Sitters Unlimited of Southern CA

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Archive for August, 2010


What Baby Crib Bedding Do I Need ?

Posted by TKA Guest Post

When you’re expecting a new baby there is so much to learn and do.  You have to get baby clothes, learn about child development, buy and possibly assemble a crib, then buy baby crib bedding for it.  While everyone wants to have the best for their baby, buying the most expensive luxury bedding doesn’t necessarily mean you have gotten what is best for your baby.  Quality baby bedding can be a simple affair since there are only a few things you really need, and several common bedding items to avoid.

Dangerous Bedding

Babies are prone to make random movements in the night.  They also lack the strength, motor skills, and awareness to be able to self correct when their sleeping position is dangerous.  For example, most of us, if we end up face down in our pillow during the night, will automatically turn our heads until we can breathe again without even thinking about it.  Babies don’t have the strength to raise and turn their heads.  For your baby’s safety you should avoid any big fluffy bedding like pillows and comforters that could cover baby’s face during the night and become a suffocation hazard.  They aren’t necessary for baby and he will be better off without them in his crib.  Instead consider buying several sets of pajamas that will keep baby warm enough without having a comforter pulled over her.  Swaddling blankets, or swaddling baby in a receiving blanket, can also be a good alternative to a comforter in the crib.  While pillows are not good for baby, you should buy some bumpers to make sure baby doesn’t hurt himself on the bars of the crib.  Make sure they are held tightly against the frame, and that baby cannot get herself entangled in the ties.

Making Life Simpler

While the only baby crib bedding that is necessary are bumpers, a bottom sheet, and pajamas, there are a few other things for baby’s bed that will make your life a whole lot easier.  Sheet protectors can help you avoid those late night crib sheet changes when baby’s diaper leeks.  They’re little pads that are cotton on one side and plastic on the other.  You can think of them as flat backup diapers to keep diaper leaks off the sheets.  You may also want to invest in baby blankets or security blankets.  If you tuck all of the edges under the mattress, it won’t pose a danger to baby and can help give your baby a sense of security by always being there when it is bedtime.


Babysitting Tips: List of Do’s & Dont’s

Posted by admin

When a parent looking to find a babysitter posts a “babysitter wanted” ad what do you suppose they’re looking for in a babysitter? Well after you talk over your babysitting rates and you arrive at the job, did you ever wish you had a list of babysitting tips, that you could easily refer to? Something that would help you to fulfill the parents expectations for a good babysitter who they’ll want to ask back to care for their children again and again? Well we’ve compiled a list based on years of serving hundreds of Orange County and San Diego County families which we hope will help you in your babysitting adventures.

Parents: you may want to read through this list also. It can help you to know what to expect from your own babysitter.

List of What To Do When Babysitting

DO clean up so that the home or hotel room looks as good as it did when you arrived. Tip: if you make it look a little better by doing things like emptying the dishwasher, doing up dishes left in the sink, sweeping up food around the pets eating area … you increase your chance of being placed on that parent’s Favorite Babysitters List and you may even receive a tip.

DO cover up any tattoos as much as possible. Tattoos can make you look scary to children and parents alike. Or on the opposite side, tattoos can be attractive to children, especially if they like you and then of course the parents won’t be happy when their child tells them they want a tattoo like their favorite babysitter.

DO remove any facial piercings.  Piercings are not always appreciated by the parent of a young child who may think it’s “cool” and want a piercing themselves. Really young children may even try to grab a nose ring and that’s not fun for anybody.

DO answer the parent’s telephone (unless the parent requests that you not do so). Take a complete message and speak in a friendly, helpful tone of voice. Tip: we recommend that you ask the parents if they want you to answer the phone. Many parents prefer that you let incoming calls go through to voice mail.

DO give the parent any receipts for money you spent while taking care of their children. This probably won’t happen often but if the parents ask you to order pizza you will want to make sure to give them the receipt, whether you spend your own money and are asking for reimbursement or you spent their money and are showing them an account of what you spent.

DO have a positive attitude when parents call to check in. If you are having a difficult time, ask for their advice but don’t whine about how difficult the situation is. Allow the parents to be at ease while they are out and paying you to care for their children. If the situation was so difficult that you are determined never to come back it’s best not to let them know at that time. Let them enjoy their time away and next time they call for your babysitting services you can just be busy.

