View Full Version : Babysitting advice-I'm the babysitter
06-28-2008, 08:44 PM
I just found this board and I am really excited. I am 16 years old (17 in August) and I started babysitting when I was 11 years old. I still haven't become CPR or first aid certified, even though I want to because my dad is concerned about the cost. I have a few questions for you parents:
How important to you is it that your babysitter is certified?
What do you pay your babysitter for how many kids you have and where you live (please let me know the specifics)?
What is your number one babysitting tip for me? The thing you look for most in a babysitter?
Sorry for all the questions, but I am trying to become a better babysitter, so a parent's ideas are very important. Please reply!
06-28-2008, 09:14 PM
Hi and welcome! It is nice to see a babysitter ambitious enough to seek some thoughts and advice from parents. To answer your CPR/first aid question- yes, I think it is important, valuable, and worth the money. Knowing how to react in an emergency and having the certification to back it up puts you at an advantage. Personally, we usually just use the grandmas for our babysitting needs, but I know that if I were looking for a babysitter, I would definately prefer to have someone who was trained. I myself have been in the daycare/nanny field and trained in CPR and first aid for seven years. Although I've never encountered a life-threatening situation at work, I have been the first on the scene to a rollover accident (scary)! I think that it is something that everyone should invest in.
As for rates, I live in West Michigan. I go by the same pay philosophy as one of the parents I used to babysit for. For younger babysitters, I would probably pay $3-4/hour for one child and $4-5 for two. For babysitters that are college age with education and experience with children and CPR/first aid training I would pay $5-6 for one and $8 for two. I would also compensate for any activities that they did and gas if the babysitter had the okay to take them out. I also take into consideration what their responsibilities are when they are working. Having active kids and having to prepare a meal or give a bath is more work than just hanging out while the kids sleep.
One of the things I look for most in a babysitter is how they interact with children. Other than family, I would always have my children meet with a potential babysitter to play before I would hire someone. It is very important to me that the babysitter is very interactive and child-focused. Will you be playing and teaching and loving my children or will they be entertaining themselves while you sit by and watch, or worse yet, are on your phone or watching tv (not so much a problem once they are sleeping. :) One last thing- ask lots of questions. Make sure you know what is expected from you, any special instructions, temperment or behavior concerns from the parents, discipline policies, etc. I'd much rather have someone ask than assume something incorrectly or make a mistake because they didn't understand something that needed to be done.
Sorry if this seems like rambling, but I hope it helps...
1st Time Mom - Again
06-29-2008, 01:22 AM
My son seemed to be fine initially when he came home from the hospital. Then one day when he was 2 months old, he just suddenly decided to quit breathing during his nap. Fortunately, my husband and I (as well as my FIL) were all infant CPR certified. If noone had known what to do we could have so easily lost him.
Even if you initially panic, when you call 911 they'll remind you what to do. But if you don't have the basic knowledge with an infant you can easily cause as much harm as good because they are a bit more fragile. Get trained. I cannot stress this enough. You'll never know when the knowledge will come in handy.
06-29-2008, 06:12 PM
I have to agree with 1st Time Mom. It is VERY important to me that a babysitter be certified in CPR. My daughter was on a breathing moniter the first year of her life because I used to stop breathing when I was an infant... I also require that a sitter be Med Tech certified. Neither of these certifications costs alot to acquire. My daughter is on alot of medications for her asthma, which has never full stabilized and I am willing to pay accordingly depending on a sitter's certifications. Peace of mind that my daughter will be alright no matter if I'm home or not is worth the extra fee to me. That being said I live in NC. My daughter's sitter is a man in his late teens (19), a college student who is able to help with homework and has a driver's license i.e. he can take Autym to soccer etc. I pay him a flat fee usually if it's an overnight job, $50. Otherwise I pay him $15 an hour. I don't use him all the time, generally only a few times a month and he sits at my house and also makes sure the dogs are fed etc. He receives a holiday thank you bonus because he is always willing to make the time to do a last-minute sitting job for me... Worth the money to get the certifications, I promise. Hope this helps!!
06-29-2008, 06:22 PM
I'll be honest, until my daughter is an older toddler, I think I'll always be nervous about allowing a teenager to watch my daughter. I've allowed it during church activities when I'm only a few rooms away, but never when I've just been gone. It's probably just because I didn't know how to care for babies until I had one.
