Babysitting is one of the most fun, tiring, stressful yet gratifying jobs in the world. When people babysit, they are charged with the wellbeing of a minor. It’s their job to look after them, to make sure they’re always okay and to teach them things that could help them out later in life. But sometimes it isn’t easy.
Sometimes, the parents make the job unbearable because of their insane requests. And no one has experienced these weird, shocking and downright confusing rules. If you’d like to read about some of the rules that made babysitters walk out on the job (or get fired), just keep scrolling down.
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41. Change Their Wife’s Tampon
This was not a rule, but a very odd request. I used to work housekeeping at a hospital and a doctor asked me if I could watch his kids on Saturdays. He had three toddlers, ages 2, 3, and 4. His wife didn’t work but wanted time to go shopping and get her hair and nails done. I get there early as the doctor is getting ready to leave. He says he’s cooking breakfast and while he gets the kids fed and dressed, he asked me if I could help change his wife’s tampon. She’d drunk a lot the night before and was completely passed out and was leaking and messing up their sheets. I told him I should work for someone more than a few minutes before I go rummaging in their private parts and that I’d tend to the kids if he tended to his wife.
What I really wanted to do was leave, but the kids would be home alone with their hungover mother, so I chose to finish cooking and stay. He went upstairs and sent the kids to the kitchen where I was putting food on the plates. After a little while, he popped his head in and said it was a short day, he was done upstairs, and he was leaving. I NEVER met the wife. He came home at noon, gave me $100, and I never spoke to him again.
40. Guard the Wafers, Not the Kids
I used to babysit for this family when I was in high school. I went over there and the mom told me like nine times, BEGGED ME, not to eat the box of ‘Nilla Wafers that was in the cupboard because she needed them for a recipe the next day. BEGGED!
I was like, “Ok, got it. They’re totally safe because I don’t even like vanilla wafers!” She kept mentioning it, and it was the first thing she asked me about when they got home. She was like, “Who cares about the kids? Did you keep my nilla wafers safe?! If it were just the kids, I wouldn’t have hired you; your primary duty was to guard my wafers!”
39. Breastfeed My Son
A mother I once babysat for told me to give her son warm milk in a baby bottle right after every dinner – he was a fully functional 10-year-old boy.
The one that I will never ever forget was when she told me, “Oh and if he’s fussy, you may need to breastfeed him…” I was like, are you even serious? I’m only 15 with no kid/s. How am I supposed to have breast milk?
38. Duct Tape Her Into A Onesie
I used to babysit one of my younger cousins regularly. At nap time I had to put her in a zip-up pajama with feet. I then had to duct tape the zipper down and duct tape the wrists in a way that wasn’t restricting, but she couldn’t pull her hands into her onesie.
Well, if I didn’t do this, she would pull her hands in and dig in her diaper, like always. My aunt got tired of cleaning poop covered walls regularly.
37. Bad Adult in the Making
This wasn’t a rule but was creepy as hell. The 12-year-old boy groped both of my breasts. I sent him to his room until his parents got back an hour later. I told the parents and the mother was offended at how upset I was and said: “He was probably just hungry and you embarrassed him!”
Apparently this mother, of a 12-year-old, still breastfed her son. I am not one to judge prolonged breastfeeding, my niece was breastfed until 4 1/2, but 12?! And she lets her almost teenage son grope strangers? That boy is going to be a really messed up adult.
36. Never Play with the Non-Believers
The parents told me, “Don’t let the children play with the nonbelievers.” They were a super Christian family that I babysat for a few times. One time, the children were looking out the window at the neighbors playing and I asked if they wanted to go outside and play.
I kid you not, this little 5-year-old looks me in the eyes and says “We can’t. They are not of God.” So freaking creepy. I wasn’t asked back after I accidentally said “oh my gosh” one time. Apparently gosh is too close to god.
35. The No Pants Rule
The mother asked me to stop by the house to meet her 2-year-old son a week before I was supposed to babysit him for the first time. I pulled up to the house and saw that the young boy was standing at the glass front door with a t-shirt on and nothing else. I go in and I must have given the child a strange look because the mom started to explain that her son doesn’t like to wear pants, so they let him run around pants-less with no diaper on, although he wasn’t potty trained.
I told her that this made me uncomfortable and asked if I could put pants on him when I was watching him, and she got upset with me and said they don’t like to make their 2-year-old son do anything he doesn’t like to do so they let him run around without pants on-which unfortunately means he goes to the bathroom on the floor since he won’t wear a diaper and isn’t potty-trained.
