HOW old do you think a babysitter should be?

Discussion in 'Toddlers' started by Natasha0717, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Natasha0717

    Natasha0717 New Member

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    Hi all,
    I began babysitting at the age of 12. It was just for 2 of the kiddies that lived across the street from me. I see nowadays that some babysitters are only 10-11....just seems a bit young to me, (unless they are just older siblings and mom or dad need to run to the store really quick for something.) What age would you consider "safe" to be a responsible babysitter? And what age would you feel most comfortable with when it comes to babysitting your little one(s)?
     
  2. Heatman

    Heatman Active Member

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    At least from the age of 18 upwards is appropriate for me and it's for the obvious reasons of being responsible and taking responsibility should anything go wrong. Picking a babysitter below the age of 18 is a risk for me, so I would rather choose an adult or even a mother who takes up the profession of being a babysitter than make use of a kid as my babysitter. The well-being of my little one is of utmost importance to me, so therefore I'm not going to gamble with that.
     
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  3. Alexandoy

    Alexandoy Active Member

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    Over here, a baby sitter should be at least 15 years old. I am talking based on our culture and not the law. There is no law on babysitters here. The age is a matter of security and sense of responsibility. You know children when they are not focused on the work, they tend to neglect. And babysitting cannot be neglected for accidents may happen especially if the ward is a restless toddler.
     
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  4. Mika

    Mika Active Member

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    I am not sure if my country's rule allow anyone to babysit before the age of 18. Besides a babysitter needs to have certain skills and certification to perform their duties. A Babysitter has to look after babies aged 45 days and above and have to look after their different needs so they should know the basics of first-aid, symptoms of babies' sickness, arrange for their timely feed etc besides changing their nappies etc. I think 16 should be the minimum age and that too for limited period of 2-3 hours a day.
     
  5. littlewitch66

    littlewitch66 Active Member

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    I wasn't sure if there was a legal age for the UK so I googled it and this is what I found:

    "There is no minimum age at which children in the UK can be left on their own, nor do laws specify how old someone needs to be to babysit. However, if the babysitteris under 16, then the parent remains legally responsible for the child'ssafety."

    I am probably old fashioned but I prefer adults to babysit for my 11 year old granddaughter. I actually wouldn't trust a teenager. When I was about 12 and my sister 9 we were left with an 18 year old who got drunk. She didn't harm us in any way and when my parents returned they seemed to think it was amusing but anything could have happened. This has always stuck in my mind.
     
  6. Heatman

    Heatman Active Member

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    Just the same way I see it, a babysitter must have some level of experience and a mindset of being responsible which is hardly found in growing youths or teenagers because they are prone to be erratic in behavior at times. It's much better and safer to leave one's kids in the hands of experienced adults.
     
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  7. janemarie

    janemarie Member

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    It has to depend on the person doing the babysitting. They need to be mature enough to understand the seriousness of it. It is better to state rules of no friends over and no drinking, smoking etc and treated like a job. Give the babysitter a small payment to let them feel like it is work and they will treat it like a job.
     
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  8. Miches

    Miches Active Member

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    I think that with the kind of upbringing many kids have these days, I'll set the age to at least 20 so at least the babysitter would be more mature and responsible. In our case, though, I sought the help of an older relative to care for my son when it was time for me to go back to work. I just couldn't leave my son to a stranger. I paid her a good salary and she was well-treated so she would treasure her job and care for my son well.
     
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  9. kaka135

    kaka135 Active Member

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    Though it depends on the maturity of the babysitter, I will not let my babies, toddlers or even young kids being babysat by anyone who is not even a teenager. I would think 16 years old might be more suitable, but I would prefer the babysitter to be an adult and is already a mom.
     
  10. Mika

    Mika Active Member

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    Same here in India, there is no rule about when and at what age they can be left alone but most parents know it best so it's their choice. But in Australia where most rules have been adapted from the UK, a child under 12 years cannot be left unattended at home. However, I would not leave children on their own even if they are 12 or more unless I am sure that they can manage things. You see there are too many complicated gadgets especially gas/oven/hotplate which they may want to try and harm themselves.
     
