This article was co-authored by Jessie Davidson. Jessie Davidson is a childcare specialist and CEO and founder of BabysitPro, which offers online courses for current and aspiring babysitters. Jessie has over 20 years experience in child care and specializes in best practices for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school students. BabysitPro courses are unique and age-specific, allowing babysitters to learn detailed information relevant to the children in their care. Jessie holds a BA in French Studies from Wheaton College and an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Southern California.
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Sometimes babysitting can be boring for both you and the children. You cannot watch them like a hawk, nor can you overlook them. If you’ve run out of ideas on how to make this a fun experience, this article will come to your rescue with some fun ideas.
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This article was co-authored by Jessie Davidson. Jessie Davidson is a childcare specialist and CEO and founder of BabysitPro, which offers online courses for current and aspiring babysitters. Jessie has over 20 years experience in child care and specializes in best practices for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school students. BabysitPro courses are unique and age-specific, allowing babysitters to learn detailed information relevant to the children in their care. Jessie holds a BA in French Studies from Wheaton College and an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Southern California. This article has been viewed 38,175 times. WITH 10 years experience working as a nanny, nanny and now mum to her own eight-month-old, Natalie Freemantle has put some children to sleep in her time.
Sleepless nights are driving desperate parents to hire bedtime nannies, who charge up to £50 an hour to ensure their teeth are brushed, bath times are done and children are in bed on time.
Natalie, 28, is among the nannies who offer their services for bedtime training, usually for children aged 18 months to four years.
It costs £100 per person to implement an individual co-sleeping action plan with parents, which includes a three-hour consultation and telephone and email support.
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Speaking to Fabulous Online’s Natalie, whose son Arlo can slip off in three minutes, reveals the common pitfalls parents face and what you should do.
From feeding them bigger dinners, to putting them to bed and even brushing their teeth to distract them from meltdowns, here’s her advice…
Natalie told us: “When the child cries is to explain to the mother that he is not crying because he is very sad, he is crying because you are not giving him what he wants.”
If you respond by giving in, it reinforces the behavior and means your child will continue to cry at bedtime.
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Natalie’s biggest tip is to stick to a strict routine, because even small changes can throw everything off.
She said: “If you want bedtime to be 7.30, it should be 7.30 every night. Don’t leave them up for another 15 or 20 minutes because they will continue to push the boundaries and that confuses children.
“It’s different for every age, but I would say if it’s a young baby or a teenager, be consistent. The parent has to lead the situation.
“Stick to that rule because the kids will say ‘well you dumped me the other day so why can’t I now?’ Arlo goes to bed every night at 7:30 and sleeps until 7 in the morning.”
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Does your child keep getting out of bed? Don’t argue with them – put them quietly back to bed.
Natalie said: “It’s about limiting the amount of conversations you have with them. When they first get up, be very clear with them and say ‘no, it’s bedtime, you’re going back to bed’.”
“But after that I don’t say anything to them, I take them straight to bed, because otherwise there will be a verbal argument about who has the power.
“Don’t pick them up and put them down if they don’t get to sleep, because you’re just reinforcing that behavior. They learn very quickly.”
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“It’s very difficult because if the parents have been out all day and they only have this little window of opportunity with their children, they don’t want to disturb them.
“It would annoy me if Arlo cried every time he saw me because I put him to bed.
“But it’s to make sure you have a parent-child relationship. If I ask you to do something, you have to listen to me and respect me and do what I ask. You don’t constantly fight and argue with me.”
Natalie says it’s about getting to know your child and not always trying to be their best match Credit: Natalie Freemantle
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If your son or daughter refuses to go to bed, the solution could be as simple as a ragged stomach, or too much TV at night.
Natalie said: “If parents really have to drag them up the stairs at bedtime, it’s about trying to find out why the child is doing this.
“Have they had enough to eat for dinner? If dinner is at 4 and they go to bed at 7:30, they might be a little hungry.”
Natalie said: “Parents often blame mum, which I do too, but I see a lot of parents who let their child tell them what they are doing, rather than the other way around.
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“They’ll say ‘no mum, I’ll brush my teeth in a minute, I’m just playing’ and dad will say ‘OK, well, brush my teeth in a minute’.
“And I say ‘no no’, if I say brush your teeth now, it means you have to brush your teeth now because you have to respect your parents.
“Some parents will say ‘okay’ because they don’t want a crisis, but that doesn’t really make it any easier in the long run.”
Mums and dads need to make sure they’re on the same page, adds the married mumCredit: Natalie Freemantle
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Natalie advises: “Parents should try to talk to each other more, and make sure you have the same rule and stick to it. Then you’re together.”
Natalie said: “If they’re looking for attention, some I completely ignore. I pretend certain things aren’t happening, of course it depends on how serious they are.
“I’ve had a little girl cry, try to get your attention and then burst into tears, but no real tears.
“I would choose not to look at them and ignore them completely. It depends on how bad the kids are, how far they want to push it, but I think you should try the ignore tactic first.”
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Natalie charges £100 for special bedtime action plans, which are individually tailored to each childCredit: Natalie Freemantle
When it comes to distracting kids from their bad moods, even the simplest of tricks can work.
Natalie said: “If they’re struggling with something, like they hate brushing their teeth, I’d brush my teeth at the same time so you’re a role model for the child.
“And you’ll say, ‘Look, my toothbrush is lighting up,’ because it’s an electric toothbrush, and it’s trying to distract them from whatever funk they’re in at the moment.”
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Natalie said: “It’s not like the problem will be solved overnight. There’s no point asking for a quick fix.
“Within a week or two, kids learn. They learn in the first 48 hours, but they’ll still try to go back to old ways. It’s about being patient.”
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This article was co-authored by Julie Wright, MFT and staff writer Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA. Julie Wright is a marriage and family therapist and co-founder of The Happy Sleeper, which offers sleep counseling and online sleep courses for babies. Julie is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in babies, children and their parents, and co-author of two best-selling parenting books (The Happy Sleeper and Now Say This) published by Penguin Random House. She created the popular Wright Mommy, Daddy and Me program in Los Angeles, California, which provides support and learning for new parents. Julie’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR. Julie received her training at Cedars Sinai Early Childhood Center.
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Babysitting requires a lot of patience and maturity, but yes
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