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

(78 Posts)
FannyPriceless Sun 17-Feb-13 12:47:16

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?

Having both been a babysitter myself as a teenager and student, and having had a babysitter for ours - usually the same young friend (20's) we know well - I think part of it is surely just trying to make things as simple and easy for the babysitter as possible. So, I'd definitely just miss the baths out that night, but mine don't have one every day anyway. You could suggest continuing with a bedtime story I guess if you usually do that too ?

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Sun 17-Feb-13 14:46:13

I'm a nanny and often babysit for families.

I bath my charges when working and would if babysitting.

I bath a little boy I regularly babysit for because mum hires me more ad a temp nanny than as a babysitter

I've never been asked to bath any other child I've ever babysat for and wouldn't really expect to but it wouldn't bother me if I was asked.

However I charge £10 an hour I think I would feel differently if I was being paid less.

fraktion Sun 17-Feb-13 15:02:06

I've usually supervised bathtime but again I charged a higher rate so it was reasonable from my POV. I don't expect the local teen we sometimes use to do bathtime.

I think it also depends on the age of the child. DS is going through a grubby stage, he needs a bath bit bathing before dinner upsets him for some reason do the choice is go out later or have babysitter do it. We have inbuilt babysitting though....

RedPencils Sun 17-Feb-13 15:13:32

I wouldn't expect a babysitter to give a bath. Not because its inappropriate but because its a big faff. My DCs get into PJs before the sitter arrives and they eat popcorn in front of the telly as a treat.

FannyPriceless Sun 17-Feb-13 15:17:20

Agree I would never expect this of a teenager, but I thought the days of using teenagers to babysit were long gone. The agency babysitters are all qualified childcarers, and the local one we mainly use is also a nursery worker for her day job.

I pay £7.50 an hour. Do you think if I was explicit about the bath, and paid more, it would be ok? (Obviously not the agency one if they are not allowed.)

Yes, I think if your children like their night-time bath and you ask the baby-sitter if she can do that as per their normal routine, and you pay a good rate, you should easily be able to find someone happy to baby-sit with bath and bed-time smile
Maybe make sure you're happy with the person first, but as you say that applies anyway really. I think it's great if you can find someone you and the DC's love and then stick with them as your usual baby-sitter. But perhaps we've been lucky !

ReetPetit Sun 17-Feb-13 15:35:04

havent got time to read whole thread but i would never expect an agency babysitter to bathe my kids! not fair on her or your children imo.
aside from all the other issues, shes a babysitter - not a nanny, bathing is not,as far as im aware in a babysitters job description.

MoppingMummy Sun 17-Feb-13 15:36:15

Tbh I wouldn't even leave my 21yr old sister with the big responsibility of bathing my children on her own. I trust her completely, but she doesn't live close & hasn't been here for many bathtimes to be confident enough to do it on her own. I don't think it is an issue so much with the nakedness as water safety etc and just playing it safe.

MoppingMummy Sun 17-Feb-13 15:37:57

and do your children really need a bath every day???

FannyPriceless Sun 17-Feb-13 15:52:10

It's no problem, I'll adjust in line with what the thread is saying. It simply never occurred to me to think about changing the kids' routine just because we had a babysitter.

Like I said up thread, without MN, who tells you this stuff? confused

nannynick Sun 17-Feb-13 15:56:54

Why would what the agency says make and difference? The babysitter is not an employee of the agency are they? It would be an agreement between you and the babysitter wouldn't it?

PuppyMonkey Sun 17-Feb-13 15:57:41

Giving kids a bath every night is madness IMHO. Talk about making life unnecessarily awkward for yourself. Routine me arsegrin

cheesesarnie Sun 17-Feb-13 16:00:47

never heard of a babysitter being asked to do bath time.
imo - you get a night off and so do dc! no bath!

SamSmalaidh Sun 17-Feb-13 16:05:31

I think it's a bit much to ask a babysitter to do bath time too - they are not a nanny, they are just there to keep everyone safe and do the minimum really imo. For example, I always leave DS's dinner out ready, pyjamas ready etc and would like his teeth brushed before bed but not too bothered if it doesn't get done!

