Babysitters Reveal Parents' Cheekiest Habits

Babysitters Reveal Parents' Cheekiest Habits

If you ever avail yourself of the services of your local babysitter, this might raise a smile or two – research published today reveals what babysitters believe to be UK parents' cheekiest habits.

Highest ranked was the 'smuggling' of friends' kids into a babysitting arrangement – with one sitter agreeing to look after one child, before being handed six at the door.

Parents coming home slightly worse for wear and 'arithmetically challenged' was also flagged, although a perk raised was the generous tips that can often follow.

'Strategic' placement of creased shirts beside an iron and ironing board in the TV room is another sitter pet-peeve along with late cancellations and unexpected pets.

The research was carried out by a recently-launched social babysitting app that lets parents find, book and pay local babysitters.

It also lets both parent and sitter review each other at the end of the night – which could surely be a recipe for serious trouble. Aggregated ratings are then displayed on a user's profile and help determine how high sitters are ranked in a parent's search and how likely a parent is to get their sit request met. The app also times the precise length of a sit and automatically calculates the price, and even enables online payment.

But it sounds like TripAdvisor – could you imagine the drama if your babysitter left you a bad review?! That's yet to happen, according to app co-founder Ari Last:

"Thankfully, we're yet to see a bad rating on either side and we don't expect many either – after all, hard-working parents are desperate for a bit more 'time off' and having a great rep among local sitters helps ensure they get it."

Here's the top ten list in full, as voted by UK babysitters:

1.The 'smuggle' – Adding friends' kids to the sit without asking first.

2.The 'math fail' – Spending 20 awkward minutes calculating the price and looking for exact change, and still getting it wrong.

3.The 'unexpected pet' Not mentioning the pets that sitters are either allergic to or terrified of.

4.The 'round down' Calculating the final price according to the previous round number, not the next.

5.The 'subtle hint' Strategically placing a stack of creased shirts, iron and ironing board out in the TV room.

6.The 'bread and water' Leaving an empty fridge during a long sit.

7.The 'late cancel' Even on New Years' Eve.

8.The 'sleep guarantee' Insisting that the kids will be sound asleep when you know they probably won't.

9.The 'just one more' Nudging back home-time again and again because you've got a rare taste of freedom.

10. The 'School Bug' Not mentioning that the kids were struck down with something contagious the day before.

So c'mon, fess up. How many of these 'crimes' have you committed when booking a babysitter?!

We'd love to hear your best and worst babysitter tales – leave us a comment below or join the debate over on our Facebook page.


  • Elaine T.

    Never did any of these, good baby sitters are like gold dust so, if you find a good one, you keep them sweet ;)

  • Helen C.

    I used to babysit for someone who warned me that next door would try and send their kids round so I would baby sit them too. I never answered the door when she told me so it couldn't happen. Another only had the same food in. Every week for the 6 months I baby sat for 8 hours once a week. Only so long you can stand a crisp or cheese sandwich

  • Lynsey S.

    I used to babysit and the family were lovely. Kids generally were asleep and the fridge was always full!! Good times!

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