What to Pack for Daycare: A Comprehensive Checklist for Parents
Along with the many difficulties of sending your baby to daycare, knowing what to pack for daycare is certainly one of them.
In this post, I want to share with you my checklist of top essentials you need to have in your baby’s daycare bag. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the essentials:
|Diapers||Baby bottles/ sippy cups|
|Diaper rash cream||Bibs|
|2-3 changes of clothes||Crib sheet and other bedding|
|Outerwear (for cold weather)||Pacifier|
|Sunscreen or sunhat||Lovey|
I remember being a new mom and being a nervous wreck in the weeks leading up to my 4 month old’s first time going to daycare. I remember overpacking her bag on her first day, nervous that she wouldn’t have enough milk or her favorite pacifier.
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Over time I got the hang of what she needed to have in her daycare bag, and what items could be left out because either the daycare had plenty or it simply wasn’t needed.
By the time I had my second baby, I created a checklist of items for each kid so that I wouldn’t forget anything they needed in their daycare bags each morning.
Check out the full detailed list below!
And don’t forget to download your own free daycare packing checklist:
What to Pack for Daycare: 25 Daycare Essentials
Here are some tips and essential items to get you started on packing for your child’s first day of daycare:
1. Baby wipes
Change of Clothes
4. Extra set of clothes- 2-3 changes of clothes including extra socks and underwear (more if potty training)
5. Jacket or sweater as needed
6. Plastic bags to put dirty clothes in
7. Beanie hats
8. Other outerwear for cold weather, like scarves and gloves
9. At least 2 snacks per day, preferably more (no peanut products)
10. Baby bottles
12. Sippy cup
13. Breast milk or formula
14. Baby food (if your baby is eating solid foods)
15. Burp cloths and Bibs
16. Crib sheets
17. Sleep sack
18. Extra pacifiers
19. Extra blanket/lovey for nap time
Miscellaneous or Seasonal Items:
21. Sun hat
23. Monogrammed or special comfort toys
24. Family photo (some daycares will ask for this)
25. Pain reliever (ie. Tylenol) or fever reducer
What to Consider Before Packing
Here are some important considerations to take before packing for your baby’s first day in daycare:
The daycare provider’s policies
Before packing your child’s daycare bag, you should carefully review the daycare provider’s policies and required items. I also recommend looking through the daycare center’s website for suggested items, such as:
- what sort of diaper changing station they have;
- what sort of activities your child will be doing (for example, painting, crafts, etc.);
- how many meals they provide (if any);
- and if the childcare provider has a list of things to bring for your specific child (such as their favorite blanket or sippy cup).
This will give you a good idea about what you should pack, what you might not need, and what might be forbidden in daycare.
For example, many childcare providers are complete nut-free and do not allow any snacks or treats with nuts in them. I also took my kids to a daycare that provided all diaper and wipes, so those were less items I had to pack.
Your child’s special needs and preferences
You should also consider your child’s needs and your preferences. Are there any food allergies that you need to consider? Is your little one an avid thumb sucker or binky (pacifier) lover? Do they have sensitive skin? Do you prefer cloth diapers? You may need to pack special items based on your child’s individual needs and notify your child’s teacher about them.
Note as well that if your child requires prescribed medication or pain relievers, many daycares will require a doctor’s note with specific instructions. Even if they don’t, it’s highly recommended to do so to ensure that your child gets the right dosage.
Labeling your child’s items
You should also remember to write your kid’s name on every you send to daycare. Why? Because it’s very easy with so many kids in one daycare room to lose or misplace items and confuse them for someone else’s. So to be safe, label everything with permanent marker!
A separate daycare diaper bag
One extra tip for you! Even if you already have a diaper bag that you use daily, you should get an extra one that you use just for daycare. With a separate “daycare” diaper bag, you’ll have everything you need and ensure that it’s not overpacked with items you don’t need.
Best Daycare Bags to Keep You Organized
One of the best things you can do to keep yourself organized and make it easy for your child’s daycare to find everything is to get a good, spacious daycare bag.
Here are some great options for daycare bags for infants and toddlers:
Daycare bags for babies
2. Hafmall Large Baby Diaper Tote
Daycare bags for toddlers
3. Vaschy Lightweight Backpack for Toddlers
Frequently Asked Questions
The best thing you can do to prepare for a smooth transition to daycare is to make sure your child has everything they need for day one! Plan what you’re going to pack in your child’s bag at least one week in advance so you can run out and buy any missing items. At the very least, pack a few days’ worth of backup clothing, snacks, diapers and wipes (if they need them), and a favorite toy or game. You can always supplement or reduce items in the bag over time.
Your checklist may look a little different depending on what your daycare’s policies are and your child’s needs, but this list should prove to be a good starting point!
If you found this checklist helpful, don’t forget to Pin the image below and share with a friend!
If you’re a new mama still searching for the right daycare for your child, here is a comprehensive guide to help you decide: 17 Important Factors to Look for in an Infant Daycare.
Hi, I’m Yesenia
a working mom of two kids. I’ve experienced all of the beautiful and crazy moments of early parenthood: breastfeeding, picky eaters, toilet training, balancing work with kids, and the list continues!
I created Hard Knock Mama to help working moms navigate through their child’s early years and find a successful balance in their home, work, and life.
This is such a comprehensive checklist, thank you for sharing! I never would have thought to buy/pack a sleep sack–what a great idea.
Packing for daycare can be so stressful. Thanks for the tips!
Great article and love the list layout. Keep up the great work!
This is a very comprehensive list! I don’t pack nearly all these things, but every daycare requires different supportive things from home, so it’s nice to see everything that may be needed. As you say, talking to your daycare is an important step.
Such a great thorough list! It can be so hard to remember everything that is needed. Especially when you’re in a rush to get out of the door!
Oh this is a great list! Thank you for sharing!