Babysitting Overnight

Staying Over Typically when babysitting overnight, or babysitting over several nights, you’ll negotiate a different pay scale than for daily hours. (Most people agree you wouldn’t pay someone as much when they are sleeping as when they are babysitting). However, you're still in someone else's home and bed, and depending on the ages of the children and whether they even sleep through the night, your sleeping hours may be far less restful than if you were at home. Plus, you're still on duty. Typical prices for babysitting overnight in a bigger city may be anywhere from $50 - $75 per night, plus $100 for the day.

Scenario 1: You get to the house at 7:00 p.m., spend the night, take the children to school the next day and then you're finished. The parents should pay $75 - $100. (Several hours of being awake/ cooking/ driving, plus spending the night there).

Scenario 2: You come on a Thursday afternoon and don’t leave until the following Monday afternoon. You’ve spent 4 days and 3 nights. You should make $500 - $700, depending on the prices you negotiate for “nights” and “days.”

*From 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. is 12 hours. If you normally charge $10 an hour, that’s already $120.00 for the daytime. Charging $100 for the “day” and $50 for the “night” (when you are sleeping) is not too much.

One idea is to charge what you'd normally charge for the day hours, and half of that when you are sleeping over. So if you get up at 7:00 to start taking care of the children and don't go to bed until 11:00, charge your normal rate. The hours that you are in bed and the children are in bed, charge half that amount. That works out well for the sitter and the parents/care givers. Check out this forum to see some people's opinions on what to pay an overnight sitter. You may find good arguments backing what you'll charge.

As always, not talking about your rate for babysitting overnight leaves it up to the parents to calculate. Some may never have thought about what it costs to have someone spend the night, and others may be paying the same they've been paying the past ten years. It's smart to have a conversation about what you charge before the caregiver is writing you a check.

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