Babysitting is a weird job.
It’s the first job for many teens, and the pay is often…not great.
Parents often leave lengthy lists for babysitters, covering things like feeding times, routines, and screen time.
And some parents go a little bit over the top…
These 15 babysitters told Reddit the strangest rules parents gave them:
1. A stomach of steel
No hot sauce after 9pm.
To give some context, the kid LOVED hot sauce… but his folks were super over protective… maybe they had heard of ppl eating too much hot sauce and throwing it up as it would not settle?
Honestly the kid was made of solid steel… we went to Taco Bell pretty much every time I babysat.
2. Staying for a home birth?
Hippy family. The two year old had no bedtime and no rules. “She can eat what she wants, no bedtime, and if she falls asleep, leave her wherever she crashed.” The parents came home at 2:30 to a toddler eating chocolate cake on the couch with her preferred American Pickers on TV. That’s fine apparently.
6 months later the mom is very pregnant and asks that when the baby is born, if I could wrangle the toddler while the mom gives birth in a bathtub at home. The two year old was to be in the room, watching, while I explain what’s happening.
I left that evening when the parents came home (fried chicken in the toddlers hand, Keeping Up with the Kardashians on tv) and denied their next request to come sit.
As a 20 year old, I wasn’t prepared to see the mess of someone else’s home birth!
3. Still in diapers at 6?
I had to change the kids cloth diaper every 2 hours on the dot. The kid was 6.
I assumed it was for some sort of disability or something, but no. His parents just didn’t want to potty train him, and the kid was content with being babied. I remember just making the kid put his own diaper on and encouraged him to use the bathroom if he had to go.
I never went back.
4. Bribery works
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the family gave me instructions to let their kids drink chocolate milk, which they were otherwise not allowed to have.
I think they wanted their kids to associate baby sitter time with fun time, so the parents could go out more often.
Seemed to work out well for them, the kids both grew up to be successful people.
5. Uh, no
Asked me to drive their three year old twins around in my personal vehicle for 2.5 hours because “that’s the only way they can nap”.
No. I simply put the kids in their beds, closed the door, and they were asleep in 15 minutes.
6. A bottle?
To give him warm milk in a baby bottle right after every dinner – he was a fully functional 10 year old boy.
Yes, he was fine with it. His parents were otherwise normal (as far as I saw), the kid himself was great.
His teeth seemed fine from what I can remember (not that I really would have paid attention to that back then), but I just found him on facebook and it looks like he did have braces around 14-15 years old.
7. Sleepy CD
I had to put the kids to sleep with the CD player going. That wasn’t the weird part.
It was a recording of their parents basically going “Molly, you are wonderful. You are a star. You’re going to shine bright.”
That isn’t super weird…But it was like several hours long, and apparently they listened to it every night.
8. Let him out
“If Brady stands by the door it just means he needs to go out. Open the door, and let him back inside in a few minutes.”
Brady was a four year old boy.
9. No Fleetwood Mac
OMG thanks for asking because you reminded me of a weird thing.
The 3 year old daughter HAD to watch this VHS tape of a live Fleetwood Mac concert before bed.
I was like, okay cute , that’s adorable, 3 year olds love the weirdest things she’s so quirky and this will be fun.
But she didn’t love it. She always wanted to watch land before time instead. But it was always on the note left for me. Like /pager number, pediatrician, chicken soup for dinner is in fridge and, and WATCH FLEETWOOD MAC at 630 before bed/
Obviously the family eventually found out I wasn’t making her watch it, as I had no f*cking reason to believe it was a secret. They were clearly upset by this and I was never called back to babysit.
So that was weird…
10. Severe allergy
Not necessarily a rule but the first time I went to their house they told me about their daughter’s very serious peanut allergy, walked me through the epi pen, prevention, phone numbers of their neighbors who were doctors- all fine so far.
I took this very seriously. But then the mother put her hands on my shoulders and said “if she dies we wouldn’t blame you. It wouldn’t be your fault”.
While I appreciate the thought this freaked me the hell out and I was 100 times less comfortable
11. This is a test
Wasn’t a rule, but on my first day they sent over an adult male friend of theirs who asked to come in.
I said no, and was then told I was being tested and I had passed.
12. Seems sketchy
The mom had me put her kids in their car seats and sit in the driveway with all the car doors open while she just hung out inside the house. 5 hours of me standing in the driveway watching them sit inside their car. Never returned.
I meant I never returned to babysit for her again, not that the mother mysteriously disappeared.
As for people asking why I didn’t take them somewhere, she specifically asked me to just sit in the driveway with them. I also didn’t have my drivers license yet so I couldn’t have taken them anywhere even if I wanted to. The kids were twins who were 4 years old, I think. They were weirdly, weirdly well behaved and didn’t complain about what we were doing. To this day I have no idea what she was doing inside or why she didn’t just let them play in the yard. I am just as confused as you.
13. Seems oddly specific
I was told that the only thing she specifically wasn’t allowed to do was eat a bowl of sugar
14. I heard you the first time
I used to babysit for this family when I was in high school (in the 80s) and they had no books or reading material of any kind, except that there would usually be like two sections of the WSJ and a running magazine lying around. No. Books.
Anyway, once I went over there and the mom told me like nine times, BEGGED ME, not to eat the box of ‘Nilla Wafers that was in the cupboard because she needed them for a recipe the next day. BEGGED. I was like, “Ok, got it. They’re totally safe because I don’t even like vanilla wafers!”
She kept mentioning it, and it was the first thing she asked me about when they got home.
15. Emergency dad
Not a rule but a single mom once told me to use the bat by the door in the event the kids father comes by and tries to take them.
That was pretty weird and uncomfortable.
So… those were weird stories, right?
Have any of your own? Find any of these stories particularly crazy?
Let us know in the comments!