Finally, my first booking with children....nope, not this time either

As regular readers here know, I don’t host children. My listing says not suitable for infants and children. It also says limit of two people. I’ve had people book with a child, then cancel. I’ve had people inquire and I’ve always managed to dissuade them. But now I have an instant booking for a woman and two three year old twins.

She has no prior reviews but sent a very nice message about how they won’t be here much, mostly out visiting family. Luckily my place is small enough that when locals come by they tend not to stay long. There’s no kitchen or lounge space so no entertaining happens.

This is the message I sent:

"Hi xxxx, thanks for choosing my space. I have a limit of 2 people for this room as it’s just a small bedroom. I also have my place listed as not suitable for infants and children. Nevertheless you’ve chosen my place out of all the listings for El Paso so I’m honored.

I also really liked your informative and detailed message. So I’m willing to fulfill the booking I just want to make sure you understand the listing’s limitations for kids. There’s no tub only a shower. I can remove all the glass items that aren’t bolted down and all the cleaners from under the sink but there are some outlets that don’t have child protection covers. Also I board dogs here and children laughing, crying and making noise may cause the dogs to bark. I’m used to the commotion but want to make sure you’re prepared.

If you are sure this will be fine for your needs, let me know. "

When I started I had guests in my part of the home and strange children and dogs that are boarding really don’t mix. But now I have much less reason to say the place is child -proof. I’ll child proof as best I can my taking low hanging glass off the walls, removing everything including shelves from the bookcase. I’ll put a couple of screws in the bookcase to bolt it to the wall. Remove anything I can that’s not tied down.

What have I forgotten?

Edit: I cancelled the booking.

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You seem to have a handle on it, screwing bookcase to wall is a good idea, a little shock from an outlet rarely kills a child, an uncovered outlet that a finger can get into would have a worse outcome. Just check for boogers on the walls when they leave!



She’s promised they will leave things clean. LOL. Since I allow dogs I have sheets, duvet cover, towels etc that are designed to be less of a risk. So yes they will get the dog family linens. (Oh crap, is someone going to accuse me of equating children with dogs and being some sort of bigot?)

Also I haven’t washed the walls recently so there’s that.


They are so cheap on Amazon its worthwhile buying a pack. I think it was €2.50 for twenty I paid a few months ago. Got a 10/10 across the board on BDC just, I think, for being thoughtful as I’m not that sure they had a great experience in a seriously child unfriendly environment.


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I wish I could just borrow some from someone. Two on each side of the bed have surge protector/6 outlet expanders. The outlets in the new remodel addition have those new kind of child resistant ones.

Thrift stores always have them. Kids grow up and they get donated.


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I’ll send you some of mine.

PM me your bank account number, date of birth and your mothers maiden name. They’ll be there in a couple of days.




Sure, just click on the URL I’ll PM you. All my information will be in it. :rofl:


You only need 2 good reviews from families to make Airbnb’s “Family Collection”. You’ve got the first one after hosting for only 5 years. Just think how much your bookings might increase when you get that second review in the next 5 years.

Actually, I’m curious why Airbnb even lets a guest send a reservation request when they are bringing children and you say your space is not suitable for children.


Wait, don’t you need her social security number also?

Got that already. Work in progress :wink:


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From 85% to 100? But seriously, shoot me now.

Well, when you put in as “one guest” it will let you do anything. But at least she didn’t just show up with them as some people with children apparently do. It’s annoying but keeping with my attitude of not discriminating, I’m willing to give it a try. I’m compensating in other ways though.

It’s kicking a dead horse to say but Airbnb isn’t going to put limits on guests. They bring them to our door and hopefully get our money. Running the thing and putting settings to try to outsmart them is up to us. I just raised my price again because my last two bookings have been people with no reviews who put in for one and brought or are going to bring, three. There must be a shortage of listings in my town all of a sudden because I know there are bigger places at lower prices.

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I’m just waiting for air to launch the "criminal collection "
Felons need accommodation too. How dare you discriminate!


Oh, sorry, it was an instant-book, it just didn’t register because I wouldn’t have thought that a guest instant-booking for one in a listing not suitable for children would put in their message that they are bringing two additional children. But that is the whole point of your post, isn’t it? :crazy_face:

I presume if the guest doesn’t reply promptly, you’re going to call Air to have them cancel. I know I would.

They did reply promptly and didn’t seem the least bit put off by my pointing out they were violating my rules and limits. So unless they cancel (due to check in June 10) I’ll be hosting two children. I’m going to go ahead because if Airbnb is going to move towards the hotel model then I may as well get used to children and people cramming folks into the room. I changed my header to “1 or 2 person private entrance & bath @ I-10,” not that it probably matters.

I take children and have made certain accommodations but the most important thing is to ask the parents what will be helpful for them, and send a list of what you have eg, the outlet covers, child cutlery, high chairs etc.
If you have a thrift store or children’s store on your town, a couple of small plastic spoons, plates and cups, a couple of children’s books/toys with no small parts would help.

I would also get those magic erasers for marks on the walls, cupboard and drawer closures, and remove any thing that has sharp corners or would break if knocked down, into or off.

Parents tend to be very grateful for your accommodating them and their children. If there are child friendly events or places in your area, a list of those places will be heatedly appreciated.

A bottle of wine would endear you to the Mum as well.

Always ask how many persons are on the reservation. Children count on your insurance so they should count on the reservation. :upside_down_face:

That your own dog Cujo loves having children for dinner.


Thanks for your input. Honestly, I don’t want to host children. My small room (the bedroom part is about 110 sq ft and then the entry and bathroom is about another 110. No kitchen, no lounge space, no sofa, only one chair…etc. ) My listing says limit of two and no children. But she booked anyway as one person. So I’m not inclined to do a single thing to accomodate in any way. I understand that it’s hard to be a parent (to twins especially), but I’m not going to do anything to make it easier than I already am by accepting an unacceptable situation. I don’t want them praising me in a review and encouraging other parents to try their luck.

They are supposed to be here visiting family. However I noticed the first message said they only expected to be here sleeping and getting ready to visit family. The second message said “I know they can be a handful and if they get antsy I can take them to the park.” Wait…I thought you were going to be with family all the time. So… I haven’t ruled out calling Airbnb tomorrow about it and cancelling.

Ha, at $55 a night I’m not going to be giving mum any wine. And I don’t want mum at less than 100% with two three year olds in a 220 sq ft space.

The wine will be consumed by me if I keep the reservation.


Send more children :joy: