What age can a child stay home alone?

My daughter is 10, my son is six. I’m wondering when y’all started leaving your children alone at the house. Not overnight, just a few hours after school. What factors did you look at when making that decision? I know some states have laws and recommendations…my state doesnt really have anything.

I’m just trying to help prepare them for when they’re older. I figured by the time they were 12 and 8 I would be comfortable enough if I thought they were mature enough to handle it. When I was a kid, we were quite young when we were left alone but times were different and so were we. Thank you.


13 for my son but not over night

I let my 10 year old daughter stay home alone. She did a ‘home alone safety course’ through her school. I have a 7 year old son but I dont leave him with my daughter because he doesnt listen well.

I was staying home alone at 10, I’ve always been very mature for my age.

Mine are 11 and 12
They stay for a few hours, but there’s rules and the know important phone numbers and both have phones and they are mature

My daughter is mature for her age so I’ve been letting her stay home alone since she was 8 she’s 12 now…

12 and 8 sounds about right

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10 for my daughter. I always had somebody within a few hrs. But she was a mature 10 yr old.

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Law in NY is 13 but not for overnight

My kids go home after school until I get off work and have been for a couple years. They are 12 and 14.

My dad left me and my sister alone at 11 and 12. All we did was play games and he’d leave food or money to order pizza.

Check local laws some will not allow until 13

My daughter is 11 and only stays home alone when we run to the store. We dont leave her home alone with the boys at all. She has a cell phone so shes able to contact us

I’d say go with your gut. Maybe get them in some safety classes, add your own rules as well and go from there. Do it a couple times and see how it goes.

I think starting to prepare them now especially with 2 would be great. Gives them time to adjust. Start with leaving them home while you take a walk around the block then increase the time…

My son started staying home for 30 minutes when he was 8…then a couple hours when he was 9. I was in Nursing school so he had to grow up a little…now that he is 11, he’s home for 5.5 hours by himself between me leaving and my husband getting home.

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In Michigan there is no actual age restrictions. But I would say at least 11 or 12 because you can take babysitting classes at 11 I took one when I was 12 and 14 and now I have kids of my own.

Depends on ur state law

My 9 and 12 year olds stay home while I run errands they hate grocery shopping.they each have a phone and never answer the door

I was 11 or 12 when my mom started leaving me home with my 2 brothers ages 9 and 2

I always thought the same I now have a 12 yr old son and 7 yr old son and I wouldn’t even ekave my 12 yr old alone without 7 yr old. I just cant do it.

Check state laws. I think most are 13 by themselves 15 if watching siblings.

Check state laws first. Quite a few of them have a minimum age requirement.

As crazy as this world is…is risky to try to leave kids home by themselves at such a young age. I think after 12years of age is safer.


It depends on the kids. Obviously if they fight then that might not work. The maturity of the oldest. My daughter is 11 and I’m able to leave her and my son 4 alone for an hour or two. But im just right down the road at work.

My 9 year old has his own key in case we aren’t home when he gets off the bus. He is usually only by himself for like an hour to an hour and a half, but he does really well and has set list of rules that he follows

My parents started teaching me how to use a gun at 7 since they were in the house. So by the time I was 10, I could stay home for a few hours and know what to do if something happened. I saw as long as they know where to hide, know who to call, and know where any weapons are in the house, it’s okay for a few hours at first. As they get older, the time can be extended

Where I live (Canada) the legal age to be home alone (and able to start babysitting) is 12. So I agree that 12 is a good age as one sibling can “babysit” the younger sibling :slightly_smiling_face:

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I would say around age 9 for an hour or two.
Closer to 11-12 for more than 2 hours. Of course there is a lot of factors that come into play :slightly_smiling_face:
We don’t have an actual age law in our state either.

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Wasnt til I started highschool my mom let us stay home alone lol shes overprotective though Haha.

In OH it’s age 8 but for no more than 1&1/2 hours. So that sounds right to me.

My 10 yr old just started staying home for 1 to 2 hours max at a time. It is always during the day, never after dark, he has a cell phone and knows not to unlock the door for anyone. He also knows general rules like dont try to cook by yourself and make sure to follow the house rules when we are gone.

No age minimum in Texas, while just grocery shopping she was 8 and the store was literally 2 blocks away. Now shes 11 and sometimes between schedules she ends up being home 3-4 hours after school, but we live in the BFE of the country nothing much to get yourself into trouble out here, mostly she watches TV or plays games.


It definitely depends on the kid and start small to see how they handle it …

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I think it depends on the maturity of the children. And I probably wouldn’t allow my 10-12 year old to babysit my 6-8 Yo. I’d still have a sitter for the smaller one.

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I was pretty young when i would stay home alone for a few hours a day after school but times are different. Get one of the video doorbells so you can talk to whoever is at the door and tell them to never answer the door


My 2 oldest are 9 n 11 n I absolutely wont

Too young 2 b left alone

It’s how you feel and if you think your children are mature enough to be left alone for an hour or two. My daughter is 10 and she is mature enough to be left alone for a few hours. She knows the rules about locking the doors and not opening it for anyone but me. Trust your gut and set boundaries!

At twelve 13, depending on maturity. Be sure a phone is in the home w them. Put a list of numbers on the fridge- and teach your kids about them all.
Teach them protocol of safety. No answering the door if alone, keep things locked up/windows doors etc. Do you have a dog? Get a dog. Get cameras. Dont have to be some fancy system get those motion cop cams stick 4 or so around your home. Have your kids check in eith you by texting or calling when their home alone.
:laughing: And something i did- when i came home i tested if theyd actually follow my rules before they knew i was home. Knocked on the door made noises- they did good didnt answer then called me to tell me weird noises were being made :joy::joy: I know some what strange but it was assuring for me


Before I hit the teen years. So around 10 or so was when my grandparents would leave my brother and I alone at home after school. We lived out in bumfuck Egypt (middle of nowhere). My grandma got off work at 6 and my grandpa at 5 so we wouldn’t be home alone for long. Maybe an hour or so tops.

We didnt leave our son home until he was 12 and we left him for short periods and increased the time little by little.Now he is a very responsible adult and still lets me.know where he is and what time he will be home.I am still a worrisome.mom.never know whats gonna happen next.I like to keep my kids at arms length giving them space but at the same time always have an eye out and it doeant matter how old they are.My sons are 48,forever 42,39,30.

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My oldest are 9 and 11 and they are not mature enough to stay home alone. I would say it depends on the kids

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I was babysitting for my neighbors kids for twelve hours a day almost when I was 10. The kids were 3 and 5. I was also very responsible and babysitting for my moms boss full time when I was 11. I think it’s depending on the maturity level of the kids

Depends on the kids. I can’t leave my two oldest together or my two youngests because of fighting, but I can leave my oldest and my youngest together while I run up the road to the store for 10-20 minutes as long as the youngest is sleeping. So idk how old my kids would have to be for me to feel comfortable for them all to be alone together. I was left alone in the mornings and afternoons to get on and off the school bus when I was 10. I got off the bus at 3:30ish and my dad got home from work around 5.

11 only for an hour now she’s almost 13 and pretty mature so a few hrs

I was in 4th grade and my brother was in 7th when we started staying home alone

My 12 year old stays home when I grocery shop or whatever. But I still take my 6 year old with me

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My 14 year old watches my 8 and 5 year old for a few hours here and there when we need her to

Depends on how mature they are. Lock everything, teach them to never answer the door or even look out the window if someone knocks, they need a phone, no cooking while they’re alone. Call n check in on them and give them something to occupy them like an Xbox so they aren’t looking for trouble. Maybe get a ring doorbell so u can see who’s at ur door

We still cannot leave my 15 year old home to watch the 3 year old. Maturity level is not there yet. We do leave the 15 and 10 year old together for a couple hours at a time on occasion.


Depends on the 10 year olds maturity. I started babysitting at 11 but I was 11 going on 20 in 1999. Different time :woman_shrugging:t2: I’d say jr high is probably when I would let my own kids start being alone for a bit. Like 12 or 13 years old

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My son is 11 and been staying alone for 2 years now. He can stay home for a few hours with no issues at all.

Maturity is everything

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I think it depends on the maturity of the children.

I agree with most other responses I’ve seen on here, it primarily depends on their maturity level. My daughter is 12 and we started leaving her home alone at 11 but only when we stay very local. We made that decision because she has always been very responsible and mature. On the other hand my son is 10 and we won’t leave him alone, he’s not quite ready and I also won’t let my daughter watch him because they’re always butting heads and I just can’t see that ending well lol.

I leave my 11 yr old alone for no more than 2 hrs. I based it off her maturity and responsibility. My 8 yr old however… she will be lucky if I ever leave her home alone.


I was babysitting by the time I was 12. Is your 12 yr old responsible?? I would also have a neighbor you trust be avail if needed

Its 12 But If They’re In The House With Kids Younger Than Them Its 16

1St i checked my states latch key laws (for Idaho its based on kids maturity level) then checked to see if my kids could handle themselves & knew how to reach me if they needed to. Mine were 10, 9, & 8 years old when i started leaving them home alone. 1st started with while i ran to to the store or gas station & went up. But my kids maturity all differ. My now 12 year old is either 9 or 5 yrs maturity. My 11 year old is 20 or 16 maturity while my youngest i nickname my old man because he’s well a grumpy 30 yr old most days. Lol. Again that depends on the day & situation for how they’ll act. My 11 going on 12 yr old will be starting to babysit this summer she hopes.

My parents had no issues leaving me alone for a few hours with my younger brother (8 years younger) when I was 12-13. They left me with him one weekend when I was like 16.

Don’t leave the six year old. However, I was around 10 when I was left just a couple hours and 12-13 when left alone a good while.

