Babysitter Costs Too High? Try a Babysitter Swap or Coop

Want a babysitter, but don't want to spend the money?


Was your anniversary or birthday the last time you went out for dinner with your partner...minus the children? If so, you are not alone! An article in Glamour magazine stated that 88% of women in relationships don’t have regular date nights.

Reconnecting with your partner is so important for your relationship, but time, energy and high babysitter costs keep us on the couch in sweats watching Scandal instead of connecting with our partner over a nice glass of wine in a restaurant.

Why not try a babysitting swap or coop to save money on sitters?


In a babysitting swap, you trade babysitting duties with another parent.

This means you ask a friend/neighbor to watch your child and you recipricate when she needs child care. Depending on the age of the child and your relationship with the other parent, this could mean a friend sitting at your home from 8pm-11pm Saturday night while your baby sleeps or 3pm-6pm Tuesday afternoon while your child plays with her child. It is important to trust the parent you swap with and provide any rules/guidelines if necessary. The options are limitless and can vary in time, responsibility and extent.


In a babysitting coop, a group of parents take turns watching eachother's children.

A babysitting coop can be informal or formal. A formal babysitting coop will follow a set of bylaws and will use a point sytem. Every hour of babysitting time is worth a certain number of points.

Membership may be private and may have specific rules about how to get invited. A formal babysitting coop may have officer with specific duties to keep the coop running effectively an efficiently. Monthly meetings may also be part of the agreement and members will most likely have specific responsibilities during their babysitting hours.

An informal babysitting coop may feel more like a large babysitting swap. In an informal babysitting coop, each member may simply keeping track of the number of hours they babysit and consider that the same number of free babysitting hours earned. This can be as small as 3 families, but coops tend to work better with bigger groups so there are more people availability to babysit at any given time.

A babysitting swap or coop is an inexpensive way to get some necessary time away from your child, whether it is for a date night, a doctor's appointment, a work obligation or a manicure. There is less pressure to make the night short because the dollar's are not adding up. There is also the bonus that the person watching your child is also a parent who understands the needs of a child.

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