How To Become The Best Babysitter

 

Ah! You want to know how to be the best babysitter? That is awesome, the first step to being the best babysitter is doing your research. Now that you are here I can give you some of my secrets to babysitting.

 

I started babysitting at the age of 12 (my mom was in the house). Once I started driving I would babysit almost every weekend. If you would like to take this seriously, you should try to find a first aid and CPR class. Some weekends I could make up to $200. I worked at a daycare growing up so I had those classes and that’s where I got all my babysitting jobs.

Make sure before you sit for a family, they already know what you charge. You can avoid the awkward moment at the end of your job. Make sure you know exactly what they want you to do. (baths, dinner, homework, don’t go outside, if they have animals you need to take care of, or if you need a ride home.) You want to make sure you have good communication with the parents.

 

Number one rule of babysitting. Give your FULL attention to the children the whole time no matter the age. My favorite age to watch was 3-5 but I had fun with all ages.

 

If it’s the first time you are watching for a family bring your own bag of stuff.

  • Crayons and coloring book
  • Play dough and cutters
  • Paper and paints
  • Puzzles
  • Books
  • Bring snacks and food for yourself (don’t assume they will feed you)

Make sure you know the rules of their house. The children will test you even though they know the rules. You and the parents have to have the same rules. (you can still be the “fun babysitter” with rules too.) Make sure you know all the phone numbers and emergency contacts. Also, know if anyone has allergies. Print emergency list for parents to fill out and keep it in a binder. When you’re watching for new families you will have their emergency contact list. You want to show the parents you are well organized.

Get FREE printable >>HERE<<

When I walked in the door I always pretended something new. (I was walking into a castle or I was going on a bear hunt). If you let the kids get into character with you right away, when it’s time for the parents to leave the kids will be excited and ready to play.

 

Always make sure you are prepared. Know exactly what you are going to do or else there might be arguments with siblings. Remember you are getting paid to work, this is your job. I usually don’t have the TV on unless it’s right before bedtime to calm them down, if they are sick or if we have planned a new movie to watch with snacks. Keep them busy and play games and have fun. In the end, they will tell their parents they had lots of fun and they will call you again.

 

If the children are sleeping while you are watching them. Then you may do your homework, get on your phone, or watch TV. ABSOLUTELY nothing inappropriate, If the parents walk in or the children wake up you don’t want anything that will make them uncomfortable. 

Always have fun, Make sure the children are laughing and having a good time. Let them know you are having fun too. Make sure you always clean up your mess you made with the children. Also, let the parents know what you did. Parents like hearing what they did while they were gone.

 

If the child misbehaved. First, tell the parent the fun you had with them. Then tell them what they did wrong and how you dealt with it. Make sure you say something good or funny they did at the end. Always leave on a positive note. Maybe tell them what you have planned for next time you come. If you want ideas on what I did while I babysat, let me know. Have fun! Love ya, Mary xoxo

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Bradly’s NICU Stay

 

To catch up check out Bradly’s birth story click here

I finally get out of recovery and into a room. Instantly I’m ready to see my baby. I have not been able to hold him in my arms and I wanted to breastfeed him. Instead, they tell me I need I rest. WHAT! Rest, I have been waiting to hold my baby for 9 months (10 months). How can I possibly sleep? My husband and mom saw the baby but he had to stay in the NICU and I still couldn’t feel my legs and I still had a catheter in.

Finally, about eight hours of me asking so many times, they got me a wheelchair and I was so excited to go see him. My husband put him in my arms and we instantly connected. I right away started to nurse him. I was so nervous about nursing him because everything else failed in my birth plan, I did NOT want anything else to go wrong. The nurses of the NIC unit got me a lactation nurse to help me and she was phenomenal. They helped me hold him in different positions. The biggest thing they kept telling me was to feed him whenever he wanted to eat. Check out my breastfeeding tips here.

Later that evening Bradly’s Dr. came in said they wanted to do a meningitis test. Which included the baby getting an epidural well, putting a needle in his spine to remove fluid. I wasn’t very happy to hear this considering I just went through that pain three times and knew how bad it was going to hurt him. My husband and I were completely nervous about this because we just didn’t know what to expect. After hours of waiting, they told us the test was negative but they wanted to keep him for ten days to take an antibiotic through an IV. I was so disappointed. I was ready to go home.

I couldn’t eat and I asked my doctor if I could stay another day. If you didn’t read Bradly’s birth story, we live one hour away from the hospital. So I was looking for hotels that were close to the hospital. I was able to get a hotel that was about ten mins away. My family helped us pay for the hotel, let’s face it who has extra money when they just had a baby. I tried to stay at the hospital but they told me that I wasn’t allowed. 

