Nobody is perfect, but you need to be very close to that to look after someone’s kid. While most babysitters do a good job, even if the kids they’re meant to watch can be a bit difficult, some are as far from that as possible. Some babysitters are so horrible that they tie kids up, lock them out of houses, leave them at the beach and steal their toys. And their parents are here to tell us all about the time they had the last straw.
If you’d like to read about some babysitting horror stories where parents had to fire the people they hired to look after their kids, keep scrolling.
40. Never Again
I hired my best friend to watch my three-year-old and 8-week-old when I returned to work after maternity leave. I just needed her for a few weeks until I found permanent childcare. The first few days were great and I came home to a clean house and happy kids. On day four, my husband called me at work flipping out. He told me he could hear the screaming as soon as he pulled into the driveway and when he walked into the house, there was food and dishes all over, our oldest was crying in a corner, the baby was screaming from his crib, and my babysitter was yelling at everyone to shut the hell up. My husband had her leave immediately and tried to calm the children but found the baby hadn’t had his diaper changed in a long time. He was soaked with pee and poop was oozing out of his onesie onto the pee-soaked crib. She had not used any of the breast milk in the fridge so we do not know how she fed the baby or if she ever did.
My toddler was hysterical. We are still not sure what happened but from what we could get out of him, she left him to do whatever he wanted to do, unsupervised, and then when it came time for us to come home, she flipped out because of the mess and yelled at him. This apparently happened all four days she watched my kids and was only caught because my husband came home 30 minutes early on the 4th day. I never spoke to her again. I never confronted her, ignored her all calls and texts, and never talked about the incident again. All I could think about for months was my infant screaming from his bed for hours and being ignored, all the while my toddler was terrified that I would return to work and he wasn’t going to get to eat until I got home. I quit my job to stay home with them after that and when I did go back to work they stayed with their Nana (great grandmother) who spoiled the hell out of them and still does to this day. I will never let anyone outside of my family watch my children again.
39. A Trip to the Next Town
The 15-year-old babysitter I hired took my car keys and my three children 7, 3 & 1 to the next town over, using a road that’s about 10 miles long, on a busy tourist town highway- a highway that has the word “bloody” in its nickname.
She almost made it back to my house but was pulled over by law enforcement because she failed to turn on the headlights. It was 10 at night and I pressed charges.
38. A Near-Death Experience
I had just begun looking for a part-time sitter for my 3-year-old, who has a dozen food allergies. One woman came highly recommended, and after meeting with her multiple times and having my son interact with her, we decided to hire her. She swore up and down she could handle all his food allergies, and I provided ALL of his food, requesting that the few hours she had him, to not cook or eat his three anaphylactic allergies.
I got a call at work from her one day saying my son, Neville, had hives everywhere, so I went to pick him up. His dad and I got there and the babysitter was laughing, saying, “I was cooking eggs this morning and some spilled on the floor. Neville tried to pick them up and almost ate them!” He is DEATHLY allergic to eggs, and this woman was laughing about him almost eating his own death sentence. From the secondary reaction alone, he had facial swelling and hives. Needless to say, we never contacted her again.
37. A Cold Punishment
When I was in elementary school we had this sitter named Katie. She got angry at my brother, sister and I for not putting away our toys.
So, she filled the baby pool up with water, in a Chicago November, and made us submerge ourselves in it an stand outside for a half hour soaking wet before my parents got home and fired her.
36. The Christening Money?!
I hired a young woman to watch my infant son. Slowly, I started to wonder if things were missing. Maybe a pair of my jeans? Maybe not. Some spare change and loose bills, maybe? I wasn’t 100% sure. Then a few days after my son’s christening, I noticed that all of the cash in the gift envelopes was missing, along with all of the bills and quarters from my older daughter’s piggy bank.
I was so disgusted that she would do this. We fired her. We weren’t sure how much she took, but we estimated about $500 and she ended up paying it back, right after she was fired.
35. Lasting Effects
The girl who lived across the street from me babysat me a couple of times when I was in 1st/2nd grade. She was really weird and would spend all her time on the phone, sneak her friends over and stuff like that. One time, her friend “gave her a tattoo” (basically carved into her skin with a toothpick) that said something inappropriate and she showed me.
The worst one, though, was when she forgot something at her house and took me over there to go get it. But as we were leaving, she wasn’t paying attention and she slammed my finger in the hinges of the door leading to the garage. She made me tell my parents it happened at my house because I would get in trouble for sneaking out (or rather she would). I actually broke the finger and it’s still bent to this day. I was really bummed because we were doing a unit on China and I was supposed to show everyone how to use chopsticks.
