Babysitting can be very enjoyable and relaxing or hectic and even frustrating for some, depending on things that are often in your control. A tried and tested way to make your experience smoother as a child caregiver is to prepare a babysitting checklist. This guide discusses it in great detail from an experienced babysitter’s perspective.
What Is A Babysitting Checklist?
A babysitting checklist is a simple, easy-to-follow list of tasks you need to complete, items you need, and things to watch out for when caring for a child or children. The exact items on a babysitting checklist usually vary depending on the length of the babysitting assignment, the age, and needs of the child or children under your care, childcare preferences or requests from parents, etc.
Why Do You Prepare A Babysitting Checklist?
One of the benefits of preparing a babysitting checklist is that it can make your work as a nanny, parent, or temporary babysitter easier. Children, especially infants, need much attention and care. They can also be unpredictable, for instance, when uncomfortable, and you try every trick in the book to soothe them without success.
Experienced babysitters often turn to checklists because they give them a routine that makes it harder to forget essential things such as nap time, playtime, meal time, changing times, and bath schedules. An age-old practice in the care of very young children is doing the same thing at the same time every day. Children at a developmental stage tend to get accustomed to getting certain things at specific times of the day and will most often act up if there is a break in the routine.
A babysitting checklist can also help you get more organized and efficient with your time so you can get more things done as a caregiver or parent. For instance, you will know what needs to be done to the baby at what time and how long it might take, for example, to change the diapers so that you can plan your day. With time, the checklist method will help you develop a daily routine that you follow, almost unconsciously, giving your peace of mind as a babysitter or parent.
Another reason to prepare a babysitting checklist if you are a professional babysitter or expert nanny is for your employer’s benefit and peace of mind. Preparing a checklist and sharing it with the employer will make them more confident in your skills and dedication to the job. They’ll also be able to suggest things you can include and also have a way to measure and appreciate your performance over time as a babysitter.
For parents, preparing a babysitting checklist is the surest way to communicate your needs and preferences to your nanny before you leave your child or children in their care. You’ll be able to provide specific instructions and outlines the tasks they need to take care of when you are away to ensure they accord the best care to your child and you get value for your money.
How do I prepare A babysitting checklist?
A babysitting checklist can be as simple as a handwritten list of tasks and procedures or a more complex handbook prepared by your nanny agency. Deciding on the format or structure of the babysitting handbooks is usually the first step, as it will help you have a clear picture of the end product and the amount of brainstorming and research you need to do to prepare.
Generally, the structure, format, and length of the babysitting checklist depend on your resources, who you are writing for, and the needs of the child or children in question.
The following are examples of babysitting checklist formats or structures:
This babysitting checklist lists tasks based on the order in which they will be completed. For instance, you could list everything that needs to be done from when the child/children wake up to when they go to bed. Chronological checklists are suitable for all babysitting jobs but more suited for infants and toddlers because they prefer predictable routines.
A priority babysitting checklist lists tasks and items needed based on their level of importance. For instance, you could list essential things like feeding or bathing ahead of less important items like play time and walks. A priority checklist is best suited for older children who are more flexible but applies to every other babysitting assignment.
A category checklist categorizes tasks and babysitting resources based on criteria. For instance, you could use categories such as meals and meal times, safety procedures and guidelines, special needs, bedtime procedures, playtime activities, etc.
This long-term babysitting checklist lists tasks or things that need to be done based on the developmental stages of the child under care. For instance, it could include items such as weaning stage, sitting stage training, mobility training stage, speech training, pre-school homeschooling plus activities, etc.
Specialized Babysitting Checklists
You can also prepare specialized or tailored checklists for specific activities and procedures and include them in a more extensive babysitting manual or booklet. An example is an emergency checklist that lists the things that need to be done in an emergency.
These are the most practical and standard checklists because they consist of all or most other checklist types to make a more comprehensive and fit-for-purpose booklet. Items or time-bound procedures are listed chronologically and separated into categories, and so on and so forth.
Babysitting Checklist for A Babysitter
The following is an example of a babysitting checklist for a full-time babysitter or full-time nanny with no particular age group in mind. The activities, tasks, resources, and procedures are separated into relevant categories:
These are the rules and procedures and rules to follow to ensure the safety of the young ones under your care.
- Ensure dangerous items are out of reach
- Keep an eye on the child’s movements and whereabouts
- Be familiar with the house layout and exits
- Ensure cabinets are securely locked, etc.
Emergency and health procedures and rules
This is what to do when there is an emergency involving the child:
- First-Aid- Ensure a basic first-aid kit is available and that it is in good condition.
- Check that the necessary medication and other supplies are available each morning
- Communication- call an ambulance or notify the parents, etc.
These are the tasks and rules you need to follow to ensure the child is in a clean and sanitary environment and that they are clean. It may include:
- Regular diaper checks
- Bathing the child
- Change of clothes
- Cleaning their play area, etc.
These are the tasks and rules you need to follow to ensure the child under your care is adequately fed and healthy. It may include the following items:
- Meal times
- Snack times
- Meal preparation guidelines
- Grocery list
- List of special food items, etc.
This includes the activities and things a child needs to stay entertained while under your care. It may consist of the following items:
- Types of games
- Tv time
- Outdoor time and activities, etc.
This includes what you must do to ensure the child is well-behaved and respectful while under your care.
- How to handle destructive behaviors
- Communication guidelines
- Types of punishments- as agreed with the parents or guardians and in compliance with the law.
Based on your agreement, these additional tasks may be assigned to you or are part of your job as a babysitter. They may include cleaning the child’s room, doing the laundry, driving them to school, picking them up, etc.
