Before we started Camille at daycare, I remember feeling overwhelmed about what to pack for her for an entire day! I was used to having everything she'd need for the day at my disposal during my three-month maternity leave. Diapers, wipes, extra clothes, bibs, her lovies, any necessary medications, books, toys, bottles, milk, the list goes on -- suddenly I was sending her off for 9 hours a day and the responsibility was falling on someone else to provide for her what she needed.
I received this email the other morning from a reader, and with her permission, I've shared it along with my suggestions for packing for daycare.
So, first things first: Your own daycare should be very helpful for you in what they provide and what you will be responsible for providing! I emailed a few times with the daycare staff to make sure I was packing Camille's bag correctly and that I understood what they needed us to provide.
When she entered the newborns room, I had to pack a lot more for her than a year later when she was in the pre-toddlers room. Here's a breakdown:
NEWBORNS ROOM: 3-4 bottles of milk, baby food (6+ months), 2 changes of clothes, pacifier
INFANTS ROOM: 2 big bottles of milk, baby food, 2 changes of clothes, jacket/hat, pacifier
PRE-TODDLERS ROOM: Cup of water, 2 changes of clothes, pacifier, blanket
And the extras:
Diapers: On our daily sheet, the teachers let us know when we were running low on diapers, and then we sent more. I sent a big pack at a time. Pampers = our favorite brand.
Wipes: Each month, every daycare family was responsible for providing 4 packs of sensitive wipes. These were all shared between children which is why they requested sensitive -- but each baby had their own assigned wipe dispenser with their name on it.
Ointments: We were responsible for providing ointments and medications of our choice for our children. I had a few tubes of diaper rash ointment that I kept at the daycare for the teachers. Each time I introduced a new brand, they had a permission form that I needed to fill out. When they were running low, they let me know on her daily sheet.
Sunscreen: We also provided our sunscreen of choice to the daycare and they applied this to the babies before they went outside to play. They did not go outside as newborns, only the older rooms.
As I mentioned, packing for Camille got way easier as she got older. By the time she moved up to the Pre-Toddlers room, around 12 months, she was on table food and cow's milk. Our daycare provided breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack along with organic whole milk. So we didn't have to pack anything at all besides a cup of water for her to have during snack and a freshly cleaned blanket each Monday for naptime on the cots.
Thank you, "T", for your email, and I hope that this has been a help to other mothers too!
Oh, and because I never shared any photos of Camille at daycare (#paranoidmom), now that she is no longer enrolled there, here are two photos from her very last day there!