34. Don’t Break Up Their Fights
The mom told me, “Don’t break up fights until one of them gets hurt. We’re hoping some lasting pain might get them to stop.” The two boys would get physical constantly. I understood where they were coming from, but it was still super weird.
Also, if the kids wouldn’t follow my orders, I was encouraged to spank them with a paddle they had, then make them write their names on it.
33. Give Him “Sleeping” Medicine
Once when I went to their house, the mom told me if the kid didn’t want to go to bed for me then I could just give him some cold and flu medicine and he’d sleep fine.
When I asked if the kid was sick, she said no, he just sleeps better with it. I told her I didn’t think I’d need to do that. I spent every weekend of my junior year of high school with this kid because I was worried to leave him alone with his parents.
32. Hugs and Kiss The Mom
When I was about 15, I was asked by a family in my church to babysit for them, although I didn’t know them all that well. I had also never babysat anyone before and had no idea why they asked me. I found out that the primary reason I was there wasn’t for the two daughters, but for the mom.
Apparently, she got nightmares and if she woke up, I was supposed to “hug and kiss” her. This was quite the shocker to me and I was really uncomfortable with it, but I stayed anyway. Luckily she didn’t wake up.
31. Change A Six-Year-Old’s Diaper
I had to change the kid’s cloth diaper every 2 hours on the dot; the kid was six. I assumed it was for some sort of disability or something, but no.
His parents just didn’t want to potty train him, and the kid was content with being babied. I remember just making the kid put his own diaper on and encouraged him to use the bathroom if he had to go. I never went back after that.
30. “Just Avoid Getting Hit”
The mom told me that if her sons might want to throw softballs at me, just try to catch them to avoid getting hit. Also, if they don’t want to brush their teeth just hold them down and do it for them even if they’re screaming.
The kids screamed, hit, fought, and made messes the whole time, and wanted me to chase them around the yard with sticks. I did not. I also stopped going there. To make things worse, she also forgot to pay me, and I was too nervous to say anything, so she had me pick cash up from her mailbox later in the week. She shorted me $5.
29. No Restroom Needed
I was babysitting a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. The boy had to be carried in a buggy, which is all very well, but I was supposed to add some kind of mini stairs (two steps) on the back of it so the girl could stand on it “because her legs get tired.” The damn thing hit my legs every time I took a step.
That kid was also taught not to wait and look for restrooms when she needed to go and proceeded one time to poop in a public garden and wipe herself with a leaf with an ease that told me that it wasn’t her first time.
28. Leave Him Locked in a Dog Crate
The neighbor I babysat for (when I was around 12) had four rambunctious boys. The youngest (who was probably two or three) was locked in a dog crate under the kitchen counter when I arrived. She told me to leave him there until they returned, which would have been four or five hours later.
I let him out immediately and called my mom saying that I wanted to call the police because I thought that was super abusive (the crate was too small for him to stretch out in). My mom said no and so I never did. I also never went back there. To this day I feel guilty and wonder what else those boys endured.
27. Just Hose Him Down
When I was a kid, I got paid $75 a week to watch two boys over a summer. It was amazing money, but the dad was a big bow hunter, and he made loads of deer chili, and he insisted that his 10-year-old and 2-year-old eat tons of it.
Well, they loved it, but the 2-year-old would take these massive, awful, horrible chili poops constantly. The dad explained all this to me, and my instructions were to just put him in the shower and hose him down. I was offered plenty of chili but never ate any.
26. Never Put Him Down
I babysat for my third cousins. They told me to continuously hold the baby and never put him down, and at the end of every hour that I held him for, they would pay me a dollar. I was eight and very stupid. My parents were out of town and my third cousin fought horribly with his wife outside while I held their baby, too scared to call anyone.
At the end of the day, I got ten dollars, sore arms, no sleep, and learned how to change a diaper one-handed. I never babysat for them again after my mom found out. The baby is a teen now and my third cousins are divorced, thank God.
25. Use Christian Discipline Methods
One parent said I had to read a Bible passage during dinner and for a bedtime story. I also had to use “Christian discipline” methods. To this day I have no idea what she meant, but if the kids acted out I would just say “would the Lord like you doing that?”
I also had to make the kids pray every 15 minutes. I thought it was a bit much, but you know, I had to respect it. Another one said I had to do this really complicated skincare routine; maybe because the kid’s skin is sensitive? No, the kid was fine. The mother was just obsessed with that whole “glass skin” fad.
