Advice for Teen Babysitters

Taking care of other people's children is a great responsibility. There are many important things to keep in mind, to make childcare a successful experience. This page contains advice for teen babysitters.


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February 24, 2012

My daughter is 13 and keeps asking to do babysitting. I don't really know if I should, because what if something happens (eg. child starts to choke). She really wants to start earning her own money.
Please help.

By someone


February 24, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

They have official and simple baby sitting trainer courses through a lot of schools, churches, and communities. You should look into it. She could get certified. They also teach CPR.

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February 24, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think you should consider letting your child try baby sitting. Just give her some "musts" for any sitting job she takes.


Must 1 - get the information of where the parent or parents are going and have a phone number for that location

Must 2 - get a cell phone number from the parent or guardian as well. This is not the same as the first 'must'. Some people talk so much on their cell phone that most of the time you try to call them the line is busy.

Must 3 - have a number for a reliable nearby neighbor she can call or even run to if there is a problem.

Must 4 - make sure she gets all important information concerning the child, allergies, asthma, favorite toy/doll to help distract the child when parents leave.

These aren't new ideas they are just very important ideas for a young child to take to heart. The first sign of trouble and the worse thing that can happen is panic sets in. If the child has all these numbers plus the knowledge of 911 and any situation can be handled.


A 13 year old is very capable of babysitting for short periods of time but they aren't used to being responsible and to maintain attention on another. I wouldn't recommend she have any sitting jobs longer than 3 hours until she has had a couple jobs under her belt.

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August 22, 2007

My daughter (13 years old) is babysitting for the first time this Sat. for our next door neighbor. I have given her the usual "do's & don't's", i.e. play games with the child, don't spend your time talking to your friends on the phone, and of course the safety issues. (The child is 7) I was wondering if anyone had some other suggestions for her? Thanks!

Marnita from Cumming, GA


August 23, 20070 found this helpful

Just tell her to enjoy it sensibly and not get the child over excited. The child is probably looking forward to it as much as she is and the adults are the only anxious people.

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August 23, 20070 found this helpful

My boys always loved their babysitters because they played with them. I would suggest that she read to this child because most kids don't get as many stories read to them as they would like. Once a sitter read 22 stories (like Cat in the Hat) to one of my sons, about age 5. It was a marathon!!!!


As a special treat, it seems to me that bubbles would be a really exciting thing to bring along. Bubble sets are really inexpensive at the dollar store, or you daughter might have some already, or you can use dish soap. That would really be a hit with a 7 year old.

Don't forget old card games or board games like Monoply or Go Fish or War. These are great games for kids, and modern parents are often too busy to teach kids these things nowadays.

Have fun. Louise, Nipawin, SK

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By (Guest Post)
August 23, 20070 found this helpful

How wonderful that you are taking such an active role! Tell her to use good communication with the parent and make sure she's not shy to ask questions.

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By Diana (Guest Post)
August 23, 20070 found this helpful

My daughter took her own coloring books or craft items. She even took slice and bake cookies from time to time.


Occasionally she'd bring her favorite G-rated DVDs and popcorn. It allowed her to direct some of the activities and the kids loved the surprise.

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By Jackie (Guest Post)
August 23, 20070 found this helpful

My oldest child is 13 and she actually babysits while we go out. My middle is 12 and my son is 7. I always make sure that she has her cell phone or house phone next to her the whole night.If needs to contact 911, she will not be nervous if she can not locate the phone. I also have older retired neighbors that are generally home after 8:00pm and she has their numbers programmed in her phone as well, just in case she hears a "noise" or gets nervous. I also make sure she definitely knows NOT to cook or turn any type of burners or toasters on. I leave all "bagged" snacks on the counter.


She may want to take a movie over that the 7 yr old has never watched to wind down at the end of the night. Wish her luck!

