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Do I Need Training to Become a Babysitter?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Jan 21, 2024
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It can be difficult work taking care of children, especially when you are new to the job. Even if you’re a teen or young adult who really enjoys the company of children, being a babysitter can be fraught with various unplanned events. Though some parents may be willing to hire you if you haven’t babysat before, training to become a babysitter can help you be better prepared for your job. Training also makes you more employable, since parents know that they’re leaving their kids in capable hands.

A number of local parks and recreation centers, organizations like the YMCA, and volunteer centers may offer babysitter training. The most important first step is to get trained and certified in infant and child cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This may be a part of classes in a babysitter-training course, or it may be taken alone.

There may be some age restrictions in becoming certified in infant and child CPR. Even if you can’t get certification because of age, you should still take the class, and take a refresher course once a year. Hopefully, nothing bad or dangerous will ever happen on your watch, but if it does, you’ll be able to help a child who is choking or who is not breathing. Self-defense classes may also be a good idea, especially when you’re taking kids on outings instead of just watching them at home.

Other types of training to become a babysitter, especially in babysitter classes, can help you do your job with greater ease. Classes can focus on how to entertain children, what disciplinary steps you should and shouldn’t take, how to break up fights between siblings, and the standard care and entertainment requirements of each different age group. For instance, if you’re going to be watching young children, you may need to know how to feed babies properly and change diapers. If you’re not familiar with preparing meals, you may also want to take some basic cooking classes.

If there are no babysitting classes in your area, enlist moms needing help with kids or your own parents, if you have younger siblings. You can become better experienced at childsitting and childcare if you work as a mother’s helper. Most moms would be happy to provide you with the opportunity to take care of a child while they do some light housework or take a shower. Furthermore, they’re on hand to answer questions or provide guidance on how to do some of the things you need to know. Lots of experience working as a mother’s helper prepares you to work solo when the opportunity arises.

Even though you don’t need training to become a babysitter, your childsitting services will probably be in higher demand when you can demonstrate that, through classes or experience, you’re going to offer the best possible care to kids. As you become more skilled at your job, don’t forget to ask parents for references that you can share with other people who may be looking to hire you.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Moldova — On Dec 06, 2010

I think the more you know about the child and the family that are babysitting, the better you'll be able to plan your day. You should always have some sort of entertainment whether its arts and crafts, board games, and a movie that you could watch with the child.

These measures will make sure that the child is having fun will be less likely to misbehave. Children that misbehave generally are bored and this is why they act up. You can also go in the backyard and play games with them like tag, kickball or jump rope. This will help the child sleep well because they would have exerted some physical energy and will be more relaxed as a result.

By subway11 — On Dec 04, 2010

I think the idea of having a parenting manual is a good resource to have.

Chances are that babysitters don't have children of their own children not familiar with some of the things that can go wrong on an everyday basis. Referring to manual can help you develop more confidence in dealing with the unpredictable nature of children.

A course in CPR is also beneficial and extra safety measures should be taken for small children around swimming pools.

Drowning is the leading cause of death in toddlers so it's important to avoid the swimming pool if you are a babysitter.

Also keeping mindful of the child’s routines makes the transition easier. If the child is used to having dinner at 6 PM then that is when the child should eat also.

You should also ask about any bed time rituals that the parents offer the child. Some parents like to read a bedtime story while others will let the child watch TV while they go to sleep.

By Crispety — On Dec 01, 2010

There are many significant dangers that a babysitter needs to be aware of when caring for a baby.

For example a baby should not have any crib toys or pillows because the baby can suffocate.

Also, a baby is to sleep on its back in order to avoid sudden infant death syndrome. Sudden infant death syndrome is a mysterious disorder that afflicts many babies in their first year of life. They turn blue and the die. They only connection with these deaths is that all of the infants slept face down.

If you follow these precautions should be able to babysit a baby or any other child for that matter.

By icecream17 — On Nov 30, 2010

I think that it is best to read books about childcare before you take on a baby sitting job.

Children are in fact very unpredictable and it is best to have a manual you can refer to in case there are problems.

It really makes a difference the age group of the children that you are babysitting. For example babysitting baby is much different than a toddler or an older child. A baby needs to have its diaper changed and it needs to be bottle fed and rocked to sleep.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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