A lot of girls don’t know what to bring with them when they’re off to nanny their kids. Today, I’m going over what I put inside my nanny bag.
What is a nanny bag?
A nanny bag isn’t any specific product, or even a specific type of bag. It’s the bag you designate to put all of your nannying things in that you will bring to your job.
This can be any kind of bag. I use a cute backpack I bought while visiting Cambodia. This is great because of how portable it is. It’s especially good if the kids are active.
The type of bag you’ll use will depend on preference and your work situation. For instance, I have a giant tote bag that I use when caring for infants and toddlers. I can hold the kid in one arm and simultaneously reach into the bag that’s hanging off my shoulder with the other arm.
So, what do I put in my nanny bag?
What do you need to have in your nanny bag?
1. Nanny binder
The nanny binder is what you use to track important info about your business families you work with.
- the kids and their development
- business expenses
- taxes to record
- detailed child care information
- family schedules
I bring this on every single job. Once you put yours together, you should too. It will help organize your business and keep you focused on the kids.
Parents are often unsure of what their child needs. To help them out, and make my job easier, I bring my own child care related products. I’ll bring a bottle that I know works well with most kids, or a pacifier. You never know what is going to be available to you at the parents house. By bringing your own, you guarantee you’ll have what you’ll need to do a good job. Additionally, you can suggest these products to the parents so you no longer have to bring your own and sanitize them.
When it comes to baby bottles, I always suggest either Dr. Brown’s bottles or Comotomo bottles to parents. Beyond bottles, one of my absolute favorite products I like to have with me is the Moby wrap. This wrap is great for me because it helps the infant to quickly feel secure when getting to know me.
Aside from baby product suggestions, you can also be a reservoir of knowledge to parents. Over the years, you’ll gain a lot of knowledge that will be useful to parents. However, if you’re new to childcare, you may not know much about children and proper care. What should you do? Collect important childcare info that you or the parents may need to reference into a document you can keep in your nanny bag. Simple charts about feeding positions, or baby CPR can be useful and reassuring to parents.
You can find useful info on Pinterest or sites like Ohsosimply. Just find what you think you may need now, or in the future, print it off and keep it in your nanny bag.
3. Craft supplies
As you can see over at my Boredom Busters page, I like to do crafts. Kids like to do crafts. Crafts are great! While nannying, I like to always be prepared for a craft-a-thon at any given moment. So, I bring my own set of basic crafting supplies.
- markers for older kids
- crayons for younger kids (I’ll never give markers to a toddler again 🤬)
- glue sticks
- popsicle sticks (they can be used for almost anything)
- beads (boys and girls always seem to love making friendship bracelets)
- coloring pages (these are especially useful to keep younger siblings occupied while their big bro/sis is doing something else that I have to help with)
Additionally, I like to have a baby toy or two with me. Usually something plushy. Plushies are safe, and they double as a pillow. I personally love the Discovery Cube and these adorable Squishmallows (I have Danny the dinosaur).
4. A project
I always bring an activity or project with me. Usually, I bring a few baking supplies.
Baking is great. Baking helps the kiddos learn:
Beyond that, baking is delicious! You get goodies, the kids get a few goodies, and the parents get goodies. Literally everyone wins.
You can the parent’s baking supplies, such as flour and sugar, and bring a few of your own.
In my nanny bag I keep things like:
- food coloring
The last two can also be used to prepare homemade play dough.
What you keep in your nanny bag will depend on the kids you watch, what the parents have available at the house, and what projects you would like to do.
5. First Aid
We are all clumsy. The kids are guaranteed to get scrapes and bruises, and I’m not immune to dropping something on my foot. Because of this, I always keep a first aid kit in my nanny bag.
It’s good to keep a few specific items in your kit:
- Aloe (for sunburns)
- Baby Orajel (for teething babies)
If I don’t eat, I’m gonna get hangry. When I get hangry, the kids are going to get upset. Everyone is going to meltdown. It’s going to be a mess. To avoid the mess of a hangry Rainey, I bring snacks.
Make sure to bring snacks for yourself and snacks for your kids. Make sure that some of the snacks are strictly yours and some are reserved for the kids. This will ensure everyone has something to stave off the ‘hangries.’ It’s usually a good idea that the kid’s snack and yours are fairly similar. Kids always want what you have.
7. Nanny-only pouch
My bag is open for the kids to get into. A lot of “their stuff” is in there
But you need to have things that are for you only. I keep a “Rainey-only” pouch inside my nanny bag. This pouch has things like
- Hair ties
- Feminine products
- Glasses cleaner
- Eye drops
These are MY THINGS the kids are not allowed into the nanny pouch.
8. Extra clothes
You never know what’s going to happen when nannying. It’s a known fact that the insides of kids often end up on your clothes. You don’t want to leave that in yourself all day. Keep a set of clothes with you. A shirt and maybe some pants.
What do you keep in your nanny bag?
That’s what I keep in my bag. What do you guys keep in yours? Let the other nannies know down in the comments.
Also, I’m always on the look out for a new nanny bag. What do you all use?