What Every Babysitter NEEDS TO Know

Babysitting is a very important job, especially with an infant. Babies can’t tell us what they want or need, we have to know. All babysitters should talk about the following safety practices with baby’s parents or guardians.

Naptime and Bedtime

When it’s time for nap or bed, KNOW THE ABC’s of safe sleep:

No Smoking. Even a little bit of smoke is harmful to baby. Never smoke or let anyone smoke in the same house or apartment as baby.

Know How to Call for Help. Have the phone number for baby’s parents or guardians written down and in your phone contacts. No matter what, if something happens that you think is an emergency, call 9-1-1, then call the baby’s parent or guardian.

Steps to Safe Sleep

The ABC’s of safe sleep are part of an important set of rules:

Steps to Safe Sleep!
  • Parents sometimes worry about babies choking while sleeping on their backs. Sometimes they put things in the bed to keep the baby on his or her side, or they think that stomach sleeping must be safer. But babies sleeping on their backs are actually less likely to choke on their spit up. They may be able to clear fluids better in this position because of the way the body is built. Parents are not putting the baby in danger when they lay her on her back to sleep – in fact, they are making a choice to protect her!
  • We tend to move around when we sleep at every age. When babies sleep with an adult or another child, that person could accidently roll over and suffocate the baby. Or, a baby can get stuck or wedged between the bed and the wall, furniture or other objects.
  • When babies sleep with soft stuffed animals, blankets, pillows or on soft surfaces like couches and quilts, they can suffocate. Babies can’t push things away from their faces.
  • Experts have found that having babies sleep in their parents’ room on a separate surface (e.g. not in the bed) may cut the risk of sleep-related death by half.
  • Babies can easily get tangled in cords and choke.
  • When babies sleep with an adult or another child, that person could accidentally roll over and suffocate the baby. Or, a baby can get stuck and wedged between the bed the wall, furniture or other objects.
  • Smoking during pregnancy and smoking where a baby lives and sleeps greatly increases their risk of SIDS.
  • Being hot is not comfortable for babies - and it can be risky. Under most conditions, a baby can sleep comfortably in a onesie. If it gets cold out, just dress them in an infant sleep sack.
  • Breastfeeding is proven to reduce babies’ risk of SIDS by 50%. Plus, breastfeeding has a lot of other great health benefits for moms and babies.
  • These devices are not made to hold a baby’s head in a safe position and the baby’s head could fall forward, constricting their airway. A sleeping baby shouldn’t be left in them too long.
  • If the swaddle is too tight, it may be hard for your baby to breathe or move their hips. Swaddled babies can’t use their arms to get into different positions or lift their neck and head. Once your baby begins to roll, you should stop swaddling, because your baby could roll over and get stuck in a position that restricts their breathing. Click here for more information
  • It’s important that everyone who is a part of your baby’s life knows the steps to keep your baby safe while sleeping. Having a written safe sleep policy gets everyone on the same page, and lets you know if a daycare is providing care for your baby in the ways you’d like.