Are you up for another challenge?  Babysitting a toddler is quite different from caring for an infant and watching over older kids.  Toddlers require more attention as they can be very active and curious. Don't worry, here is a guide to babysitting a toddler.

Caring for Toddlers

Feeding Toddlers

Some parents may leave food for their toddlers to eat, but they may also ask you to prepare a simple snack or meal.  If you need to prepare meals for the kids, ensure that you follow food safety and hygiene  and know if they have any allergies.

You may encounter children who are pickyeaters.  Try these strategies to help the child eat better:

·                Ask the child to join you in preparing their snack.

·                If available, you can use cute cookie cutters to make the food more presentable and enticing to the toddler.

·                Offer him/her two food choices to let them feel that he/she has a say on his meal.

·                Make mealtimes fun for them.

·                Talk to them during mealtime.

·                Be patient. 

·                Avoid bribing or threatening.

Naptime and Bedtime

Most kids, if not all, have a specific naptime and bedtime routine and schedule.  You need to follow it to ensure that they stick to it.  Otherwise, they may end up having a bad mood or erratic sleeping schedule. 

Sending the child to bed can be challenging.  The child might refuse or insist to do some other activities instead.  As a babysitter, you may be inclined to give in, but it's essential to follow the parent's rule.

Here some strategies you can use to make the child go to bed.

·                Talk to the child softly.

·                Cuddle and read a story together.

·                Listen to calming music.

·                Do not engage in active play.

·                Hold or hug the child, if needed.

·                Give a glass of warm milk.

·                Explain that everything has its own time – time for play, time for meals, and time for sleep.

Some kids may not be taking a nap anymore.  Instead of naps, you can ensure that they can have quiet time to rest.


There is a big probability that the two-year-old toddler you are looking after is not yet potty-trained.  Some may be able to say when their diaper is soiled, but some may not.  It is best to regularly check on their diaper and change it right away if needed. 

For toddlers who are already potty trained, watch out for signs that they need to go to the toilet.  You may also ask them if they need to use the toilet.

Bath Time

You need to confirm with the parents if bathing the children is part of your responsibility as a babysitter.  If you have been entrusted to do so, here are some bathroom safety tips for babysitters you can follow.

1.          Always be with the toddler.

Bath time requires your undivided attention.  The toddler must never be left alone in the bathtub or shower.

2.          Bath Time should be short.

Bathe the child within 10 to 15 minutes.  Otherwise, the toddler's skin becomes wrinkly and dry.

3.          Use Lukewarm Water for Bathing

Check the water temperature before putting the child in the bathtub or pointing the showerhead to him/her.

4.          Keep all the toddler's things within reach.

Before bathing, make sure that the toiletries, clothes, towel, and diaper are ready and are within reach.

5.          Use Shampoo and Soap for kids.

Children have sensitive skin, so they need to use products formulated to be gentle but can clean effectively.

6.          Wash from Head to Toe.

Start with the toddler's face with a soft washcloth. Don't forget to clean the ears, neck, and sides of the nose too. Dirt usually accumulates in these areas of the face.

Next is to clean the arms and hands.  Check under the nails for dirt.  Wash the rest of the body.  Use a washcloth to wash the genitals and butt.

Lastly, shampoo the hair.  Make sure to rinse the shampoo and soap thoroughly.


First off, you need to know the house rules and how the parents discipline their toddler.  You may also ask them about the child's behavior and how they deal with misbehaviors and tantrums.  Try these tips that may help you in this area.

1.     Follow the child's routine and schedule.

Toddlers may be acting out for several reasons.  It could be that they are hungry, tired, or frustrated.  These conditions can easily be avoided by following their daily routines.  Watch out for signs so that you can act on them before they become so frustrated that they cannot control their emotions.

2.     Keep your words and actions in check.

Always take in a positive manner by using a gentle and calm voice when talking to the child.  Avoid using words that can hurt and affect their self-esteem and emotions.

For more tips on handling kids with challenging behavior, check our How to Babysit a Child with Challenging Behaviour 

Toddler Activities

woman teaches the boy to draw with colored pencils

Toddlers have lots of energy.  You can divert and use that energy into doing fun and learning activities at home.

1.     Play

Allow the child to experience the different types of play:

·       Solitary Play is when the child plays on his own.

·       Parallel Play is when the toddler plays with another child, but they are not interacting with each other.

·       Imitative Play is when the child copies another child. 

·       Social Bids is when the child starts to offer his/her toys and tries to communicate with other children.

·       Cooperative Play is when the child starts to play with other children. 

2.     Arts and Crafts

Bring out your Arts and Crafts bag from the Babysitter's Kit.  There are so many fun arts and crafts activities you can do.  It can be as simple as letting the child draw or paint by himself/herself freely.  You can also join in the fun too!

For activity ideas, you can check out Fun Activities at Home for Toddlers and Preschoolers and 15 Fun Prewriting Activities for Toddlers

3.     Read Books

Reading books together is a great bonding activity for you and the toddler.  You are also helping the child expand his vocabulary and familiarized himself/herself with reading simple words.

Safety Tips

The toddler's safety is a priority.  Because of their explorative and playful nature, they are prone to have some minor scratches or bruises. 

You don't need to restrict the toddler from roaming around the home.  However, you should ensure that:

·                The child's area or common areas are free from the clutter that the child may step on.

·                All electrical sockets have covers.

·                Small objects are not within the child's reach.

·                Check for loose wires or cables that the child might trip on.

·                Ensure that the child's toys are clean, intact, and safe to play with.

If you find safety hazards in the home, make sure to say to the parents. You can also refer the parents to the Tiny Steps Babyproofing Checklist for reference.

It is also essential that you know how to administer first aid in the event of an accident or health emergency.

How was your experience caring for toddlers?  Share your babysitting tips, funny anecdotes, or questions in the comment box below.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn and grow with children

Get free updates

Want parenting and nanny care hacks delivered straight to your inbox? Fill out this form:

No comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready to find a great sitter?