Babysitting 101

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how to be a great babysitter

This post is for any young girl (or boy) looking for tips on how to be a great babysitter from a mom’s point of view.  It is actually pretty simple, but some things might not be obvious, that’s why I am giving you the scoop. For my moms reading this with girls coming into babysitting age, please share these tips with them. Moms everywhere will thank you.

How to be a Great Babysitter

(and get hired over and over again!)

1. Be Punctual

Always, always be on time, if not, a couple (not 10, a couple) minutes early. Most times parents have somewhere to be.

2. Put Your Phone Down

Once they are old enough to talk, kids will tell exactly what went down when you were there.  If you sit on the couch looking at your phone, we will know.  We don’t want to pay you to sit on your phone and ignore the kids.

3. Be Game

The most fun thing about a great babysitter is the opportunity for kids to be able to “play” with an older kid or young adult.  If the kids want to play beauty salon, be game and play along! As a bonus, the 50 small pigtails in your hair just might be your new favorite look.

4. Come Up with Something Novel to Play

Kids love new games. Whether you bring a new coloring book you picked up at the Dollar Store, teach them a new game, or how to build the best fort, novelty wins you big points with the kiddos.

5. Take the Bedtime Seriously

If I tell you to please have the kids in bed at 8:00pm, please do it. There’s nothing worse than walking into a house after an evening out to find your kids awake when they were supposed to be asleep long ago. You might not realize what a kid on one hour less sleep might look like the next day because you don’t have to deal with them but we do. We are paying good money to bypass the bedtime routine and antics for a night, please take this seriously.

6. Provide a Brief Food/Sleep Summary 

I appreciate a recap of anything regarding food or sleep.  When kids went down, how long they napped, what time they last ate, etc. Any info that might help us as far as sleep or food is concerned helpful to a mom. For example, if Johnny didn’t eat much of his lunch, tell me. That way I will know he might need a snack soon.  Moms rely on food and sleep to assess their kid’s moods a lot of time, help us fill in the blanks while we were gone.

7. Use Common Sense 

Safety is of course number one. If something is unsafe, please don’t let the kids do it. If a child tells you they usually get seconds on their ice cream, don’t give it to them. Just use your common sense and don’t hesitate to tell the kids NO when needed.

8. TIDY UP!

It is a mom’s dream to return to a home more tidy than when she left.  We are not talking deep cleaning. We are not talking about completely organized.  Just picked up and tidy. Put the dishes in the dishwasher, clean the pots you used to cook dinner, pick up the toys/art crap/books, whatever.  Even if it is “fake clean” and in a neat pile against the wall because you don’t know where it goes, we don’t care. The illusion is that the house is picked up is enough for us.

If the kids are old enough to help, make it a game 1/2 hour before the parent is due home. You can bring along stickers as incentive. It’s silly what kids will do for a sticker.  Have them show you where things go.  For a mom to return home to a picked up house is like a slice of HEAVEN. We might just shed a tear of gratitude.  It means that much, seriously.

Do these things girls (and boys) and you might just be the most sought-after sitter on the block! Your turn mamas, what do you look for in a great babysitter?

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