A Weekly Daycare Packing List for Babies

Follow our list to feel confident your baby has everything they need

Follow our baby packing list for daycare so your baby is all set for the day!
Getty Images / Ruth Jenkinson

Whether you are a new mom taking your baby to daycare for the first time or a veteran daycare mom, it can be a challenge to get out the door in the morning. You have to remember to pack so many things so that you and your baby have a good day!  We want you to feel more confident when you leave the house so follow our detailed daycare packing list for babies.

Pack These Items Your Baby Can't Go Without

  1. Diapers. At the beginning of every week bring in a labeled bulk of diapers. If you're unsure how many diapers your baby will need per day pack 8 to 10. It's better to send too many than not enough! If you are using cloth diapers, make sure to include extra plastic pants and a resealable bag or container for the dirty ones. Then assess how many diapers your baby used to get an accurate count.
  2. Wipes. Send a full container of wipes initially and check every few days to see when you'll need to pack a refill package. Also, include a smaller package in the diaper bag you transport back and forth to daycare that can be used in case you forget to bring a refill.
  3. Diaper rash cream or ointment. Some people have their preferences on this one. Some people do not want daycare to use any medication, and others do. So use your discretion about how often you need to send in a new one or any at all.
  4. Pacifier. If your child loves their pacifier you may want to pack extras. They are easily misplaced, and you wouldn't want your child to go without one. Pack an additional one for emergencies in your diaper bag, too. Once your baby is mobile, make sure to label the pacifier with a non-toxic marker.
  1. Sheets and blankets. 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.

Babies Get Messy So Pack Extra Clothing

Send two to three gallon-size resealable plastic bags with an extra outfit in each. Don't forget to include socks because accidents can travel far! Most importantly label every item you put in the bag including the bag itself. This makes it easier for your daycare provider to identify your babies thing. They can use the bags to send home dirty clothes and it makes it easy for you to dump them in the washing machine!

Consider purchasing a separate supply of bibs just for daycare. Include both small bibs for drooling (especially if your baby is teething) and larger bibs for meal times. Four or five of each size should be sufficient.

Milk and Meals For The Week

Send in enough labeled 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 you are sending breast milk, ask your daycare how they want you to pack it. Some may ask that you send it in thawed. Others may have freezers and will want you to send in clearly identified frozen bags that they can defrost.

When your baby starts eating cereal, ask your daycare provider how you should pack it. You could send in full boxes labeled with your baby's name and replenish it as needed or you may send in pre-measured portions on a daily basis. If you pack it daily, use small plastic containers with lids to avoid spills.

Once your baby begins eating baby food on a regular basis, you should pack labeled baby food jars or in small plastic containers with screw-on lids that are labeled. Also, find out if you need to pack a bowl and spoon and if so, don't forget to label them. 

Pack Any Medicines That Would Keep Your Child Comfortable

Put together a bag of medicine you permit your child to have when they are feeling uncomfortable. This bag might include a thermometer, pain reliever, fever reducer, gas drops and a topical teething ointment. Be sure to include a dropper as well. Write your child's name on the individual medicines as well as on the plastic bag or first aid bag.

Some Pearls of Wisdom When It Comes to Packing

Label every single thing you send to daycare. There are many options available for labeling your child's clothes, blankets, and supplies. While permanent markers work well for labeling plastic bags, diaper boxes, and containers for wipes, you may be hesitant to use them on other things that come in direct contact with your baby. Consider using iron-on labels for blankets, crib sheets, and clothing. Masking tape, painter's tape or rubber bands is a good option for labeling bottles.

Some of the things you will send to daycare will get lost or ruined. Avoid sending in anything that can't be easily replaced. Your baby is there to have fun which will include playing with arts and crafts and maybe food. Stains will occur! So send in things that you won't mind tossing in the trash after you can't get the stain out.

You won't remember everything all the time. Keep a notepad and pen handy in the outside pocket of your diaper bag or a checklist on your phone. When you're told your child has run out of something ahead of schedule (diapers, wipes, ointment, etc.) make a note of this. Then make it a habit to review this notepad or note on your phone each evening when you are packing the diaper bag for the next day.

While most daycare items can be packed in your diaper bag the night before, certain items such as baby food, formula or bottles of breast milk need to stay refrigerated and can only be packed the next morning. You can't leave without your keys so either put them in the refrigerator next to the bottles or put a bright sticky note on them reminding you to get the bottles.

If you keep your daycare supplies organized, you will make life easier for your daycare provider. What's helpful for your provider is ultimately helpful to your child. And when your child is well cared for, you are happy.  A win-win for everyone!

Updated by Elizabeth McGrory

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