When I was 3 ½ my brother, Jeremy, was born. Months before his birth, my parents had the foresight to enroll me in a course for older siblings that taught about how to care for our little brothers and sisters and how to interact with an infant. I honestly don’t remember much of it. I remember pulling into the parking lot and I remember that we got to wash a babydoll with real baby soap, which I thought was pretty cool. But the things was, I enjoyed that they made a big deal about me becoming a big sister. It made me feel important.
When my second brother, Tim, was born I was nearly 12. Obviously, I would be playing a much larger part in caring for him as I was the built in babysitter. My parents both worked and sometimes even on weekends. Once I was about 14 or so, I watched both of my brothers for large portions of time. Again, my parents had wonderful foresight and signed me up for a babysitters course. I already had lots of practice with younger cousins and even some neighbors at that point, but it was a great course to build a solid foundation for becoming a babysitter or nanny. We learned diapering, feeding, bathing, emergency response and first aid. Well spent money in my opinion.
I think courses like these are very important because you never know what situations you will find yourself in. An emergency can occur in the 2 minutes that a young person is asked to watch the baby while Mom steps into the other room. It gives the adults piece of mind and the young person a feeling of empowerment. There are few worse feelings than finding yourself in a terrible situation and being helpless because you have no idea what to do.
In the years that I spent as a child care worker, preschool teacher and camp counselor, I took many refresher courses to be sure I was on top of my CPR and emergency response skills and I felt confident that I could handle whatever happened under my watch. It’s been a few years since my last class and just writing this post is making me feel like it’s time for a CPR renewal for the whole family!
Ages: 11 to 13
Date: Saturday, March 8
Time: 9:00 am–2:00pm
Location: Room 240, West Chester Municipal Building,
401 East Gay Street, West Chester
Instructor: Suzanne Vietri, American Health and Safety Institute
This program teaches babysitters basic childcare such as feeding, bathing, diapering, and responding to emergencies. Students are requested to bring a doll and/ or teddy bear and pack a lunch. Instruction is based on the American Safety and Health Institute guidelines. *Students will not be certified in CPR*
Siblings Class with Chester County Hospital (this is where I took my course!)
Ages: 3 – 7
Date: March 13, April 23, May 29, June 24
Location: Mira Conference Room (First floor)
at The Chester County Hospital View Map
701 East Marshall Street
West Chester, PA 19380
This is a special class to help children ages 3-7 prepare for the new baby. The program addresses the child’s role as the new big brother/sister. Changes that will occur within the family are also discussed. A brief tour of the Newborn Nursery and Maternity Unit is included.
Special Instructions: Each child is asked to bring the following to class: a small doll or teddy bear and two pictures of themselves – one current and one as a newborn. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Class will start promptly at the designated time, so please allow yourself a few extra minutes to arrive.
RedCross.org offers online babysitting courses!
Care for babies and kids up to 10 years old
Keep the kids and yourself safe
Make playtime fun with age-appropriate games
Handle a wide variety of emergencies
Manage your babysitting business
Designed to help students become a responsible, knowledgeable babysitter (ages 11-15).
Emergency Training Associates in West Chester offer a variety of CPR and Emergency Response courses!
Emergency Training Associates has been providing CPR training to individuals, EMS companies, physicians, dental offices, businesses, and industries since 1990. With over twenty years experience, ETA is one of the most established providers of CPR training in the region. Based in West Chester, PA, we serve clients in Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout the tri-state area.
Know of any other classes that would be great for a family to take? Please comment or contact us!