Have you been having trouble babysitting and you need help? Well … here are some help for you. You see, as a caring and doting aunt, I get to babysit my 5-month-old niece a lot – when her mum has to work. (I have to say, this is the first baby I’ve spent more than 10 minutes with; I even had to learn the right way to carry a baby last Christmas, but I’m a baby expert now) Contrary to the belief that babies are difficult to please, because you never know what they want, I say babies actually are easy to please. They only want a handful of things and they’ll be happy and smiling all the time. So for new uncles and aunties like me who get to baby sit, here’s a guide to babysitting like a pro.
Let’s say a baby has been sleeping for 30 minutes and wakes up.
1 – Make sure you’re there with him/her
Apart from the fact that he/she could roll over and fall from the bed, babies get scared when they wake up and find out no one is there with them. So they start to cry when they wake up alone, ensure you’re in the same room when they wake up.
2 – Immediately he/she wakes up give him/her a bottle of milk.
Don’t say he/she just ate 30 minutes ago, just give him food; it’s better he rejects it than start crying and then you get confused. Make sure the food is not cold or hot. If milk has been outside for more than a hour, throw it away, it isn’t hygienic anymore, make a new one. If the baby doesn’t finish it, keep it in a fridge and heat it a little when next he wants to eat (you could pour hot water in a small container and put the bottle inside, it will heat up).
3 – Babies love to play, after feeding and burping him, let him play a while, sit him down or lay him on a bed with his toys and play with him. He will love you for the freedom.
4 – When a baby starts getting all cranky while playing, it’s time to lift him up, they love being carried while walking around, so do that, if you sit at a place or stand, they could start rebelling and crying.
5 – Check regularly if he soiled himself. Just how you would feel uncomfortable if you peed in your pants, so would babies, and since he doesn’t have the ability to change himself, he starts to whine. So check and change him frequently. Sometimes I even let my niece go some minutes without diapers. So she could feel fresh air down her bum you know.
6 – If you’ve tried everything and baby is whining or acting cranky, scratching her head or body, maybe she’s feeling hot, perhaps it’s time to clean her, you don’t necessarily have to bathe her ( I still dunno how to bathe a baby) just remove her clothe and clean her with a wet towel, she will feel cool and stop being cranky.
7 – If you do this and she’s still cranky, maybe she wants to sleep again. Rock her slowly while singing to her (go and learn lullabies, especially ones you could sing with his/her name, babies love it when you sing with their names). If she’s looking at you, close your eyes while singing and rocking her ( this works for my niece, her own eyes starts closing too)
If it’s in the night, turn off the lights.
If you have a standing fan, stand in front of it, not too close, (I think the noise , the feel of the cold air and you rocking her/him pleases them, I found out my niece always sleeps when I do this). If that doesn’t work, just walk around in dancing steps cradling the baby.
You could also give him/her a bottle while rocking. If he/she is feeling sleepy, he/she must sleep after one of these.
8 – If the baby doesn’t sleep, it’s either he wants to play again, if he’s old enough for a walker put him in it, if not lay him down and play again.
If he does sleep, lay him on his stomach, head turned to one side and arms upwards like in surrender, then make a barricade of pillows in case he/she starts to roll. And please stay in the same room with the baby, if he/she is anything like my niece you’ll find out pillows can’t even stop them. They will twist and roll.
9 – If you’ve tried all but failed. Then I guess it’s time to contact the mother.
The child might want milk directly from the source or just downright misses his/her mum. But trust me, if you do all these, you and the baby will coexist happily till the mum gets back.
And you’ll be a super aunt/ uncle like me.
N.B: Feed the baby regularly, mums are really particular about that. And keep the baby away from putting objects into his mouth. Also, always wash your hands before carrying a baby and wash their toys, anyone that falls or touches the ground.
Good luck soon to be super aunt/uncle.
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