7 Tips to Make Your First Day Babysitting Jitters Disappear

Do you have a new babysitting client or is it just your first time babysitting? Whatever the case I’m sure you are nervous which is totally understandable. New kids, new home,new rules it’s all so new and different. But I have a secret for you it’s really not as scary as you think it is. In fact I am going to teach you some ways to totally blow all those first day worries away so you can have a fantastic night with your new children.

First we need to establish some of the common fears that new and experienced babysitters have.

  1. What if the child hate’s me?
  2. What if the child won’t fall asleep?
  3. What if they wont stop crying?
  4. What if they don’t eat their dinner?
  5. What if they accidentally get hurt and it’s all my fault?
  6. What if the parents don’t like how I handled the evening?
  7. What if I forget an important rule the family told me to remember?

These are the top 7 things most babysitters worry about. If you notice most of them have to do with the child you will be spending all your time with ,except the last two,which makes them legitimate worries. Nobody wants to spend hours with a grumpy child.

So you might be asking, “If they are legitimate worries what can I do?” Well that’s where I come in. I can assure you I go through all these worries every time I get a new client so I know what you are going through.Lets go over each one and I will tell you how to either out think your worries or stop them all together with a few simple truths about each one. Let the count down begin.

7.What if I forget a rule?– This one is easy. If you forget a rule and the child does something they are not supposed to, it’s OK. That’s right you read that correctly. It’s OK. Remember it’s your first time in this new environment and you have a lot of things to remember and parents sympathize with that. As long as the child is safe parents will be grateful you were there for the evening and won’t focus on whatever you forget.

6.What if the parents don’t like how I handled the evening?- Another easy one. If they don’t like how you handled it they will tell you so, no parent is shy when it comes to how you handle their children. Will they fire you if they don’t like you? Maybe. Whether they fire you or not, take advantage of their disapproval and ask what they didnt like, what you could have done better, or simply think about it on your own and pick out areas from the night where you could have done better. Then next time implement those changes  whether with a new client or the same one and its sure to be a better experience for everyone.

5. What if the child gets hurt and it’s my fault? – Kids get hurt, accidents happen and parents understand that.  Even if you are the one that accidentally hits them in the face with your elbow, as long as you don’t panic, and don’t tell the kid not to tell their parents you will be fine. Like I said parents know that accidents happen because they have probably caused a few themselves.

4. What if they don’t eat dinner?– No matter how much you may like to, if a child has decided they wont eat dinner there really is no way to force them. Most likely they have eaten earlier in the day. Not eating dinner won’t kill them. But forcing them to eat may make your otherwise great night absolutely terrible. Try for a little bit and if it doesn’t work move on.If they get hungry later they will tell you and they can eat dinner then.

3. What if they wont stop crying?– Crying can be terribly annoying for everyone in the house, however sometimes kids just won’t stop. If this happens remember that it’s normal, start by hugging them and teling them its going to be ok. Next find out the reason for the tears and then if it’s something you can’t fix distract the child with their favorite toy, TV show ,silly faces or a little tickle. They will be smiling again in no time. If they continue to cry without any reason don’t worry, most likely they are tired or miss mom and dad. For either reason simply do what you can to comfort them, try some warm milk with sugar.Eventually they will calm down and fall asleep.

2. The child refuses to go to bed.– This will probably happen. There is really no way to stop it. The reason for it is usually that they miss their parents and you can’t replace them. However don’t argue or yell simply assure the child mom and dad will be home soon, or that when they wake up mom will be home but they have to sleep first. Offer to sit in their room with them or let them cuddle on the couch with you, play some calming music for them or read them a story.  Usually they will fall asleep on their own just having you there and if they don’t it’s OK the parents will be home soon and know what to do.

1. What if the kid hates me?- This may be the hardest worry of them all. You can’t predict how a child is going to feel about you.Because of that all you can do is decide what you will do in advance to hopefully keep them from starting to dislike you. Bring things along that children enjoy but probably dont get on a regular basis like glow sticks, candy,games from your childhood,a new movie or even an old one they have never seen.  You will be amazed how these simple things can get any child back on your side for the night.