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By (Guest Post)
August 23, 20070 found this helpful

Have key phone numbers handy in case something seems amiss she can call in the experienced caregivers. In fact, send her with your cell phone if she does not have one, good to have, esp. if the house power goes out. Having an entire phone book in the phone helps as well.
Let her know not to hesitate to call and ask questions. Have her write down the children's address and place near their phone. In a crisis, she may not recall that new address to pass to those coming to help (caller ID may not be available in all areas from the 911 center and the dispatchers like to have it read to them).
Wait up or get up when she comes home, the proud smile and her first cash earnings will be something not to miss. She will also begin to appreciate what parents do and the weight of the responsibility within a home.
Good luck.

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August 23, 20070 found this helpful

Hi, didn't read any feedbacks but when my 12yr.old granddaughter first baby sat with her 10mo.old sister for "just for a couple hours" I was livid. My GD,doesn't know "CPR". That's my feedback..Keeper in NC.

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By Terri (Guest Post)
August 24, 20070 found this helpful

As a parent, I can tell your daughter that the number one thing when babysitting is to have fun with the child. However, my favorite babysitter always tidied up the house for me when my son was napping or in bed for the night. She even washed dishes! If your daughter takes the time to do a little clean-up, she'll be the number one babysitter on the block!

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August 24, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks everyone; great advice!!

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By U*u*U (Guest Post)
August 25, 20070 found this helpful

Two important rules:

1. Do not tell any callers that the adults aren't home. Simply say "they can't come to the phone right now, may I take a message?" (not an untruth, they really CAN't come to the phone lol)

2. Do not open the door for anyone, for any reason.

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By GranniePJ (Guest Post)
August 27, 20070 found this helpful

Babysitting is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY! Please make sure that your daughter is prepared. Check your local Children's Hospital to see if they have Babysitting Classes, First Aid and CPR included.

Check out these links:

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By balh.... (Guest Post)
February 23, 20080 found this helpful

Board games always work. For example Candy Land. It actually takes up a while but when you're having fun it goes by so fast.

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By keri (Guest Post)
March 22, 20080 found this helpful

I'm 13 and I'm baby sitting tonite and I think it is great that everyone would give such good advice, but it all depends on who is baby sitting cause whether it's the first second or third time someone babysits, they need to feel comfortable in the house they are sitting at. It's ok to fell nervous but you have to be comfortable and thats basically all there is to it..

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By celina (Guest Post)
May 21, 20080 found this helpful

I am also 13 and I know it is hard. My parents were worried just like you. It takes a lot of commitment, but it is better if you actually know the child. Let your child relax tell them maybe that they should take the red cross babysitting class that will help your child not to freak out at anything that happens. Hope that will help.

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By Cora (Guest Post)
May 30, 20080 found this helpful

How do you get a job? I'm looking everywhere but can't find anything!

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By Regina (Guest Post)
July 7, 20080 found this helpful

I just turned 12 and have been babysitting for 2 years. Tomorrow I am babysitting my cousins overnight. My opinion as a child is to keep all the warnings and do's and don't to a minimum or your daughter might get upset or annoyed and block you out.

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By Lauren (Guest Post)
August 5, 20080 found this helpful

I am 14 years old and I babysit regularly. My summer has been packed because of my baby sitting schedules. If I could give advice to your daughter I would tell her that a parent always loves it when they come home to a house that is way cleaner than when they left. That would mean hand washing all the dishes that her and the child or children had used along with anything else that might have been in the sink...

If she doesn't know where they go in the cabinets she could just leave them out on a cloth rag. My other advice would be to keep the child busy. A parents just wants to know that they made the right choice in who they left their child with. So if a parent comes home and hears how much fun they had FROM THE CHILDS perspective then the parent is definitely going to be very happy.

Keeping the child busy will also help her because the child won't be so on end. Wear the child out. When the parent comes home they are going to want to relax so if you have kept the child busy all day then when you leave they are going to want to realize too.

The last thing I do before I leave is make sure I have left the parent a note telling them everything we had done that day, also if you and the child had eaten the rest of any certain chips or snacks, so that she could buy more at the store, and not realize that she was out of ships after she came home! Basically just giving her a detailed run through of everything they did that day! Every parent I baby sit for has seemed happy with my job and called me back to baby sit again. I charge $25 a day.

