As a babysitter or nanny, you have to be prepared for pretty much anything at a moment’s notice. Especially if the job is scheduled last-minute. Kids are skilled at finding themselves in situations that leave them dirty, injured, sticky, hungry, cranky, or any combination of those things. Having babysitting bag essentials could mean the difference between an unraveling meltdown in the park and a few tears in between games.

We’ve put together a list of the essential go-to’s to pack in your bag to make sure you’re ready for anything that comes your way.

Yellow banner with text saying "When your meeting time is during snack time" and showing a caregiver and toddler each enjoying a fruit kabob.With Kids of All Ages

  1. Water
    We all know hydration is the key to proper health and energy. Reusable bottles are so common, the kids probably already have their own. But don’t forget about yourself!
  2. Tissues
    From runny noses to napkins for messy snacks, these universal items can help with many things.
  3. Snacks
    Hunger can strike at any time. Don’t let the kids (or you) melt down from an aching belly.
  4. Hand Sanitizer/Wet Wipes
    If it’s not clean, it’s dirty. Stay healthy and germ-free.
  5. Bandages
    Whether the boo-boo warrants a bandage or not, they tend to help.
  6. Hair-ties, Clips
    Hair can get in the way of many important games—keep the tresses tamed.
  7. Emergency Contact List
    Wherever you find yourself, you’ll always want to be able to reach out in an emergency.
  8. Sunscreen
    Spending extended time in the sun can happen without planning. No one likes a sunburn.

Age-Specific Items

  1. Diapers & Spit-Up Cloths
    Keep you and the small ones clean and stink-free.
  2. Teething Toys & Pacifiers
    A must-have for babies.
  3. Books
    From board books to novels, kids of all ages enjoy a good book.
  4. Busy Bags
    If you need to keep small hands occupied, a busy bag can do just the trick.

Blue banner with text saying "When you come home to laughter & a recap of the day" and nanny laughing with a boy raising his arms triumphantly.Just for You

  1. Sunglasses/Hat
    Protect your eyes and face.
  2. Portable Charger
    Phone battery life is a precious thing—never be without it.
  3. Tampons/Pads/Menstrual Cup
    An obvious one, but always be prepared.
  4. Medication
    Whatever you use for headaches and pain will be there when you need it most.
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