So there you have it 7 worries and plenty of ways to keep your worries at bay for your first night of babysitting. Always rememeber to stay calm, be prepared and smile and if somethign does go wrong Dont Worry! Simply explain it to the parents when they get home and rememeber your next experience will be much better!

Do you have another way that you keep these worries at bay? Or do you have other worries not listed here? If so I would love you to share them with me!

Introducing Your Little One to the New Nanny/Babysitter

If you have children you know that eventually you will need to hire someone to care for them when you have work,errands or just need a date night with your spouse. Sometimes  it is possible to use someone your child already  knows like a close friend,a family member or a teenager of a family you know and trust.But in this busy world we live in that’s not always going to be possible. Now I have no children of my own,but I have worked for plenty of families who have expressed how difficult it is for them to  leave their precious little ones with anyone but themselves especially if they just hired the person and I totally understand that. Being a professional nanny I have seen it all  from the kids who ignore me when I walk in to the kids who have an absolute fit at just the sight of me. No matter the reaction, the build up to your child meeting the caregiver for the first time and the actual meeting can be extremely stressful for you , your caregiver and your little one.

                         

How can I fix that or at least make it easier on everyone? Very good question. Here are 3 steps that, if followed, can tip the scales from “Oh No!” to “Oh Yeah!” In this potentially awkward and stressful situation.

1) Meet the Caregiver Beforehand (without your kids)- Meeting with your caregiver away from your children and in advance will give you extra time to get to know each other and for you to make sure they are hearing everything you say. Use the time to talk about your kids, their biggest likes and dislikes, how time outs work, and how they interact with each other. This is also a great time to mention any hard and fast rules like , the kids are not allowed in your bedroom or no going outside at night; things like that. Also make sure there is time for them to ask any of their own questions and have them tell you more about themselves. maybe even ask if they have anything planned for your kids first day with them. When meeting beforehand isnt possible  try a phone call or have them come a half hour early on the day you need them just so you can go over things with them. In the end anytime you can spend educating your caregiver on the needs and rules of your home and getting to know them will make it easier for both of you.

2)Talk to Your Child About the New Caregiver– Whether it’s a new one or the first time ever get your kid excited. Tell your kids all the things you learned about their new caregiver,their name,what they like to do, the fun things they are going to do together and especially how much you like them. If you have a picture show it to them. That will help them become familiar with the new caregiver’s face so when the time comes to meet them it will be less scary. Do this a few days in advance and keep hyping it up as the day gets closer. This way by the time your child actually meets the new person they wont be so shocked  or scared.

3)Have Your Children Meet Them Before you Leave–  Even if they are excited beforhand, the first meeting can involve all kinds of reactions from excitement to a total breakdown. If you can plan the first meeting for at least a day before your plans are or even have the caregiver come an hour early the day of this will help aleviate any lasting fear your littlre ones may have. Doing this means a child will meet them with you there and get used to them while they know you’re still around, even if you’re in another room. It allows your child and their new caregiver to bond while they talk, play or explore all the fun things the caregiver has in store for the night. By the time you are ready to go, the caregiver will be comfortable with the child, you will be calmer just being able to hear how well it’s going and your child will have a new friend to play with while you are away.

Oh no! It didn’t work: If you end up doing all these steps or you just didn’t have time to do them and the first meeting is a disaster, Don’t worry everything will be ok. sometimes it doesn’t work out the way we would like it to. Just remember that the next time will be better, and that your experienced caregiver knows what to do  to make sure your little one is smiling again as soon as possible. If you’re really worried have them text you once your little one is calm again and having fun, that will help ease your nerves so you can focus on the rest of your day.

Expert Tip: If you are really worried about the first meeting have your child pick out their very favorite activity to play with you. when the caregiver arrives, invite them to join in the fun. Then when it’s time for you to go, the caregiver will pick up where you left off.

Whether this is your first time hiring a caregiver or the 10th I hope these tips and steps make that first meeting a whole lot less stressful for everyone involved. Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you? If you do I would love to hear about them. If these steps worked for you or even if they didn’t I want to know! I love hearing anything you have to say.