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How to Be a Great Babysitter

Updated on July 31, 2014
Playing with children is a great way to connect with them.
Playing with children is a great way to connect with them. | Source

You may think that babysitting is just about taking care of children while their parents go out, but it's much more than that. As a babysitter, you are their fill-in parents. You are responsible for their well-being while their parents are away. Being a great babysitter may take a lot of work, but in the end it is worth it. Not only will you be more valuable as a babysitter, but the parents will be more likely to call you back to babysit again.

Have you taken babysitting classes?

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Babysitting Training Classes

A good idea when deciding to become a great babysitter is to take babysitting training classes. These classes help you learn proper techniques on caring for younger children. A great organization that offers babysitting classes is the American Red Cross. In the babysitting program, you should learn how to:

  • Give first aid, do rescue breathing, and respond to emergency situations.
  • Make decisions under pressure.
  • Communicate with parents effectively.
  • Take care of young children.
  • Feed, care, and change diapers for infants.

In order to do a class through the American Red Cross, you must be between the ages of 11 to 15. After you complete the course, you will recieve a card saying that you are a certified babysitter.

You can also find babysitter classes online if the American Red Cross does not offer training in your area. Be wary though. These classes may be scams. Do your research before you sign up for classes.

Another class that I would highly suggest is to take a CPR/First Aid class specializing in children. Not only will it help you deal with emergency situations, but it will also help you learn how to care for children if you have to wait for paramedics to come. I hope you don't have to put what you learn into practice in a real-life situation, but knowledge is power. If you know it, you will be better off if a situation arises.

Don't just watch the children, get involved with them!
Don't just watch the children, get involved with them! | Source

Good Tips for Babysitting

  • When you are babysitting, make sure the children feel comfortable with you. Suggest to the parent you come over and hang out for an hour with the children before you actually are left alone with them. This way, they will be excited to spend alone time with you and they have time to get used to you before the parents leave.
  • Make sure the children know they can talk to you. If a child feels uncomfortable with you, they may not tell you if something is wrong. Make yourself approachable. Smile and make your appearance warm and friendly.
  • Get involved with the children. If you arrive and the children are doing something, go right up to them and get involved in what they're doing. I was babysitting a couple children the other day and they were playing a video game. I played the video game also so I mentioned that. They were amazed and they really connected with me. We spent a good hour talking about it and they felt more comfortable around me.
  • Don't have a set rate per hour. By having your rate whatever the parents feel you are worth, you may have a loss in pay sometimes, but you may also have a raise in pay. You never know.

The better qualities you have for babysitting, the easier it will be to find babysitting gigs in your area.
The better qualities you have for babysitting, the easier it will be to find babysitting gigs in your area. | Source

Qualities of a Good Babysitter

A good babysitter is:

  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Understanding
  • Involved in the children they care for
  • Aware of the children's needs
  • Fun
  • Responsible
  • Not always on their phone
  • Have common sense

Babysitting Changes Before and After Changing Techniques

Avg $5 per hour
Avg $15 per hour
Gigs Available
Had 1 family
Have 5 families
Parent Referrals
No referrals
Get referrals

By following these tips, I have managed to get a lot of babysitting gigs and an increase in pay. Besides that, I have had a lot more fun with the children and also establish great relationships with both the children and the adults. I have managed to put these skills to good use with my own child. What other tips can you offer for babysitters?


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    • SaffronBlossom profile image

      SaffronBlossom 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Awesome hub! I babysat all through undergrad and law school to pay the does take patience but I really feel in love with kids I watched. :) One of my tips is to babysit in the "higher-end" areas of the city if you can...I used to get $20+ per hours in those neighborhoods.

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      Thanks for the ratings! A lot of babysitters think that it's easy and from MY experience, if you think that babysitting is all about just making sure the kids stay out of trouble, you're probably doing it wrong.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Grest hub with lots of useful tips! I babysat from age 13 up to adulthood and I have babysitters in my home. Best piece of advice you gave was to be interested in the kids. Thank you for sharing! up and useful!

    • LagunaAlkaline profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Camas, WA

      Thanks! I believe that if you are on your phone you aren't doing your job. I think that phones take up too much of our lives (even though I'm guilty too). For the time being, I switched from my iPhone to just a basic cell phone so I'm not tempted!

    • livelifeworryfree profile image

      Princess Clark 4 years ago from The DMV

      Great tips on babysitting. My older daughter almost 21 babysat for many years and now my 14 year old twins are on their way. Shared this hub with them. I know they will heed your sage advice. One thing I like is that you said put away the phone and get involved. Sadly I've visited parks and have seen one to many babysitters on their smart phones and not involved in caring for the kids they are sitting. Thumbs up!