1. Vomit bag
In the event that someone is looking green or feeling queasy, you will be SO grateful to have a vomit bag on hand. It’s true that having a bag doesn’t stop any sickness from happening, but it helps children feel less scared and embarrassed.
Even if a young child throws up without any warning, give them a bag in case it happens again. They’ll be less afraid knowing that they won’t make a big mess twice, and makes them feel like you know what to do.
Every time I fly, I snag a few bags from the airplane seat back pockets to bring to a babysit. Otherwise, a brown paper bag will do the job. Fold them up and stick them in the pockets of every bag that you use.
2. Cloth napkin
I’m a big fan of this is old-fashioned habit. I carry a cloth napkin in every bag, and I can’t remember how I ever made it by without one.
A napkin’s usefulness goes far beyond mealtimes. Situations where my cloth napkin has saved the day:
- Dirty hands from playing
- Child was drooled on by a dog
- Wet swings at the playground
- Clean surface to eat a snack on
- Spit up
Once you start carrying a napkin around with you, you’ll find yourself using it constantly and will wonder how you ever lived without one. If you were to choose one of these 5 tips, I would most recommend this one to bring with you to your next sit.
Anyone who works around kids should always have a full-size first aid kit nearby, and the best babysitters will carry a stash of bandaids in their bag at all times.
Bandaids won’t mend a huge accident, but they’re very powerful at healing emotional wounds for children. Brush away the tears, apply on a bandaid or two, and the children will be having fun again in no time.
Keep a small pack of assorted sized bandages in your bag. I always choose plain bandaids so that no child gets ever more upset about not getting their favourite colour or character.
4. Deck of cards
A little entertainment will go a long way if you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for a long time at a restaurant. It’s particularly important to have something physical in your bag if you want to avoid the easy entertainment of giving a child your phone.
A deck of cards is a great creative way to pass the time. Maybe you have a fun Disney character deck of cards, I would certainly suggest bringing that one!
5. Notepad and pen
This accompanies the deck of cards as a screen-free way to pass some time. Screens are an easy out for keeping bored children happy, but I think these times are opportunities for kids to learn how to create their own fun.
I carry a small, lightweight notebook and a few pens in my bag at all times. Even if the children are bored with it at first, before long they’ll be filling up the pages with drawings and games.
By Kayla Ihrig. Kayla is the sustainable living and travel blogger behind www.writingfromnowhere.com. Babysitting has been both a side job and a full-time living for Kayla. She shares advice on the Baby’s First Sitter Blog from 14 years of childcare experience.