Babysitting toddlers is quite different from babysitting children over four or five years of age. Extra things that must be done when caring for toddlers, some of which a young person may not find pleasant. The new babysitter should especially make sure you he or she is prepared for such eventualities as diaper-changes, spill cleanup, and other messes. Discuss these situations with the parent beforehand. Bathing children is another item that is very important to discuss as it can actually create potentially dangerous situations.
It is a safe assumption that the sitter should never bathe a child unless the sitter has been explicitly asked by the parent to do so. Not only are there extra risks involved, but depending on the relative ages of the parties involved, it may be inappropriate to do so. If the child gets extremely dirty during a babysitting session, either from mud, paint, or from messing on themselves, it is best to phone the parent before proceding.
Changing diapers is something the average sitter is likely to be asked to do more than once. A sitter who has never changed a diaper before should receive some training before taking on a job where it will be likely. In all events, it is a good idea to speak with the parent about it in advance to make sure appropriate procedures are in place. Know where clean diapers are and where to dispose of dirty diapers and cleaning cloths.
Newly mobile children, as well as those just learning to crawl bear close watching. They do not yet really know when something is dangerous. Do not sit them on the edge of tables, countertops, or chairs. Be carefull when sitting them on beds or sofas as they could easily fall and hurt themselves. Donít ever leave a child in these positions unsupervised. Always either take them with you or move them somewhere safer like the floor.
For slightly older children you can play games with them, such as finger-painting and playing with play dough. Building forts is a great idea, although it might be worth speaking to the parent about it before hand, and make sure you put everything back and clean up messes when activities are complete! Parents appreciate coming home to a clean house or apartment.
Young children love to play dress up, be it pirates, superheroes, or fairies. Joining in is definitely a must, Itís scary how fun it can be!
Always take care when babysitting toddlers as they are much more at risk than at any other age group. There can be some trouble, with temper tantrums and the like. While thatís the case this can often be the most fun age group to babysit! The more fun everyone is having the easier the job will be.