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Babysitter refused to bath the children at bed time - is this standard?

(78 Posts)

Babysitter we have had several times before (from an agency) said she had checked and she wasn't allowed to give the children their bath at bed time.

Children are 2 and 4. Was I being unreasonable to expect this?

We were going out just before 6, so arranged for babysitter to arrive at 5:30 so we could all finish the kids tea together, then hand them over for the usual bath and bed time routine.

Anyone else have experience of the bath question?

Onlyconnect Mon 18-Feb-13 20:45:47

I use babysitters a lot, including when DD is up and awake- i had to do this initially because DP works away and I have to be at work from 5pm to 8pm sometimes and I have no family around. Maybe because of this, I have often asked my babysitters to bath DD and none of them has ever complained. They are not from agencies though. Ihave used agency babysitters when staying in hotels and I am now racking my brains to remember whether I have asked them to bath DD or not. I wouldn't think anything of it so I'm not sure. Certainly none of them has ever complained.

Figgygal Mon 18-Feb-13 20:49:17

Do they need a bath every night?

I wouldnt expect a babysitter to do this, not because of concerns about the bathing itself but just seems unnecessary. I expect the agency say no due to child safety issues.

Mogandme Wed 20-Feb-13 10:44:25

As a nanny if I am staying on after work [5.30] to babysit then I will put in the bath but if I was coming back later anytime after 6.30 then I wouldn't be expected to and MB/DB would have put them in the bath while they were getting ready or just foregone a bath that night.

If I was babysitting for someone I wouldn't expect to bath UNLESS I was asked to come in and do tea/bath/bed and again would charge my nannying fee for the 5-7.30 slot.

I am more than happy to bath children I "know" ie nanny/mum friends children but unknown children I would probably forego the bath - nothing worse than tears/tantrums in the bathtub with a child who doesn't know you

givemeaclue Wed 20-Feb-13 10:48:43

Baby sitters don't bath kids normally "who tells you this stuff"...well the babysitter has told you!

Kids don't need a bath every day. Mine have twice a week.

mirry2 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:54:38

Years ago I used to babysit and was never asked to bath the children. I've never heard of it (or of feeding the child) as part of a babysitter's duties.

RoseMartha Mon 25-Feb-13 22:44:12

I have nannied and babysat and I never bathed children I was babysitting, unless I was working for that family as a nanny at that given time.

MGMidget Tue 26-Feb-13 16:23:42

As the babysitting is starting so early in the evening I don't think its an unreasonable request if a bath is part of their normal routine before bed. However, if this agency have made a rule that it can't be done you'll need to find another agency or a local babysitter you can build a direct relationship with. Some agencies charge a higher daycare rate before a certain time (e.g. before 6pm), does yours? We use Sitters and they do this. If so I would say they are assuming that more work is involved earlier in the day rather than just babysitting. Generally when it is a one-off babysitter I wouldn't ask them to do the bath but if I got someone for daytime hours as well as the evening I wouldn't consider it unreasonable to ask them to do the normal routine stuff that is done in those hours. If they refused to do the bath though I wouldn't worry about it for one night - more of a nice-to-have than an essential.

jennybeadle Tue 26-Feb-13 16:35:07

I'm really shock at this thread. I would always expect a babysitter to do the full bath/bed routine. Do you all expect your DCs to go without a story at bedtime too? I've never, ever come across a babysitter who wouldn't/couldn't do the whole lot, and if I did, they wouldn't be back!

That said, I've always paid £8 - £10 an hour plus a bit extra. Job description doesn't come in to it, it's looking after the children in my stead. If you're doing it from 5.30, then there's no way they'd be in their PJs yet.

Same would go if I were to do it for a friend for free though. I'd expect to do everything they'd normally do at that time. So not completely about the money. In fact ALL about the children.

Would never expect a baby sitter who was not family to bath my children. I used to baby sit my cousin so would bath her but wouldn't be keen on bathing "a stangers" child myself.

UniS Tue 26-Feb-13 21:14:18

jennyB- guess you don't go out much then? 10 ukp an hour for a baby sitter! Add the cost of cinema tickets and a meal and do you get any change from £100? Even the "nature granny" who babysits round here only asks for 5 an hour, the teenagers will sit for 10-15 for an evening. They will all read stories, but I don't expect bathing.

Bathing, IMHO, is in the remit of a nanny, or maybe an overnight childminder.

I babysit for sitters and have only ever been asked to bathe children once. They are usually in pyjamas or old enough to eat into pyjamas themselves. I would happily bathe a 2 and 4 year old. If you want them bathed and the babysitter doesn't want to then find another babysitter. I totally agree that if you're happy to leave them with a person you should be happy for them to bathe your children. I'm a childminder and change nappies every day, don't even think about it. Having said that I think I'm quite relaxed about nakedness and was shocked today at the reaction of the 9, 8 and 5 year olds I was minding when I left 2yo ds2 without his pants while I got a dry pair as he didn't quite make it to the toilet!

