Friday, February 6, 2009

Being the BEST Babysitter Ever!

While searching for that pilates video on my computer I stumbled up this list I had made in 2005 for one of the ladies I babysat for- she really wanted her other babysitters to do what I did, clean up after the kids were in bed!

I was talking to my friend Danielle last night and she told me she's never had another babysitter do what I did when I used to watch her kids. So maybe these tips will help out the girls she uses now. It was fun to go back and read this! I somewhat miss babysitting- I did it ALL the time before I got engaged and married! I remember one Saturday specifically in college I had 7 calls to babysit for that night! That's a good problem to's also no wonder I rarely had a "w-2" kind of job throughout my high school and college years!

I've also always said, I am going to be the hardest person in the world to babysit for someday!

Andrea’s Keys to being the Best Babysitter in the World!
March 23, 2005

Play with the kids: parents are not paying you to watch their cable TV, read a magazine/book, sit around and eat, or talk on the phone.
  •  Kids love crafts, playing games, going outside, etc

Don’t tolerate misbehavior: parents don’t want to come home to a bunch of whining, griping kids that are still in a tussle with brother or sister. You are in charge; don’t ever let a kid convince you otherwise and therefore you have the ability to discipline within reason and/or as the parents have directed you. (I refuse to babysit for parents who don’t themselves actively discipline or allow me to discipline their kids-its too chaotic)
  •  The best way for kids to stay out of trouble is to keep them occupied; but if they begin to whine or bicker with siblings, redirect their attention to something else. 
  •  Reinforce good habits like apologizing to siblings for misbehavior, etc.
  • Time-outs generally work well (one minute for each year they are old, sitting away from action of siblings, and no talking privileges)
  • If a child persists in being belligerent, take away privileges -such as going to bed immediately instead of getting to play hide n’ go seek with you and siblings before bed or no dessert, etc.

Make sure the kids get something to eat: a meal, a snack
  • If parents have directed that the kids eat all their dinner before dessert, you are there to reinforce that.
  • Special “babysitter only” foods are fun! My favorite is pretzels dipped in frosting!

Give the Kids a bath if deemed necessary: and of course if the parents tell you to!

Get the kids to bed: do whatever it takes; this is the mark of an awesome babysitter!
  • A good rule with babies: if they cry, let them cry for about 15 minutes before going in to check on them UNLESS it sounds as if something is wrong. Sometimes I sing to a baby or rub their back to help them stop crying and fall asleep.
  • If an older child won’t stay in bed or lay down, lay with them for a little while until they are asleep. Be gentle and firm with older kids that they need to stay in bed.

After the Kids are asleep
  • Laundry: do it & fold it!
  • Clean up the playroom/toys
  • Dishes: always empty or load the dishwasher, never just stack dishes in the sink.
  • Take out the kitchen trash
  • Straighten up any other areas of the house

Once the house is in tip top shape, then feel free to watch TV, read a book, eat some food or do whatever!

When the parents come home: tell them what you did with the kids, what they ate and when, how they behaved (or misbehaved!), if/when a baby had a dirty diaper, etc. Parents want that reassurance that their kids are in responsible hands.


~Bren~ said...

OMGosh!! I want to hire you to watch ME!!!

Andrea Cherie said...

You're funny Bren! I bet you would~ laundry done, dishes done and the kiddos fast asleep!

Andrea Cherie said...

Bren~ I was apparently already knew the "shiny sink" philosophy long before I stumbled upon Flylady. That makes my heart happy :)

Carol said...

I think you may owe just a little bit of credit to Mary Ann Walker and her two amazing daughters Tammy and Melissa. You were tutored by some of the very best out there. I always remember the Walker girls showing up with a sack of children's books to babysit you and your sister. You always looked forward to any evening with one of them. - Mom

Danielle said...


You were the BEST babysitter EVER! Not too long ago Maddy said to me, "Mom can't you just call Andrea and have her babysit us again. I miss her, she was so fun!" They have such fond memories with you. BTW-I love your list!