Taking care of your own baby is hard, taking care of other people’ baby is harder. When someone asks you to babysit their baby and you can’t say no, there are many things you need to know in advance to make sure you do a good job and the baby will be safe and happy while you are there.
Here is a list of what you need to do when you babysit a child:
1. Know Who to Contact When Needed
When you babysit a baby and his parents will not be around, you need to make sure you have the parents’ contact information. Also make sure you ask them about what and when to feed the baby, any food that he could not eat and what to do in case of an emergency. Take note of all of this information as well.
2. Make Sure the Baby Is Comfortable All the Time
When the baby feels unhappy and uncomfortable, he will cry to let you know. There are many reasons why the baby is crying: he is hungry, his diaper is dirty, and he wants to sleep. The list goes on and on.
First, you should check the baby’s diaper. If it is wet or dirty, you should change the diaper right away. Remember to clean off the baby’s bottom with warm and wet wipes as well.
If the diaper is Ok, or the baby continues to cry, it could be that the baby is hungry. Check again what is the last time the baby eats. If he ate 3 hours ago then it is time for a new meal.
For a baby that is less than 6 months old, his food is only formula or mother’s milk. You need to clean the bottle thoroughly using a bottle sanitizer. If he drinks formula, follow the instruction of how many scoops for how much water. If you use pumped breast milk, remember to defrost or reheat the milk in the hot water but not in the boiling water or in the microwave. Be gently when you feed the baby. Don’t push him and if he refuses to drink, stop feeding.
If the baby can eat solid food such as cereal or fruits, ask the parents what food he can eat. Put him in their chair before feeding him. Always have an eye on him while he is eating to prevent choking.
The last reason that makes the baby cries is that he feels lonely and has no attention. Play with him, hug him or kiss him, give him some toy, all of these activities will make he feel happy.
3. Know How to Bath A Baby
Only bath a baby with lukewarm water. Test the temperature with a thermometer; don’t test it with your hands as it is less correct. Don’t over fill the tab to prevent the baby from drowning. Fill up to 1 quarter of the length of the tub only.
Lift the baby with your arm. Also hold his bottom with another arm. Don’t let the baby lay down.
Use a washcloth and apply a small amount of his body wash onto the cloth. Use them to clean the whole body of the baby. Stay away from the eyes’ area. Remember to be as gentle as possible. Never let a baby alone in a bathtub and you can’t see him.
Make sure you dry the baby thoroughly and put on new clothes right after that to prevent him from getting cold.
4. Finally, It Is Time for A Sleep
After you feed and bath the baby, it is time to take him to sleep.
Ask his parents what makes him go to sleep. Some babies just need to be put in a dark quiet room with some white noises. Some babies will need to be held in the arms and swung back and forth.
Never leave a baby sleeps while he is sucking to his milk bottle. This could lead to choking and other more serious consequences.
When you put him into his crib, check the room temperature. Also make sure his crib is almost empty. If there are too much toys in the cribs, the baby would play with his toys and refuse to sleeps. Or if he sleeps, all of the toys can create a hazardous environment for suffocation. Make sure nothing could get on the way to the baby’s face: pillows, blankets…
Check frequently to see if the baby is ok and he is sleeping soundly. You could use a baby monitor if his parents provide one.
Here are all the things you need to do when babysitting a baby. Make sure you pay a lot of attention to him and everything will be just fine.