- “Oh, why are you crying Thomas? Have you lost another race?"
"It's not me crying Bertie, I've got a baby on board.”
- ―Bertie and Thomas
Thomas the Babysitter is the twenty-first episode of the nineteenth series.
One morning at Knapford, Thomas, Annie and Clarabel have one last journey to make before they can take a break. A lady walks onto the platform pushing a pram, with a crying baby inside. Annie and Clarabel both hope that they will not be travelling on their train today, but the lady and baby climb aboard, much to their dismay.
But as soon as Thomas starts on his way, the baby stops crying. The coaches and Thomas all breathe a sigh of relief and wonder what made the baby stop. But their thoughts are interrupted when Thomas stops at Dryaw and the baby starts crying again. Bertie is at the station too and teases Thomas about it just as Toby arrives. They both ask what the noise is and Thomas tells them about the baby. Henrietta suggests singing a lullaby to the baby, so Annie gently sings "Rock-a-Bye Baby" as Thomas leaves the station. To their surprise, it works, but not for long. When Thomas stops at a red signal to let Percy pass through with a tanker train, the baby cries again. So this time both Annie and Clarabel try to sing the baby back to sleep. The other passengers begin to get tired of the noise. But as Thomas starts again, the crying stops again, and Thomas realises that it is his puffing that calms the baby down.
Each time Thomas stops, the same thing happens. The rest of the passengers disembark but for some reason, the mother and baby never leave the train. At last Thomas reaches Ffarquhar, the last station, and the mother has to get off with her baby. Thomas puffs away to turn around on the loop for his return journey, happy that they no longer have to listen to the crying. But once he gets back to Ffarquhar, to their horror, the mother is waiting to get back on the train again. And the baby is still crying. Thomas remembers that the baby stops crying whenever he is moving, so he decides not to stop at any stations. But Annie and Clarabel both tell him that is a silly idea, since he has other passengers and he would get in trouble with the Fat Controller. So Thomas stops at every station, and the baby continues crying each time.
Once back at Knapford, everyone is exhausted, and the coaches are happy to be able to take a break. But Thomas watches the mother trying to calm her baby, and comes up with a plan. He asks the Fat Controller if he can miss his break and take the mother and baby on a journey with no stops, so they can both get some rest. Annie and Clarabel think that this plan will not work, but the Fat Controller thinks it is a very good and kind idea, and so it is arranged.
Thomas takes the baby and mother along his branch line without the need for any station stops, and soon both the baby and the mother are fast asleep. When Thomas returns to Knapford, a workman named Albert thanks him for all his help. It turns out that Thomas' passengers are his wife and son, and they have been so busy that they have not even picked a name for the baby yet. They decide to name him Thomas after today's events. Thomas apologises to Annie and Clarabel for making them miss their break, but thinks it was all worth it. However Annie and Clarabel do not reply, as they too have both fallen asleep.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Sir Topham Hatt
- The Grumpy Passenger
- Albert's Wife
- Thomas the Baby
- Edward (cameo)
- Gordon (cameo)
- Percy (cameo)
- Stanley (cameo)
- Daisy (cameo)
- Jem Cole (cameo)
- The Photographer (cameo)
- The Teacher (cameo)
- The Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Schoolchildren (cameo)
- Dowager Hatt's Friends (cameo)
- The Lady with the Big Hat (cameo)
- The Welsh Bird Watcher (cameo)
- The Ginger-haired Boy (cameo)
- The Blond-haired Boy (cameo)
- The Great Railway Show Judge (cameo)
- The Female Puppet Show Entertainer (cameo)
- Thomas' Branch Line
- The Windmill
- The Watermill
- Road and Rail Runby and Road Bridge
- Joseph May as Thomas
- William Hope as Toby
- Teresa Gallagher as Annie, Clarabel and Albert's Wife
- Maggie Ollerenshaw as Henrietta
- Keith Wickham as Bertie, Sir Topham Hatt, The Grumpy Passenger and Albert
- Stock footage from Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure is used.
- The inspiration for this episode may have come from the magazine and book stories, Thomas and the Baby.
- This is the second time in the TV series that a living being has been named after Thomas, with the first being one of Farmer Trotter's piglets in the thirteenth series episode, Thomas and the Pigs.
- This episode marks the first of a few things:
- This is the last episode until the twenty-second series episode, Thomas Goes to Bollywood, to have Thomas' name in the episode title.
- This and Rocky Rescue were the first two episodes to air on Cartoonito in the UK.
- Percy's tankers change from oil to milk between shots.
- When Stanley leaves from Ffarquhar station, he whistles but no steam emits.
- Stanley leaves from Ffarquhar station but when the shot switches to the close up of Thomas, Daisy is seen in the background pulling away instead of Stanley.
- During the time-lapse sequence, Thomas' body is slightly raised off his chassis.