My 12 yr old can be home alone I started when he was 9 but it was only for about a half an hour or so then at about 10 if he had a half day at school he’d be home untill I got home but no longer then maybe 2 or 3hrs and he always had a cell phone at the house so he could contact me and always had things for him to eat where he didn’t have to actually cook anything besides maybe microwave. He mostly stayed in his room and played Fortnite and the front door was always locked he knew he couldn’t answer it for anyone or any reason unless I told him he could. He’s 12 now and in 7th grade and can be home alone when he wants but never overnight

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Mine were 12 and 10. But at first it was for quick trips to the grocery. And increased the time by 30 minutes at a time. We live out in the country.

Put them through tests such as making sure the doors and windows are locked, knowing what to do in case of an emergency such as fire, or a break in and to know where the fire extinguishers are and which type to use for what (type A, B, and C)

In my opinion it depends obviously on state laws but also on the maturity level. My oldest was 10 when she started staying home alone but her maturity level has always been high. My second oldest on the other hand just started at the age if 12.

I babysat other people’s children starting at 11. But my Mom wouldn’t let my sister and I stay home together until about 13/14 (smart lady she is!). I was allowed to stay by myself for short periods of time around 12 or 13-ish.

We were good with leaving our oldest at 10 for a couple of hours but never overnight. He’s 12 and I’m still anti him being alone over night. I’m crazy nervous for his soccer camp away from me.
But I would have my 10 year in charge of another kiddo.

With the way the world is changing I’d be scared to leave them alone at any age


I was 9 and my sister was 4 when she stayed home with me.

my former neighbors kid this age i know the most they have been alone by there selfs is about an hr or 2 at the most. but right now the oldest being opened in rolled in school out of here district she gets the bus to me at 11 yrs old because she out of school at 2;15.and her little brother is in kindergarten at daycare after school and before. but before now they were left alone an hr or 2 and summer i know there by there self like said oldest is 11

Depends on the kids themselves.

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i would say 12 is a good age, depending on how responsible the child is. However, when i was a teen, like 17 i was watching my 8 yo brother, and being a teen…i was on the phone and he lit my uncles quilt on fire…i was in so much trouble but, i thought he was just watching cartoons😑

I was 12 baby sitting. I now leave my almost 12 year old with her bothers to just go to store or for a hour maybe 2 max. It’s been going good. I havw cameras and Alexa that i can check in when i want to see what they are all up to.

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As long as their relationship is good and they know about safety numbers, locking doors, things like that, I say a few hours would be fine.

Some people pay 12 year olds to babysit so I think if they’re mature enough that’s ok for a few hours

My parents made sure I knew their phone numbers and how to call, and made sure that I could make myself a snack when i got off the bus. They made sure I knew where a key was hidden if I forgot mine, and that i knew how important it was to not open the door for strangers. I stayed by myself for two hours till they got off starting at 7 years old. It depends on the kids’ maturity level mostly

My sister and I were young too but it’s a different world. My son will be 11 in the fall and after school isn’t an option so he will be riding the bus home alone. He will at most be home 45 minutes before we get there and my parents live directly across the street and are retired. I’m still nervous though.

O well some of these comments. Our age here in new Zealand is 14. - 14 years
The law in New Zealand. According to the NZ Police website: “Young children must never be left alone in a house or vehicle – they need constant supervision. It is illegal to leave a child under the age of 14 years without reasonable provision for their care.”

It depends on if your daughter is mature enough to watch after her brother

My sis in law started leaving hers for a short short times at 3​:rofl::rofl: DONT DO THAT it’s not safe. She even left my sons she was watching, alone for 20 minutes (2 and 5 ) I was pissed. It really depends of the child, 12 is fine to be left alone, but if the younger one wont listen to them, I wouldn’t leave them alone together.

This year my older two get themselves to the bus stop in the morning alone a couple hours before they leave. They are 11 and 8. Both have phones and call me if they need anything. My 11 year old has stayed home alone during the day. They are good and keep to themselves in their rooms the whole time anyway. I know I can trust them to not answer the door and such.

Me also be very worried i never done that

I was left at home at 10 with 9 yr cousin. We were taught not to open doors and not to touch stove. We’re taught to make/reheat food in microwave. Comes down to how mature 10 year old is. Can he take care of six. However i would not leave my 6 year old with 10.

at 10 I would leave my daughter while I was at the neighbors for a half hour she couldn’t answer the door or use the stove or really anything. It depends on how mature the kid acts and all. She didn’t like it so we ended up taking her with us and that worked out till she was 14 then we would leave her for an early dinner out. I also helped a kid who was impaled on his bike handlebars while he was supposed to stay inside till mom got home from work. He went in an ambulance and was fine but his mom wasn’t even close to home. Kids will be kids.

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In my state the age is 14.

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When I was younger 12 was the legal age that a child could stay home and be considered responsible enough to watch other children. Now the law where I live has changed to something about they are old enough if they can call 911.

People wonder why. Your kids are getting kidnapped and raped. Well. Its because you leave them. Alone. Like. At 12. They still can be manipulated by a adult