It’s tough to leave your first born with a stranger for the first time — most parents can remember the first time they hired a sitter and walked nervously out the door. And it’s equally as tough to know what to expect or what’s normal in that situation, both regarding the babysitter’s conduct and your reaction to it.
New mom Danielle Mitchell stepped out with her partner for a date night for the first time when her baby was 10 months old, hiring a sitter to stand watch. But when she found out the babysitter fell asleep on the couch after the baby had gone down, she freaked. She took to TikTok for advice: Was she overreacting by thinking her sitter was shirking her duties for getting some shuteye, or was she rightfully worried that she left her baby with someone who decided to sleep on the job?
“First time parent problems, I know,” she captions, “but seriously, is this okay?”
She recounted that the babysitter rocked the baby to sleep within 15 minutes and that the baby slept for the remainder of their night out. But after a while, in-home cameras showed she was lying down on the couch.
“We were only gone for three hours. It was the first time that we left him with someone other than my parents and we were just gone from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM,” she says. “And we have cameras throughout our house, especially since it’s the first time we’d left. Around 9 PM I check the cameras and it looks like she’s asleep on the couch.”
Mitchell texted the sitter to bring in the dog for the night, but she didn’t move.
“Internally, I’m freaking out,” she shares. “She’s watching our son and she’s asleep but he’s also asleep. But he’s only 10 months and I don’t if she’d hear him if he woke up and started crying.”
She couldn’t take the feeling of leaving her baby at home with a snoozing sitter, so the couple returned home.
“As soon as we walk in the door it takes her a second to wake up,” she recounts. “I left a sound monitor, but no, the sound monitor wasn’t on. Now I don’t know what to think? Is it normal for your babysitter to fall asleep if they’re watching your kids if you’re back by 9:30? It’s not like we were out until 2 AM. We were back by 9:30 PM.”
Ah, first time parents. So adorable.
Commenters were mostly united in their responses, although some were more critical of the mom than those who better remembered how it feels to be a new and overprotective parent.
The most liked comments made it clear: it’s totally okay if your babysitter dozes while the kids are asleep.
Other comments shared differing opinions — showing the huge range of differences between parenting styles (and babysitting styles). A few logical people pointed out that catching some sleep is fine as long as the sitter can hear either the baby or the monitor if something goes wrong.
Perhaps the best advice came from someone who said that what’s acceptable changes from parent to parent, which is why it’s vital to share your expectation with the sitter before you leave. If you’re uncomfortable with them sleeping, or want them to sleep with the monitor on full volume, just let them know.
And always, always be like Danielle and let your sitters and nannies know if they’re being filmed while you’re away.