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Preparing your infant child (or children) for day care can be an overwhelming task. Having to part with your child for what is likely the longest period you’ve been away from them to date, is an already emotional experience. You’ll want to be sure that you’ve included everything in their day care bag so the day care staff will be able to take care of your child efficiently. Infant day care centers such as Stone Brook Academy provide much of what is required to guarantee your infant is comfortable throughout the day. However, there are a few necessities that should be included in your child’s day care bag that are specific to their needs, such as diapers in the appropriate size and their particular type of formula.
Your child will go through approximately 10 diapers a day—make sure you pack a bit more than that so your child care provider is prepared for anything! Quality child care centers will have emergency supplies on hand in case your child does run out, but keep in mind that we want your baby to be as comfortable as possible and that means using the product that works for them best. You can choose to pack a new set of diapers every day or you can pack a week’s supply at a time. At the end of the week, reassess how many diapers were used and whether you are sending the right amount.
Additional supplies that staff will need to change your baby’s diaper such as wipes, diaper rash creams, or ointments should be readily available, especially if you have a preference as to which brands you like to use for your child. By now you’re aware that your baby goes through a lot of wipes in a day, pack accordingly.
While children are learning and exploring, we expect them to get a little messy. This means there might be a need for more than one change of clothes, so make sure to always pack additional clothing items for your child, including socks and shoes. These items should be clearly labeled. Iron-on labels work well for clothes. When considering what clothes may be required, accommodate for all possible weather conditions.
Bibs and burping cloths should also be available for day care staff. An extra pack of bibs that the child care facility can keep for your child means less for you to remember on a daily basis.
Food and Snacks
If you are still breastfeeding your child then you will need to make sure that there is enough breast milk in supply on a daily basis. If you are not breastfeeding but would like your infant to use a specific formula, then you will need to plan ahead. If there are any specific snacks or foods that you prefer your baby to eat, be sure to pack appropriately and let the day care know you’ve included it. Foods should be properly packaged, marked, and stored and will need to be replaced once it has been used. Certain foods have a longer shelf-life while other foods need to be refrigerated. You’ll need to stock up on these types of foods regularly. Pack extra bottles for the week. At Stone Brook Academy we provide nutritious, balanced meals for our students but we understand that your infant may have specific needs or preferences and we’re happy to oblige. Being a family owned day care allows us to dedicate our attention to the varying needs of the children we care for.
All medications that your infant requires should be properly labeled, with specific instructions for use. If the medication needs to be refrigerated or stored differently, this should be mentioned to the day care provider. Any medication that you are comfortable giving to your baby when they need it should also be included—teething ointment, gas drops, and pain relievers.
We’ve found that it’s helpful to include personalized sticker labels on your baby’s bottles, bibs, clothes, and lunchboxes. Using a permanent marker also works well. Iron-on labels are a good idea for all clothing items. At Stone Brook Academy we take a very individualistic and personal approach to our day care, it makes identifying your baby’s items that much easier.
After noting all the things that you need to remember to include in your infant’s day care bag, you might be even more overwhelmed at the idea of leaving something out. Don’t stress! Make a checklist that’s kept in your child’s nursery that you can reference on a regular basis. Your child’s day care center will notify you once something has run out so that it can be promptly replaced. Pack your infant’s day care bag once, and you’ll feel much better about things going forward. At the end of the day, we want your child to be safe, comfortable, and have all their needs met. Remember, a little organization goes a long way!