P.S. If you keep the child happy you are bound to have happy parents! Thats how I look at it! So one of the ways I make sure I am keeping my children happy is, bring them a SMALL something everyday! It doesn't have to be much but in the child's eyes it is the world! They are always happy you are coming because they know you have something fun planned, and a little present to go along with it!

If you have something special planned like going to the zoo bring them a small stuffed animal and tell them to guess what we are doing today!

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Read More Answers

June 1, 2006

"I want to start babysitting, but how do I find jobs?" Advice from the ThriftyFun community for babysitters just starting out. Post your own tips here.

Editor's Note: Please do not post personal information, including email addresses. We cannot help you find a specific babysitting job or babysitter in your area. Be sure that your parents are involved in this plan and that they meet anyone you may babysit for.

Start With Family Friends

Word of mouth is by far the best way. Have your parents help by recommending you to their friends and co-workers. This way they will know who you are sitting for. As the word spreads about the good service you provide there will be a connection to people your parents know. Just like looking for any kind of employment networking is the key. Just get the word out that you are ready to start babysitting.

By Pattie Hartley

Highlight Your Experience

I think babysitting is a great idea! You may want to highlight any experience you may have and also if you have attended any first aid courses as these are things many parents are looking for in a babysitter. They want to know that the person they are leaving their most precious loved ones will care for them as much as they do. Be interested in anything the parents wish to tell you and even take notes about allergies, TV shows, rules, etc. Good luck remember if the kids are safe and happy, the parents are happy, then they will spread the word for you for free! You could also give out business cards with your contact details and the times you are available to babysit. This will make it easier for customers to contact you.

By kj

Tips For Getting Experience

Start by babysitting for the younger siblings of your friends, or your parents' friends. Volunteer at your church nursery, that'll be a safe environment to start out, too. ALWAYS tell your parents of an offer to babysit, even if you know the people BEFORE you accept. One thing that you could do to impress parents is get your first aid card (American Red Cross: CPR, first aid, and basic things like what to do for a fall, cut, etc.) I would NEVER hire a babysitter that did not do that. It only takes an instant to be grieving and sorry forever. When you understand THAT phrase, you are on your way to babysitting. After you have tried with 'safer' venues, the friends' siblings and church, then try for a daytime, short venture, say two hours. Fix a lunch or snack. Purchasing a first aid book and 'what do I do when..' book can keep you informed, too. KNOW your clients' 911 address. I know you are looking for ways to get known, but I am getting to that. When you look capable, knowing of allergies, conditions (autism, epilepsy, downs syndrome...) when you ask responsible questions, and study the list that every good parent has for their babysitter Where we are, who to ask for (Mr and Mrs Smith...not Johnny or Sally's dad/mom) The people who hire you will trust you more, and be more willing to recommend you. Also, make sure that you are willing to phone for help when a situation arises that stumps you. Good Luck.

By KLS8800

Keep Your Parents Involved And Your Options Open

Have your parents involved with your babysitting. They MUST know where you are and what time you will be home and the telephone number. I knew a 12 year old who gave out fliers. Her mom was along, I told them no kids, but dogs needed walking. She walked them each day after school for 50 cents a day, our doggies loved her. We were all sad to move, but she was good and dependable. If you can walk dogs, let people know it can help. Have fun and stay SAFE!

By Annie Rios Hill

Don't Babysit For Strangers

Please make sure you ONLY babysit for people you know. OR for your current customers friends and neighbors (for example, you sit for the Smiths and they give your name to the Jones. You don't know the Jones but the Smiths know the Jones). Don't hang your flyers in places where perfect strangers can get your info (don't post your photo either)Take a safe sitter course. Go to your local after school or summer care programs (Schools, YMCA< church, etc.) My daughter met a family at the pool when she was chaperoning after school care kids. Always represent yourself well (no unsafe actions, be mature and responsible in public places like the pool so potential customers will be attracted to you!)

By Diana

Take A Babysitting Course

Contact your local Red Cross and see if they offer the babysitting course. It's a great course and it tells parents you're being responsible. They keep a list for people who call looking for sitters.

By Laura

Start As A Mother's Helper

Times have changed a lot since I babysat. I think you should start off babysitting near your house. Ask a mom if you could come over and help. You can watch the kids while she does work around the house. You would start to learn about children that way. In fact I did that a lot.

