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Hi everyone! So... I recently turned 12 years old (yay!), and I'm considering taking a career of babysitting! Do you think I should do it? Do you recommend it? Do you have any tips or advice for me if I do start? Thanks for your help! - Solène -

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  • Hi Solene! I definitely think you should, because you sound enthusiastic about it. I started babysitting when I was twelve, too. However, you might want to do some things and consider some things before you decide to.
    - Are there are personal fears that will get in the way of babysitting?
    - Am I ready to be responsible for other people's kids?
    If you're tentative about answering "yes" to the second one, try being a mother's helper. The parent will be present, but it's your job to keep the kids happy. The downsides to a mother's helper is it pays less, and you might actually feel more responsible because the parent is there and watching.
    - I really recommend the Red Cross babysitting course. Although it takes literally FOREVER and is slightly annoying, it teaches you the necessary skills you'll need - from fun games to play with the kids to what to do in emergencies.
    - How will parents find out about your services? My parents spread the word at a neighborhood event, and I'm planning on making business cards.
    - Be careful about who you advertise to. I do not recommend putting up flyers all around town, placing an ad in the newspaper, or giving out your email address to strangers. I would start with family friends or folks in your neighborhood.
    - Before taking a job, make sure you can take care of all the kids and the times work for you. For example, if your neighbor asks if you can take care of her 4 spoiled toddlers and newborn, I'd wait until you were more experienced. Also find out if kids have allergies etc, and what their bedtime/mealtimes are.
    Hope I helped!
  • see if you have a red cross that does camps neerby
  • Babysitting is lots of fun! If you do it I suggest having games or colouring sheets ready, oh! Story books too! Kids LOVE storybooks! Just be prepared to entertain the kids in a way the parents think is good, TV is no good, unless the parents say a certain amount of time the kids are allowed. Good luck!
  • I babysit and its really fun. I think you should try. Its really interesting how some 2-3 year olds can play the same thing without wanting to try something different. If you like watching little kids and entertaining them then you should totally try.
  • I've babysat before, and I think it's super fun! I babysit my neighbors' two sons sometimes, and they're i think 6 and 9????? I mostly just play bored games with the kids, serve them dinner, and watch a movie.
  • My advice would be: see if you have a Red Cross in your area because they certify babysitters. They teach you the heimlich remover and other techniques. You can also take the online certification classes.
    Also, try babysitting cousins or close friends
    of the family to see if this is really what you want to do.
  • I started babysitting around the age of 10 or 11 (well I did mothers helper. It's pretty much like babysitting but the parents are home). It was pretty fun, but I felt like I didn't have a lot of freedom. On new years, I started babysitting some kids (three 9 year old girls). It was a lot more fun when I was older and more mature.

    I would say 12 is old enough as long as you think you feel ready. Don't do it if you don't feel ready. It's a lot easier to babysit when you are in a positive mindset. Remember to be patient no matter how annoying the kids are. XD

    I would suggest getting a babysitting notebook. I would start by writing down your target age you want to babysit, times you want to do, and how much money. After you start, you could log each time to babysit to remember the kids, keep track of the money you earn, and most importantly to figure out which activities the kids like / don't like. It's also important to write down any food allergies or anything else that is important to the child's health and wellbeing. This includes medicine, allergies, and bedtimes.

    Before you start, you might want to pack a bag (or box) of activities, games, etc. Pretty much anything you think will interest the child. If the kids are very young, I recommend little plushie toys so that they wont try to eat the toy, wont break the toy, and if they have siblings / friends, don't hurt their sibling / friend.

    While babysitting, make sure you get ALL the information before the parents go. Make sure you know where the parents will be, when they'll get home, when the kids go to bed, what they eat, and anything else. Also make sure you have any phone number that you can use to contact them, their doctors, and anyone else that is important

    Like Lola said, taking a Red Cross Babysitting class is super helpful (from what I've heard). Personally, I didn't take it, but I did take a babysitting class and learned CPR / the Heimlich Maneuver which made me feel a lot more confident.

    If you're a big planning person, along with carrying a journal, you could make a whole binder. Anything that makes you confident.

    I found some babysitter sheets online that might help you get some inspiration, so I PMed them to you. Hope this helped. :)
    • Could you Pm them to me too?
      • Sure. :)
    • Mod S2S Mentor
      Great ideas!! And yes, I forgot to mention the stash of activities - that's definitely good to have as a backup, if they aren't interested in something at home. (And just as fair warning, I forgot to mention this, but sometimes - though not always - kids can be less easygoing when their parents aren't present, so even if you meet them prior to babysitting and they seem totally docile, you should be prepared for them to act up some if they're nervous about being alone with you when their parents are gone.)
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