105 Questions to Ask Parents Before Babysitting

Babysitting is much more than just watching kids – it’s about creating a safe, fun, and caring space. One key part of this is making sure you understand the child’s needs and the parents’ expectations. 

But how do you get this info? Simple! by asking the right questions before you start! From understanding food preferences to emergency contacts, there’s much to cover. So let’s jump in and explore the important questions to ask parents before you babysit their children.

About The Child’s Personal Information And Daily Routine

  1. What is your child’s daily routine?
  2. What does your child like to eat and drink?
  3. Is your child allergic to anything?
  4. What are your child’s favorite toys and games?
  5. What kind of activities does your child enjoy?
  6. What are the ways to calm your child if they get upset?
  7. Does your child need help with anything, like using the bathroom or eating?
  8. Does your child take any medicines?
  9. What time does your child usually go to bed?
  10. What should I do if your child wakes up from their sleep?
  11. Are there any particular words or signs your child uses to express feelings?
  12. What are your child’s fears or things they don’t like?
  13. Do they enjoy being around others or prefer to play alone?
  14. Can you tell me some things that usually make your child happy?
  15. Does your child have a nap routine?
  16. How do you handle nap times? 
  17. Does your child have any homework or school projects to do?
  18. How do you handle meals and snacks? What should I avoid giving them?
  19. What kind of physical activity does your child need or enjoy?
  20. How do I handle your child’s fears or nightmares, if they have any?
  21. What are some signs that your child might not be feeling well?
  22. What’s your child’s daily hygiene routine? When do they brush their teeth, wash their hands, etc.?
  23. Do they have a favorite bedtime story or lullaby?
  24. Can your child have treats or sweets? If so, how many?
  25. What is the best way to transition your child from one activity to another?
  26. Are there any specific things that trigger your child’s tantrums?
  27. If your child wakes up during the night, what steps do you typically take?
  28. What does your child’s after-school routine look like? 
  29. What is your child’s learning style? Are they visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner?
  30. Does your child have any specific sensory preferences or dislikes, such as textures, sounds, or lighting?
  31. What is your child’s mood typically like throughout the day? Are there times when they’re more likely to be energetic or quiet?
  32. Are there any specific TV shows, movies, or books your child enjoys?

About House Rules And Etiquette

  1. How do you like your child to be disciplined if they misbehave?
  2. What are the safety procedures for any appliances your child might use, like a tablet or video game system?
  3. What are the rules regarding screen time for the kids?
  4. Are there any parts of the house that are off-limits to the kids or me?
  5. What are the rules about answering the home phone or door?
  6. What is the protocol for meal times and snacks?
  7. Are there any special rules for bedtime routines?
  8. Is there a certain order to put on and take off your child’s clothes?
  9. What are the rules about kids going outside or in the yard?
  10. Do you allow the kids to use kitchen appliances, like the microwave?
  11. Are there any rooms where toys are not allowed?
  12. How do you handle arguments or disputes between siblings?
  13. What are the rules regarding homework or reading times?
  14. Are there any chores the kids are expected to do?
  15. What tasks or chores is your child responsible for, and when do they typically complete these?
  16. What’s the rule about children using the internet or social media?
  17. Are there any religious or cultural practices I should follow?
  18. What are the rules about pets, if you have any?
  19. Are there any language rules in the house (e.g., no shouting, certain words aren’t allowed)?
  20. Are there certain activities that are not allowed (e.g., rough play)?
  21. Is there a rule about the children’s use of their own or parent’s personal belongings (e.g., jewelry, makeup, tools)?
  22. What are your expectations about cleanliness and tidying up?
  23. Are there any special rules for using the bathroom or shower?
  24. What are the rules about using household appliances like the TV, computer, or stereo?
  25. Is there a specific way to lock or secure the house?
  26. Are there any rules about me using the kitchen to cook or prepare food?
  27. Can the children help themselves to snacks or drinks from the fridge or cupboards?
  28. Are there rules about handling or caring for any plants or garden areas?
  29. What are the rules about me using my phone or computer while babysitting?
  30. Are there any house-specific rules related to health concerns (e.g., wearing shoes in the house)?
  31. Can I adjust the house temperature if necessary?
  32. Are there any rules about reading certain books or playing certain games?
  33. Do the children have to ask before using certain items or toys?
  34. Are there any rules about me having personal visitors during my time babysitting?
  35. Do the children have a set amount of time for certain activities (e.g., reading, playtime)?
  36. Are there any traditions or routines in your family that I should keep up with?
  37. Is there a specific place for storing diapering supplies or kids’ personal items?
  38. Is there any specific house etiquette that the children or I need to follow (e.g., saying please and thank you, no feet on the furniture)?