34. A Constant Reminder
I had a baby sitter lock me outside on a cold, rainy day and all I had on were a t-shirt and underwear. I was also just 8 years old. I got really mad and dragged the garden hose to the door and got her to open the window. I pulled up the hose and started spraying her through the window, drenching the hardwood floors in the back half of my parents modest home. My sister let me in while the babysitter was drying off.
My parents got home a few hours later to find my sister and I zip tied together in the living room and the floor still covered in water; to this day that floor is ruined and my parents refuse to fix it.
33. Thanks, Janice!
My babysitter insisted on trying to teach me multiplication while wearing the shortest shorts imaginable and one of those super loose 80’s workout half-shirts. She was 16 and SUPER HOT. My 7-year-old brain was entirely overstimulated in ways that were completely novel at the time.
Janice, you were the first girl that made my special parts tingle, and I’ll always remember you. And thanks for the lesson, although I didn’t learn a thing.
32. An Online Confession
I once got my children a babysitter who wasn’t quite fit to look after children. In my defense, she came highly recommended by one of my friends.
One time, she tweeted about how hungover she was (19 years old), how terrible my toddlers were at playing piano so she was going to break it, and joked about giving them Tylenol and locking them in a different room.
31. Long Waits in the Car
My mom’s friend babysat me a lot when I was probably around 4 or 5. I distinctly remember her bringing me to a guy’s house where I had to watch them play Nintendo but couldn’t have a turn.
Then, she pretended like we were going to leave, brought me out to the car, and left me in it for over an hour. As an adult, I can only assume she was inside being intimate with the dude while my 4-year-old self was sitting in a car alone.
30. Too Rough for Comfort
My mom hired a high schooler, who ended up throwing me into a wall; I broke the fall with my head, and it split right open. When my mom got home, the babysitter told her we were asleep upstairs and took the payment before she quickly left.
Yes, I was upstairs, but as my mom saw, I was upstairs holding a towel to my head because I was bleeding. The babysitter ghosted all my mom’s calls after that and I still have a small scar from the incident.
29. She Was Where?
I’m not the mom in the story, but I was the child. At the time, I was too young to understand how serious it was, but my mom wasn’t; she was livid.
She once came home and found me sitting on the roof of our house, eating a yogurt. The sitter was 100% fired.
28. This Story Has It All
Sometimes, especially growing up, my mom didn’t have the best judgment. She once hired a guy whose name I dont remember to look after me while she was gone.
He tried to steal money from the safe box, invited friends over and I’m pretty sure my mom was hooking up with him too.
27. Bragging Wrongs
A longtime and trusted babysitter offered to take our girls camping with her and her niece. She gave us an amount to cover our share of the campground fees, the groceries, and to cover her time. When the girls got home, we found out that the sitter, her new boyfriend, and the niece stayed in a pop-up trailer while our girls slept in an old tent outside.
The boyfriend apparently bragged that the money we’d paid had covered all the campground and food costs and the sitter had made good money for the weekend. He said that they’d figured out how to get us to pay for their vacation completely and turn a profit. She had worked for us regularly for us for ten years. Never again after that.
26. She Killed My Hamster
My babysitter killed my hamster. I was around 5 years old, and she was helping me feed/water him. I told her she needed to leave an air pocket in the water bottle or it wouldn’t drip out of the bottom. She insisted that since she was older, she knew best.
I conceded to her superiority, and lo and behold, my poor little hamster died some days later, water bottle full. I was devastated. She never babysat me again.
25. The Aversion to Pineapple
One babysitter I had made us eat moldy pineapple as our after-school snack. She swore they weren’t moldy, so she made us eat them anyway.
I’m not sure if they were moldy or not, but to this day I have an aversion to pineapple unless I cut the damn thing up myself!
24. Unwanted Guests
My mother hired this babysitter she found on the internet. The girl was horrible but my mom had no idea just how bad it was. She invited her dopey boyfriend and his best friend over, locked themselves in my mother’s bedroom, did some dirty deeds in there, stole all the jewelry, and left, leaving my sister and I home alone.
At the time, we were roughly 8 and 5 years old, and I’ll never forget how upset my mom was when she found out what happened. Thanks, Stacy!
23. The Kid Loved It
I was the kid in this situation. I had this awesome babysitter (nanny actually) who’d teach me and my sibling swearwords in her native tongue and let us watch television content not appropriate for single digit old kids-one example is the human centipede which I ended up loving.
She read us her cult’s bible, Lord of the Flies and some book about torture techniques as bedtime stories. She fed us our mom’s special juice alongside dinner (not just a little sip, my sister had a whole bottle), etc. Our parents never found out about those things but did find out that she stole mom’s jewelry and was, hence, fired.
22. A Total Flake
Our babysitter was in her mid-forties and was a total flake; she definitely had the “always the victim” mindset. Her excuses included that her phone not working, that she got bad directions from gas station, that her sitter was late and more.
