Must-Have Baby Essentials for Daycare

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For a while, I was pretty nervous about having my grandson start daycare. However, I decided in November that it was time. He was six months old, and he was becoming more alert and mobile. My job became a bit more demanding due to some business development efforts that I was participating in. Additionally, I was in my final MBA class. Therefore, I decided that it was time to find the right daycare.Β 

I went and visited three daycares, including my children’s old one. After interviewing them and seeing the efforts they were putting into making sure the kids were safe during the pandemic, I decided to go with the one that:

  1. Had never closed because it was deemed essential
  2. The majority of the staff had been there for over ten years
  3. They had a nurse on staff

A bonus was that they taught the kids’ sign language.  

It has been over 16 years since I had a baby, so getting him ready for daycare felt like a new experience. I had to figure out the routine now that it wasn’t just staying in the house. I did add my son as the alternate person who could pick the baby up if I was in a meeting or was finishing dinner.   If you are a single parent, please find someone you trust who can be the alternate person to pick up the child.

As with any change, it takes a bit to adapt. It took about two weeks for us to get into a routine that works for us.  

7:00 AM We usually will wake up (or the baby will wake me up) around this time 

7:10 AM – 7:45 AM Changed and first feeding for the baby. For me, it’s either putting on my workout clothes or taking a shower, and getting dressed for the day.  

7:45AM – 8:15AM Give the baby breakfast. I am giving the baby finger foods and purees during the day. His first meal is either toast with cream cheese or peanut butter, frozen waffle, avocado, or bananas. 

While he eats, I feed the dog and get my breakfast, usually oatmeal and coffee. 

I also get his bag ready for daycare. 

Mondays and Fridays are usually when I bring the diaper bag because we have to bring his own crib sheet. I also bring him a blanket. 

The other days will be when I only bring his insulated bottle bag. 

When he first started, he was drinking three bottles, and he was eating two solids. He was also taking three naps.

By December, when he was seven months old, he went down to two naps. 

At the end of January, he went down to two bottles. Maybe because he is eating more (that boy can eat!). 

8:30AM Drop him off at daycare 

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Pick him up from daycare around this time 

Now that we have been going for a while, these are the daycare essentials to have: 

  1. Water-Resistant Labels: These labels are unique. I put some on the bottle and baby food bowls, and it’s been months, and they are still on there. In daycare, you have to label everything, so these are the best way to label it once and forget about doing that for a while. 
  2. Regular Labels: I also got regular labels for the baby food. I subscribe to Little Spoon. One thing that I do is one of the baby foods, I will add to a baby bowl so that the daycare can add baby cereal. The other one, I put a regular label on it. 
  3. Take & Toss Bowls: When I was trying to mix baby purees with formula so that the daycare teachers can mix them with cereal, I found many moms who recommended these. They are cheap and of good quality. I need to find out when to actually toss them cause I still haven’t needed to. 
  4. Baby Spoon: Every morning, I add a baby spoon so that the daycare teachers can feed him. 
  5. Insulated Bottle Bag: I found a bag that could hold four big bottles. It’s easier now because he is down to two bottles, but this bag is great because it’s compact but holds a lot. 
  6. Ice Pack: Prepared formula can last an hour and 24 hours in a refrigerator, so I usually will add an ice pack so the bottles can be ok until it gets to daycare and they put the bottles in the fridge. 
  7. Masking Tape: I write today’s date on the masking tape so that the daycare teachers know it was prepared today. Masking tape is the best because it sticks, and it’s easy to take off in the evenings when you are washing the bottles. 
  8. Sharpie: Used to write on the labels, masking tape, and diapers (yes, I have to label each diaper with his initials).
  9. Crib Sheet: On Monday, I bring a crib sheet for him because he has his own crib sheet. They will give it back on Friday so I can wash it. I usually have two. My friend also gave me her son’s crib sheets, so now he has four. However, two is more than enough. 
  10. Two Sets of Clothes: Babies will get dirty, so make sure to give the daycare teachers two sets of clothes with socks. 
  11. Bibs: I usually provide two cloth bibs and one that is easy to clean when eating baby food. 
  12. Diapers and Wipes are obvious to provide. I usually get a one-month packet supply from Amazon so that I don’t have to worry about writing his initials on each diaper but once a month. 
  13. Cereal: I think it’s great that the daycare teachers will mix the cereal there. I provide them cereal whenever they request it. 

Those are the essential items that I provide the daycare. This makes sure that Giovanni has everything he needs, making things easier for the daycare teachers. Let me know if there are any items that you provide your child’s daycare in addition to this.

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