What do you feel is the age one is allowed to start babysitting?

United States
July 30, 2008 3:50pm CST
I know there may be laws on this, but if there was not, what age must a person be to babysit your child? Would the age be different if the person was a relative, as opposed to say a friends child? Would it depend on the age of your child?
2 responses
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
31 Jul 08
My oldest brother called about this a few weeks ago b/c his daughter who is 13 wants to babysit. According to the police department and DFS (family services) there is no set age. I say they shouldn't be allowed to babysit until they can show they are responsible enough to handle it and then certain rules have to be followed. No friends over while babysitting, contact numbers, no nighttime babysitting and a limit on the number of kids. Once they show they can handle it then the rules could be adjusted. They also need to be taught about emergency situations. When my Niece decided to start babysitting I gave her mock situations and made her come up with the solutions. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
• United States
31 Jul 08
Thanks for the input, yeah i know some states or cities might have laws on it, but around here they dont. I know this cuz my niece who is 11 has been asking to babysit since she was 9. SHe is going to a babysitting class just in case there are things that her mom or herself may have not thought of to cover. She has been a mother hen since my son was born 5 yrs ago. I remember when my sis kept my son over night, he was about 8 months old, and he woke up at like 6, my neice who was 6 1/2 yrs old, went downstairs, got him a bottle, opened a jar of babyffod and put it in a bowl, put it in microwave and put 15 seconds and went back upstairs and fed him. My sis woke up and seen her feeding him and said what are you doing, she said i cooked it and am feeding him...lol. So my sis asked how she did it, and my niece told her. Not sure how she knew what to do other then watching my sis, but she did just fine. She has consistently taken care of him when he stays there, ever since. Obviously my sis does it too, but she is always helping out. We have had a few times recently where he has stayed their for a cpl nights, and my sis will leave her and my son at home while she runs errands, a cpl hrs at the most, and all is well. We have also made sure she knows what to do in emergencies. The babysitting class she is going to will teach them CPR and basic first aid as well, a definite must for any child that is going to babysit.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
31 Jul 08
It sounds like she has a really good head on her shoulders. It's good to see that she's learning responsibilities when it comes to children...it'll help her alot when she has her own. When my younger brother was born my Mom had a woman watching him. The woman had a baby herself. After a few days my Mom noticed he was really fussy when he came home and then he started losing weight really fast (he was around 6Lbs when he was born so he was already really tiny). She decided to drop in one day early to pick him up and found out that the woman was feeding her baby my brothers food and using his diapers and stuff on her baby. Needless to say, that was the end of that. I also was thinking about the recent news article about a 16 year old boy that put a baby on an inflatable pillow and then jumped on the pillow, launching the baby across the room. Luckly the baby wasn't hurt but the boy is in alot of trouble and it was all to make a video for YouTube. When you know someone like your niece, I wouldn't worry too much but outside of those you trust I'd be really careful about leaving my kids anywhere. I'd get references, do surprise visits and keep a close watch for signs of abuse and/or neglect. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
@sunshine4 (8707)
• United States
30 Jul 08
I say it depends on the maturity of the person, not necessarily their age. When my oldest was 12, he would stay home and watch his 9 and 7 yr old brothers. They were really good together so I never really had to worry about them. Now I have a 14 yr old son who I rarely will leave with my 8 yr old daughter. The reason is because they argue all the time and he isn't as mature as his older brother was when he was babysitting. If I have the chance to get a relative to babysit, I would use them over a friend or teenager.