About Emergency Contacts And Safety Procedures

  1. What time will you be back home?
  2. Is there anything specific I need to know about the alarm system?
  3. How can I reach you immediately in case of an emergency?
  4. Who should I call first if I can’t reach you during an emergency?
  5. Who are the emergency contacts, and what are their phone numbers?
  6. Do you have a list of emergency numbers like the police, fire department, and poison control center?
  7. What is the nearest hospital or clinic, and how do I get there?
  8. Is there a neighbor or nearby relative I should contact in an emergency?
  9. What medical insurance information should I know in case of an emergency?
  10. Does your child have any medical conditions I should be aware of in case of an emergency?
  11. If your child needs medication, how do I administer it?
  12. What should I do if your child has an allergic reaction?
  13. Where is the first-aid kit located?
  14. What should I do in case of a fire or other household emergencies?
  15. How should I respond if a stranger comes to the door or calls the house?
  16. What should I do if your child accidentally gets locked in a room or outside the house?
  17. What is the procedure if your child chokes or has a serious injury?
  18. Are there any escape routes or safe places in case of natural disasters like an earthquake?
  19. What should I do if your child gets lost or wanders off?
  20. What are the procedures if your child falls ill suddenly?
  21. What are the rules for calling an ambulance or emergency room?
  22. Is there anything else I should know about keeping your child safe and handling emergencies?
  23. Are there any specific signs of health issues I should watch for in your child?
  24. Do you have a preferred pharmacy for prescription medications?
  25. What should I do if there’s a power outage in your home?
  26. Do you have any emergency supplies or equipment, and where are they located?
  27. What’s your child’s pediatrician’s contact information?
  28. If the child gets hurt, how do I document or inform you about the injury?
  29. How do I operate any safety devices in your home, like alarms or security systems?
  30. Is there an evacuation plan in place for emergencies?
  31. How can I tell if your child’s symptoms are serious enough to need immediate medical attention?
  32. Who else has permission to pick up or be with your child if an emergency means they can’t stay home?
  33. What should I do if your child swallows a non-food item?
  34. If I cannot get through to any emergency contacts, what should my next steps be?
  35. If there’s an emergency during sleep hours, what’s the best way to safely wake and evacuate your child?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to know the child’s routine before babysitting?

Knowing the child’s routine is crucial for several reasons:

Consistency: Children often feel most secure when their daily routines are consistent. Maintaining their regular schedule can help them feel more at ease and comfortable with a new person taking care of them.

Planning: Knowing their routine allows you to plan your time effectively. For instance, knowing nap times can help you plan quiet activities beforehand and louder or more active ones afterward.

Managing expectations: Understanding their routine also lets you anticipate the child’s needs before they become upset or frustrated. For example, if you know that they usually have a snack at a certain time, you can have it ready before they start to get hungry and possibly cranky.

Should I ask parents about their discipline methods?

Yes, it’s a good idea to ask about discipline. Every family has different rules about what’s okay and what’s not. Knowing how the parents handle tough situations can help you stay consistent and deal with any behavior problems that come up.

How can I get the child to trust me quickly?

Building trust with a child takes time, but these tips can help speed up the process:

Show interest in their interests. Kids love when you are interested in their favorite activities, toys, or games. This shows that you care about what they like.

Be reliable and consistent. Children trust dependable adults. If you promise to play a game after lunch, make sure you do so. This consistency helps to build their trust.

Listen to and respect their feelings. If they tell you something, listen carefully and respond in a way that shows you take their thoughts and feelings seriously.

What should I do if the child doesn’t listen to me?

Stay calm. Your composure helps you think clearly and shows the child you’re in control.

Be clear and simple. Make sure your instructions are easy to understand.

Use positive reinforcement. Praise the child when they follow instructions to encourage good behavior.

Contact the parents. If the child keeps refusing to listen, ask the parents for advice. They may have some helpful strategies.


Babysitting is an important job, and being prepared makes all the difference. With these questions, you can gather the information you need to keep the child safe and happy and give the parents peace of mind. 

Remember, every child and every family is different, so these questions might lead to other questions. So go ahead, ask away, and get ready for a successful babysitting experience!

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Robby Salveron

Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.