24. Hold Him While He’s Pooping
The family was perfectly normal until bedtime. Then I had to give the 5-year-old girl a bottle, put her in a diaper, then cuddle with her until she fell asleep. As I said, everything else about her and the family was normal, but at bedtime, I basically had to treat her like an infant.
Another time, a different parent said her 4-year-old son had to be held while taking a poop. He would sit on the toilet then she would pull up a chair and wrap her arms around him. I refused to take care of that child.
23. Bathe With My Two Girls
I watched two girls once and the parents asked if I would give them a bath. Well okay, no problem. Then they told me that I must get in the bath with the two girls for safety reasons.
When I said that I didn’t have my bathing suit and they both looked at me like I had three heads and asked why I would wear a suit. The girls got a bath without me in the tub and I searched the bathroom for a hidden camera. I didn’t find one, but still never went back.
22. Let Her Scream Herself to Sleep
I was a nanny several years ago for a couple with two girls ages 2.5 and six months. The toddler didn’t care for nap time. She would play with her toys or play dress up, so her parents took all her clothes and toys out of her room. But then, she just sat and talked to herself.
Eventually, they discovered that she was terrified of being locked in her room, and if that happened, she would scream and cry until she tired herself out and passed out on the floor by the door. And so that was what I was supposed to do for nap time. I didn’t do it and eventually, they found out and fired me.
21. Lock Him In His Room for Hours
I babysat for this family who was super weird. They had seven kids and the youngest one was kind of rambunctious. They told me when it came time to put him down for his nap, I needed to lock him in his room for three hours and not let him out until the time was up. I did lock him in there at first even though I felt weird about it, but I figured it was just in case he decided to wander out and that he wouldn’t mind it and would sleep or play. But he started throwing his entire body against the door and also banging his head against the wall and screaming bloody murder. Like blood-curdling banshee screams.
I got so freaked out and I let him out as soon as he started doing it because I didn’t want him to hurt himself and he was obviously extremely distressed. I just played with him and read him stories after that and he was fine. When the mom got home, I told her about it and she rolled her eyes and seemed pissed off that I let him out. She said he always does that and I just have to ignore it. Then she paid me $40 for 8 hours of babysitting. My rate was $10 an hour.
20. Watch Fleetwood Mac Before Bed
The 3-year-old daughter had to watch this VHS tape of a live Fleetwood Mac concert before bed. I was like, okay cute, that’s adorable; 3-year-olds love the weirdest things and she’s so quirky and this will be fun. But she didn’t love it. She always wanted to watch The Land Before Time instead. But it was always on the note left for me. As was the pager number, pediatrician’s number, chicken soup for dinner is in the fridge and WATCH FLEETWOOD MAC at 6:30 before bed.
Obviously, the family eventually found out I wasn’t making her watch it, and I had no freaking reason to believe it was a secret. They were clearly upset by this and I was never called back to babysit. It was so weird.
19. Babysitting Capable Teenagers
I was 17 (male) and “babysitting” a 16-year-old boy and 14-year old girl. It was really awkward as they were more than capable of staying home by themselves and I knew both of them from school. They were not allowed to watch TV and had to be in bed by 8 PM. I started at 5 PM and we played board games all night. There was no food in the house and they hadn’t had dinner so I ordered a pizza for us and I let them stay up until 10 or so (Friday night) when they volunteered to go to bed.
Once they were in bed, I turned on the TV and every channel was blocked. This was before cell phones, so I looked for a book or something to keep me occupied, but all they had were religious books and no magazines or newspapers. So I hung out with the dog on the couch which I later found out was not allowed; they found dog hairs on the couch and were upset. I was bored out of my mind except for chilling with their dog until they came home at 1 AM. They paid me $50 upfront of which half I had spent on pizza already. They must have ratted me out for letting them stay up late and they never hired me again.
18. No Pay When Kids Are Sleeping
The mother told me, “My husband doesn’t think we should pay you when the girls are sleeping…” They were four months and two years old. I was a junior in HS and responded, “Ok, so should I duck out once I tuck them in?”
Well, I wouldn’t have done that, but I think at that point she realized how ridiculous her request was. And yeah, I was also told not to read a story to the little kids. Their reasoning was if I read it, they would not learn to read. OK fine.
