Deciding what to bring babysitting is simple: just grab your babysitting kit! Your babysitting kit is your babysitting best friend. Bringing this babysitting kit with you will help you appear more professional, get called back for more bookings and will prepare you to handle anything that your babysitting appointment throws at you.
Important Note About Your Babysitting Kit
Your babysitting kit will be full of games and fun activities for the kids, and children that you babysit repeatedly will know this and be excited to see it! However, there’s a very important boundary that you must enforce with your babysitting kit:
As a rule, only you, the babysitter, are ever allowed inside of your babysitting kit.
It’s likely that you’ll babysit for multiple families with children of multiple ages, and you will take your babysitting kit to every home. Your babysitting kit may contain messy supplies that a toddler could wreak havoc with while you’re in the bathroom, or choking hazards, or first aid supplies that no child should be playing with.
This should be a known rule with the children you babysit and is an important boundary to set, but part of this is also your responsibility. Don’t leave your babysitting kit on the floor and get a bag that zips completely shut. Under no circumstances is this a play item.
Or, choose a bag that’s technically built for the beach, but that just makes it tough and easy to clean. Plus, this bag has tons of space and is ready to go outside, off-road or anywhere else your babysitting appointments lead you.
What To Bring Babysitting For The Children
1. A Vomit Bag
This might not be the first thing you think of what deciding what to bring babysitting, but this is a babysitting kit essential item. If you babysit for long enough, you will need a vomit bag and be happy you have it!
When children get sick, you have to handle a number of problems: the physical clean-up, the emotional clean-up and addressing whatever caused the vomiting.
Children are far more upset and distressed by vomiting when they make a mess of themselves, especially out in public. The emotional distress is lessened, clean-up is faster and then you can skip right ahead to addressing the problem. Never leave for babysitting without a vomit bag in your babysitting kit!
This doesn’t have to be a specifically-made bag. You can grab a brown paper bag from home or, even better, on your next flight or train ride, grab a couple of vomit bags from the seat-back pockets.
2. Wet Wipes For Sensitive Skin
Homes with diaper-clad children will naturally have baby wipes all over the house, but households with older children may not have any such supplies handy.
Take wet wipes in your bag for messes when you’re out and about.
3. A Few Active Games For Kids
When you’re babysitting children at their own home, they’ll obviously have access to all of their own toys, but there are some advantages to bringing a few things in your babysitting kit as well.
Packing fun activities for kids in your babysitting kit will also help distract children who have separation anxiety and help ease the feeling of not knowing what to do as their parents leave. It provides a natural transition into the babysitting appointment, and eases any nerves from the children or guardians.
Arriving with a bag full of games will also make children enthusiastic to see you, which will in turn reinforce your position as the go-to babysitter.
This technique only works if you bring fun activities that the children don’t already have, so be creative and bring a few different options that will cover a range of ages.
Bringing games in your babysitting kit are even more important for any times that you babysit away from the home.
Remember to only offer games from your babysitting kit that can be played by all of the children present. Be aware and conscious of any developmental or physical differences between children.
4. Some Calm-Down Activities For Children
Active games like the head hoop and hot potato are great to get children moving, but there are times that call for calm-down activities,. Be sure to include some in your babysitting kit so that you know exactly what to do when children are overstimulated or anxious.
Bonus points if the fun activities in your babysitting kit are personal to you and let your babysitting family get to know you better!
This may surprise you, but not all homes have crayons or any craft supplies. Don’t bring a coloring book without also bringing coloring supplies! Bring Twistables and you’ll be the coolest babysitter in town.
5. A Deck Of Cards
Some babysitting appointments will stay at the home, but many appointments will require running to clarinet lessons, errands and appointments. A deck of cards will help smooth over empty pockets time.
A deck of cards can melt away the time that you have to kill. Learn a couple of easy card games for kids to propose, or let the children teach you a game that they know. In addition to being fun and passing the time, you’ll be able to
For extra bonus points, choose cards with different designs on each card! In the event that a card game can’t occupy the children you’re babysitting, a debate of which card is the best will surely cause a lively discussion. This deck of National Parks playing cards is particularly fun to compare.