Children of 2 and 4 don't need to have their bedtime routine adhered to exactly every night (doesn't that make life a bit tricky for you??) so missing an occasional bath is fine.

nooka Sun 17-Feb-13 16:13:36

My children had a bath every night at that age. Just part of their bedtime routine really, and no more hassle than any other part of it. I don't think we ever asked tour babysitter to bath them just because we'd not usually go out until later, generally she'd do bedtime story and settling only.

That's what I recall from my babysitting days too, in fact frequently the children were asleep when I arrived. I don't think it is a strange reuest, just perhaps a bit different from the norm.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 17-Feb-13 17:06:08

I agree with others that is isn't a case of the babysitter seeing them naked or whatever, it's just not a babysitter's job.

I'm a nanny and my hourly babysitting rate is lower than my hourly work rate. If i'm babysitting I don't expect to do tea or bathtime. I expect them ready for bed when I get there.

If the parents need someone from earlier then they need me to nanny for them, so I charge my normal hourly rate until 7pm and then babysitting rate from then on. In your circumstances OP I would charge normal nanny rates from 5:30-7pm and would be happy to bath them, then babysitting rate from 7pm onwards.

me2011 Sun 17-Feb-13 18:25:00

I work for sitters and I would never accept to do dinner or bath the children I sitt, for the rate I get. I babysat once for a family who asked me to hung their washing while I was telling the child a story. I have never accepted a booking for them.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 17-Feb-13 18:33:09

as with lonecat - its not the job of a babysitter, esp one who may not know the children that well to bath them - as in some kids hate bathtime and dont want to have necessary tears

personally nothing to do with being naked etc as others have said we change nappies etc

tbh i hate bathtime, its the end of the day kids are tired, as am i sometimes, and although fine to do as a nanny (part of my job) as a babysitter i wouldnt bath and have said no when ive been asked

a friend got to a job at 7.30pm and was asked to bath kids as running late, she assumed they would be in bed and asleep when she got there - she wasnt impressed but bathed them and finally in bed 8.30 - 1 and 3yr

i bs for them a few weeks later and was asked the same thing, seems always run late, or mb hates bathing???

i said no, too late, and i didnt bath and kids went to bed without - was never asked to bath again, yet my friend always is grin

BertieBotts Sun 17-Feb-13 18:33:43

I babysat for a little boy - around 3 maybe? - a couple of times when I was 16 and was asked to give him a bath one of those times.

BertieBotts Sun 17-Feb-13 18:34:27

And it was fine, except that he was a little shy and said he didn't want me to look at his willy. So I promised him I'd only look at his face, and he was happy then.

scottishmummy Sun 17-Feb-13 18:38:14

Hell no agency babysitter woldnt bathe, too risky for them.too intimate

UniS Sun 17-Feb-13 18:47:14

I wouldn't expect a babysitter to bath a child.

I had one baby sitter ( a mature lady) who wouldn't even be in the room when DS got changed in to PJs, she said she would give him his privacy. Not that DS cared one jot about privacy, he was liable to waltz round the house starkers between clothes and PJs, but hey ho, each to their own. These days DS is 6 and we have him already in PJs before baby sitters arrive.

ZuleikaD Sun 17-Feb-13 20:30:33

I have been both agency and non agency babysitter, and hired babysitters myself, and would certainly not expect to bath children as part of it, nor would I ask one to. I've also been an au pair and a nanny and have bathed as part of those roles. It's to do with just how 'in loco parentis' you are, in my view. Babysitters are some way down the scale in terms of what you ask them to be responsible for. As a babysitter I've also never changed a nappy.

Wandastartup Mon 18-Feb-13 20:19:35

I didn't realise it was taboo. Our babysitters often bath my children if we are going out early or if they have collected children from nursery or childminder!

Strix Mon 18-Feb-13 20:35:42

I'd never again hire that babysitter. Of course bedtime routine is part of the job. Does she/he really thing they are supposed to come "sit" and be paid for the priviledge? I don't think so.

And, I would be most unimpressed with the agency who gave that instruction.

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