The time had come that once felt so far away... I was sending my baby to daycare. It feels like it was just yesterday when we brought her home from the hospital. Whether it's a few times a week or full time, there are a lot of things to plan for, organize and buy before you drop your baby off on their first day.
So, I dried some tears, accepted the butterflies in my stomach and went shopping for everything I needed.
1) Extra Bottles or Sippy Cups: Piper did not take a bottle for 5 months, so we decided to move right to the Avent Sippy Cup. No leaks, and no fancy parts to take apart and clean was just what I was looking for. If your baby is not as stubborn as mine and took a bottle, grab an extra for back-up. Until she stopped bottle feeding, we loved the Comotomo bottle because it so closely resembles the look and feel of the breast.
2) Seasonal Gear: For me, this meant cold weather products like Stonz Booties, mittens and a warm winter hat. In the summer, there is always a wide variety of suncare products and summer essentials. Here is what I loved about these winter products:
- Stonz Booties are so easy I want to shout it from the rooftops. No shoving little heels in the boot, no worries about warmth, and certainly no fighting with a squirmy monkey to get them on (well, I may have fibbed the last one). You simply slip them on, tighten them at the ankle and calf and you’re done! Add the extra Stonz Sherpa Linerz for added warmth on a cool morning.
- MimiTens are a no-struggle mitten and have great “sleeves” that allow for the snow and cold to stay out, and subsequently keep them on at the same time.
- Make sure you have couple of warm with hats with ear coverage too.
3) Labels, Labels, Labels! My daycare requires you to label everything! You don’t want to be going home with another child’s clothes and vice versa. Sippys, coats, boots, clothing, blankets, you name it- they all must be labeled! I picked up Emily Press labels and loved that they were dishwasher safe and you can write your own. You write the label yourself, and press on the self-laminating sheet and voila, labels that stay put! After a few months of daycare, no label has even shifted.
4) Extra Pacifiers and Cuddly Toys: Since having a baby, sleep seems to constantly be on my mind. “How long did she sleep?” “Did she fall asleep yet?” “WHY WON’T SHE SLEEP?” These are all phrases that have been on a continuous loop since she was born. So, when your baby goes off to daycare, you want to keep things as comfortable as possible for them. This meant grabbing an extra Jellycat stuffed animal and extra pacifiers so that Piper (fingers crossed) sleeps!
5) Finally, diapers, wipes and creams: It’s always a good idea to have lots to keep at the daycare. Whether you are using disposables or cloth diapers, make sure you have every accessory necessary for the staff including wet bags, liners and diapers. I love that Cheeky Monkey carries all natural diaper creams that work with cloth diapers, so I grabbed an extra ointment to keep at the daycare.
Here is a tip I learned about the “morning hustle” of getting everyone out the door and no items left behind. In fear that I would forget her sippy cup in the fridge one morning, I left a post-It note on my car keys in the morning. That way I wouldn’t leave the house without seeing the post-it note first. For another first-time parent frazzled with the new routine, I hope that helps.
There you have it, some must-haves for sending your baby off to daycare. Soon enough, after you have consumed an entire package of chocolate or several boxes of tissues, you will have the right products for the first day drop-off.
- Emily, Life With Piper