By sandy

First Aid Website

Also go to This will allow you to printout information on what to do if someone gets into poison, gets cut, sunburned, spider bites, etc. This is a good site for parents too.

By imaqt1962

Paper Plate Flyer

Write your contact info for your ad neatly in a bright color in the center of a white paper plate and your phone number on the ridges of the paper plate around the edge and carefully cut them apart up to where the border of the plate ends and thumbtack it to a bulletin board at a grocery store or laundry or wherever you can! I have seen this method used many times around here and I sometimes will tear a number from the plate to drop in my purse, so I know it works if you work it! I wish I had a pic of what I am talking about! Good luck!

Editor's Note: Be sure your parents meet anyone who calls you from a posted ad, for your safety.

By melody_yesterday

Spreading The Word

Hi, my name is Andrea. I am 12 years old and I was in the same situation that you were in. This is what I did.First, I told my mom to tell people at work that I was interested in babysitting, that got me two jobs. Then I made my own business cards, and I went around the park that is down the street from me. All of the parents with children I gave them my card. That got me three jobs, and they all lived very close to me so it worked out perfectly.

By Andrea

Parents And First Aid Are Best Resources

Talk to your parents because they are the best way to find out about friends and neighbors in your area (plus for your safety, they'll know more about these people and know how to get to you for an emergency) and TAKE FIRST AID COURSE or read up and practice! I know that I am repeating what everyone else has said, but it is so important, especially with kids under 5 (I have 2, and one has epilepsy) And please be patient with people who may not be ready for a babysitter, regardless of age. My older son is fine, but we have insecurities about leaving our baby with ANYONE for a long time until things are stabilized with meds, and we know they are up for the energy of watching both.

By Kelly

Start A Babysitting Club

Hey! Guess what? I am starting a babysitting club with my two friends, Ariana and Moriah, and it's going to be called The Super Safe Sitters! We are making flyers that we can post up all around town. We also are going to make babysitting biz cards, too! This is a lot for me, I am only 11 years old and both of my friends are turning 12 in a couple months. Also, you could talk to your friends and see if any of there moms are nurses that can teach babysitting classes. Lucky for us, Moriah's mom is teaching babysitting classes so we get to go in them for free, plus, you'll get certified and that will catch even more eyes!

By Rachael

Flyer Advice

Hello, My name is Jazalyn and I had a dog walking business and I have some advice for you. I think you should make flyers with your number, name and some guarantees. You'll have a business in a snap of a finger. Good luck!

By Jazalyn

5 Tips From A Mom

From a 37 year old mother of 3:
  1. Advertise at a church
  2. Make nice flyers to hand out at Wal-mart
  3. Hand out flyers at local schools (get permission!)
  4. Ask to volunteer at day care facilities, build up skills.
  5. Always! Always! Tell the parents how perfect and wonderful their children were when they pick them up! Never say ugh! They were monsters! If you only say nice things you will have return jobs forever!
God bless.

By Heather, MO


By Becca. (Guest Post)
March 31, 20080 found this helpful

First of all you do NOT make flyers or buisness cards! Every good baby sitter knows that! Only take babysitting jobs from people you know or get a interview with them... and if you take a babysitting course they tell you that. Like on internet sites like this, NEVER use your first name!

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Read More Answers

January 25, 2014

I want to babysit all ages, but I'm worried about the worst coming first. Like what if the parents forget milk and it's still on breast milk? Or what if it's constipated? What should I do?

By A'Kenziah

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January 17, 2015

I am 15 and have been trying to get a job for a while. I finally got a job opportunity, I'm meeting her and her two children tomorrow. How should I act, and how do I deal with nervousness?

By Kassie H.

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January 7, 2014

I'm 13 and starting a babysitting service, but don't know how much to charge and need help with babysitting tips.

By Skyelar

Read More Answers

February 13, 2017

Taking care in how you find sitting jobs will help ensure your safety. Start with people that your know. This is a page about advice for safely finding babysitting jobs.

A baby sitter giving a child a piggy back ride.

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