Is your baby starting daycare for the first time and you are wondering what to pack for that very important first day?
The mornings can be quite stressful. Trying to get out of the door on time, especially if you have somewhere that you need to be at a specific time. So we highly recommend that you pre-pack your daycare bag the day before to ensure that you have all of the items and products that your baby will need to have a smooth day.
We love packing our items into a backpack style bag and you will most likely want to purchase a second diaper bag so that your own personal one is always ready-to-go. You can see a list of the best backpack to use as diaper bag here. Some centers are very switched on and give your own drawers and tubs to keep items, but many don’t have the space to offer these.
Find below our detailed daycare packing list for babies to help you feel prepared and more confident about that special first day.
Daycare Supply List for Parents
Most daycare centers have a special box where you can store your baby’s diapers. You will need to write your baby’s name on the diapers to help keep them stay organized at the center. We recommend that you bring along 8-10 diapers per day. But you can keep an eye on your shelf or box and top it up as need be once you are set up.
For those using cloth diaper, make sure to bring along a container or resealable bag for the dirty diapers. Make sure to label the container or bag as well.
Most daycare centers will ask for a full container of wipes to get started. You can check every few days to see when you will need to pack a refill pack. Again make sure to write your baby’s name on this packet.
3. Diaper Rash Cream or Ointment
Many centers use a big tub of diaper rash cream for all babies, but if you prefer you can bring along your preferred one.
If your baby is a pacifier-baby you will want to ensure that you pack labeled pacifiers. I would also encourage you to pack spares as well.
5. Sheets and Blankets
Ask your daycare whether this is required for your baby. Some daycares ask you to bring your own labeled crib sheets and blankets. Our baby is used to sleeping in a sleeping bag, so we will typically pack one of those in her daycare diaper bag as well.
Sunhats are important and many daycare centers have a ‘no hat – no play’ rule. So, ensure that you include a labeled sunhat in your baby’s bag as well.
Purchase an extra set of bottles to save you time from cleaning the ones you have before packing them each morning. I recommend including a bottle for each feed as many daycares don’t have time to handwash bottles for all the babies before the next feed (we sent in around 4 bottles). Make sure the bottles are all names correctly.
8. Formulae or Breastmilk
If your baby is on formula, you will need to send it in pre-measured in each bottle. If you are sending breast milk, ask your daycare how they want you to pack it. Some might have freezers where they can store it till it is time to defrost, others might prefer you to bring it in thawed.
9. Bibs and Burp Cloths
Purchase a new set of burp cloths and bibs that you can leave at the daycare through the week. Make sure they are labeled and don’t forget to bring them home for a wash at the end of the week. We usually send in 4 or 5 bibs.
10. Extra Clothes
Make sure to include at least two sets of extra clothes in the bag. These should be labeled and appropriate for the weather. We like storing each set in their own bag so that the clean items can be replaced with the dirty ones … which makes it easier for us to dump into the washing machine at home.
11. A Lovey
If you can, go to the shops and purchase exactly the same lovey as they have at home. Make sure to label the lovey and again, don’t forget to bring it home to wash every now and then! Due to regulations, loveys aren’t allowed in cribs, but they might come in useful when your baby is fussy and being rocked to sleep.
12. Solid Foods/Snacks
When your baby starts eating solids, you can ask your daycare provider how they want you to pack it. You might be asked to send in full boxes labeled with your baby’s name or they might ask you to send in pre-measured portions. You can also send in labeled baby food jars or in small plastic containers with screw-on lids that are labeled. Don’t forget to ask if you need to pack a bowl and spoon.
Lastly, if your baby is on medication you will need to head in earlier to daycare in order to fill out and sign a special form. The daycare will also most likely have a lockbox in the fridge where you can keep the medication. Don’t forget to include a dropper as well.
Make sure to purchase to a lovely and large diaper bag that can fit all of the items above. And then spend some time on the floor, labeling everything and anything in sight. Permanent markers work well for labeling plastic bags, diaper boxes, and containers for wipes. We love using iron-on labels for blankets, crib sheets, and clothing.
Get as much packed the night before and have everything else sorted and ready to go so you can simply grab-and-go. Hope that first day goes as smooth as can be! It is always a tough day for the parents, so stay strong and know that it gets easier with each drop-off.