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How young is too young to start babysitting? By Allison Katz

13 July 2011 3 Comments

So I just ran into one of those awkward neighborhood moments.  Two young girls from our neighborhood came over and asked if they could babysit my 19 month old son.  One is 12 and the other is 11.  I immediately thought Yikes, Oh my goodness, that’s way too young.  But then I started talking to them and they actually seem pretty mature for their age.

photo: circleofmoms.com

We already have one sitter that we use who is a senior in high school, but could really benefit from having a few just in case one is not available.  So I told them that although we don’t use sitters all that often that we’d be open to have them come be a mommy’s helper occasionally if there were things that my husband and I needed to do around the house/yard and needed someone to watch over Dylan.  And then I also thought, well it can’t hurt to have these girls become familiar with our son so when they are a little older we could actually use them for night sitting and they’d already be comfortable with little skeeter pants.  Right?  Am I crazy?

So my question to you is, how young is too young to start babysitting?

I’d also love some recommendations on how to find a good babysitter in your area.  My husband and I do not have family close by so in the event we need a sitter it’s important we have someone we can trust.  Any ideas?

Allison Katz is a new-ish mom and the Marketing Communications Manager at Summer Infant. She is a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and mom to an adorable little boy she likes to call Murph, Booger, and Scooter among many other names.


  • Lindsay said:

    I started babysitting at 12, but now that I have my own baby, I wouldnt let a 12-year old babysit her! I think what you’re doing is totally the right way to go about it, have them start out ‘babysitting’ while you guys are home or very close by, and see how it goes.

    As for finding a babysitter, a friend of mine & I have babies 6 weeks apart. We have traded babysitting before and it worked well.

  • Nissa said:

    11 is too young however the 12 year old depending on the level of maturity and responsiblility for their age might be reasonable. I am 13 and I babysit a 2 year old that stays at the latest 3 a.m .However my parents were always homes during the times I babysit him late. . I personally dont think you should leave a child with a 12 year old unless you know them well or know they could handle the responsibility. Don’t be so on edge with a 13 or 14 year old because there are teens that age that can handle it as I am able to but of course I am very responsible and have a high level of maturity for my age of 13. So basically as long as you are comfortable and really get to know them and know that they are responsible enough for such a big responsibility.In my opinion 13 year olds would be the lowest age you should go for to be your babysitter. But always set your standards high for ANY aged babysitter, get to know them first, You can never be too safe when it comes to your children. (:

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