Now I don't claim to be a babysitting genius, and you may have heard better advice out there, but I have been babysitting my 5 younger siblings for a year and a half now. I shed also helped in church nurseries and helped with younger cousins my whole life. And once I get CPR certified in the spring of 2021 I will be a full time babysitter for families around my county. Now let's get down to buisness.
Your Sitter Bag
As a babysitter I recommend having a sitter bag. It doesn't need to be huge, just big enough for some necessities (and a few extras) that are nice to have on hand. Here is a list of what I think should be in very sitter bag.
1. Phone. This is a necessity in case of emergency. Just because you bring your phone DOES NOT MEAN that you are going to sit and play on it instead of paying attention to the kids you are watching.
2. A box of Band-aids. Every kid gets a boo-boo every now and then and most parents Band-aid supply does not last very long since ever toddler will find the hidden box. That's why I keep a box with me. You never know when they will come in handy.
3. An extra change of clothes. I am going to explain this item in just one sentence, sometimes the sitting turns messy.
4. Picture books. Try to bring picture because books that aren't ultra popular so that they might be new to the kids. A good book is a great help when you don't want to just plop a little kid down in front of a screen.
5. A few toys. Bring some toys that are fun and exciting for small kids. Like a ball that vibrates or a yo-yo. If you don't have toys at your house being something like a pair of binoculars.
6. A coloring book and a box of crayons. While chances are good that the kids you are sitting will have coloring boooks, a new one brings excitement!
7. Something that you want for yourself.
Have your bag packed? Let's get on to the sitting.
First Tip Set 👶
The first thing we are going to tackle is well...the babies. Whether you end watching a baby who is pretty chill or one that won't quit crying, it's going to be an adventure. Even the calmest babies have their breakdown moments. Babies are by far the easiest age group to deal with. To get us started here are 5 things that I have found keep a baby nice and happy.
1. Singing. Babies (for whatever reason) love to here someone sing to them. You could sing a calming lullabye or a fast pop song and it will probably do the trick. The way the words flow together sooth a baby. A baby isn't going to judge your singing voice so it's worth a shot isn't it?
2. Interactive nursery rhymes. We all know the classics like The Itsy Bitsy Spider and London Bridge is Falling Down. Holding a baby's hands while showing him to do Pat-A-Cake or bouncing him on your knees for Giddy Up Horsey is sure to be a hit. Most babies love nursery rhymes, just like we did when we were that small. Nursery rhymes have been a babysitter helper for-ev-er.
3. Reading. Now is a great time for those books in your sitter bag to make an appearance. This is what we brought them for. Right? Even though most babies won't be able to understand what you are reading the bright pictures and probably even the sound of your voice will help them calm down.
4. Talking in a silly voice. Do not ask me why babies like this because I have no clue. My dad says that when I was little you could only get me to stop crying if you talked in an obnoxious, high pitched voice. I mean, if it works it works.
5. Baby Einstein. When all else fails turn Baby Einstien on YouTube. It works every time.
Second Tip Set 👧
Now we will tackle the most difficult section. Toddlers. I know. Just thinking about it makes me want to scream. Toddlers are part Angel and part Devil. And you never know which side is going to surface at any given moment. Once again here are my 5 good and tricks, just this time it is the toddler version.
1. Dress up. Every single toddler I have ever met owns a dress up collection. For the sake of your sanity please let that child out whatever super goggles and tiaras that they ask to. Wear the goofy clothing with pride because you have successfully avoided a breakdown.
2. Telling stories. While some toddlers will sit and listen to you read, most have incredibly short attention spans. So if that is the case with the kid you are babysitting then encourage him or her to tell you a story. Only interrupt if it is a question concerning their story. This could occupy them for hours (though you may be bored out of your mind).
3. Guessing/finding games. Games like I-Spy and What Number Am I Thinking are perfect games to play with toddlers. There is not much more to say. This is really a either they like it or they don't situation. But they always help me when !y other resources are running out.
4. Coloring. It's time for that coloring book to make its appearance. Either let the kid color in the pictures or give him animals to draw with the crayons.
5. Dance party. Pull out your phone and play music loudly. All kids like a chance to show off their moves.
Third Tip Set 👨
Now it is time for our final Tip Set. The Elnentary School kids. Sometimes they will be easy and just hang out in their rooms. But most often they are going to be excited that someone is in there house and will want to show off every nook and cranny. Here are my final tips and tricks for getting those rowdy kids to settle down.
1. Reading. Here is where your picture books resurface. Since we are now sitting older kids try having them read the book to you. Or have a different voice for each character that you use as you read out loud.
2. Play. Pull out a bin of cars/barbies/etc. and play with the kids. It's as simple as that!
3. Story telling. This time you and the kids can tell the story together. So it like this. I would say, " the ship tossed and turned in the... " and the the girl next to me would continue the story, "in the teacup!" Then her brother could say, " the crew was made of ants and as the woman picked up her cup for a drink... " and so and so on.
4. Show and tell. Have the kids do a little show and tell for you!
5. And for my final tip movies. If all else fails, movies will always be there.
I hope this helped you out and maybe have you some ideas for your next babysitting gig. Tell me in the comments if you have any trusty tips that work for you!
I would love to get to know you!! Have something you would like me to discuss? have questions? Contact me through my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org