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  11. Heatman

    Heatman Active Member

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    There are some jobs that must be looked at the responsibility disposition of the person to be given such job and babysitting is one of such jobs. If it's just housekeeping, giving it to a teenager would be a big deal, as all that matters is simply ensuring that the house is well kept. But when it comes to taking care of little children and a baby as well, it's very crucial to entrust an elderly person with such job with no compromise.
     
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  12. Natasha0717

    Natasha0717 New Member

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    I agree, I couldn't even imagine watching a baby at the age of 12, or even into my teens. I simply wouldn't have had the skills yet.
    Even when I worked in daycare, I always watched the 3-4 year-old groups, and by then I was well into my 20's. Feeding an infant, making sure the bottle temp was just right, making sure he or she doesn't choke while eating, etc. All of that is just too much for a pre-teen or maybe even a teen to be responsible for. Too many things could go wrong. Yet, there are teen-moms out there, and they learn right from the start how to do everything properly, even if it means having their own mothers teach them or by taking baby classes.
     
  13. Karina Teck

    Karina Teck Member

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    Hi @Natasha0717 I don't think there's any age to start working as a babysitter because there's no law about the age to start babysitting.

    I am though impress of the age you started babysitting that actually is the same age I started my first job as a baby sitter also but it was part time. I didn't have much experience in kids,but I did learned fast and it was my first job and did quite well with kids talking care of a young two months child.
     
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  14. Heatman

    Heatman Active Member

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    In as much as there isn't any law stipulating a particular age range for one to be a babysitter, in doing what's right and caring for the babies well-being, It's not a wise thing to do by entrusting taking care of a baby to someone who isn't versed in the job. Of course I agree one learn on the job but there are delicate things you don't allow one so little as teenager 12 years to start learning on the job. It's exposing your baby to impending dangers and mistakes from the teenage babysitter.
     
  15. tyche

    tyche Active Member

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    I think the age of 13 up would do, since they are already a teenager by that time already. Most teens already have the common sense around those ages.
     
  16. nangk08

    nangk08 Active Member

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    I totally agree with you kaka. Even if the teenagers or younger kids might be mature and reasonable, they still do not have any experience of looking after kids themselves, maybe looking after younger siblings might be counted as an experience. But I am still skeptical of letting such kids babysit for others' babies and toddlers. Anything can happen and these kids might not know what to do in such cases. It is better that experienced adults are allowed to babysit.
     
  17. to7update

    to7update Active Member

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    I never hired a babysitter, simply never happened. We usually leave our kids with family when we want to do something as a couple, and we are fortunate enough to have family around. As for a babysitter, my number one concern would be trust, he/she had to be trustworthy and caring.
     
  18. kaka135

    kaka135 Active Member

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    I think it depends on the parents too. One of my friends is fine leaving her baby to her friend's daughter who is 11 or 12 years old for 2-3 hours. The baby was not even one year old at that time. That was actually the first time the baby met the babysitter, without other adults. I certainly don't feel comfortable with that, but my friend trusted her friend, though she never really met the daughter too. I am not sure if I am too protective or I don't have that much trust to others, I just can't leave my kids to someone I don't really know well.
     
  19. Mika

    Mika Active Member

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    @kaka135 I think your friend was taking the help of her friend's daughter on part time basis but not as a professional baby sitter. I think taking help of your relatives and friends is fine as long as you trust them and they do it with love. I think a 11-12 years' old girl is not capable of taking charge of a child less than one year for a period of 2-3 hours especially when no adult is present in the house. This is not you only but even I would not leave a child in the custody of a girl that age all on her own even if that is free of charge.
     
  20. littlewitch66

    littlewitch66 Active Member

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    I think I'm probably over protective too because I would never leave a baby with an 11-12 year old. To be honest I don't even leave my 11 year old granddaughter for that length of time, What if something had gone wrong and the baby was taken seriously ill. It's too much to cope with for a child of that age. Your friend must be very trusting especially to leave her baby with someone she hadn't even met.
     

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