Babysitting Checklist for Parents
A babysitting checklist usually contains all the activities or tasks and what may be required to care for a young child. It may include the following items in no particular order:
Daily Babysitting Tasks
- Prepare meals and snacks.
- Help with homework or any other activities.
- Clean up any messes or spills.
- Put the children to bed at the appropriate time.
- Make sure the living area and the children’s rooms are tidy and clean.
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
- Make sure all the toys are put away.
- Check on the children periodically throughout the evening.
- Cell Phone
- Baby Wipes
- Extra Clothes
- Baby Bottle
- First Aid Kit
- Baby Food
Miscellaneous Babysitting Requirements and procedures
- Emergency phone numbers
- List of activities to engage in
- Any dietary restrictions
- Any allergies
- Location of first aid kit
- List of any medications
- Baby’s favorite toys and books
- Bedtime routine
- List of any safety concerns
- Preferred snacks and drinks
Babysitter Checklist Infant
A babysitting checklist for an infant includes most of the standard items in the other checklist. It also includes other babysitting supplies and care levels that must be tailored to cater to an infant’s unique needs. For instance, more attention should be given to close supervision and the physical safety of infancy when coming up with the checklist.
Here are examples of items to include in an infant’s babysitting checklist:
Infant Care Supplies (Must have- feel free to add more based on the needs of the infant under your care)
- Baby formula
- Baby food
- Baby Blanket
- Burp cloths
- Change of clothes
Standard Infant care daily tasks and rules (add more items to suit the needs of your infant)
- Ensure the infant’s safety by always being within arm’s reach.
- Feed the baby at regular intervals and burp them after meals
- Change diapers and keep the baby clean and dry
- Monitor and keep track of the baby’s daily activities, such as eating and sleeping
- Gently rock the baby to sleep, if needed
- Talk and play with the baby to help foster growth and development.
- Clean and sterilize bottles and other baby items
- Respond to the baby’s needs promptly and with care
- Keep the baby’s environment safe, comfortable, and sanitary
Overnight Babysitter Checklist
Being an overnight babysitter carries a bit more responsibility, even though you may be task-free when the child or children are asleep. Here are some of the items you need to include in your nighttime babysitting checklist:
Overnight babysitting supplies
Ensure the following items are available (some may not be necessary depending on the age of the child or children under your care)
- Diapers and wipes
- Clean clothes and blankets
- Toys and books
- Snacks and drinks
- First-aid kit
Overnight babysitting Tasks and Activities
- Reading stories and playing games
- Preparing snacks
- Watching movies or playing board games
- Organizing activities like arts and crafts
- Bathing and putting children to bed
- Managing bedtime routines
- Making sure the house is secure and safe
- Ensuring children are comfortable during the night
- Checking on children periodically
Overnight babysitting supplies and activities are usually different for children with special needs and infants.
Babysitting Checklist Template Examples
The following three templates are designed to help you create a quick babysitting checklist for children of all ages. From the suggested items in the babysitting checklists above, populate the template that works for you, and feel free to modify it to suit your needs:
Babysitting Template -Chronological
You can use this template to arrange your day as a babysitter around the baby’s daily routine.
|Daily Babysitting Schedule for Baby Ashley|
|Morning: Wake up Routine||Lunch Time Routine (Food Prep and Feeding)|
|Task 1||Task 1|
|Task 2||Task 2|
|Task 3||Task 3|
|Mid-Morning Routine (Playtime and Learning)||Afternoon Routine (Nap Time and Activities)|
|Activity 1||Activity 1|
|Activity 2||Activity 2|
|Activity 3||Activity 3|
|Activity 4||Nap Time|
|Activity 5||Task 1|
|Daily Supplies (Mark unavailable)||Bed Time (For Full-Time Nannies)|
Babysitting Checklist Template Categorized
The following babysitting template divides your babysitting activities into different categories. It can give you a clear view of what needs to be done, but you will have to decide what to prioritize and the timelines for each task or activity. This is a good template for older children who tend to be spontaneous or unpredictable throughout the day.
|Daily Babysitting Checklist for Ashley and Tim|
|Daily Supplies||Lunch Time Routine (Food Prep and Feeding)||Safety Rules/Procedures|
|Item 1||Task 1||Item 1|
|Item 2||Task 2||Item 2|
|Item 3||Task 3||Item 3|
|Play Time||Bedtime Procedure and Time||Learning Activities|
|Activity 1||Task 1||Activity 1|
|Activity 2||Task 2||Activity 2|
|Activity 3||Task 3||Activity 3|
|Special Needs||Parent’s checklist||Miscellaneous Tasks (e.g., laundry)|
|Item 1||Instruction 1||Task 1|
|Item 2||Instruction 2||Task 2|
|Item 3||Instruction 3|
Age-Based Babysitting Checklist Template
The following babysitting checklist template can help map out the specific things or goals you need to target for each step of the child’s development.
|Development Checklist for Baby Ian -a 12-year plan|
|Infancy (birth to 2 years)||Middle Childhood (6 to 12 years)|
|First goal||First goal|
|Second goal||Second goal|
|Third Goal||Third Goal|
|Requirements (supplies and needs)||Requirements (supplies and needs)|
|Early Childhood (2 to 6 years)||Requirements (supplies and needs)|
A babysitting checklist can help make your work easier and your babysitting experience more enjoyable, especially if you are a new parent or a new recruit for professional babysitting. It also helps reduce errors and friction between you and the employer for uncompleted tasks or poor performance. Use the guidelines in this post to help build a checklist that works for you. All the best!