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What's our thoughts on siblings babysitting?

(20 Posts)
user1485788422 Sat 19-Oct-19 15:48:04

Hi all smile just collecting people's thoughts on older siblings babysitting younger siblings?
We have a 13 year old boy, a 3 year old and 2 year old. We have no family between us that could babysit or help out with the kids sad We haven't had time together without the children in ages and got to thinking about when the eldest would be old enough to watch the younger 2. I've looked online and read that there's no law or specific age that an older sibling can or can't babysit. There's a restaurant literally at the end of our road so we were thinking about getting the younger 2 asleep and leaving the teenager in charge for a couple of hours. If anything goes wrong or if one of the kids wakes up we're 30 seconds down the road so could easily get back ASAP! We 100% believe that our eldest is mature enough to take on this responsibility. What's everyone's thoughts on this? When did your older children start babysitting? I'm pretty apprehensive about this so any stories and opinions are welcome smile Thanks x

OP’s posts: |
Eeeeek2 Sat 19-Oct-19 15:50:09

I would say 13 is a little young to be watching toddlers.

JeffreyJefferson Sat 19-Oct-19 15:52:19

13 too young for two small children. Give it two more years

BertrandRussell Sat 19-Oct-19 15:52:38

Is the 13 year old happy with the idea? Has he been left alone at night before? Do the younger two tend to stay asleep? Do they get on well together? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then go for it!

JeffreyJefferson Sat 19-Oct-19 15:53:26

Sorry didn’t see that the restaurant was at the end of the road. If the younger two will be in bed then i’d do it. If they wake up they can go in with DS for a bit until you get back. Don’t tell the younger two that you’re going though or they might not settle. Go and enjoy yourself

GreatestShowUnicorn Sat 19-Oct-19 15:54:03

I'd say if the 13 year old is happy to stay home alone at night and the younger two are more than likely to stay asleep then go for it.

Sparrowlegs248 Sat 19-Oct-19 15:54:10

If the younger 2 go to sleep and stay asleep, then I'd think about it if the 13 yo is happy. Maybe go out for a quick drink a couple of times to start?

Ohyesiam Sat 19-Oct-19 15:54:14

Sleeping toddlers though Eeeeek.
My dd darted babysitting at 14, which seems to be the accepted unofficial starting point around here.
She sat for many sleeping toddlers that she wasn’t related to.
So if your son is sensible, and the set up is as you say, then I’d go ahead.

Many people will disagree.

MrsL2016 Sat 19-Oct-19 15:55:12

I used to watch my 2 siblings when my parents went to the pub at the end of the road on a Friday night. I was 13 when I started doing it. It was fine but I was a pretty sensible teenager.

GreatestShowUnicorn Sat 19-Oct-19 15:55:16

I like the idea of starting with a drink rather than a meal.

Lyingonthesofainthedark Sat 19-Oct-19 17:52:59

I thought that 14 was the legal minimum?

Travelban Sun 20-Oct-19 08:01:58

My Dd1 started occasionally doing this at 13 but the youngest sibling was 9.

She is 15 now and I would happily leave her but the reality is that weekend is the only time we get as a family to properly spend time together so we very rarely go out as I feel guilty!!!

Mumshappy Sun 20-Oct-19 08:06:35

I wouldn't do this. If your other children were older maybe.

Heismyopendoor Sun 20-Oct-19 08:10:18

There is no legal minimum Lying

If your DS is happy with it and you are happy with it then yes.

At 13 I was watching and feeding my baby sister on a regular basis. She wasn’t asleep. I also cared for my cousins at that age so my aunt could work, mostly evenings but some days in a pub. I helped her and she had a 3 year old and a baby. I was mature enough and enjoyed it.

LucileDuplessis Sun 20-Oct-19 08:15:22

If your 13yo is sensible I think this is ok. We have paid teenage babysitters from age 14, and I'd trust my own teen more than someone else's!

GaraMedouar Sun 20-Oct-19 08:19:20

If DS is sensible and happy with this then yes give it a go. Go late-ish first time, when toddlers asleep, have DS sat watching TV with phone by his side, and you have phone on table and text every 30 min. ‘All good’. I go out and leave 15 year old DS in charge of DD and like the odd text still. I started leaving him in charge when he was 14 nearly 15. But DD is school age so not a toddler.
You will be 30 seconds down the road. That’s fine.

Spied Sun 20-Oct-19 08:21:26

I wouldn't. 13 is too young to be looking after two toddlers- even sleeping ones.
Absolutely anything can happen and however remotely the chances I wouldn't be happy and confident that a 13yr old is mature enough to deal with things.

Karwomannghia Sun 20-Oct-19 08:24:36

Mine are 13,14 and 3. We started leaving the 3 yo with them after putting her to bed and going to very local places once eldest turned 14. She was 2 the. She’s never woken up so can’t comment on What happens if they do!

Dancetherain Mon 21-Oct-19 17:55:39

We started leaving our youngest with ds1 occasionally for short periods when he was 13 and she would have been 3/4. He is 16 now and has been left in charge for longer more recently however I do also have a 13yo and 11yo.

I am wary of putting too much on any of them but we are a family and we help each other out.

SnowsInWater Wed 23-Oct-19 02:45:43

As long as he is happy with it and he is kind to the younger ones I would say why not. DS1 started babysitting his siblings when he was 13 and they were 8 and 3. We started gradually - very local for a drink moving on to a bit further for dinner. They are now 16-26 and big brother is teaching his baby sister to drive (Aus so 16yos can get their Ls) 😁

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