If taking care of one infant is draining, twin moms know just how hard it is to juggle two demanding babies at once. Of course, while you want to care for your twins, the occasional night out or appointment means you'll need to bring in a babysitter. Because you're adding double the workload, a babysitter will need to be compensated for the extra work involved. By comparing your rates to what others in your area pay, you can come to an agreement that both you and your babysitter are happy with.
Babysitting rates vary from city to city, so before you decide what you'll pay, find out what other families in the area pay for singleton babysitting. If the going rate in your area is $8 per hour, a babysitter might feel insulted if you offer anything less. Ask your friends and family in the area or use a geographical babysitting calculator (See Resources) to give yourself a baseline price from which to work off. Keep in mind that babysitting rates are often based on one child only, so you'll need to adjust for twins.
Scope of Work
If your twins are going to be awake and active during the hours your babysitter is tending, you'll need to pay more than if your twins were sleeping the entire time, suggests CBS MoneyWatch. Consider the scope of work involved in caring for twin infants. While being there while your babies are sleeping is one thing, requiring your babysitter to change, feed and care for active infants will require more work and therefore, more money.
Age and Experience
With double the work, you'll want a babysitter who is experienced and can keep a cool head while caring for your little ones. To get a more experienced sitter, expect to pay more than your friend who has a neighborhood teen come and watch her child. Instead, do your homework and find a sitter who is reliable, responsible and experienced to care for not one but two babies. You'll have to pay more, but the extra cost is justified in having someone qualified to care for twins.
In the end, there's no "perfect price" for a babysitter for twins. Conventional wisdom would be to double the going rate for one child, but it's a discussion you should have with your babysitter before the job starts. Your babysitter's going rate might be $8 per hour for one child, but she may be willing to give you a deal of $14 per hour for twins to entice you to hire her. By taking all the components of the job into consideration, you can agree on a rate that satisfies you both.
- CBS MoneyWatch: How Much Do You Pay the Babysitter?
- Juggling Twins: The Best Tips, Tricks, and Strategies from Pregnancy to the Toddler Years; Meghan Regan-Loomis; p. 30
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