The transition from baby being home to daycare can be perplexing: what are you supposed to bring? What does your baby need for the day? Gugu Guru interviewed many moms and daycare experts to find out exactly what your baby will need, and today we’re sharing our roundup of the must have products for daycare as well as sharing some tips to make the transition smoother.
Before you go back to work full time, we recommend that you do a test run for at least a couple weeks so you can get comfortable putting your baby in daycare. Dropping your baby off for a day or two in the weeks leading up to returning to work will help you establish a routine and feel more prepared mentally and emotionally.
A “Safe” Lovie: Often times daycares don’t allow for lovies or blankies during naptime, as they can be a sleeping hazard; which is why we’re big fans of the BittaSack from Bitta Kidda! This 100% natural cotton sleepsack has two cotton velour lovies sewn onto the sleep sack, so baby can hold something soft while they are sleeping. These lovies will never get close to baby’s face, which means they are safe for even the smallest of babies to self-soothe with. If your baby loves to hold on to something while they sleep (which most do!), this is the perfect daycare accompaniment because it will help them get a great nap!
Sunscreen: Lots of daycares are wonderful about taking the babies and kids outside as much as possible! However, we got this great tip from mom Nicole F., “Don’t forget to bring sunscreen. Kids aren’t supposed to share!” Furthermore, as mom Beth K. said, “some of these daycares simply won’t apply the sunscreen,” and prefer the parents apply the sunscreen before the day begins. We’re big fans of Babo Botanicals sunscreen which is safe for baby’s skin and made without dairy, soy, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, SLS, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, dyes, sodium chloride, formaldehyde, MEA, DEA, TEA, or most common allergens.
Close-toed shoes: While less of an infant consideration, mama Emalee G. reminded us that “The kids need to have close-toed shoes and sandals, as well as sandals with backs on them!” With all the toddling and running around at daycare, often the daycares recommend close-toed shoes and sandals, and almost certainly no flip-flops! Lori M. added, “No slip-on shoes. The shoes must have laces or Velcro; slip-ons fall off too easily.” Looking for the perfect baby and toddler shoe for daycare? We recommend pediped shoes, which have a ton of styles to chose from, all with closed toes, safe straps, and are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development.
Diapers: While cloth diapering is becoming very popular for many parents, many daycares don’t allow for cloth diapers. Here’s a hint: remind them about a reduction in trash with cloth and that could make them reconsider. If you’re unable to talk the facility into cloth diapering and looking for an eco-friendly, allergen-free, safe alternative to cloth diapers, we love Bambo Nature diapers. Made to fit your baby’s growing body, these diapers are free from chlorine, perfumes, optical brighteners and lotions, as well as phthalates, latex, and gluten. Bambo Nature diapers feature a breathable back-sheet, which ensures that the skin can breathe, keeping the skin drier and less prone to rash or infection. Bambo Nature also features hypoallergenic baby wipes and training pants for older toddlers.
Labels: How are you going to label all of these items for your baby? We are huge fans of Inchbug labels – which happened to be one of the most common brands named as a “must-have” by daycare moms! Their 3D custom Orbit labels are engraved with your baby’s name on them (in braille too!) and can fit on any sippy-cup, bottle, or cup – they are colorful and will ensure that your baby is drinking from the right container. Inchbug also sells adhesive labels, clothing labels, allergy labels and alerts, and even labels which can go in shoes! Put your baby’s name on everything with Inchbug labels.
Some final tips…
Besides the actual items which your baby will need, finding a daycare which fits all of your family’s needs can sometimes be overwhelming. We asked Lindsay Bliss, the owner of Kidspiration for some questions parents can ask when they tour a daycare. Her top five questions she said parents should ask as they tour a daycare, 1. What are the ratios of children to teachers? 2. What’s your sick policy? 3. What are the fees? Late fees? Early hour fees? 4. How can I communicate with you? 5. What materials do I need to bring and what do you provide?
Although the transition can be hard, here are some testimonials from other mamas: Vicki M. said, “My daughter is in kindergarten this year and I truly believe the curriculum she learned in daycare over the past three years has made her so bright and ready to be in the school setting! She knows how to sit, listen, pay attention, take turns, share. All things she learned by going to daycare!” As Trish N. exclaimed, “I am a full time working mom and both my kids have been in full time day care since three months old. It has been a great experience for me. They’re both very smart, they can sit still, listen to directions, use good manners. They are outgoing and are kind to other children.” Even though it’s a tough change for some parents, daycare can a wonderful place your baby can thrive, make friends, and learn social skills – as long as you’re prepared with all the necessary items, the transition can be smoother for both mama and baby!
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