|Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby|
|You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.|
|Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn|
|When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!|
Before deciding on a babysitting as a job, ask yourself if you enjoy spending time with kids, do you have an awareness of young children's needs or do you want to babysit occasionally or find a regular babysitting position?
With a bit of planning and coordination, babysitting can be fun and lucrative.
Start from home – look after your siblings, pets, be a mother's helper, begin babysitting from home. This way, your parents can watch how you care for the child, help you if you need it, and let you know when you're ready to do it on your own.
1: Get educated: The first important step is to be educated thoroughly on childcare. Enrol for a babysitting class where they teach you everything from first aid to diaper changing and handling bad behaviour.
2: Get organised and set up a schedule: Take a calendar and mark your free days and times, so you know when exactly you are available.
3: Select a rate: Plan on the options- either flat rate hourly wages or per child wage, per hour. Get a feel of the competition, see what is suitable and quote accordingly.
|Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch|
|If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.|
|Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped|
|At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.|
4: Set up a get-to-know-parents meeting: Get all the information about the parents, their names and contact numbers, emergency addresses and contact. Fill out a health form about the kids. Chart out the child/children's schedule – meal times, homework and bedtime. Take a tour of the house to know where the different safety equipment, first aid kit and fire extinguisher are kept.
5: Spend time knowing the kids: Talk to them, ask questions – the kid should warm up to you. Try developing a rapport and think up some strategies to make your time smooth.
6: Create an activity bag or box that you bring along to every job. A major part of babysitting involves playing with kids and keeping them entertained. Parents love babysitters who help kids have fun, at the same time reinforcing rules and keeping discipline.
7: Keep the kids entertained and engaged in fun projects. Tell stories. Kids love stories. Make fun snacks or simple dinners together. Before that check for any food allergies or any food limits the children may have.
You can also plan on a few games that are easy and ready to play. Craft activities are a good way to keep the kids busy and happy. Take them to the playground if the parents are ok with it.
8: Follow a schedule: It is best to stick to the rules and routine of the house.
|Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings|
|When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!|
|Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad|
|Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.|