Particularly in these times, many parents are in dire need of a babysitter. Some parents already have a babysitter on call, but, because in most cases governments have strongly advised that grandparents should not be babysitting children, (as they are generally at the highest risk in this case), many families are stuck looking for a different form of babysitting than normally. Luckily, there are more people than ever that are ready and willing to babysit the children of these parents! Because in some cases, parents have such a need for a babysitter currently, we’ve prepared a few tips to help babysitters be as safe as possible when babysitting.
Grandparents as babysitters
Around a third of grandmothers and fathers regularly babysit their grandchildren. They are often an irreplaceable resource for young families. However, it is now in most cases advised that elderly people no longer babysit children. This is because the consequences of the virus can be much more severe for elderly people than for younger people. Do your parents or parents in law usually babysit the children? Then make sure that they don’t have to do this anymore and try to find a replacement babysitter instead.
Hire one babysitter and not multiple babysitters
Are you in dire need of a babysitter for your family? Then make sure that you hire only one, regular babysitter. This counts as well for babysitters; only babysit for one family. In this way, the chance of spreading the virus is reduced. Also, set up clear rules with the babysitter that they call off the babysitting as soon as they start feeling the first flu or cold symptoms. This is also applicable for the parent or the child themselves. If the parent or child doesn’t feel completely well, tell the babysitter in this situation that they should not come to babysit and stay home.
Wash your hands!
Wash your hands, often and well, we can’t say it often enough! It already begins before you leave your own house to go to the babysitting job. Before you walk out your door, you should wash your hands. Next, make sure that when you arrive for the babysitting job the first thing that you do together with the child you are babysitting is wash your hands again. In this way, you can have a “clean start”. Also, make sure that you and the child you are babysitting wash your hands multiple times throughout the day, so that there is as small a chance as possible for bacteria to spread. You can find some helpful tips on washing your hands here.
Kisses and hugs
We know how much you all love kids! Normally we strongly support and encourage giving lots of hugs to these little ones. However, unfortunately, we are currently in a situation where we do not advise this. Is the child you are babysitting really used to giving and receiving kisses and hugs? Then, explain to them why we, at this moment, can’t give as many hugs as usual. Create a unique greeting, so that you can still show each other that you really like and care about each other! Maybe you can blow kisses to each other, make a heart sign with your hands, or come up with a different idea. Naturally, parents may continue to hug their children, particularly the “goodnight hug” and the “everything will be fine hug” are really important for kids! But try to be careful with this and always follow the guidelines from the local government based on the current situation in your region.
The guidelines of most governments are very clear... keep a distance. It is difficult to follow this rule if you need to babysit children. But don't worry, there are enough activities that the babysitter can do with the child, without too much contact. For example, you can play hide and seek in the house, make crafts or draw, make a healthy meal together, play a board game or have a treasure hunt in the house. If the parents of the child have a garden, you can also, for example, pass a ball back and forth together!
Unfortunately, at this moment, it is no longer possible for everyone to babysit in-person. For the babysitters that still would really like to help parents who need a babysitter for a few minutes or hours, babysitting online can be an option! There is a large chance that many parents at this moment are working from home. While the parent has an online meeting, conference call with colleagues, or just needs a couple hours to concentrate on work, a babysitter can provide a really valuable resource. In this case, the babysitter and parent can coordinate a Skype or video call so the babysitter can talk with and look after the child. They can chat together virtually, make diys, practice dances, or even play games such as “I spy”. Alongside this, we advise the parent to always stay in the house with the child. If something goes wrong and the parent is needed, then the parent is always nearby. However, in this way, the babysitter can keep the child busy at least momentarily, when the parent really needs it!