If you are sold on the idea of babysitting, let’s look at how we can go ahead despite not having grandkids living closeby or pets of our own.
1. Move closer to live near/with your grandkids.
Well this is definitely a big deal and perhaps may not even be practical, but if you believe everything will work out, it surely is one of the best options. Looking after your loved ones strengthens bonds, builds deeper relationships, and is claimed to be very fulfilling.
2. Consider bringing home a pet.
Humans need a lot of care and can be very fussy. On the other hand, pets are much easier to deal with, and depending on the kind of pet they more or less can look after themselves. Being a dog person myself, If you are looking for a companion and a friend I would highly recommend a dog but it is a life-changing decision and may need more contemplation. Check out this article here if you are interested. (A pet adoption guide for Seniors?)
3. Look for nanny requirements that are available close by. It does not have to be only your grandkid, right?
Depending on where you live it could be a competitive market for nannies but if you are not looking for a career in babysitting
- an understaffed daycare or
- a neighbourhood working mom or
- A pet-owner friend going on vacation would appreciate your assistance.
These are just a few alleys, but reach out to your social circle and they can surely find something that fits your schedule.
4. Expand your target audience to include kids of all ages and sizes. They may need advanced babysitting skills to engage them but we can learn.
Most people think babysitting is child care but, you and I both know it applies to all age groups. Especially now, more than ever before, people need a human connect, someone to talk to and keep them company.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy comes highly recommended. See how Dr Dixon Chibanda is creating an army of grandmothers to fight depression. https://www.ted.com/talks/dixon_chibanda_Why_i_train_
Learn a few tricks of the trade
Assuming you are super enthusiastic and would love to start learning more about babysitting. Here are a few avenues to look up.
1. Shadow a babysitter.
Professional babysitters appreciate the company of an adult. Especially if they handle multiple babysitting shifts they would love to have you around. So don’t be shy and ask them. Well, interning is the most old school way of doing new things right?
2. Become an AHA certified basic life support provider
Being trained to respond in critical situations like a choking/ drowning child can never be stressed upon more. I would recommend this one/two-day in-person Basic Life support (BLS) certification by the American heart association conducted regularly at almost every major hospital in every country.
3. Do a course on child care from Redcross
If you prefer something more focussed on child care and you would like to go through it at your convenience, there are many books available to you. Here is an online course that goes through every detail in a structured manner.
4. Do a course on pediatric nutrition.
I’m personally very concerned about the quality of food available on the shelves today. Most guardians leave the choice of food to their baby and babysitter so I would recommend reading up.
With all this information I probably have made you feel like babysitting is an ocean. It may be so but it is worth it so go ahead and start small. If you want to start small then here are a few alternatives you can consider.
Alternative to babysitting children or pets
For those who like the idea of providing care but have a doubt on if it is really for them, try growing an indoor plant or keeping a fish tank. The former is simpler than the later but both need your regular care and love. Also, don’t forget to name your plant or fish, it is a great idea!
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