Babysitting 101


When it comes to babysitting it can either be an easy or stressful night, however it doesn’t have to be.

To start off a babysitting career, the most crucial thing to acquire is contacts. Contacts are what make the job possible. In my experience the best option to start with is your own neighborhood. To gain attention I made my own flyers. On the flyer, you can include your name, number, wage, age, etc. Then, I pinned the flyers on mailboxes in my neighborhood. I also recommend taking a babysitting class before, especially one that gives you CPR training. 


Once you land your first babysitting job, it’s important to ask for the parent’s phone numbers. It will be crucial to have in case of an emergency. Other important questions could be: What time do the kids go to bed? What time do they usually eat? Do you have any rules when it comes to electronics? Do the children have any allergies?


When it comes to toddlers and elementary school kids, it can be hard to keep them entertained once in a while. Some of my favorite things to do with kids is crafts. Many kids love playdough, coloring, and painting. However, if you do any of these, make sure always to clean up after. In fact, when it comes to any activity you do with the kids, making it tidy afterward is always loved by the parents. Another thing I love to do with the kids are play outside. You can go on a walk, ride bikes, or visit a nearby park. Although if you’re going to do this make sure the parents are fine with it. Board games and puzzles are also great for older kids. Another great activity for elementary-level kids is playing dress up. I have babysat for a few families that have their own dress-up boxes or something of the sort, but you could easily make some as well. Another thing that kids of all ages love are building forts. Kids love to use their creativity when it comes to building and designing. You could possibly turn it into a game as well, such as a castle that you have to rescue someone from. Then maybe watch a movie inside the fort to wind them down. Once again remember to clean up afterward, parents never like coming home to a messy house. 


When babysitting more than one kid it’s not always fun and games. Every once in a while you might have siblings that fight. When it comes to arguing or if they get physical, the best is a time-out. I recommend around three minutes. Then, have them talk it out and try to lighten the mood. When doing that I try to make them both laugh. My favorite is to keep telling them not to smile in a funny voice. They often get so distracted they forget what they were mad about. Although if the kids are fighting over something like a toy there’s an easy solution as well. Remove the toy and give both of them new toys. 


Another time that often brings trouble is bedtime. When it comes to bedtime always put the kid to bed when the parent tells you to. Even if the kid says something along the lines of “but my mom lets me stay up an hour later on weekends” always follows the exact time. There are things to make it easier, to start off give them warnings such as there are fifteen minutes till bed. If they struggle to try to fall asleep try reading them a bedtime story. If they’re ever scared, staying with them for a bit might also help get them to bed.


At the end of the night when the parents get home giving them a rundown is always a great thing to do. When it comes to paying, Venmo is a great option. Or any other apps that are similar such as Paypal. Although if the parent doesn’t have any of those apps cash also works well or your own personal preference. When it comes to how much per hour it really depends on how many kids they have and your experience. When starting out I’d recommend starting at 10 per hour. It may also be helpful to discuss with your parents to find the best option.