Don’t leave them alone. Be alert. Keep an eye on them all the time; you never know what one may try to do, open up, dig out,… fall off or pull down. Don’t even leave the room for a second. You would be surprised what kind of mess a toddler can make in the time that you take to use the bathroom. If you are going to get something then take the toddler with you. Keep anything dangerous away form his/her reach.
Give them snacks in between meals.
Toddlers need to eat more often than adults, so give them a snack if they need it. Talk to the parents about what they want the child to snack on. You might give them a drink of juice, water, or milk. Some kids might eat animal crackers or fruit snacks. Watch them when they eat. Learn how to get things out of little children’s mouths if they are choking.
- Do not feed the child anything they are allergic to. Their parents should tell you before hand if they are allergic to anything. Make sure that the snacks are not too big that it could choke on. Neither too small that it could swallow without chopping it down.
Check their diaper regularly: Change it promptly, if it needs it. The smell is usually a strong indicator. If the child is recently toilet trained, ask regularly whether he or she needs to use the bathroom and watch for signs of needing to go. If you wait until the child tells you they have to use the bathroom, it might be too late, and then you have a mess to clean up.
Bring first-aid supplies. Get your own first aid kit, and cover it with stickers and supply it with fun colorful band-aids. If you can’t get those, offer to color on the band-aids when a kid gets hurt. Make sure you have all the important stuff. Call this box the Boo-boo Box. Don’t make a big deal about an injury, just say, “Uh-oh! Let’s get you a band aid!” This way, they will laugh and be happy.
Prepare for emergencies. Keep important numbers like the child’s doctor, the poison control center, and the parents’ cell phones by the home phone. These are vital in an emergency. Only call the parents if necessary or in an emergency, though. You don’t want to cause them stress or bother them if they’re doing something important.
Consider getting training. Take a babysitting class with the Red Cross, a local community center, or local community college. They will teach you CPR and useful information if something bad happens. They can also teach you a lot about how to deal with kids effectively and play with them well. These classes are usually cheap, and will look impressive to any parents looking to hire a babysitter.
Go over the ground rules with the parents. Try to learn as much as you can about the rules the parents have set both for the child and for you. Don’t break any rules the parents have, such as bed times and whether or not they can have junk food before bed. Not only is this bad for the kid, but you might even get caught if the child knows how to talk at all. If the child say “Mommy or Daddy always let me _________” don’t believe them. Children like to test limits to see if they can get their way.
Discipline according to the parents rules. If the child needs to be disciplined, make sure you’ve worked out with the parents ahead of time how that discipline should be handled. Different parents have different rules. Even if you think it’s okay to spank, for example, the parents might not believe that and you should respect their wishes.
Be polite and respectful of the home. Don’t go digging in the fridge. It’s their food that they buy. They invited you over to watch their child, not for dinner. You should also be respectful of the rest of their home, and not go digging in drawers, cabinets, or closets. You never know when a family has a nanny-cam too, so be careful!