to babysit, knowing how to care for a child is still helpful. Look for a child welfare or first aid course so that you are well prepared for your first job. You could also read books on this topic and learn basic techniques for caring for a child or baby.
Step 4. Make a list of emergency contacts
You will need personalized information about the health of each child, as well as emergency telephone numbers. Note on your list the number of the poison control center, the police, the fire brigade and the SAMU. You will only use them in an emergency, but they could prove essential.
Part 2 of 4: Preparing for the job
Step 1. Write down the parent information
When you arrive at the place where you will be working, start by noting the address of the place where the parents will be during the evening. Also write down their full names and phone numbers and the time they should return.
Step 2. Write down emergency contacts
Ask parents to give you the number of at least two people to contact in case of an emergency. Also write down any children's health information you may need, especially when it comes to allergies. If necessary, ask the parents to leave you the number of the doctor treating the children.
- Ask the parents to show you where the medicines and the first aid kit are stored.
- List all the medicines that each child should or can take in the event of an accident or injury (such as paracetamol for migraines and pain).
Step 3. Write down the child's schedule
Most families have a general (and sometimes even very specific) schedule for the events of the child's day. This includes meal times, times for certain chores or homework periods, and bedtime. Write this down ahead of time so the kids (if they're old enough) can't lie to you about it once their parents have their backs turned.
Step 4. Find out about permitted activities
Each family you will work for will be slightly different and it is important to determine what activities are allowed within each family. Find out about television, video games and the computer, and the times (and places) the child can play outside. Ask if the children's friends can enter and which rooms in the house might be closed to children. The rules could vary from one child to another within the house, depending on the age, so be sure to ask for all necessary details.
Step 5. Prepare a program for the evening or the day
Depending on how long you will be babysitting these children, you may need to feed the children one or two meals. Ask parents what they would like you to serve their children and what foods are allowed to be eaten. Also ask what foods are prohibited, usually these will be sweets or treats that the child might ask you for when his parents are away.
Step 6. Learn about the punishments allowed
It is very likely that at one point or another, a child you are babysitting will do something stupid. Instead of guessing and punishing the child too much or not harshly enough, ask parents what they usually do with little nonsense. This usually includes some kind of deprivation or being put in one's room.
Part 3 of 4: supervising the children
Step 1. Take the time to get to know them
Babysitting is a way to make money, but it is also an opportunity to enjoy the company of the children. By developing a relationship with them, children will be more receptive to you and your period, and will appreciate you more quickly. Talk to them, ask them questions and play with them to develop a bond between you and them.
Step 2. Play with the children
Your responsibility is to watch the children, but you should also interact with them as much as possible through games. The games will depend on the age of the children: if you are supervising a baby, you might do nothing more than present toys and make faces. Be creative in the activities you suggest to the children so that they stay involved and avoid doing anything stupid.
Activities with toys or board games are good options for older children. Ask them what they like to do in order to plan activities that they like
Step 3. Come up with fun activities
If you babysit these children for a long time, you might be able to do things that everyone will enjoy doing. You could make crafts or paint or bake a cake with the children. Faced with the finished product, they will feel productive, and this will pass the time and give the children a reason to be proud of themselves.
Step 4. Watch the natural needs of children
Children are not able to manage their time as well as adults and sometimes even forget to take their bodily needs into account. Check every hour to see if they feel like going to the bathroom, if they are thirsty, if they are tired or if they are hungry. Most of the time, they won't even think of telling you about their needs, so be sure to always ask them.
Step 5. Stick to the schedule
If parents told you what the day's activities were, be sure to stick to this schedule. Make sure you feed the children at the right times, put the children to bed for naps, have them do their homework, etc.
Part 4 of 4: avoid mistakes
Step 1. Never leave a child alone
Whatever the circumstances, your responsibility as a babysitter is to watch the children: never leave them alone. Children should never be alone at home. You might not be in the same room all the time, but going to the store to buy a missing ingredient or going for a walk without them is out of the question. This also applies to older children, unless the parents have explicitly informed you that the children can be left alone for short periods.