I'm sure you're an awesome babysitter. Get certified in infant CPR, and practice on a doll or something every so often so it's closer to your first reaction in the case of emergency.
Get to know how infants work. Read baby books (The Baby Book, Babywise, the one about Healthy Sleep...can't remember the rest of that title) so that you get the gist of what you could expect. Read especially about developmental things so you know when to expect a child to start crawling away or putting things in his mouth. (Check out the Ages and Stages part of this websit/magazine) Work in your church nursery if it applies, offer to babysit for new moms for a couple of hours while they are there, allowing them to sleep, clean, shower, etc. without being interrupted by yet another need from their child. This may be better with moms who aren't first timers...first time moms may be nervous about ANYONE caring for their child...I know I was. Volunteer in this case too, b/c you're gaining experience that will help you make money later, as well as contacts as those children grow.
I've been very blessed by church family who refuse to let me pay when they watch my daughter, but in the case of someone not so close or a teen/college student, I would probably pay around $6-8 an hour for my 14 mo. old, b/c she's very energetic and still exploring constantly. I babysat a 3 yr. old in college and was paid $6/hr. for playing with him, changing into pjs and getting him to sleep...which was a battle most of the time. I probably wouldn't let a teenage/college age sitter take her anywhere in their car, at least at this age. Too much can happen. I'm in West Tennessee.
06-29-2008, 09:19 PM
Thank you everyone. I have been reading babysitting and CPR books, but I never thought to read developmental info. Thanks, again!
06-30-2008, 03:58 PM
While I do not yet need a babysitter because Brianna is still prenatal, I would prefer that one be certified. I would certainly pay more, too, if I had a babysitter who took the time and money to accoplish getting certified. It shows that you are serious, and can act quickly in an emergency, something that is worth me paying more to keep ya around ;)
One of the many magazines I get delivered to my house just recently ran an article about what parents like/dislike about sitters. I belive it was PARENTS, but I am not 100% sure. Some of the dislikes they mentioned were plopping the kids down in front of a TV for hours, snooping around on the computer, inviting over friends/boyfriends that have not been introduced or approved by parents of child. Some of the things parents liked were playing and engaging in activites with the kids, cleaning up after playtime, and being on time. If you need to cancel for any reason, have a backup sitter that has been intorduced and approved of by the parents.
Its great that you are taking the time to find out what parents are looking for in a sitter. That is very admirable!
06-30-2008, 06:04 PM
Thanks. Please keep the tips coming. I have actually decided to take a CPR and First Aid class through my church. If you were a parent of a child I was babysitting, would this sound credible?
First Aid Class
First Aid Class. This is a training program designed by professional emergency care providers, taught by professional certified instructors. The objective is to teach basic First Aid skills.
Start Time:8:00 AM
End Time:12:00 PM
06-30-2008, 10:00 PM
Actual certification is nice, but if you know who taught it and what credentials they had, that should work. American Red Cross? American Heart Association? Instructor is an EMT? Some places, like hospitals, offer it without actual certification for lower costs, but I'm not sure how the program compares to a certification class. Normally certification includes paper tests and testing on dummies to insure that participants understand and are comfortable with the steps of CPR and First Aid. Also, keep in mind that Adult CPR is not the same as a Child/Infant CPR class.
06-30-2008, 10:25 PM
Okay. Thanks again!
07-09-2008, 12:04 PM
If you are concerned about the cost of certification, you should check your community center. A lot of them have babysitting certification classes that are reasonably priced and will cover basic first aid. Also, you can get certified for just infant and child CPR which is less money than everybody.
07-10-2008, 06:14 PM
I went to school for ECE and so i had to be cpr trained and certified. I feel that if someone is watching my child, they should at least know the basics.
when i baby sit, i charge 5 bucks an hour per child. i watched 2 girls for 2 years and got paid less than 2 dollars perchild and so i've NEVER done it again. ever.
so, if i charge five bucks an hour perchild, i would also pay five bucks an hour perchild. i think that's fair.
07-31-2008, 11:48 AM
Okay. If anyone else has any ideas, that would be great!
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