Does the babysitter get extra money if she has to deal with throw up?

We had a babysitter Saturday night and about 10:30 p.m. I got a text that one of the kids had thrown up. The child had been coughing a lot before we left. She threw up in the bathroom but didn’t quite make it to the toilet. When we got home, the puke-covered bath mat was in a trash bag by the back door.

The babysitter didn’t complain at all about having to deal with it and was very compassionate to the child. She patted the child’s back in bed until she fell asleep after the incident.

I added in $15 extra bucks for cleaning up throw up.

So my question is would you throw in extra money if the babysitter had to deal with throw up?

32 comments Add your comment

HB

November 3rd, 2013
10:56 pm

Yes, absolutely! Besides it just being a good thing to do, it can keep you in good standing with an excellent sitter. Often, parents have to compete more for a great sitter than the sitters do for jobs.

I have a comment

November 4th, 2013
6:02 am

Yes and pay more for multiple kids. If you get a good babysitter, they are worth the extra dollars for a night out.

malleesmom

November 4th, 2013
6:28 am

motherjanegoose

November 4th, 2013
6:59 am

A

November 4th, 2013
7:11 am

Should be obvious, but yes. Sort of like how parents whose kids are nightmares in restaurants and make a huge mess need to tip more.

Seventh Scent of a Wayward Tire.

November 4th, 2013
7:28 am

Why would you go out if you have a sick child?

And you write a blog on parenting?

Me

November 4th, 2013
7:44 am

Absolutely, yes.

motherjanegoose

November 4th, 2013
8:20 am

@ Seventh…kids can get sick quickly. BUT there are plenty of parents who send the obviously sick children to school. The kids then tell the teacher all about their illness, medication and what the parent said as he/she shipped them out the door, to the bus, or out of the car. I had a child with a VERY red tongue once. She told me, ” I had a fever all night and my Dad gave me Tylenol. Mommy is out of town and he said I could come to school and I would be just fine!” NOT!

Young Lady

November 4th, 2013
9:06 am

MJG- It’s also important to point out that if a child is just coughing (just coughing and not running a fever or anything else!) it’s impossible to tell if that’s going to develop into something worse or if that’s all it’s going to be. Coughing is one of the most vague diagnosis symptoms so I can’t really fault anyone for taking a wait and see approach with coughs, so making a big deal about parents going out when a kid has a /cough/ is someone looking to find imaginary faults with other people’s parenting.

Techmom

November 4th, 2013
9:21 am

That’s a no-brainer especially if you want her to come back and the kids like her.

HB

November 4th, 2013
9:38 am

T has also said her kids have allergies and asthma, so I’m guessing they cough a lot without it necessarily meaning they’re coming down with something.

WitchyWoman

November 4th, 2013
9:55 am

Babysitter? What is this babysitter thing you speak of? You have a good one of those? We currently have to drive an hour to take the kid to the in-laws if we wanna go out. Of course we did just move here.
Yes I would pay extra. It’s the right thing to do and it’s good business.

K's Mom

November 4th, 2013
9:56 am

I have a child who can cough himself into choking and throwing up. We had a throw up incident poolside this summer while my other child was in swim lessons. The pool snack bar is staffed by college kids and one of the guys came over with a hose, got the ground cleaned, hosed out the stroller and helped me to the car with both kids. He got a huge tip and a nice letter written to his boss. So if one of yours was coughing they may not have even been sick, but just choked up. It happens.

I think $15 extra buck is a very nice gesture. I had a kid throw up on me once when I was babysitting back in the ’80s. It was obvious that the parents knew she had been sick all day. This was before cell phones and the number they left was wrong. When they finally came in they said she was sick earlier but thought she was ok. They did not pay anything extra and since my parents were out that night, I sat in gross clothes for hours.

just me

November 4th, 2013
10:12 am

I think I would throw in a little extra, maybe $10 as a tip but not out of debt/obligation. Dealing with poop, throw up, etc is kinda expected in that job. Rolling up a bathmat and putting it outside is greatly appreciated but its not like the place was steam cleaned.