Step 2. Do not invite anyone into the house
Unless you are scheduled to be visited by friends of the children, no one should enter the house while you are supervising the children. You should not receive visits from friends or family during your working hours. It might be tempting to invite a friend over to keep you company when the kids are sleeping, but that wouldn't be appropriate.
Step 3. Don't abuse electronic devices
With the constant presence of phones, tablets, and computers, it can be easy to get caught up in chatting with a friend, on Facebook, or texting. As with most other jobs, your electronics should only be used in an emergency. You get paid to watch the kids, not to chat with your friends.
Step 4. Don't let children watch television for too long
Children will often ask to watch television and although this may be allowed for short periods of time, several hours of television would not allow children to thrive. If parents haven't given you specific limits, try to limit yourself to 2 hours or less. Kids will be happy to have someone to play with them, and parents won't think you're lazy or don't take your job seriously.
Step 5. Be careful
Never open the door unless you are expecting someone, and remember to verify that they are the right person. Look through the peephole or window (don't open the door a crack!) Before opening the door. The person who rings the bell could be a stranger. Ask parents for a list of people who might ring the bell and ask them to describe them.
Step 6. Tidy up the house before the parents come home
Although this tends to be forgotten, an important task of the babysitter role is to tidy up the mess of children. You might not have much to put away, but if you've made a cake or craft, be sure to put everything back in place. Parents will appreciate coming into a clean house and will be much more willing to re-engage you in the future.
- Many children are afraid of monsters at night. If you have trouble putting children to sleep, tell them, “I know a magic formula. It still works with me. It's a formula that scares the monsters away”. Then have the child repeat something fun like "Winnie the Pooh is going to take care of you." Say “let's say it together”. Say it with the child, then offer to look in the closet, under the bed, behind the curtains and any other places where a monster might be hiding. Remember to repeat before you go out that you have checked everywhere and that there are no monsters and the magic spell will prevent them from coming back.
- Be patient. Kids might not always obey you the first time, but don't lose your temper!
- Watch your language! You wouldn't want kids to hear you say bad words and then repeat them to their parents thinking it's okay.
- Do not hesitate to call the parents if you think it is necessary. It is always better to be sure of what you are doing, and parents will appreciate your seriousness.
- If you give a child a bath, never leave it alone, even for just two seconds. Make sure you have everything you will need for the bath before putting the child in the water.
- The children you babysit might not go to bed at the same time, so ask those who are not sleeping to color with you (or find another quiet activity).
- When changing a baby's diaper on a changing table or other surface, make sure you have everything you will need (wipes, diapers, talc, etc.) on hand so you don't have to move away to look for an item. Do not let the child up for even a second, as that second might be enough for them to fall off the table.
- If you are babysitting an older child who needs to take a bath but is uncomfortable going naked, don't leave them alone in the bathroom! Bring a magazine or book to read and pretend you don't see it.
- Children love stories and will be impressed even if you are not a good storyteller. Tell them original stories they've probably never heard of, like The Shoemaker and the Elves or The 12 Dancing Princesses. When you can't get them to bed or get them to eat, promise them that if they obey you, you'll tell them a story. Be sure to remove scary or confusing elements from the story. Grimm's tales are sometimes a little strange …
- If the child tends to be difficult to sleep, ask the parents to provide you with a playpen. If they don't have one, put all the children in the same room with the crib and have them watch an appropriate movie.
- Do not give children foods that are too high in sugar, even if they are begging you, unless you have their parents' consent.
- Never fall asleep while babysitting. It is never a good idea to fall asleep while you are working, as the children you supervise might take advantage of this to do something stupid or hurt themselves.
- Never leave children with a stranger, even if the children seem to know him.
- Secure places where children play. Make sure all electrical outlets are covered and put all sharp or sharp objects out of reach. Keep children away from household products. Keep the drugs out of reach, a child may mistake them for candy and swallow them. Close all windows. If you are supervising a toddler, close the bathroom, toilet and basement doors.
- When you put a baby to bed, do not lay it on its stomach. This could trigger Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Do not put the baby on pillows, he could suffocate.
- If you are babysitting, feed him only portions that are at most the size of his or her fist or smaller.
- Follow parents' instructions. If you disobey them, they probably won't re-engage you.