5 things to do before your next babysitting job
1. Make a plan, just in case
Sometimes the unexpected happens, and when it does, a good babysitter is prepared for all possibilities. Have phone numbers to call (parents, neighbors and emergency personnel) listed in an handy spot (like on the refrigerator or tucked into your wallet). Run through scenarios in your mind and plot out your next step—if Lucy sticks a quarter up her nose, I’ll call her dad first, then the physician; if it rains, I’ll get the kids to help me bring the outdoor toys into the garage, then heat up some apple cider.
2. Know the house rules
Even the most lax set of parents have a few rules they want their kids—and you—to live by while you’re under their roof. Write ‘em down in a special notebook and take it with you on every sitting trip. Whether it’s about keeping the kids out of the formal living room or not letting them gorge on sweets after dinner, you should have these down pact before you arrive.
3. Brush up on emergency basics
Getting your certification for emergency procedures like first aid and CPR will not only boost your credentials (and fatten your wallet). It’ll also help you stay calm during a real emergency. Trust me, the classes are worth it, so sign yourself up at a local Red Cross, community center or hospital.
4. Tell your buds you’re busy
Chances are the ‘rents you’re sitting for aren’t paying you to be texting your friends all night. Do them—and your charges—a favor and stash the phone in your bag for the duration of your stay.
5. Pack your babysitting bag
Last but not least, you’ve gotta get your gear ready to go! Bring an age-appropriate board game, a movie you loved as a child, dress-up costumes, arts and crafts supplies—whatever you think the kids you’re in charge of are going to wanna do.