115 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 the daily routine 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.

Child’s Personal Information

  1. What is the child’s full name and nickname (if any)?
  2. What is the child’s birth date and current age?
  3. Are there any words or phrases the child uses to communicate specific needs?
  4. What are the child’s likes and dislikes that I should be aware of?
  5. Does the child have any frequent behavior cues or habits I should know about?
  6. Are there any comfort items the child might need, like a toy or blanket?
  7. Can you describe the child’s temperament and personality?
  8. Are there specific things that trigger the child’s emotions, such as fear or joy?
  9. How does the child typically express themselves when upset or needing something?
  10. What are the child’s favorite games and activities?
  11. Is the child currently potty training, and how should I handle accidents?
  12. Are there any language or words the child is currently learning?
  13. Could you provide a list of important dates, such as upcoming school events or doctor’s appointments?
  14. Does the child have special educational or developmental needs?
  15. How does the child react to new people, and is there a way to make them more comfortable?

Health, Medical Concerns, and Allergies

  1. Does the child have any known allergies, and how should they be managed?
  2. Are there any dietary restrictions or preferences I should be aware of?
  3. Is the child currently taking any medication, and what is the schedule and dosage?
  4. What signs and symptoms should I watch out for in case of an allergic reaction?
  5. Who is the child’s pediatrician, and how can they be contacted?
  6. Does the child have any chronic health issues, such as asthma or diabetes?
  7. In case of illness, what are the parents’ expectations for care and notification?
  8. Are there any specific healthcare instructions or therapies that I should follow?
  9. What is the child’s insurance information in case of an emergency?
  10. Are there any physical activities that the child should avoid?
  11. How should minor injuries be handled?
  12. Does the child use any medical devices or require assistance with them?
  13. What illness symptoms warrant a call to the parents immediately?
  14. How does the child usually communicate pain or discomfort?
  15. Is there a first aid kit available, and where is it located?

Daily Routine, Schedule, and Sleep Arrangements

  1. What is a typical day’s schedule for the child, including mealtimes and nap times?
  2. How does the bedtime routine work, and what time is the child usually asleep?
  3. What are the child’s morning routines, and what time do they normally wake up?
  4. Does the child have specific rituals or stories they like before bedtime?
  5. Are naps still part of the child’s daily routine, and if so, for how long?
  6. Can you walk me through the child’s mealtime routines?
  7. Does the child need help with personal hygiene tasks like brushing teeth or bathing?
  8. How does the child like to spend their free time during the day?
  9. Are there any specific educational or developmental activities I should do with the child?
  10. How much screen time is the child allowed, and are there preferred programs?
  11. Is there a particular schedule for homework or study time that needs to be maintained?
  12. What outdoor activities or outings does the child enjoy, and are there any limitations?
  13. Does the child have any chores or responsibilities that they are expected to complete?
  14. How do you handle it if the child resists following the routine or schedule?
  15. What are the child’s favorite snacks, and how frequently can they have them?

Safety and Emergency Procedures

  1. What is the address here, and is there any important location-specific information I should know?
  2. Where are the emergency contact numbers posted, and who should be called first?
  3. Are there any specific medical or emergency instructions I should be aware of?
  4. What are the evacuation plans in case of a fire or other emergency?
  5. Where are the fire extinguishers, flashlights, and safety ladders located?
  6. Are there any areas of the home or yard that are off-limits to the child?
  7. How should I report any safety concerns or incidents that occur?
  8. What is the best way to reach you quickly in case of an emergency?
  9. Are there any neighbors or nearby relatives I can contact if needed?
  10. What is the preferred hospital or urgent care facility, and how do I get there?
  11. Are there any specific instructions for using the home security system, if applicable?
  12. Can you show me how to operate safety gates or childproof locks in the house?
  13. What is your preferred method for documenting and communicating any accidents or issues?
  14. Does the child know their full name, your name, and address in case they need to tell someone?
  15. Are there pets in the home, and how should I handle their care and safety concerning the child?

Behavior and Discipline Preferences

  1. How do you typically handle tantrums or meltdowns?
  2. What are the house rules that I need to enforce?
  3. Are there any consequences for misbehavior, and how should they be implemented?
  4. What is the child’s usual behavior, and are there any recent changes I should know about?
  5. How should I respond if the child doesn’t listen or follow instructions?
  6. Are there any particular praise or reward systems in place?
  7. How would you like me to handle sibling disputes?
  8. Are there specific phrases or methods you use for disciplining that I should know?
  9. What are your beliefs regarding time-outs, and what is the appropriate way to execute them?
  10. How can I best support any behavioral therapy or interventions in place?
  11. Is there anything the child is working on, such as sharing or manners, that I should encourage?
  12. What activities or privileges are effective as incentives for good behavior?
  13. Who can I contact for advice if there are behavior issues I’m unsure how to address?
  14. How do you keep consistent messaging around behavior and consequences with other caregivers?
  15. Are there particular emotional or social cues I should be aware of and handle cautiously?

Entertainment and Activities

  1. What activities does the child enjoy that we can do together?
  2. Are there any screen time rules that I need to follow?
  3. What are the child’s favorite indoor and outdoor games?
  4. Do you have any craft supplies or creative activities prepared for the child?
  5. Are there specific books, music, or shows the child prefers during downtime?
  6. Are there playdates with friends or neighbors allowed, and if so, what are the guidelines?
  7. What local spots like parks or libraries are safe and preferred for visits?
  8. Are there any planned activities or outings the child is expecting to attend?
  9. Do you encourage any educational games or apps for the child I could include?
  10. Can we do any cooking or baking activities, and are there any related safety guidelines?
  11. Is there a specific time to avoid loud or stimulating activities before bed?
  12. How much time should we spend on different types of activities?
  13. Are there any materials or equipment for activities that I should know how to use?
  14. Is there a limit on the number of toys the child can play with at once?
  15. How should I organize and clean up after play and activities?

Parental Contact and Availability

  1. What is the best way to reach you while I’m babysitting?
  2. Are there specific times when I should or shouldn’t contact you?
  3. Who is the secondary contact person in case I can’t reach you?
  4. Will you check in periodically, or would you prefer updates from me?
  5. Is there a particular protocol for me to follow when you’re unreachable?
  6. How often and what details do you need about the child’s daily activities?
  7. Are there any specific times you will be completely unavailable?
  8. Do you require real-time updates in certain situations, like injury or behavioral issues?
  9. Should I be cautious about someone visiting or calling the house unexpectedly?
  10. Is there any special comfort the child may need if they miss you?

House Rules and Expectations

  1. What is the clear set of rules I should enforce with the child?
  2. Are there any rooms or areas that are off-limits to both the child and me?
  3. What is the policy on treats, and how often can they be given?
  4. Can you show me how to use any electronics or appliances I might need?
  5. How tidy should the house be when you come home?
  6. Are there any quiet or nap times for the child during which I should limit noise?
  7. What should I do with any damages or breakages if they occur?
  8. Are friends or other relatives allowed to visit the child while I’m babysitting?
  9. How do you deal with food portions and prevent the child from overeating?
  10. Are there any cultural or family customs I should be aware of?
  11. Should I involve the child in tasks like cleaning up their toys?
  12. How should I handle telephone calls or unexpected visitors?
  13. Is it okay to take the child out for a walk or to a nearby playground?
  14. What are your rules regarding social media and taking or sharing photos?
  15. Are there any special instructions for end-of-the-day routines like locking the doors or setting alarms?

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!

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

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.