You are here

Not OT but I'm not sharing the whole story yet

Twix's picture

What age for children to stay home alone? Babysit? Babysit a baby and a toddler?

How do you view an 11 year old babysitting a toddler and 1 year old?


Stepped in what momma's picture

I could be trusted to watch my siblings at that age back in the early 80's but kids these days aren't made for that.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

I would Boyo 11 with Baby 6mo for an hour or two two run errands. He was great with changing diapers and making bottles which was surprising since he barely cleans his room and it's like pulling teeth to do homework. Stick a baby in front of the kid and suddenly he's Dr. Spock. Teaching her French and secret handshakes and helping her learn to count.

CLove's picture

My 11.5 yo SD stays home alone for perhaps 2-30 minutes, with phone call check in. She "babysits" her 95 yo grandma for several hours at a time.

still learning's picture

It really depends on the 11 yr old and their maturity level. I think for a short time it would be ok.

wildstang's picture

Michigan says the August after a child is 12 is the age of not needing a baby sitter.

Our local school district also offers classes in CPR and becoming a certified babysitter at the age of 12.

advice.only2's picture

I used to babysit pre-k and school age when I was 12, first time I ever watched a baby I was 16. My daughter is going to be 12 and we leave her alone during the day, but not evenings.

Valkyrie's picture

An 11 year old looking after a baby AND a toddler would be a no from me. Too dangerous, too much could go wrong and too much to lose. Maybe one or the other, or for a short time if they were sleeping and depending on the child's maturity but personally, I wouldn't trust my SS12 to look after a pot plant.

The.Sane.One's picture


zerostepdrama's picture


The.Sane.One's picture

I know several kids who have been left home beginning in 4th grade (age 9/10) with a 4/5 yo when the parents were in the neighborhood for up to 2 hours. I know a couple of 11 yo 6th graders who regularly babysit. It depends on how old the toddler and baby are. Like, newborn and 2 is too much.

blueskies4me's picture

11 is too young to care for a 1 year old. I was 12 and babysitting 5+ and I had neighbors to call on if I needed help.'s picture

I don't know if I'll ever trust a teen or pre teen to watch anyone after seeing how many are addicted to electronic devices these days. I fear they wouldn't be properly supervised with all the distraction's. I babysat a 5 year old overnight starting at 12 years old, but I actually supervised and engaged in playing with the kid.'s picture


momjeans's picture

In my opinion, and with the exception of the rare 11 year olds that possess above average common sense and maturity, I think it’s too young to be left with a toddler and baby. I DO think it’s an appropriate age to “babysit” with grown-ups within close proximity.

I was a mom’s helper at that age. I was paid to babysit while the parent(s) was working from home, deep cleaning, entertaining at home, etcetera. Not until I was 13 did I start doing date night babysitting for the same family.

I think skid (11) would be attentive enough to watch a child, or two, because she’s playful, but she’s definitely not quick with de-escalating iffy situations, or quick with common sense childcare.

lintini's picture

No way. That's way too young for all of the ages. I would never let ss16 watch dd18 months, she's constantly into everything and climbing everything she can. Way too risky.

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

My daughter is 12 and is 13 next month and In the 7th grade and an honor student. She babysits my three year old for money. I don't think she is very good at keeping her from trashing my house . There will be toys everywhere. I do pay her just as I would any teen in my neighborhood if I have a date

keepitsimplestupid's picture

I was babysitting for a 6 month old when I was 12. But that was "in the day". These days, I wouldn't trust doing that. Of course, it depends on the maturity of the 11 year old and the activity of the toddler and baby. Both a baby and a toddler are a lot to take on for a child that age. One moving and getting into things, the other spitting up in their chair. Nah, just too much to monitor at once.

Keep in mind that different states have different ages that kids can be left at home alone. In our state, a child can't be at home alone until they're 14 years old. I think that's pretty crazy, and the way the law is written is pretty vague, but the age is concrete - 14 years old. Other states have the same laws with varying age.

onwednesdayswewearpink's picture

Not a one year old. My next door neighbor has left her two alone , 11 and 9, for trips to the store.

Maxwell09's picture

At this age with teenagers voluntarily eating laundry detergent for likes, I up my previous ideal age to 16 or 17 based on maturity. And I wouldn’t leave him in charge of another sibling of equal or lesser age.

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

I think it depends on the maturity of a child, and not the age when you are dealing with tweens and teens.

BUT in this case, I view it very negatively. It is too much of huge responsibility to have an 11 year old watch either a toddler or a 1 year old. Watching both? Borders on an outrage to neglect for me. It is a situation I would not allow - at all.