Your little one, when she starts to go to daycare needs to be prepped. When you take her to the daycare, make a checklist of all the things she needs at home every day and add whatever the daycare provides and you are set for a happy baby’s day out.
Here’s a basic list of things that your little may need on a daily basis. You can always add to it.
Diapers: Pack your baby’s vanity bag with additional 8-10 diapers. Also pack equal numbers of re-sealable bags that can be used to dispose off the diapers. In case of cloth diapers, pack in extra plastic pants and re-sealable bags for the dirty ones.
Diaper Rash Medication: A diaper rash can affect your baby anytime. And it’s better taken care of immediately. Make sure you pack in an ointment or cream. Save her from the discomfort and crankiness of a bad nappy rash.
Pacifiers: If your little one is used to pacifiers, keep a few at the day care and pack in an extra couple in the baby’s bag. Consider carrying an extra pacifier in the diaper bag that you carry back and forth every day.
Crib Sheets and Blankets: Always pack in a couple of extra sheets and a blanket in the bag. Find out if your day care center provides laundry services for sheets and blankets. In that case, an extra of each should be fine.
Burping Towel: Your little one’s bag should have at least 2-3 burping towels in them. Don’t forget the re-sealable bags to pack the dirty ones in
Extra clothes: Keep a couple or more extra outfits at the day care center. Each set should include socks and plastic pants to be packed in re-sealable plastic bags. The daily baby bag should also include 2-3 changes of clothes for your little one.
Enough bibs: Buy a separate set of 4-5 bibs, each in different sizes, just for your baby’s time at the day care. Keep it stocked at the daycare center. Make sure it includes both small bibs for teething babies who drool and larger bibs to be used for meal times. Also keep a couple packed in her bag in case she ever runs out.
Food for the little one: Many day cares have provisions for food and milk. You may want to continue breast milk feeds. In that case you need to pack in a fresh supply of breast milk in portion-size airtight boxes. You can express breast milk at work and store them in airtight containers. Drop them in at the day care center when you pick up your baby on your way home. Make sure the milk is properly refrigerated and brought to room temperature during feeds.
Pack in feeders: Always pack in enough numbers of feeders along with extras for an emergency. You can send pre-measured milk in the feeders to be fed directly to your little one without having to take the trouble of opening.
Complementary Feeds: You may have started your young one on complementary feeds. In that case send in a range of foods for her, because at this age she is very likely to be temperamental about what she wants to eat. Also, pack in appropriate portion sizes.
Baby Food: When she’s old enough to eat more solid food, pack them in daily in baby food jars or small plastic containers with screw-on lids. Label them carefully with the little one’s name. Have whole fruit thoroughly cleaned and wrapped in zip-lock pouches. If elaborate preparations are not possible early on in the morning, pack in some easy food like sandwiches, yoghurt, khichdi, dal-rice, idlis, steamed vegetables, pureed fruits etc.
Bowl and Spoon is essential: Most day care centers usually provide the minimum bowl and spoon. In case they don’t, remember to fit it in.
Medicine: You need a separate checklist for this. Prepare a medicine kit for the little one in case of emergencies. Pack in the mandatory thermometer, pain reliever, fever reducer, gas drops, a topical teething ointment and other ointments for minor injuries.
Some other essential measures you need to take.
Once the food, the clothes, the medicines and the other extras are taken care of, polish up your little one’s day care package with a few necessary measures.
Label Everything: You need to label everything that goes in to your baby’s day care bag. There are lots of labeling options available in the market. You may use permanent markers to label the plastic bags, the diaper boxes and the containers for wipes and medicine. Use iron-on labels to mark the blankets, crib-sheets and clothing. Or you stitch them on, the good old way. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to label bottles.
Don’t cringe when things get lost: Things get lost. Keep extras in handy and replace as and when necessary. Labeling will minimize misplacement.
Keep a notepad and pen at hand: Each time you pick up your little one from the day care center write down things that she runs out on. Use your notepad to jot down important details about your baby, which you feel the carer should know about. The care giver may also have a few things to tell you. Go back to your notepad each evening as you pack the little one’s day care bag for the next day.
Every day is crucial for your little one at the day-care as she is away from you. Make sure your planning and care doesn’t make her feel your absence. Follow the checklist minutely and let her have a comfortable time.