As a longtime babysitter and recent full time nanny, I can tell you there are certain items to bring when you babysit that most people don’t even think about. While it is true that the home of the family you are sitting for will probably have most of these… it is often hard to locate items that others have put away and you don’t want to constantly be calling the parents to ask where something is. These items to bring when you babysit will ensure that you always have what you need at your fingertips.
One of the items to bring when you babysit is crayons, markers or colored pencils. It is a good idea to bring a coloring book or two as well. Yes, the child probably has crayons already, but they are often scattered about or broken into tiny pieces. Bring a box with you and have fun coloring together!
No matter what the age, every child I’ve cared for in the past ten years has loved bubbles! Even I love bubbles and I’m closing in on being 30 years old! It is a good activity to keep the kids entertained and it also helps to wear them out if they’re overly energetic. Let them chase the bubbles around and pop them with different parts of their body.
3 First Aid Kit
Most homes already have the first aid essentials, but I recently ran into an issue with the child I was caring for. She had a terrible headache and I couldn’t find medicine anywhere. I could find Bandaids and Neosporin but nothing for headaches. It ended up taking me nearly 20 minutes to locate what I needed for her. If I had had my “Nanny Bag” with me like I usually do, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Just make sure you ask if the child is allergic to anything prior to the parents leaving the house so you don’t give them something you shouldn’t. You should keep the essential first aid staples like bandaids, creams, sun screen, bug spray, tweezers, etc in the bag that you bring. You never know when an emergency might arise and you’ll need to grab them quickly without searching all over the house to locate them.
Stickers are wonderful little things and can be used for a variety of purposes. They are great given out as awards when a child does something well or completes their homework on time or performs the necessary bedtime rituals without having to be nagged. They are also great if you have sheets of themed stickers so the child can create a scene with them on paper and draw in the rest of the background. Stickers really help open up a kid’s imagination!
Don’t wear fancy shoes or flip flops when you babysit. Wear sneakers and expect to do a bit of running around. The kids want you to play with them, not just watch them as they play and you can’t chase them, run from them or kick a ball adequately with flimsy shoes on. You should always bring a sweatshirt as well, just in case!
6 Water Bottle
I’m personally a bit weird about water. Some people’s water just doesn’t taste good to me. One family I sat for had water that tasted of sulfur and there was no way I could drink it. That’s when I started bringing a bottle of water (or two or three) with me when I babysit. It also means I don’t have to dirty one of their glasses if I want a drink. As far as that is concerned, if you do consume their food or beverages, you should wash your dishes and/or glasses. I never leave a house less clean than it was when I arrived.
I strongly encourage reading. I love it myself, and I find that when children are encouraged to read instead of sit in front of a TV they have better imaginations. Have the child read to you, read to them, and bring a book to read yourself once the kids are in bed. When the child I sit for is doing homework that she doesn’t need help with, I sit on the couch and read. I like her to see that reading isn’t just something you’re forced to do in school; it is also entertaining and fun!
The bag of items to bring when you babysit will of course vary depending on the gender or age of the kids you are looking after, but it is always a good idea to have a set list of basic items to bring with you. This is just my list of things that I bring no matter who I will be sitting for and it has worked for me for years and years. What items do you suggest bringing with you when you babysit?