What You Need to Pack for Daycare

Mornings can be stressful enough but when you add in having to pack for daycare it can be overwhelming! It took us a few months to get into the daycare routine but once we had a routine and schedule down, daycare drop offs became much easier. Here are the things you need to pack for daycare.

All Ages

Diapers – Most daycares usually request that you provide your own diapers (make sure to ask!). Buy diapers in bulk – we like to use Target subscription to buy bulk diapers each month and will drop off 1/2 of the package at daycare.

Diaper Cream – This is a must! Even if your baby doesn’t have a rash currently you’ll want to keep some on hand.

Medications – It’s always good to provide a bottle of Tylenol or Motrin in case your baby needs it (especially when they’re teething!). Make sure to provide instructions and dosage amounts for the daycare providers.

Lotion/Aquaphor – Baby’s skin can get really dry so it’s a good idea to keep an extra bottle of lotion or Aquaphor in your cubby.

Pacifiers – If your baby uses a pacifier you’ll want to have a few extras on hand to leave at daycare.

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Labels – Labels will be your best friend. Before starting daycare make sure you label absolutely everything – extra clothes, bottles, pacifiers, etc. Daycares will usually require this! I really like to use Mabel’s Labels because they’re extremely durable. They’ve survived multiple washes (both in the dishwasher and washing machine) and still look brand new.

Seasonal Items – During the summer keep an extra bottle of sunscreen lotion and hat in case they go out (some daycares will provide sunscreen for an extra cost). During the winter, make sure to have an extra set of snow gear to keep at daycare.

Extra Clothes – Daycare is messy! Pack a few extra outfits to keep at school in case your baby needs to be changed. Also make sure to update the outfits every few months so you can make sure it’ll still fit and be season appropriate.

Related Post: How We Potty Trained Our Toddler

Babies (under 13 months)

Bottles – Bring an extra set of bottles to leave at daycare, usually 5-6 depending on how many feedings your baby has.

Sleep sack – Ask your daycare if they allow babies to use sleep sacks. If they do, bring an extra one that can be left at daycare for the week.

Formula – If your baby is formula fed, you’ll want to bring unopened containers of formula. Check with your daycare before starting – some daycares might ask that you make the bottles at home and bring them in every day with you.

Sock Holders – If your kids are like mine, they love ripping their socks off all day long. I found these little sock holders called Sock Ons on Amazon that help keep socks on babies feet! This has helped us avoid constantly losing socks.

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Transition/Toddlers (13 months and up)

Blanket – Once your baby transitions to a cot for their nap, you’ll want to bring an extra blanket for them to use.

Toothbrush – Some daycares may request you bring a toothbrush if they’re practicing how to brush their teeth in class.

Lunchbox – Some daycares won’t provide meals so you’ll want to get a lunchbox to bring meals and snacks.

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what to pack for daycare, a complete guide

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  • Ali Van Straten

    Ali Van Straten is the founder and journalist of Champagne and Coffee Stains. She is a Peloton expert, certified running coach and certified nutrition coach. Champagne and Coffee Stains provides information and resources on Peloton Interactive, running and recipes.

    View all posts https://www.champagneandcoffeestains.com

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  1. This is a great list I wish I had it when my little one started in September ??‍♀️

  2. Great list! I forgot how much there was to pack for those little guys. I then had my great nieces and nephews visiting and it all came back to me when I took them out, haha!

  3. This is a great list of what you need to pack for daycare. It will be very helpful for those that are new to daycare. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is such a great list and good to have on hand before parents’ send their kids to daycare or even preschool! I love those labels that you use!

  5. Comprehensive list! I also needed crib sheets when my son took naps at daycare.

  6. Great list! I can’t think of anything else to add! When my first son went to daycare, thankfully they provided all food, including formula! It was super helpful!

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