Babysitting for a new family can be a bit nerve-wrecking
When you first book a sit, you may worry that the parents will have high expectations or have used the app a lot before. There’s also a lot of unknowns and uncertainties, and you may feel a bit of pressure to impress the family you’re working with.
We know that nothing is more reassuring than advice from someone who has been in your shoes. So to help make your first sit run smoothly, we’ve been speaking to some of the sitters who use Bubble regularly. Hanna has completed over 400 sits on Bubble and is a real pro.
Here are her top-tips when babysitting for a new family:
Before babysitting with a new family
“Message the parent after the sit is booked, just to say that you look forward to the sit and to get the communication started”.
Making a great first impression is super important when babysitting with new parents. Impressing a parent could be a sure fire way to get more work in the future and get great reviews. Sending a parent a message after the sit is confirmed is a great way to show you’re committed to the job, and show what a lovely, friendly person you are.
“Text and message the parent if you are running late”
Parents most commonly book sitters when they have other plans, so it’s important to let them know when you’ll be arriving. After all, their availability depends on your arrival! We’d always recommend leaving plenty of time to travel to a sit, but unfortunately, life does sometimes get in the way. If something goes wrong and you’ll be late to a sit, its important to communicate with parents and keep them in the loop.
During the sit
“Once in the house, the parents will usually tell you about most of the details, but these are the most common questions I myself ask”
- “What time is bath time/bed time?” or “What is the schedule?”
- “Do they have any milk and how do they like to have it?”
- “Do you use a baby monitor and where is it?”
- “What is your child’s name?” (the million dollar question!)
- “Does your child often wake up once asleep and what is usually the reason for that? What do you usually do?”
- “Does your child use a dummy in bed?” (If they do, putting the dummy back is the first thing to try if they wake up)
- “Where is their bedroom?” (If the child is already asleep when you arrive)
“Tell the parent that you will text them so you both have an easier way to reach each other than just the bubble messaging system. Go to the sit in the app, press “Call”, then press send text message, and text the parent saying it’s you. Double check that the parent got the text”
While it’s really important to keep booking your sits through the Bubble app, exchanging contact details in case of emergency is also a good idea too. If there are any problems, you need to be able to reach parents as quickly as possible. That said, we would strongly advice bypassing the Bubble app to arrange future sits as this may lead to permenant account deactivation, and you will lose the secure protection of the app. Bubble cannot assist in any issues arising from sits taking place off-platform.
“Once the parent has left and the child is asleep, send a little text saying that the child is asleep now”
Many parents will find it hard to be away from their little ones, and may spend a fair bit of time worrying and wondering what’s happened. Letting parents know that a child has fallen asleep will help give parents peace of mind and allow them to let their hair down and enjoy their evening.
After the sit
“When the parent is back home, roughly go through what you and the child played with the most, what time they went to sleep or anything else special that is good for the parent to know”
We’d always recommend doing a little handover at the end of sit so that parents know what has been happening and if there is anything that affects the child’s routine. It’s also a great opportunity to show off what a fun and fabulous sitter you are, by letting parents know how you cared for their child during a sit.
“End the sit in the app right before you start putting your clothes on. If the parents are home early, say that you will put a phone alarm on for the booked end time and will end the sit at that time”
It’s important to stop the time on a sit so that parents are charged correctly. Ensuring that the sit ends punctually shows parents that you have integrity and are organised.
Remember – good preparation is key to making sure your first sit runs smoothly. So relax, breathe, and best of luck. You got this.