When can I babysit?
By age 13, some boys and girls may be ready to babysit. It all depends on how ready and able you are to take on the responsibility of caring for young kids.
Taking a babysitting course is a good first step. You also can start out as a "mother's helper," where you take care of a child (or several kids) while the mom or dad is still at home. That way, you get an idea of what it will be like, but the parent would be there in case you have a question.
If you do decide to babysit, keep your first job short (an hour or two). It's also ideal if you can babysit for a family that lives in your neighborhood, so your mom or dad will be nearby in case you have any problems or an emergency.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2013