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Real Adventures in Babysitting

Grant Hansen is a Director, Product Development (First Aid/CPR/AED & Babysitting) for the American Red Cross.

When the Red Cross put out a call for “so-bad-they’re-funny” babysitting stories, we got quite the response.

It goes to show that when our Babysitting Basics and Advanced Child Care Training instructors tell sitters to be prepared for the unexpected, they are right on the money.

A half hour after putting a baby to bed, contest winner McKenna, 13, heard a strange sound coming from the room. Alarmed, she bolted upstairs, only to find the baby giggling while sound asleep. (That must have been some funny dream!) As the contest winner, McKenna and a friend will attend the Red Cross Babysitting Basics course for free, and they’ll blog about it here.

Here are some babysitting adventures that caught our attention.

• Bridgette, 12, sent one of her charges to his room for misbehaving. Not five minutes later, the frantic boy called Bridgette for help because he had managed to get his toy poodle trapped between the window and the screen. It took Bridgette’s dad, a ladder and a gaggle of neighbors to free the dog. Babysitters, keep an eye on the small pets, especially around mischief-makers.

• On a fairly normal day of babysitting, Reece, 13, changed a rather dirty diaper – not a big deal for this seasoned sitter. But then her little charge kept going. And going. And going. Sums up Reece, “Sometimes they go, and then they GO!”

• Rebecca, 14, took her eyes off her charge for three minutes, which apparently was enough time for him decorate himself and the kitchen floor with a once-full bottle of pancake syrup.

• And finally, bedtime went fine for the 4-year-old girl that Rhiannon, 13, was watching. Rhiannon spent a lot more time with the 6-month-old baby, who had colic and kept crying. After the baby finally drifted off, Rhiannon tiptoed down the hall to check on the 4-year-old. The little girl was gone and didn’t answer, and so Rhiannon called the parents on the phone. To her surprise, they calmly asked if she had checked under the little girl’s bed, which was where she sleeps when the baby cries. Sure enough, this story had a happy ending.

Would you know what to do in these situations? Want to know more? Check out all three Red Cross babysitting course options:

Advanced Child Care Training for ages 16 and up
Babysitter’s Training for sitters aged 11-15. This course also comes with the option of adding pediatric first aid, CPR and AED training.
Babysitting Basics, a self-paced online course for ages 11-15.