DB

November 4th, 2013
10:14 am

I’d have made it $20 :-) But yes, definitely a nice gesture. Kudos to the babysitter — I am one of those weak-kneed people who start gagging, tearing up and choking when it comes to cleaning up human waste of any kind. I would have made a horrible nurse. My own kids didn’t bother me a bit, but anyone else — oh, dear god, no, please.

@K’s Mom: I think I would have borrowed the mom’s bathrobe and washed my clothes in their washer and dryer right then and there! Ugh!

K's Mom

November 4th, 2013
10:19 am

@DB, I was about 15 and did not want to be rude (darn those manners my parents taught me). If nothing else it prepared me for my little guy who is the thrower upper in our house. I was so impressed by the college boy that helped me clean him up this summer. Of course my mom pointed out that he works in a restaurant/bar at a country club and is in college, so he may have cleaned up grosser stuff more recently….

Lilburn Lady

November 4th, 2013
10:54 am

I have a question for everyone on here. What is the going rate per hour for a babysitter? Say for two kids (one is 3 and one is 10).

yuki

November 4th, 2013
11:25 am

I pay around $10/hour for two kids (ages 5 and almost 2).

And yes, I’d givea little more if they cleaned up/dealt with throw up.

cobbmom

November 4th, 2013
11:39 am

motherjanegoose, I had a student a few years ago who was sent to school each day while he was battling pneumonia. Running a high fever, coughing on everyone near him and the parents wouldn’t come pick hiim up. After he infected three of his tablemates we had him to wear a surgical mask in school. He would take the mask off to cough all over the other children (made no effort to cover his mouth). Needless to say he and his parents were NOT very popular with the other children in the class and their parents.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 4th, 2013
11:41 am

Yuki — I pay about $10 an hour but then I always round up another $10 or so at the end. So that was why I said $15 but it was actually $20 — The bill would have been $55 but I paid her $75. You coulnd’t make that at McDonald’s.

Both girls have allergy and asthma — lilina has been coughing for a month. I am taking her to the doctor again today to see what else we can do for her. Rose has been coughing some but I think picked up her brother’s cold from last week. He was home sick three days. I think she probably had a lot of snot in her stomach and that was why she threw up but she said later she ate too much pizza. When we left, she was running around with ear buds in singing and dancing. So she didn’t feel terrible at all. I did two inhalers for her and gave her cough medicine and gave the sitter instructions just in case she needed more.

FCM

November 4th, 2013
1:09 pm

Yes. Anytime they have to do above and beyond the call of normal duty. Dealing with vomit is not “normal” for babysitters unless it is a baby..then spit up or some vomit maybe expected.

Just Me

November 4th, 2013
1:19 pm

I wonder if these are ‘out’-of-network’ fees? (LOL) I mean what you pay people that are not family members. $10 an hour seems high to me but I’m seeing that alot of folk here are not talking about what they would pay family members. I pay my niece usually $20 for the entire night and usually we get back so late that she just sleeps over (thats for a 7yr old and a toddler). I pay $25 a day when school is out and they come over to watch my school aged child (same district so their school vacation is at the same time). Of course, my house is like Disneyland to them where food, snacks, video games, cable TV and internet is plentiful so they’d probably do it for free. Just curious… what is everyone else paying ‘in-network?’

Just Me

November 4th, 2013
1:22 pm

Before I get attacked… yes, I realize that not everyone has family that is local. My family is also huge so my options are plentiful.

s

November 4th, 2013
1:55 pm

Part f the job as far as I am concerned.

Can you say...

November 4th, 2013
2:20 pm

…”snot in her stomach” on this site without getting banned?

motherjanegoose

November 4th, 2013
2:34 pm

I KNOW that some kids do not look sick but can then get sick in less than 30 minutes. My point was that some kids are VERY sick and the parents send them to school anyway.

@cobbmom…my son tells me those surgical masks are not effective after about 10 minutes. I get nervous when I am boarding a plane and people are wearing one, as I do not want to sit near them. Not sure if they are trying not to give something or catch something.

