Menu
This is how much the average babysitter gets paid per hour in 2019

Every parent needs a night out once in awhile. How much that babysitter will cost depends largely on what part of the country your family calls home, but new stats show that today's babysitters are making bank compared to the rates my teenage self charged (not that they don't deserve it).

According to UrbanSitter's 2019 National Childcare Rate Survey, 42% of parents spend over $10,000 a year on babysitters. The average cost of an hourly babysitter is $16.75 for one kid and nearly $19.26 for two. Back in 2017, $19 would get you coverage for three kids, and a babysitter for one was between $15 and $16, so the rates have gone up over the last two years.

No surprise, San Francisco is the most expensive major American city to hire a sitter in (at $18.75 per hour for one child) and Las Vegas is the cheapest (at just $11.63 for a single kid).

The high cost of an evening away from home is likely why 58% of parents get a babysitter only once a month or less frequently. When you consider that the average U.S. family spends more than 30% of its income on center-based child care, there's not a lot of cash left over for occasional “night out" babysitters after you pay the day care bill.

Say you've got two kids and want to go to dinner and a movie. The average adult movie ticket costs $8.73 and an entree is like, what, $15? Double those numbers and then give yourself four hours between the restaurant and the cinema and date night just cost you $116.82.

Still, some parents do prioritize date nights. According to UrbanSitter, nearly a quarter of parents hire sitters at least once a week, and 40% of parents say the reason for doing so is getting time to reconnect with their partner and have "adults only" time.

With the summer coming up, 59% of parents surveyed say they plan to spend $1,000 or more on babysitters or nannies when school is out.

The numbers show what we already know: Sometimes babysitters are necessary so parents can have a life, and sometimes they're necessary so that we can earn a livelihood.

These days, most babysitters in big cities aren't just 15-year-olds who've taken a CPR course. As the cost of living in a major city goes up, college-educated babysitters who can provide background checks and references are becoming the norm.

Yes, these babysitters are expensive, but they can also drive or Uber themselves home at the end of the night. For exhausted parents, that alone might be worth paying a little more for.

[A version of this post was published November 20, 2017. It has been updated.]

You might also like:

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

Keep reading Show less
Life