I do agree its more work and babysitting for me is pretty low paid when you add travel costs and time into the equation. I much prefer babysitting jobs where the children are in bed and all I do is watch tv grin

GW297 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:05:09

I also babysit extensively and am often asked to bathe the children. Maybe it's because I'm older and I too charge up to ten pounds per hour.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 23:10:22

OK this is totally random I know, but we have never once in 6 years had a babysitter. I don't like to ask a friend, parents live miles away, not keen on using some local kid and I had no idea there was such a thing as a professional babysitter. Are these around everywhere or only the town and cities? How do I find one please? <nervous twitch>

GW297 Thu 28-Feb-13 23:17:36

Word of mouth. Ask your friends for the contact details of their babysitters. So long as you don't go out loads, I'm sure they will be happy to do this for you.

gaelicsheep Thu 28-Feb-13 23:19:45

I think I might live in a slightly different world... but thanks I can try I suppose.

Sitters are nationwide, sitters.co.uk. You pay a quarterly fee I believe and then a booking fee and pay babysitter directly. You book and the most local babysitters get a text and the first to reply will get your booking unless you specifically request a babysitter and then they get first refusal. In my area (Suffolk) hourly rate is £6.20. Babysitters have to have worked with children for 2 years, provide 2 references, have crb check and be first aid qualified and I had an interview including questions about looking after children.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 28-Feb-13 23:42:50

I don't think money issue comes into it. I charge £10ph and get asked to babysit tons and apart from the family I mentioned before (and I refuse to bath young children late at night) or my perm family - then I don't bath when I babysit

Babysitting is generally either the children are in bed already - or are ready for bed - ie in pj's

Has been the odd one or two that aren't ready but the parents wouldn't expect me to bath - they just miss it for that night

Course I read stories / or make them up if need be smile

Sommink Fri 01-Mar-13 00:03:16

I would never ask a babysitter to bath, I'd be more concerned about my 2 and 4 year old potentially drowning or getting scalded if they were left alone/played with hot tap. I feel its to much responsibility to place on the sitter (especially teenagers) if they are not used to your children.

This doesn't mean I wouldn't trust them looking after my child or seeing them naked, I just get overly concerned where water is involved.

GW297 Fri 01-Mar-13 00:52:49

What about if you did a whole weekend of babysitting? Or you took children to their swimming lesson and had to supervise their shower afterwards? I would never think to say no to the families I babysit for if they asked me to supervise bath time. I just get on with it in the same way I do collection from activities, reading books, oversee piano playing, homework, bedtime stories...

GW297 Fri 01-Mar-13 00:53:42

I can see why you may not ask a teenager though.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 00:55:18

I really think I'm in a different world. Aside from the fact that sitters.co.uk are clearly NOT nationwide (and require me to sign up to find out exactly how far away the "nearest" sitters are) I would, on reflection, never dream of using someone randomly found from an agency to look after my children. And who would leave their children with a babysitter for a whole weekend?

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 01-Mar-13 03:32:41

I often work weekends (for nice families that appreciate me)

Can be for various reasons

Parents need to work
Parents ill/had operation so can't look after children
Parents at child free wedding

Or god forbid a parent actually wanting to go away with their partner and have some 'me' child free time

Parents having a dirty weekend away grin

Plus have done 7/10days and parents gone on holiday without their children shock wink

If you have no gp's near or Friends etc then you come to rely on a nanny / weekend person

Obv you wouldn't just leave your children for days on end at the beginning - well some parents have smile but you get to know and trust the nanny

GW297 Fri 01-Mar-13 06:57:28

Blondeshavemorefun - so do I! Lots of overnights and weekends for families with no grandparents to ask. Mainly for couples enjoying some time away together without their children.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 01-Mar-13 07:33:42

I think of a babysitter as literally someone to keep an eye on the kids, givevthem supper, settle them into bed, check they're ok. I'd never expect them to bathe them - or give them a proper meal, or supervise their homework or any of those parental jobs that a nanny would do.

£9-10 is the going rate for a babysitter round here too (one reason for using them for a short period when the kids are pretty much in bed anyway!)

Sommink Fri 01-Mar-13 12:50:58

If I was going away for a weekend I would only ever ask family to babysit. However I wouldn't go on holiday without my dd. I had her, she is my responsibility and leaving her for a weekend is not something I consider doing.

A shower at a leisure centre is slightly different 1) the temperature is set and it would not be able to scald a child and 2) it is not pooled water in a shower it drains away

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