another babysitter question-need opinions — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

another babysitter question-need opinions

Warner still has a pretty early bed time so typically when we have babysitter, he's already in bed by the time she gets here and all she does is hang out and watch tv and keep an eye on the monitor. he's a good sleeper and he's never woken up for a sitter yet.

a neighbor of ours has a 13 year old daughter who completed a red cross babysitting class and is looking for babysitting jobs. DH thinks she would be perfect to "monitor-sit" for us...but I'm still iffy. what do you think? I know that I started babysitting when I was 12, but I think the youngest kid I sat for at that age was 3.

When I think rationally, I'm sure it would be fine, I mean, she basically just going to be watching tv, but the "what ifs" keep creeping up in my head ("what if there's a fire, is she too young to know what to do?") when I see this girl, I can't help but thinking that she still needs a babysitter herself she just looks so young!

Re: another babysitter question-need opinions

  • As a mom, I don't know if I would be comfortable, but as a 13 year old girl I was definitely babysitting for babies as well as older kids.  I am certain she is bright enough to know what to do in an emergency.  I don't know, it's a tough call. 
  • I was babysitting at that age. . . maybe not a little one as young as Warner. . . but, as you point out, it would be more monitor-sitting.

    She is a neighbor, might her mom be home while you are out?  That way there is an adult close by if something were to happen (not likely, but, I like to have a plan in place, just in case).

    I guess I would try it out and see how it goes.  Since she lives so close, you would not have to go far to pick her up and take her home (which, IMO, is nice).

    Let us know what you decide! 

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  • I babysat the next door neighbor's kids when I was that young, but my parents were literally next door.  Now that I'm a mom, I realize that probably made the neighbors a lot more comfortable leaving them with me when I was so young - my family was steps away.  Would that be the case for you?
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  • image Artslvr:
    I babysat the next door neighbor's kids when I was that young, but my parents were literally next door.  Now that I'm a mom, I realize that probably made the neighbors a lot more comfortable leaving them with me when I was so young - my family was steps away.  Would that be the case for you?

    i agree w/PPs. if the family is next door (and, through pre-arrangement) will be available in the event of a problem, i'd be ok with this situation. i was babysitting for babies at this age (but only for neighbors).

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  • She lives about a 1/2 a block away from our house, so she'd be about 6 houses away from her mom. I suppose that would make me feel better if I knew she (the mom) was home.

    I guess it makes me feel better that you all mostly have the same mixed emotions that I do. (sometimes I wonder if I just worry way too much) I really find it incredibly amazing now that so many families entrusted me with the lives and well-being of their kids when I was SO young. I never took a single babysitting class, didn't know CPR...nothing. And no one ever asked about that kind of thing back then.

  • I am completely neurotic when it comes to the care of DD, and the only people who've babysat so far are the nanny and my mother (I won't even let the ILs sit for her when they're here or we're there). We recently met a 15 year old in our neighborhood who is interested in babysitting, and, like you, I'm on the fence. I sort of figure if her parents are home, it should be ok. I would be more worried that Leah would wake up and not know who is with her (though she never usually wakes up).

    The neighbor is going away for the summer, but when she gets back, I hope to do a few visits so Leah feels comfortable with her, then let her babysit at night. I would probably still put Leah down, though, and let the neighbor "monitor-sit" after we're gone.

  • I am a middle school teacher so I guess that I am always advocating for my kids.

    We have a girl who lives a few houses down and across the street from us.

    She is going into 8th grade, so she is about the same age.  She has babysat for us three times now.  To make yourself feel comfortable, have her come over and play with Warner for a little while to see how she does.  While she is there clean the bathroom or something so you can still hear how they are doing....

    If you do decide you want her to babysit, review with her how to change diapers and how to carry a baby.

    We had her baby sit on Saturday night and I was reviewing things with her again and said call if you need anything and she was like ok, and I can call my parents too....

    Good Luck 

    Good Luck! 

  • We use a 14-year-old neighbor to watch DS in the same situation- she comes over as we're putting him to bed.  Her parents are always home since she has younger siblings and we've never had a problem.  DS woke up once and she went in and rocked him to calm him down and put him back in the crib without issue.  She's watched him 5-6 times now and it's been great.  We were also a little worried at first, but we've seen her interact with him and feel pretty confident that in an emergency she'd be able to keep him safe.  Ironically she sees the same pediatrician as our son!  We figure the worse thing that could happen is he wakes up for some reason and winds up crying in her arms for the 15 minutes it would take us to get home.  That risk has been worth it to us to get some couple time out of the house.
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  • I also babysat for young kids in my neighborhood when I was that age.  I would be fine with it, especially if her parents would be around in case of some terrible emergency like a fire. But I like the idea of her coming over to meet the baby and get comfortable with him. 
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  • I was babysitting at 12 for babies (what were the parents thinking???): one family in our cul-de-sac with my parents five houses down, then a couple of older kids (2&6 I think) that were nowhere nearby.  I agree with the idea of having her come over and play with Warner and see how that goes.

    (I sympathize with any paranoia, only my parents have babysat BabyCrown since they've moved here, except when we hired a service through the hotel when we went to Vancouver.  And we never left the hotel and BabyCrown was asleep the whole time)

  • I personally wouldn't leave DS with a sitter that young.  The only sitters we have had so far (besides family) are teachers from his daycare. 

    But since you are seriously considering using this sitter, would the girl's mom be willing to help out in the case of an emergency?  Do you know the family well? 

  • If the girl's parents will be home and you've spoken with them about being "on call", then I think monitor-sitting is probably no big deal.  I'm not sure I would do it, but the parents being there would certainly make it more acceptable in my opinion.  And we have a lot of family around to help us, so maybe my view is skewed.  Like another PP, we have only had family watch DD (and two of my close SAHM friends have each watched her for two hours while I ran errands).  

    I babysat as a 13 year old, but really can't imagine trusting a teenager with my baby until she's much older.  

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  • I babysat a neighbor when I was 12 and my parents were home across the street. It seems so young, though, when I think about leaving DS with a sitter! I think pp has some good advice - talk to the parents about being "on call."

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  • Why don't you give her a trial run?  Go run some errands (maybe during naptime), be back in 1-2 hours and see how that goes?  Or do yard work and you can be close by?
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