When we were getting into the hotel I forgot that I needed to take medication since I just had a C-section. I forgot to fill my prescription and we couldn’t find a 24-hour pharmacy. I was in excruciating pain. Seriously felt like my stomach was falling off. All I could do was take some extra strength Motrin.

I was not giving up on breastfeeding even though I was thrown an obstacle. I would nurse the baby then rush to the hotel to get about two hours of sleep to rush back to nurse him again. The nurses help me put him on a three-hour schedule even though that wasn’t my plan. I really didn’t have a choice at this point. We did this over and over and I wasn’t eating and the nurses were getting worried about me. My feet were so swollen. They said they would put me in a side room with a recliner chair and maybe I could get some more sleep. My husband went to our house to check on our dogs and get more clothes while I stayed there for the night. I didn’t sleep better there because I just wanted to stare at him all night.

The sixth day we were at hospital/hotel my mother told me my grandma was in the ER by my house. (she was battling cancer) We tried to transport her to the hospital I was at but she wasn’t stable enough. I told the NIC unit nurses what was going on and that I had to drive and see her but to call me if they needed me.

I drove to see her and I gowned up from head to toe so I wouldn’t pick up any germs and spread it to the baby. I went into the room and I was trying to stay so positive and show her pictures of Bradly. I felt like I didn’t want to get close to her just in case she had something that would spread to the baby. (Any other time I would be laying next to her, we were inseparable.) She grabbed my hand (all she could see was my eyes) and said, “why do you look at me like it’s the last time you will see me?” It was very hard for me to say anything with a knot in my throat. I just squeezed her hand and kissed her head. My phone then started to ring. I couldn’t get to it because I was all gowned up. She was telling us that Bradly was beautiful and we were going to be amazing parents. Then my husband’s phone started to ring and all I could think of was the baby. I ran out of the room to answer the phone.

Bradly’s doctor’s voice came over the phone and my heart sunk. I was frantically trying to say something. “Is he okay?” The doctor said he was fine but the nurses had informed him that I was traveling back and forth to nurse him every three hours and that they were worried about my health more than the babies now. He said that he wanted us to stay in the family room (this is for mothers that stay a night so they can learn how to use different machines a baby might be on.) Nobody was staying there and they wanted us to stay there free of charge. I couldn’t say anything. I was so emotional.

We headed back to see Bradly after we got a change of clothes and went to our new room. We were finally able to bond as a family. I was able to eat a little better and sleep a little better. The nurses were all amazing and tried to make it as comfortable as possible. My family was able to come to visit the baby. I was able to give him a bath and he weighed 9 Lbs already. We were doing great and we were ready to go home a get some real sleep.

The day before we were going home. My husband went home to check on our house and the animals. My mom and sister came to visit me and the baby. My mom’s phone rang and it was a nurse for my grandma and they said come quick. I called my husband to go see her right away but by the time he got to her, it was too late.

It was definitely a very hard ten days for us. Completely draining. I had dropped 25 Lbs in the tens days. Once we got home the baby slept 6 hours straight. That was probably the hardest ten days of my life. Let me know what you think of my story. What was your experience like when giving birth? Love ya, Mary xoxo

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Bradly Joseph’s Birth Story

Sweet baby Bradly was due on Oct. 5th. I delivered him on Oct. 18th. 8Lbs 11Oz.

 

 

I had a birth plan that completely went the opposite of what happened. I was that mother that had to buy everything brand new for her baby. The nursery was ready, and I had my hospital bags packed. (probably a month before my due date) I had a basket of treats ready for my nurses. I was ready to see my little man. He had another plan…

I was planned to go in on the 19th and get induced. Which caused me to completely stressing out. I wanted to have the baby naturally without any medication. I heard that contractions hurt worse when you were induced. The night before I was going to be induced I woke up about 2 A.M. and was feeling very uncomfortable. I got up and watched T.V. and drank some water.

I stayed up and called my mom about 6 A.M. The contractions were about five minutes apart. Note, my hospital is one hour away. I woke up my husband and told him it was time. Guess what he tells me? I’m not ready, I need a shower! Thirty minutes later, I go upstairs and he is now clipping his NAILS!! WHAT! I’m having contractions and freaking out. Finally, we are on our way to the hospital and the contractions are getting closer and stronger.

I get checked into the hospital and all hooked up. The Dr. on call checked to see if I was dilated, which I was only 2 CM. My mucus plug had fallen out the night before but my water had not broken. The doctor on call tells me that she needs to break my water or I have to go home. Remind you we lived one hour away. I was supposed to meet my Dr. there at 5 P.M. to get induced. The contractions were getting stronger, so I told them to break my water. At about 11 A.M. they broke my water. The nurse said there is meconium. Which means the baby had his first bowel movement. Once your water is broken, they make you stay in bed.

