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Babysitting bootcamp: Tiny tot 101

My aunt and uncle are coming to visit, and they’re bringing their six-month-old daughter. I know I’ll be asked to babysit her, but I’ve never taken care of a baby before! What should I do?


Babies are so cute and entertaining, but they can also be quite a handful.  It’s great that your aunt and uncle trust you enough to give you this big responsibility, so you need to prove to them that you can handle it.  With just a little prep, you’ll be ready to take on this tot with ease!


Take a class

There are so many great resources in your area, so take advantage of them. See if the local community center or hospital offers a babysitting class that you can take to learn all the basics.  They’ll teach you CPR and show you how to handle tough situations, which will erase your worries. If you feel prepared before the job, you’ll be able to relax and just enjoy the time you’re spending with the adorable baby rather than worrying about those unwelcome surprises.


Talk to the ‘rents

Before you’re left alone with the child, make sure you talk to her parents about her specific likes and dislikes.  If she likes to hear “choo-choo” noises while being fed, or loves when her mom sings “Row Your Boat,” then be sure to write these down and repeat them later. The baby will feel more comfortable if you do things that are familiar to her, which will make your job a whole lot easier.  You should also be sure that you’ve got their numbers on speed dial, just in case any questions pop up while you’re on the job.


Stay alert

It’s crucial to stay with the child 100 percent of the time. Even though your besties won’t stop texting you or your BF is begging to come over, just say no.  Your attention should be focused on the baby, and you need to get rid of the distractions. Put the phone away and tell your guy you’ll meet him tomorrow, because watching a baby is a big responsibility. Be sure there are no small toys that she can choke on and double-check that her food is the right temp.  Keep this in the back of your mind: “If my aunt and uncle saw me now, would they think I’m doing a good job?” If the answer is no, then pull your focus together and make them proud they picked you to baby-sit.


Good luck, chica!

BY CASEY LIEBERMAN ON 7/29/2011 12:00:00 AM


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