My daughter charged $8 per hour for those IN our neighborhood …one child. She is 21 and has her own car but if she had to drive over, it is $10 an hour. Additional children are $5 per hour. She really does not do much babysitting, as she is in college and has two jobs now, but she will do it. She is CPR and Red Cross trained. Our neighbor paid her $50 per day in the summer ( 2 days a week) and she hung out with her son who is 12. He is fine to be home by himself but it would have been a long summer. She took him places and the Mom paid for that too. He is taller than my daughter now but we have known them since he was a baby and we are friends with the family as she has watched him forever! .

When we first moved here, 24 years ago, young women her age were getting $200.00 for a 24 hour period if the parents went out of town. I thought it was A LOT. But I worked in Buckhead and the parents were not at Lake Lanier…they might be in NYC. You were totally in charge!

As with everything else, you get what you pay for! I remember making $4 an hour to watch 4 kids under the age of 10.

Blessed

November 4th, 2013
3:29 pm

Do daycare centers get extra when a child throws up? I think NOT! That’s just a part of the job.
Do doctors or nurses get paid extra for throw-up? I think NOT!

You are setting this young woman up to expect more if she deals with (life little natural disasters); she is going to be disappointed in life.

HB

November 4th, 2013
3:54 pm

Blessed, those aren’t comparable situations. You provided examples of services that are generally fixed-fee. It is not customary to negotiate rates or provide tips. To me, giving a sitter extra cash is more like giving an extra generous tip if your toddler leaves a mess at a table. Also, you should consider the competition aspect. If you treat people you hire well, they will put you at the top of the list for jobs they accept. Daycare centers usually have a long-term contract with you and doctors offices prioritize based on how urgent a medical need is and who calls first. That’s a less personal relationship. Back in the day, when big social events came up and 5 families called and left me messages wanting me to sit the same night, if all other things were basically equal (well behaved kids, nice family, etc), of course I went with the family who always rounded the total up at the end of the night and would kindly pay a bit extra if a kid got sick.

motherjanegoose

November 4th, 2013
4:12 pm

@ Blessed…are you nuts? I agree with HB ( don’t faint) when you are being contracted to do something, you are more likely to come again if the contractor pays you well.

BTW Doctors and Nurses are pretty much used to bodily fluids as are many daycare centers.
I have had my fair share of boogers and snot but would never consider throw up to be all in a day’s work for a babysitter.

I plan to cut my client list, in about 5 years. I will certainly eliminate those who do not appreciate me and not even look back. Dollars speak volumes to babysitters and if you have a good one, keep him or her happy with a little extra cash!

K's Mom

November 4th, 2013
5:40 pm

I want to know where you are finding babysitter for 2 kids in the Atlanta area and only paying $10/hour. When we lived in Sandy Springs I paid $12-$15/hour for one child. We moved to Auburn, AL when our second was only 2 months old and I pay $10/hour here and thought I was getting a HUGE bargain! I always pay a little extra here because my college student sitters are outstanding and are usually working to help pay for school!

catlady

November 5th, 2013
7:47 am

I would do anything to hang onto a sitter you like who likes your kids! And yes, I think vomit duty deserves extra pay.

DB

November 5th, 2013
4:30 pm

Blessed — so, how many babysitters HAVE you gone through? :-)

Babysitters are very loyal to those that treat them well. My daughter once had a New Year’s Eve where she got 14 phone calls to babysit. Seven of the families were determined, and it turned into quite an amusing little bidding war. Turns out they were all going to the same party, so my daughter suggested a group sleep over. She and a friend ended up watching them all at one house. They moved the clocks up, had a celebration at 10 pm, and all the kids were asleep by 10:30 pm. :-) My daughter and her friend ended up splitting almost $600 for the evening. :-) About 11 pm, they were bored, so they vacuumed and tidied up the playroom, mopped the kitchen floor, did all the dishes, and dusted the whole first floor, as thanks for letting them run an evening day care in their home that night. The parents were very pleased.