Once, she even lied and said she got into an accident, that she got lost and that it was too dark to see street signs– nothing was ever her fault- ever.
21. The Absentee Sitter
I was living with my sister at the time and my nephew was four; we got a sitter so we could go out for dinner and a few drinks. We got home at about 11 and she said everything was fine and that we could go back out and have fun. I got home at about 1:30 am (my sister decided to stay longer) and she was gone.
She just left my nephew there, with no one else in the house. I hate to think what would have happened if he woke up and found no one home.
20. Passing On Bad Habits
My mother told me about a babysitter her mother (my grandmother) hired. She pretended to work and smoked outside (grandmother said no smoking). One day, she (grand) came to her home early, so the babysitter threw the cigarette, still lit, on the patio.
My mother, at four years old, picked it up and put it between her lips, inhaling. The cough was evident even from inside the house. The babysitter was fired on the spot.
19. A Better View
When I was a baby in Minnesota, my parents went to an event at my brother’s school. They didn’t want to bring me because I’d get fussy sometimes, so I stayed home with a babysitter.
The tornado sirens went off and my parents rushed home. My babysitter was holding me, standing outside watching the tornado. My parents freaked out and told her not to come back, ever.
18. A Food Shortage
My sister and I were being watched by her friend’s older sister. I will never forget this- either we were misbehaving (unlikely) or she was just crazy because for dinner, we were supposed to have hot dogs; I could clearly see a fresh pack of eight hotdogs in the fridge.
This lady, evil woman that she was, took out ONE hotdog for my sister and I, heated it up and CUT IT IN HALF and gave one half to my sister and one half to me and barely any ketchup. I was so angry.
17. Having The Whole Gang Around
My brother and I were being watched by a girl who lived up the street. After my mother left, she had three of her male friends come over. One was her boyfriend. I was sick and laying on the couch in the living room, while my brother was sitting there watching TV. The girl went upstairs to find nail polish remover. A few minutes later her boyfriend went upstairs to “see what was taking her so long.” That left my brother and I alone with two strangers. Super safe, right?
My brother (being older and at the time smarter than me), decided to go upstairs and see what the girl and her boyfriend were doing. He walked in on them doing the deed in his bed; he was 12 or 13 at the time. I’m not sure what happened after that, but I know she never watched us again.
16. Putting In Her Requests
My mom came home one day, and the babysitter informed her that she, my mom, needed to pick up more beer before my dad got home from work because she, the babysitter, drank the last one.
It was lunchtime when this happened and I was about 2 at the time. I know my memory isn’t the best, but she never came back after that.
15. Learning the Hard Way
I’ve heard a lot of stories about babysitters hurting the kids they look after but I’ve never heard one that involved a family member.
My friend’s grandmother got her put in the hospital after force feeding her a peanut butter sandwich because “ain’t nobody allergic to nuts, kids are just not grateful for what they got!”
14. Milking It
When I was seven, I had a baby sitter who insisted I have a glass of milk with my dinner because it was healthy for me. I always said no and begged her to not make me drink it but she always forced me to, so I did. I’m lactose intolerant, every time she made me drink that glass of milk I would instantly puke and be sick for the rest of the night. She told me that this feeling was normal, that I was getting healthy and that everyone went through this when they first start drinking milk. Then she would sit on the couch and watch TV for the rest of the night as I remained in bed in utter pain.
My mother told her that I was lactose intolerant when she first hired her and told her repeatedly that the milk in the fridge could be for my sister but not me or else I would get really sick. This carried on for probably 4-5 Saturdays in a row until I told my mom what happened. Needless to say, she was fired and my mom put out the word all over our municipality about how she forced a lactose intolerant kid to drink milk. I hope she never got a babysitting job in our area again.
13. A Horrible Ultimatum
Our babysitter made me(4 years old) and my brother (2 years old) choose between sitting outside by ourselves in the front yard and watching an R rated movie of a plane crash with lots of gory deaths. I was terrified of being outside by myself, so I ended up watching the movie.
It took till I was 12-13 for me to not be terrified of airplanes after that. The same babysitter would smoke in our house and forbid me from telling my parents. It was a great day when I ratted her out.
12. Crappy Babysitters
Around age 8, there were two sisters next door that would babysit me from time to time. They had gotten a hold of some cigarettes, but had no way of lighting them up. They had heard that you could light cigarettes on a stove eye and tried to do so in my kitchen.
After a few attempts, they were unsuccessful. Trying to act way older and impress the two of them, I gave it a shot. I was able to get the cigarette going (mom always has been a smoker), and they chanted my name as I puffed on my very first cigarette. Looking back, I had some crappy babysitters.
11. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!
My husband and I came home one night and fired the neighbor (our babysitter) after we found out that she let my then 3-year-old watch “Beetlejuice.”
