a young woman holds a newborn baby


This Mom Gave Her Family a Test to See If They’re Fit To Be With Her Newborn

Sep 10, 2019

When you're a new parent, you're tired. 

Feeding, crying, pooping, peeing, sleeping, not sleeping — it's a lot of work. 

Sometimes, you need help. 

Usually, this means a friend might come over and watch your kid while you take a four-second shower. It could mean asking friends to bring you some food, so you can, you know, eat. 

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There are a lot of different ways to support a new parent, unless that young parent has a babysitter screening test. Then the only way to help is: do a good job or you're out. 

That's what we learned when we read a new mom's post on Reddit's subreddit, Am I The A--hole (AITA). She wrote:

"My husband and I recently had a baby girl, and everyone in both our families keeps asking to babysit. I decided on a simple 'test' to see who's ready, where I ask family to watch her for a bit while I go do something in another room, like fold laundry or take a quick shower. Sometimes it goes bad, like my grandma turned off her hearing aid so she wouldn't be bothered by the baby crying. But other times it goes fine, and we've got a trusted new sitter.

My BIL and SIL came to visit and wanted to babysit, so we tried the test. They didn't even have the baby for two minutes before coming to fetch me for help. I figured that meant they failed for now and just aren't ready to babysit a newborn yet, but we can try again when baby is older."

The test is simple: mom hands off new kid to family, and gives them a few minutes. They think they're unsupervised, but she's watching them. 

When you put your newborn in the hands of someone else, you absolutely want to ensure they are getting quality care. But is asking the parent of a child for help a true sign of negligence?  

The internet had some opinions. 

One user said they wouldn't just have one question, they'd have many. Because, let's face it, you're probably still getting adjusted to your new kid's routine, so how can a person be expected to just know? 

But that wasn't the original poster's concern, it seems. 

According to them, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law needed help changing diapers, because they'd never done it before. And when she stepped in to show them how, they walked away. 


Some Reddit users were in complete agreement, arguing that at that age, they need to have the most secure surroundings. "Come back later," they more or less were saying. 

Meanwhile, others felt it was the opposite: toddlers can get into far more unsafe situations. 

Ultimately, the community felt she could have handled the situation a bit better. There was a general sense of believing that she's the parent, and can parent how she sees fit. But it's how she went about it that irked many, using a test her family never had the opportunity to consent to. And, well, when confronted with the results of the test, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law were not too happy about it. They reacted: 

"My BIL ended up heading home early, alone, saying he needed to work. Like, a month later my SIL asked my husband why we didn't let them babysit. He told her about the test, and she got mad. SIL then said that we actually failed THEIR test, and that they had counted how many questions we asked them about themselves during the visit, and the answer was zero, so that was why BIL left.

I was thrown — I was sure I'd asked them about their flight, their jobs, a wedding they'd attended that we missed because of the baby. All the usual polite small talk. But we're exhausted, so it's totally possible I didn't. But even so...maybe cut the tired new parents some slack?"

In this situation, tensions were pretty high. And no one knew they were being watched. And it sure does sound like family just wanted to help out!

But would you give a pass to a new parent who tested you in this way? Is a screening for family caregivers essential for you? Tell us below

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