Today I am sharing our Toddler Daycare Essentials; these are the things I bought and pack for V!
V started daycare a month back; I will share our experience and how we prepped him for the transition in a different post. Putting your toddler or baby in daycare is a huge step in parenthood. As a new parent, it may be the first time you’ll be separated from your baby. This means that thinking about all the daycare essentials you need to bring to daycare will probably be the last thing on your mind.
One of the questions I asked while touring daycares was what I needed to pack and send with him every day. Surprisingly the lists were all very similar, with a few differences in how food is handled in that particular daycare. Otherwise, it sounds like all toddlers need the same things for daycare.
So, today I am sharing our daycare essentials. It includes things I dropped off on the first day of his daycare, things I send with him every day, and things I send every week.
Toddler Daycare Essentials: What to Pack for Your Baby Each Day
Things to Drop Off on or Before Toddler’s First Day
1. Diapers- We left a big bag of diapers that will be sufficient for a month or so. I also packed weekly supplies of diapers in different bag cause the center keeps the weekly supply in one place and the bulk supply in a different place. So, when they run out of the weekly supply, they can re-fill the bag from the bulk. Also, the teacher will notify you in the app when they’re running low on supplies.
Add a label and write your child’s name on the bag. If your child is potty trained, then send in extra underwear instead of diapers.
2. Wet Wipes- Similar to diapers, we left a month’s supply of wet wipes. Don’t forget to label these as well with your child’s name.
3. Lotion and Diaper Cream- We left a tube of diaper cream and Moisturizer with the daycare. Label the tube with the child’s name. V’s skin gets dry easily and is prone to eczema, so I also left a bottle of Tubby Todd all-over ointment.
4. Change of clothes- This one is important since kids have accidents, get messy, and generally just need extra clothes. Please place them in a plastic Ziploc bag and label them.
5. Crib Sheets /Nap Mat– Some daycares provide crib sheets. Ours asked to send one from home. We leave one on Monday and bring it back on Friday to wash it. Pack the crib sheet in a Ziploc bag and label it with your child’s name. Also, check with the daycare to get the correct size for the sheets.
Update– we send a nap mat now instead of just sheets, it’s a padded nap mat with a blanket and pillow attached to it.
6. Outside gear– We left a tube of sunscreen (I also included a sponge for easy application), a sunhat, and bug spray at the center. Place all of these in one Ziploc bag labeled Outside Play Time and name.
7. Nap Essentials- V likes to be tucked in for a nap, so I left a soft muslin blanket that we rotate weekly. If your child is used to a lovey or a stuffed animal, or a binky leave an extra one at the daycare.
8. Dry Snacks- V’s daycare asked us to provide some dry snacks, so when he doesn’t eat any of his meals or snacks I pack for him, they offer the dry snacks as an alternative. We left a bag of these goldfish, almond puffs, Superfood puffs
Things to Send Weekly
The teachers pack the crib sheet and blanket in this bag every Friday, and I send back a fresh pair of them on Monday. Apart from that, you will receive a message from the teacher when a refill is needed for diapers, wet wipes, or snacks.
- Crib Sheet
- Change of clothes if needed
- Refill diapers, wet wipes, and dry snacks if needed
Things to Bring Daily
1. Bag– An easy-to-carry bag to go back and forth every day. I got this Dabbawalla backpack for him; it comes with a harness, so we can also use it when we go on walks.
2. Lunch Bag- This is required if you are packing lunch and snacks for the little one. I got this Bentgo lunch bag. I highly recommend getting a lunch bag with a bottle holder, so everything is in one place.
4. Lunchbox- Some daycares provide lunch, but the one V goes to doesn’t, so I pack lunch and snacks daily. I prefer to pack lunch, AM snacks, and PM snacks in separate boxes, so the teacher knows exactly what to feed him for the meal. Don’t forget to label the boxes, these label I linked are waterproof and doesn’t come off even after washing.
I got the above two steel lunch boxes. Both of them are dishwasher safe. The first Bento box is big, but it’s leak-resistant, and I love the small removable silicon container, which is great for packing yogurt. Everything in the box stays in place since each compartment is sealed. I prefer boxes with larger and fewer compartments for the food I pack, so this box is our top favorite.
At V’s daycare, they serve the food on a microwavable plate, so I didn’t have to worry about getting a microwavable or insulted lunchbox. This bento box is very popular, and the food tray in this is microwave and dishwasher safe.
5. Snacks– This also depends on your center. Some will want you to provide snacks, and others will provide snacks for you. For V, I pack both AM and PM snacks; they also offer him some of the dry snacks that we left at the daycare.
For AM snacks- I mostly pack a smoothie that I make with leftover breakfast (this iron-rich ragi smoothie with leftover ragi porridge or oatmeal or make one with just berries (I have a ton of smoothie recipes on my IG profile highlights) in this stainless steel straw cup.
For PM snacks, I do a mix of fruits, cheese, and bread with almond butter (only nut allowed at his daycare) or ricotta cheese or a boiled egg, etc. I use these silicon muffin liners to separate them and pack them in this stainless box.
Miscellaneous things you need
Waterproof labels– You have to label everything you are sending to the daycare except for your baby 😀 I use these waterproof labels since it has an additional row to add comments. You can also get a customized name label like these and these
In the next post, I will share a week of lunch box ideas.
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