Some Babysitting Backup

Working in the library can be quite dangerous.  We all end up leaving each day with stacks of books we can only dream about finding enough time to read.  Most of us try to keep up with reviews, we often get recommendations from customers as well as each other, and, being in the stacks, we often stumble across things we absolutely must check out.  For example, sometimes there is a book by a favorite writer that we somehow missed, or a cover catches out eye, or a title that just calls out to us.  Such was the case for Don’t Sit On the Baby by Halley Bondy.

Upon closer inspection the book revealed itself to be a very useful “how to”; the full title is actually Don’t Sit On the Baby: The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled and Safe Babysitting. Now most of us at the library aren’t actively babysitting. (Does watching you own kids count? Boy the pay is lousy.) But there are a few of us who have kids of an age that are interested in babysitting.  And, as we’ve posted here at Well & Wise, both HCGH and HCLS, on occasion, offer babysitting classes.  So this book seemed like it might be a good resource for anyone babysitting or thinking about getting into it.  It is even a pick on the Summer Reading 2013: Middle School list.

Bondy keeps the tone light, accessible, and reassuring, especially for those new to the babysitting trade.  But the information she provides is sound: everything from how to get a babysitting gig to what kinds of behaviors to expect from kids of different ages. Of course she covers the necessities such as diapers, feeding, bedtime, and emergencies.  But she also covers some things that may be even more anxiety-inducing for teens just starting out, such as how to talk to the parents and what to do about discipline. There are also real-life experiences from teens, kid-friendly recipes, and a babysitting personality quiz. Many of us at the library were bemoaning the fact that we didn’t have a book like this when we were starting off  in our babysitting days, but we are certainly glad it’s available now to offer teens and tweens a world of no-nonsense tips that go beyond the basics of babysitting.

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