The poor kid had nightmares about Beetlejuice chasing her for weeks afterward. When the babysitter asked for a good review from us, we absolutely refused to do it.
10. All Over A Candy Bar
My children were three and four years old at the time. The babysitter was a daycare worker while I, a single mother, worked full-time.
I was in my mid-twenties, she was easily in her 50’s and called me outside to fight when I objected to her feeding my kids king-sized candy bars.
9. Lawn Care for Babysitting Duties
I only ever had one babysitter. My dad swapped lawn care for babysitting services when I was 8 or so. I didn’t like it, but I was ‘safe’ so I stayed there, until the woman went and grabbed me one day because I answered a question without facing her and left a bruise on my arm.
I told dad what happened and that 8-year-old me was not going to be going back to that place, so he’d better make arrangements. He confirmed it with the babysitter, who was really, really, really angry that I had said “yes” without turning to face her; he fired her and stopped mowing her lawn.
8. Some People Don’t Think
I was at a family holiday party at one of our farms. About a mile from the farm (on the same property, but out in the woods) is my great aunt’s house. Her granddaughter offered to babysit my 6-year-old and her 7-year-old brother at the house since it was more kid-friendly, I accepted and paid her. About an hour and a half goes by and I see grand daughter’s car drive past us, towards the road.
We call her and get a hold of her after 15 mins to ask what she was doing. She told us she decided to go to a friends house. She left my 6-year-old daughter and her 7-year-old brother alone in a house, a mile away from adults, in the middle of BFE Missouri. The kids ended up being perfectly fine but it just blew my mind that this 17-year-old accepted money to babysit and then just thought it was a-okay to leave two small children alone with no way to get to their parents but to trek through the dark woods.
7. She Didn’t Care After All
I was at work one day when my neighbor called me. I was actually in the middle of something pretty important but answered the call anyway- maybe it was my intuition.
My neighbor said that all of my kids were at his house because they couldn’t find the babysitter I hired for over an hour. Thanks, Care.com!
6. Who Cares About Health, Anyway?
I had a baby sitter who would only let us play with troll dolls, watch Scooby-Doo, and eat mac ‘n cheese with ketchup- apparently we had to have ketchup because it was super, ultra “healthy”) and drink grape juice.
And this mac ‘n cheese and grape juice meal was what we have every time she came over. This happened every day for three months.
5. Hide And No Seek
I had a babysitter when I was probably 8 or so who said she’d play hide and seek with me. She sent me to go hide, and never attempted to look for me, so I sat in my hiding spot for a very long time.
When I finally came out to check what she was doing, she was on the phone. Thankfully when I asked my mom to never hire her again, she listened.
4. The Thieving Sitter
When I was a kid, my parents hired a slightly-older neighborhood kid to babysit us. One who used to steal me and my sisters’ toys. We had these dolls we loved that went missing; when I was at her house playing with her younger sister, I found them in her room.
I was so mad and told my parents, but of course, they weren’t confident she actually stole them. So they never said anything. Thankfully, they believed me enough that they didn’t hire her again.
3. Multitasking Gone Wrong
I am the kid in this story. I once had a babysitter; her name was Angel. She decided she could babysit me and see her friend at the same time. So, I was 5 years old going out with a bunch of teenagers. At first, it was okay; we went to the movies, to the beach, etc. After a couple of times, I saw that Angel was ignoring me. One time, I was bored and wanted to go home, so I cried.
Angel told me to stop crying; I clearly remember her leaving me alone and telling her friends she was done. There was one guy in the group who was totally opposed to the idea of leaving me alone. So, she left with all her friends, leaving me behind with this guy. We spent the rest of the day trying to get home; I didn’t speak much English and he knew only the basics in French. Eventually, we arrived late in the evening, when my mom was only beginning to get worried. Angel didn’t tell anyone she left me behind. My mom was so mad and it was glorious to see her fire Angel.
2. Whoops, She Didn’t Notice
It wasn’t a babysitter, but a transporter for foster care. A few weeks ago, I walked out to the car to bring the baby inside and his car seat, while still buckled in with baby inside, was completely sideways on the backseat.
She looked in when I pointed it out and said, “Whoops, I didn’t even notice!” It took all my will and everything I had in me to not completely lose it on her.
1. She Didn’t Want to Change
I hired a family friend to come over three days a week to watch our then 10, 6 and 3-year-old. She had two young kids too, so I told her to bring them along. I made sure there was food for all of them for breakfast and lunch every day- she and her kids included.
Her 4-year-old would stand in the living room and scream until my kids woke up. From what my children told me, she had my oldest preparing ALL the meals; when I came home, there would be food stuck on the table and milk spilled on the couch. Our internet history revealed that she spent 10 minutes every couple of hours OFF the computer. After two weeks of asking her to change her behavior, I asked her to not come back.