I can remember trying to prepare for my first day back at work after having my son. It can be a little overwhelming especially if this is your first time having to deal with dropping your child off to a caretaker.
I am not sure how but these tiny, little people come with so much stuff. I carry fifteen times the amount of stuff for my kids then I do for myself… But making sure you send all the necessary items for your baby/toddler up front will ensure you don’t get the dreaded phone call letting you know that your child ran out of diapers so they will be using the daycare’s stash that will run you $15 a diaper. Cringe.
Whether you choose a daycare facility, an in-home daycare provider, or baby goes to grandma’s house, having a checklist of what you need is super helpful!
Infant Daycare Checklist
Most childcare providers will provide you with a list of what they will and will not provide. Make sure you ask for an outline of what they expect you to provide but here are the basics:
Things to Pack Your Baby Daily:
Bottles – Depending on how old your baby is you will want to pack a bottle for about every 3 hours. I typically sent 4 bottles with my son just in case. Most days he only took 3. All bottles need to be labeled with baby’s name and date.
- Baby Food – Depending on how old your baby is, you will likely need to provide infant cereal and baby food daily. You may need to label each jar or container with your baby’s name and date.
- Any Additional Snacks – Talk to your provider about their policy on this but you may want to send some additional snack for your baby. Maybe sliced fruit with a mesh feeder (great for teething) or teething biscuits, etc. Make sure you give strict instructions on when to offer these so not to interfere with normal feeds. You will need to label any snacks with your baby’s name and date.
- Bibs – If you have ever used a baby bib before then you know how gross they get after one feeding. Send enough for all feedings. Both bottle and baby food. Take them home daily and provide fresh ones the next day. Each bib needs to be labeled with your baby’s name.
- Burp Cloths – Send a few or more if your baby has a spit-up problem. Label each one with your baby’s name.
- Pacifier or Lovey – If your baby takes a paci or has a favorite “lovey” (blanket, toy, etc), bring it home daily to clean. Again, have it labeled with you baby’s name on it.
- Sippy Cup – If you are starting your baby on a sippy cup, I recommend sending 2 with them daily. They will need to be labeled of course.
Items to Keep at Daycare:
Crib Sheets/Blankets – Some child care providers only allow a crib sheet and no blankets because of strict sleeping policies so check with your provider regarding their guidelines for sleeping. My childcare provider only allowed a crib sheet for infants. A blanket was allowed once my son was over 1-year-old. I sent new sheets on Mondays and took them home Fridays to wash so they stayed there all week. You will need to label all sheets and blankets with your child’s name.
- Diapers – Typically you will send a pack or two of diapers at a time and your provider will notify you when you are running low. Some providers may want you to send diapers daily and not keep them on site so be sure you clarify. You can simply write your child’s name on the package of diapers.
- Wipes – Just like with diapers, send a container of wipes. Most providers like you to provide the plastic refillable case which makes storing it easier for them. It will be labeled with your baby’s name and refilled as needed.
- Diaper Cream – Great item to ensure they have on hand for your baby. You can give instructions on when to use. This is an item that you won’t be replacing often, so provide it once and you are good to go. Label with your baby’s name and any instructions.
- Sunscreen – Make sure you provide sunscreen for your baby. If your provider is not taking your child outdoors, then find a new one. Seriously. Outdoor play is a must and you want them to be protected!
- Extra Clothes and Shoes – This is a must as any parent of a baby knows. Depending on how messy your child might be, plan to provide at least 3 changes of clothes and 1 extra pair of shoes. I typically took the extra clothes home every few weeks to switch them out and wash. Your provider will give you any soiled clothes when you pick your child up and you just bring a replacement in the next day to replenish the stash. You will need to label all clothes and shoes. A simple sharpie to the tag will do but they also sell clothing labels that work well too.
- Prescription Medication – Any medicine your baby requires should be properly labeled and instructions should be given to your childcare provider on not only dosage and frequency but also storage (does it need to be refrigerated?).
I hope you find this list helpful as you prepare to embark on this new journey of working with a child in daycare. It can be overwhelming at times but you will get into a groove quickly and it will become second nature.
Leave a comment and let us know how it goes!
Returning to work? Check out our Working and Pumping Page where you will find:
- A Sample Pumping Schedule
- Tips for Pumping at Work
- Tips for Talking to You Employer About Pumping… and more!
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