AskDefine | Define babysitter

Dictionary Definition

baby-sitter n : a person engaged to care for children when the parents are not home [syn: babysitter, sitter]babysitter n : a person engaged to care for children when the parents are not home [syn: baby-sitter, sitter]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


baby + sitter


  1. A person who cares for one or more babies or children for a short period of time in place of their legal guardians.
    • My neighbor is sometimes a babysitter for other moms' children.

Related terms


baby or child caretaker

See also

Extensive Definition

Babysitting is the practice of temporarily caring for a child on behalf of the child's parents. Babysitting is most commonly performed as an odd job by teenagers for extra money, stereotypically, but not necessarily, girls. Babysitting can be quite lucrative in some countries, but rates vary considerably according to the location. According to Runzheimer International's Mobility Report, average hourly rates in September 2005 in the United States of America are $6.04. In New York City, the average is $11.08, whereas in some places in the U.S., the average is $2.90. Babysitters are often employed on Friday and Saturday nights when parents wish to go out. A babysitter is distinguished from a nanny by the term of employment; while some parents may have a regular babysitter "on retainer," so to speak, the sitter is normally contracted one night at a time.
The term "baby-sit" (from "baby" plus the agent form of "sit") first appeared in 1937, and its short-form "sitter" is attested from 1943. The use of the word "sit" to abbreviate "to baby-sit" is recorded from 1800. The term probably originated from the action of the caretaker "sitting with" the baby in one room, while the parents were entertaining or busy in another.
The American Red Cross offers a babysitters' safety course. This course teaches important safety to babysitters. These include rescuing a choking victim and fire safety. At the end of the course, the completee is given a certificate of completion.


According to a Juvenile Justice Bulletin from September 2001, babysitters commit about 4.2% of crimes against children less than 6 years old in the United States.

External links


babysitter in Guarani: Mitãrerekua
babysitter in German: Babysitter
babysitter in Spanish: Niñera
babysitter in Italian: Babysitter
babysitter in Japanese: ベビーシッター
babysitter in Swedish: Barnvakt
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