When I returned to work after having Olivia it meant big changes for our family. 

In preparation, I had to put together a checklist well in advance of what needed to be done and what to pack for Day Care to help minimize potential problems and to make the transition easier.

It is hard though to find a collaboration of everything so below I am sharing a full list of tips and what worked for Olivia and I for other Mom’s also transitioning a child to Daycare.

“Be mindful that Infant Daycare, ages six to twelve months, the age most babies are going into daycare and requires a little more pre-preparation at home.”

 Getting your baby to take a bottle

Getting baby to take a bottle

This can be a hugely stressful experience for any Mom planning to return to the workforce.  Introducing a regular bottle early on (generally not before 6 weeks of age as during this time babies and Moms are still learning to breastfeed) can be helpful in getting them to accept a bottle long term. Offering a regular bottle to your baby once or twice a week helps your baby to accept a bottle long before it’s required.

Bottle Checklist

Make sure you get some daycare labels and send in enough labelled bottles for the day plus an extra in case of an emergency. If your baby drinks formula, send it in pre-measured in each bottle. If you use powdered formula, your daycare provider can add water at feeding time. 

If your child is breastfeeding, try and set up a breast pumping routine before your return to work and if you are sending breast milk, ask your daycare how they want you to pack it.

Most babies are ready to start drinking water from a sippy cup between 6 and 9 monthsand to prevent tooth decay the American Dental Association recommends transitioning from a bottle to a training cup by your child’s first birthday.  Pack two sippy cups, make sure they are labelled with dishwasher safe and machine washable name labels.

Packing day care food if not supplied

If the food is not supplied at the daycare your child is attending ask your provider for a list of suggested foods as well as banned foods.  Research some Healthy Lunch Ideas, pick foods that are easy to pack and that don’t need to be reheated.  Make sure you label all containers.

Getting baby to sleep in a crib

Getting your baby to sleep in the crib and getting them to stay asleep in the crib will ultimately be less stressful on your child as opposed to a daycare worker doing it. Start a bedtime routine at around 3 months old if you haven’t already.

Crib Checklist

Sheets, blankets and pacifiers. Some daycares require you to provide crib sheets and blankets for your child. Although some centers have laundry services pack an extra set of each to be on the safe side.  Label these with iron on clothing labels and if your child loves their pacifier pack extras and make sure to use not just name labels butname labels that are waterproof.

 Diapers and clothing

 I recommend packing 8 to 10 labelled diapers, a full container of wipes and if required diaper rash ointment or cream.  If you are using cloth diapers, make sure to include extra plastic pants and a resealable bag or container for the dirty ones.

Children get messy so pack extra clothing

Make sure you put name labels on bibs and bodysuits and pack extras.  If your child is a toddler, they will be doing craft, learning to feed themselves or potty training.  Make provisions for this by packing at least two sets of extra clothing.  If potty training, include a full package of underwear, practical pants that a child can independently pull down and extra socks.

Pack at least one hat, all with name labels for clothes.

Did I miss something?  Do you have any additional recommendations for a child starting Daycare?

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