DO let parents know if a child was misbehaving and if the child received a time out or another privilege was revoked. Time out and revoking of privileges are the only disciplinary tools that you have as a babysitter. Keep in mind that the parents will most likely be embarrassed that their child misbehaved so reassure them (if true) that everything worked out okay, you just wanted to let them know what happened while they were out.

DO ask the parents what the bedtime routine is. It’s no fun to be faced with a child who will not go to sleep until they have their binky, silky, passy or slimey and you don’t know where it is or WHAT it is for that matter.

DO get written permission if you are using a parents’ car.

DO follow all reasonable parents’ requests such as to bring in mail and newspapers, walk the dog, help children with homework, etc. If a client asks you to do something that you are uncomfortable with or consider an unreasonable expection of a babysitter such as to clean the bathroom, do a weeks worth of laundry, give the dog a bath … it’s best to discuss it at the time they ask you, rather than to agree to it and then not do it or do it and then resolve never to come back. Being open and up front keeps everybody happy and keeps your babysitting calendar full.

DO keep bathroom and bedroom doors open whenever you’re in the room with a child and especially when bathing, changing, dressing or helping potty training children. This helps to eliminate any misunderstandings or possible false accusations.

DO encourage children to partake in educationally oriented activities rather than watch TV or play computer games. If you have your own “bag of goodies” you’ll want to bring them to assignments.

DO take medical and transportation releases with you at all times and make sure client signs them if there’s the chance that you may administer medication or take the child anywhere outside of the home or hotel room. Make sure to hold onto these signed releases for at least seven years.

DO dress professionally for all assignments. Shorts, jeans and t-shirts are fine but no inappropriate images or verbiage should be portrayed on clothing. Clothing should be modest and clean.

DO check with the hotel operator before making a call using the room phone even a call that’s in the same area code as the hotel. Many calls within the same area code still carry a local long distance charge, which oddly enough can be 10 times the charge for a call across the country. Who knew?

What Not To Do When Babysitting

DON’T make phone calls unless absolutely necessary. If you did make a phone call; when the parents return mention that you used the phone to confirm another job or whatever the reason was. You want to make sure to do this, because chances are that the next day your DC (dear charge) will say “the babysitter was on the phone the whole time”. They’re not trying to get you in trouble. It’s just that in a child’s world the fact that you delayed making their peanut butter sandwich for five whole minutes because you were on the phone feels to them like you were on the phone “the whole time”.

DON’T eat the client’s food unless they give you permission to do so and even then don’t open something new or finish something off.

DON’T spend time on the client’s phone or the client’s computer unless they’ve given you permission to do so and even then do so sparingly. Remember that you are there to care for their children, not to do your own business.

DON’T ask the parents to come home if a pet or child is sick or otherwise difficult to handle. DO call parents though to alert them to the situation.

DON’T let children go with anyone unless you have written permission from the parents. Make sure to let the parents know if they call in or when they come home if their child left the home with another child or adult. If leaving the home with an adult that the parents have given you permission to release the child to be sure to get a photo ID from the adult and take a pic of it with your phone.

DON’T let anyone into the home or hotel room without permission from the parent. Feel free to refuse someone access to enter. It’s so much better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to let the parents know if someone asked to take the children.

DON’T transport children or adults in your own car unless you have insurance that specifically covers this. It’s a good idea to have a signed note from the parents if you’ll be walking with the children outside of the family’s property, taking the children on public transportation or using the parent’s car.

DON’T administer any medications without a signed release.

DON’T smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, or have a guest visit you while on an assignment.

DON’T be late – EVER. Be respectful of the fact that the family has made plans based on your commitment to be at their home to babysit the children at a certain time. If they have tickets to something that they cannot attend or are late arriving because of your tardiness, they  may ask you to reimburse them.

DON’T complain to parents. It’s a good idea to ask for advice, but it’s never a good idea to complain.

DON’T spend money on the children unless the parents have given you permission to do so; i.e. they ask you to order a pizza or to flag down the neighborhood ice cream truck. And if you do spend any money make sure to give the parents the receipt.

I hope that this simple list will help you to understand what a parent’s expectations may be for a good babysitter who they will ask back again and again.

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