At this point, my back is starting to hurt so bad. I can not get comfortable and the contractions are getting stronger and closer. I’m ready to see my baby but I’m still not dilating. The back labor I was experiencing was unbearable and I had to get an epidural. This happened about 4 P.M. I was feeling a little better. (To this day, every time I say epidural my back hurts, FYI)

By 10 P.M. I was in horrible pain. I was vomiting. I was only 5 and a half CM and my epidural had fallen out. (I didn’t even want to have one in the first place.) They had to redo the epidural and he missed. So by the time I was pricked the third time. I was miserable.

I remember feeling so cold to the point of shivering, I could not control it. They gave me heated blankets so I could warm-up. The nurse kept coming in to check my temperature, said it was fine.

About 1 A.M. my mom was with me and had a strong maternal instinct and got my Dr. to check on me. She personally took my temperature and realized my temperature had gone up to 102 degrees. I still had not dilated any more. Then my heart rate had dropped and the baby’s heart rate went up. I could see the look on my husband’s face and I knew things were getting serious. I couldn’t take it in because I was completely exhausted and weak.

While my husband was getting suited up everyone was running around and they hooked me up to all machines. I was completely out of it. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My husband came in next to me and grabbed my hand. I remember dozing on and off and he kept talking to me so I wouldn’t miss anything. Then he said do you hear him? I remember saying “Who?” It then registered, I was hearing my baby’s first cry. I was looking for him just wanting to hold him. They had him wrapped up and I got to just say I love you and kiss him.

 

Then, they rushed him away to the NICU. (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) I told my husband to go with the baby. I heard the baby’s cry fade and I just laid there with tears in my eyes.

My husband came back and said he didn’t know which room they took the baby. My husband came to the recovery room with me. The baby’s Dr. came in and told me his vital signs were back to normal, but he did have a fever. Check out the next part of our adventure when Bradly stayed in the NICU for ten days. Love ya, Mary xoxo

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Tips On Teaching Your Child To Swim

It could save their lives!

You may not agree on how I taught my kids to swim but it has worked for me and others. Teaching your child to swim is so important. Children love water and they just want to touch it but touching it can cause them to fall in.

 

 

 

When we bought our home it came with a pool. Both of my boys did not know how to swim. The first thing I did was put a baby safety gate around the pool. I was scared they would fall in but I knew the first thing I had to do was teach them how to swim.

 

I got them both swimmer vest, let’s face it I can only really teach them one at a time. It took them time to get comfortable in the vests. Once they were getting comfortable with the vest on I started with my oldest. I took the vest off and explain to him how dangerous water is and if I’d let go of him he would sink to the bottom.

 

DAY ONE

I would have him hold on to the wall and walk, hand over hand till he got to the steps. Then I would make sure he knew how to climb out of the pool. Very important to know just in case he fell into the pool.

 

DAY TWO

I’d tell him we were going to blow bubbles with our nose. (like, blowing your nose) Once he got that down, I would play ring-a-round the Rosie with him and when we sang ‘we all fall down’ We would take a breath in and both go under the water. He didn’t like it much but I told him we would try two more times. To help with younger ones you can blow in their face which will cause them to take a breath in.

 

DAY THREE

I taught him how to kick and use his arms. (like you are scooping sand or ice cream) Every day I would repeat all the lessons and then I would add something new. By the third day, I would step back a little and have him swim to the wall. I would stay next to him just in case he needed me. Repeat this several times. I also taught him if it felt like he had water in his nose to look down at his belly button, the water would fall out.

 

DAY FOUR

I would have him hold on a pool noodle and jump into the pool and kick to the steps. Repeat this as many times as he wants. Also, I worked on having him float on his back. (If you place your chin on their forehead this will help them relax also try singing to them)Don’t forget to repeat all the lessons every day.

 

DAY FIVE

If they are scared to jump in by themselves, don’t push them in! Try to encourage them to  jump. Instruct them to swim to the steps or the wall by themselves but be close to them if they need you. You will have to remind them to use their arms. Keep practicing every day.

 

TIPS:

My oldest only swims under the water with goggles that cover his nose.

Keep pool noodles in the pool so they can grab on if they need to.

Once they can jump in and swim they will want to swim across the pool. Make sure they understand to lift their head up to take a breath.

After they understood all of this I then taught them the simple doggy paddle to keep their heads above the water.

If they need more time to practice each lesson, don’t move forward until they got it.

I hope you enjoyed this and I want to know if you tried this with your little ones. Let me know if you did anything differently. Enjoy! Love ya, Mary xoxo

                                                           Disclaimer:

                         I get small commission for purchases made through links within this page.

                                         There is no charge for you by clicking on the links.

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