17. Smart Homes and Dream Feeding
I once babysat for a couple who had a “smart house.” They wouldn’t teach me how to use the fireplace or the TV and said if I wanted to change the channel then I could send them a text and they’d do it for me. They also said I was not to go into the baby’s room unless they messaged me and said I needed to (I started after the baby had fallen asleep already).
So they went out to a party for the night and sat watching the baby and me on their phones. I sat upright on the couch the whole time and I couldn’t figure out where the cameras were either. Another time, this woman wanted me to keep “dream feeding” her baby at certain times throughout the night. This was the fattest baby I’d ever seen too, and I was terrified she’d choke.
16. Only Use Two Squares of Toilet Paper
The parents told me NEVER to use more than two squares of toilet paper when their child or I used the restroom. They always bought single-ply toilet paper and their sewage never backed up and they were hooked up to the city line so I could never understand that.
I’m a two-ply girl and prefer to use four squares for personal cleaning after bowel movements, so to me, this was the equivalent of being told to wipe my butt with my hand! They would mark the roll and if it didn’t line up at the end of the night, they’d mention it the next time I babysat.
15. Don’t Go In the Basement
I was 13 and was babysitting my neighbors’ kids. The parents walked me through all the rules. Just as they were taking off for the night, the mom came back in and whispered to me, “don’t go into the basement.” As a teenager, my mind went to all of the scariest movies that had basements. I avoided the door to the basement all night until I had put the kids to bed. Then I walked slowly to the door and put my ear against it. I heard what sounded like whimpering. And then it sounded like sad laughing. I ran to the couch and started watching TV to get my mind off of it, but then I heard something fall in the basement and knew someone was down there. I really don’t know how I got the courage/stupidity to do it, but I went over and opened the door. The whining instantly got louder.
I went down just three stairs so I could peek down and I saw a goat. Not a ghost. A goat. As soon as the goat saw me, he started bleating loudly. It scared the crap out of me. I went upstairs and the goat was still bleating loudly so much that it woke up the kids. The oldest girl came out and said, “Did you open the door to the basement?” I said, “Yeah, why?” She said, “When you do that, Carlos thinks you’re going to feed him and he starts yelling.” Thank god I knew it was a goat first, because if she had said that before I went down, I would’ve thought Carlos was some kidnapped person in the basement who would yell for food. It became very funny to me. The mom came home and I told her what happened and she almost died of laughing. They were repairing the goat pen and had to keep him in the basement for a few days. I still remember every moment of that night vividly.
14. No Fun and Games
I’m a professional nanny and one of the families I worked for had a strict “no games” rule. Not as in video games, but as in any game that could have a winner and a loser. No board games, no tag, nothing.
Well, their explanation was, “Winning and losing leads to hurt feelings.” I’d have to stop the girls any time they said something like “I bet I can get to the end of the driveway faster” and remind them “Mom and Dad say no competition, remember?” Everything had to be perfectly equal or the parents would lose it completely. I fired them as clients shortly after.
13. No Dessert Unless She Finishes Her Cheeseburgers
The kid couldn’t have dessert if she didn’t finish her dinner. The problem was she was about 4 or 5 and dinner was two cheeseburgers and sides. She ate half of one and, was okay with not getting dessert.
It was like saying, “No dessert for you! Unless you commit to being a fat slob for life by gorging yourself with that second cheeseburger.”
12. Sitting Inside The Car All Day Long
The mom had me put her kids in their car seats and sit in the driveway with all the car doors open while she just hung out inside the house.
I tried to take them somewhere, but their awesome mom got mad and specifically asked me to just sit in the driveway with them. It was five hours of me standing in the driveway watching them sit inside their car. I never returned after that.
11. “If You Hear Him Crying Don’t Comfort Him”
I was told, “If you hear him crying don’t comfort him, call us and we’ll come home and see to him.” They also got annoyed that I used the phone charger that was left plugged in next to the sofa.
Like they literally trusted me with their son and not their phone charger. But the best one was when they told me, “You can help yourself to any of the food, but you can’t use any plates/cutlery.” It just seemed odd.
10. Play A Recording of Mom’s Voice
The parents told me that “I had to put the kids to sleep with the CD player going.” That wasn’t the weird part.
It was a recording of their parents basically going “Molly, you are wonderful. You are a star. You’re going to shine bright.” That isn’t super weird, but it was like several hours long, and apparently, they listened to it every night.