6. A Blank Notebook And Pen
Just like the deck of cards, a notebook will be your best friend in a pinch. A notebook and drawing utensil can entertain bored kids and help pass the time.
Pair a notebook with a multicolor pen and you’ll be a babysitting legend. Just remember to only let children use the pen if they’re old enough to understand what they can and cannot draw on!
What To Bring Babysitting For Yourself
Deciding what to bring babysitting for yourself is a simple task, just ask yourself: what do I need to feel composed and energized during a long babysitting appointment?
Pack a normal or travel-sized hairbrush in your babysitting kit to help keep you put together on long babysitting days. Looking good will also help you feel good and maintain your composure even on long, tough days.
8. Face Wipes
This won’t be a vital babysitting kit item for every babysitter, but for those who tend to sweat or are very prone to breakouts, this will help you feel clean and fresh during long babysitting appointments.
This will be more important during the summer months than during the colder months. These can also come in handy for just messy moments, which babysitting tends to be full of!
Specifically for babysitters with oily skin, carry oil-blotting sheets in your babysitting kit that quickly absorb oil and help keep you looking and feeling fresh.
9. A Backup Outfit
Every seasoned babysitting has been spit up on, urinated on or had Play-Doh squished into their pants. Accidents will happen; you should expect them!
Bringing a just-in-case outfit could be something as simple as a hoodie and pair of sweatpants in the back of your car for accidents. With a backup outfit in your trunk, you will be prepared to take off extremely dirty, wet or otherwise uncomfortable clothes in the event that that happens.
10. A Book To Read In Case You Have Free Time
Not all babysitting appointments will be stuffed full. Sometimes children will have appointments or practices, or they’ll be playing independently.
While you may very well have other household responsibilities to tend to (which you should disclose on your babysitting resume, and discuss in your babysitting interview)
The parents and children will see your book, so make sure it’s an appropriate title. Leave 50 Shades Of Gray at home. Also remember to take the religion of the home that you’re babysitting in into consideration. For example, while Harry Potter is a childhood staple for some, children in Catholic and Christian homes are often not allowed to read them.
You’ll score bonus points with the parents for bringing a book and leading a good example for the children that not all free-time should be filled with screens!
11. Basic Meds For You
Be prepared to nip headaches in the bud by carrying aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. in your babysitting kit. I know what you’re thinking.. How could babysitting ever give you a headache?!
Remember to uphold very clear boundaries around your babysitting kit so that the children know to never play with your medicine, first aid items or other potential choking hazards. Keep your bag out of reach or as an extra precaution, keep items like this in your car or purse if you’re worried it may become an issue.
12. Any Essential Medications
Any babysitter who, at times, requires an EpiPen, inhaler or something similar should never embark on a babysitting appointment without these supplies. These life-saving medications will also need to be explained to the parents and potentially the children.
Experiencing a known medical issue while babysitting will be stressful enough. Not only will it be more stressful and possibly dangerous to be unprepared, but it has the potential of being traumatizing for the children that you’re babysitting.
Be sure to keep the medical parts of your babysitting kit secured away in your bag. Never leave this out in the open where the children you’re caring for could get into it.
Babysitting Kit Items For Emergencies
13. A First Aid Kit
A first-aid kit is a non-negotiable babysitting kit item. You can construct your own kit, or simply buy a pre-made kit from the American Red Cross.
The larger first aid kits can be clunky and easy to forget, so consider a travel-sized kit, and be sure to ask the parents where the full first aid kit lives in their house so you can use that as the default.
While we’re addressing the first aid section of this “what to bring babysitting” guide, it’s also necessary to talk about first aid training. While you can’t pack up your first aid knowledge in your babysitting kit, you can schedule an American Red Cross first aid class today.
What To Bring Babysitting Final Thoughts
Do you feel better prepared for babysitting with you babysitting kit all planned out? I hope that this babysitting kit list will take the guesswork out of your decision-making around what to bring babysitting. The items listed here are basic, but will make you a better babysitter and result in a more enjoyable appointment for both you and the children.