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If you need a babysitter . . .

What is the youngest age you would allow a baby sitter to be before they watched your child?

I would not feel comfortable with someone under 18 years old. And even then, I feel a person does not truly know how to handle all situations until they have raised children themselves. For example, when my DD was 3 months, I babysat for an almost one year old and a two year old (I'm 24). I did not know that even though a child can climb ONto a couch, they can't necessarily climb DOWN. And I was a mom at that point, but had not cared for a toddler yet, so did not know the ins and outs of a toddler's capabilities.

So what do you think?


Asked by epoh at 10:19 AM on Apr. 3, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 6 (146 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • well, i think it also depends on the age of the child(ren). if my kids were older, the youngest aged babysitter i would accept would have to be 16, so she could drive the kids to the hospital if need be. since my kids are so young, i'd say 18 or 20, because its much easier for something to go wrong with an infant than a 4 year old, and i'd want someone who's mature enough to not just freak out

    Answer by llansky at 10:21 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • We'll I'm 19 and have been babysitting my niece since I was 16. And I hadn't been a mom yet. I took better care of her then her parents did/do. I was the only one- THE ONLY ONE that could calm her down when she'd start crying and crying and crying (sometimes for hours) Her dad couldn't, my parents couldn't, (her mom was always working) but as soon and I got her she'd stop. I know I was a good babysitter then. Ive always had a natural mother instinct. I wouldn't hesitate to hire someone like me cause I know I did a good job. HOWEVER, I don't let anyone watch my son besides my mom and mil for over night or anything. I let my hubbys cousin who is 15 watch my son for 2-3 hours at a time cause she reminds me alot of me. She does such a good job!! :)

    Answer by amy31308 at 10:25 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • It does depend on the on the sitter. I would look for someone who took a baby sitting classes. under the age of 13 is too young. I use to baby sit around the age of 11 and 12 years old and did not know anything. But I was kind and did play with the kids. I never changed the diapers, did not know how and I still got called back LOL

    Answer by gammie at 10:28 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I think it depends too on if you know the person, and if they know your kids, or if it is a stranger off the street. I have a girl down the block that is 15, she is the most respnsible kid I have ever met, and I trust her with my kids long enough to go run simple errands, for an hour or 2, but not for long periods of time.

    Answer by AK_aries at 10:28 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • It is not necessarily the age of the sitter. Some 13-year olds who have helped care for their younger siblings are very trustworthy and responsible, whereas some 20-year olds who have never been around young children would not be good candidates. I think you have to consider their upbringing and what kind of experiences they have had.

    Answer by NannyB. at 10:29 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • Well last month I had a grown woman with a child of her own watch my LO's early on a friday evening and she fell asleep on my sons and her DD who is two opened the door and the neighbors had to call the police after chasing my 2 and 3 yr old sons who were running up and down the street half naked in 40 degree weather. SO for is going to be a VERY long time before I trust anyone who is not family with my children again!

    Answer by salexander at 10:31 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • It depends on the sitter.

    I'm in a slightly different situation...I have to have someone capable of giving asthma treatments if needed and dealing with special needs kids (autism spectrum).

    Needless to say...we don't go anywhere and I haven't even been to the doctor in ages.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 10:34 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I remember when I was about 6, my sister was 8. My parents would normally leave us with our oldest sister, 12 or 13 at the time, but she had left to go with some friend's family for a vacation. SO they got us a babysitter for a week while they worked. We had one girl that was 15 and she was awesome! She had 4 little brothers, and she really had a lot of experience with kids. Then the last part of the week we had a woman, probably in her 40s or 50s. From kid perspective, she SUCKED. We had to be quiet and play in our rooms and we weren't allowed to listen to our music or play any games that we would be likely to scream or squeal in. For 8 hours for two days, we sat in our room and talked about how much we hated her. I am sure she was more qualified as a care provider, but she was boring. I think the kids would be more likely to do something stupid with the latter as opposed to the former. I would consider that as well.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 10:35 AM on Apr. 3, 2009

  • I don't go by age, I go by person and other factors. For example, I used to babysit for some neighbors when I was 11 or 12. They had 3 or 4 kids (one wasn't always there). But they trusted me b/c we lived right next door, and my parents were always home when I babysat, so they knew if something happened, I would go get my parents, as well as call the people I was sitting for. But, they also knew that I was very mature for my age, very responsible, and too scared of my parents to do anything stupid like invite people over, etc. However, I once trusted a 13 or 14 yr old girl to watch my oldest son, and I found out later that she looked up porn and went into adult chat rooms while leaving my son in his crib in a dirty diaper, hungry and crying. And she lived right next door to us, and her parents were home. So, it really depends on the person.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 10:37 AM on Apr. 3, 2009