9. Cold Soggy Hotdog Before Bedtime
I babysat for this family for the first time ever and the mother was walking me around the house, giving me instructions and showing me around and then stopped at the fridge. She explained to me that when I sent her son to bed, I was to give him one hotdog out of the fridge.
She said that I didn’t have to heat it, that I didn’t have to give him a bun; just a cold, soggy hotdog for her son to munch on in bed. Apparently, he ate one every night. This was like seven years ago and I seriously haven’t stopped thinking about it since then.
8. Don’t Use the Word “No”
Two parents asked that I should not use the word “no” with the kids. It was a situation where the mother was in the home while I watched the kids. One time, the 4-year-old was trying to spill his orange juice on the table. I said, “No, Wesley! Don’t do that!” and I was reprimanded by the mom. Instead of saying, “No Wesley, don’t do that,” she asked me to say, “Wesley, you’re not allowed to pour orange juice on the table. It makes a mess for me to clean up”. I understand when she explained a different way it could have been said, but I actually do not understand for the life of me why the word “no” could not be used.
Additionally, they would allow bad behavior if the child understood what the consequence of that behavior was. One time, Wesley wanted to pee off the balcony. Going with the policy, I said, “Wesley, if you pee off the balcony you won’t get any books read to you tonight.” He thought it out and decided he’d rather pee off the side of the balcony into the yard than have his books. And??? That was it. I had to deal with going down and cleaning his pee-pees and he felt he could go without the books. It was crap.
7. Cover Yourself Before Touching the Baby
I was to keep my skin entirely covered because they were concerned that the newborn drooling on me was too intimate. I had to drape a fresh baby blanket over my entire body every time I went to hold him. They bought me new clothes to care for their child and they had to be washed every day.
They also required me to bring my vaccination records. Oh, and one time, the kid was overdressed and he sweat a bit on his lower back; the parents were freaking out saying that newborns do not sweat and I got him wet.
6. Make Him Poached Eggs
When I was about 14, some friends of my parents asked me to babysit their nine or ten-year-old son who wanted a boy babysitter. When I got to their house, the mom told me that her son loved poached eggs and asked me to make him a poached egg on toast for dinner. She quickly explained to me how to make it as if it were something really simple and easy.
Later that night, after wasting half their eggs in a hopeless effort to make a poached egg, I asked the kid if he liked scrambled eggs. He said he loved scrambled eggs and ate them without complaint. When the parents came home, I apologized for using up their eggs. They laughed and seemed to appreciate the effort, although the mom explained it again and insisted that it was really simple. I’m almost 40 now and I still bad at making poached eggs and it cracks me up that the mom thought a 14-year-old should be able to whip one up based on a few instructions.
5. Fired For Preventing the “Fire”
The rule was, “No flamethrowers and/or constructing flamethrowers.” One of the kids was a pyromaniac, and he was very sneaky about it. One night, I caught him trying to make a flamethrower out of an AXE spray bottle.
I then gathered all the kids (three of them) and showed them YouTube videos and Googled pics on what happens when a can of combustible materials explodes. Needless to say, I was fired for showing graphic videos and images to them, but I stopped their flamethrower problem.
4. Drive Them Around
They asked me to drive their three-year-old twins around in my personal vehicle for 2.5 hours because “that’s the only way they can nap.” Well, nope. I simply put the kids in their beds, closed the door, and they were asleep in 15 minutes.
Also, they didn’t allow their kids to watch any movies or read any books if it had a protagonist and an antagonist. That’s like every movie and book in the world. I always wondered why.
3. Test Passed!
It wasn’t a rule, but on my first day, they sent over an adult male friend of theirs who asked to come in. I said no. After he berated me for some time, he sat outside by his truck and stared towards the windows.
About 45 minutes later, the mom got home. It was then that she told me it was a test and I had passed. In hindsight, I should’ve gone full commitment and called the police.
2. “Devil” Television
I used to babysit during my teenage years. I did it for this religious family whose church did not believe in television or their members watching it. So, I would bring a portable TV with me to watch once the kids were asleep.
The parents came home and they were captivated by it. They would invite me over so that they could watch television. I ended up giving them the TV. They loved it because they could hide it when other church members came over.
1. No Microwaved Food
I was not allowed to serve her kid food that was heated in the microwave. Also, she NEVER told me this until after I babysat for her and she berated me for it. How was I supposed to know? I guess I ruined her child.
That same lady would give me a list of chores to complete too. How am I supposed to watch your kid AND vacuum your house?