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4 Items to Make Daycare Packing for an Infant Easier
I think one of the most universal realizations all parents come to early on is just how much stuff a tiny human needs. And the tinier they are, the more stuff they seem to need.
I am a full-time working mom with three kiddos ages 3 and under, which means I have 3 kids in daycare. It is a sizeable financial commitment, but it’s a bit easier to swallow because we love our daycare providers and they love our children.
But that doesn’t change the amount of stuff that needs to get from home to daycare on a daily basis.
A few weeks ago, one of the teachers in the infant room mentioned that I’m one of the most organized moms she’s ever seen. Say whaaaat? I laughed at first because I thought she was joking — I feel like I’m practically hanging on by a thread most days trying to get three small humans and myself up, dressed, and where we need to go on time. But I do try my best to be organized so it was nice to be noticed.
All daycares are a little different, but here are a few tips that have worked with ours:
All three of my babes have been “happy spitters” and had pretty awful reflux (read: better wear a raincoat if you plan to hold my baby within 90 minutes of him having a bottle). We keep a basket of clean burp cloths in most rooms of our home to keep them within easy reach. The burp cloths we use (and love) at home are actually flour sack towels. But we decided to use a different type of burp cloth at daycare in order to make laundry and daycare packing easier. As anyone with children knows, the amount of laundry is extreme. No matter how much we try, there are almost always baskets of clean, folded laundry somewhere in the house that just haven’t been put away yet. But the muslin burp cloths we use for daycare are easy to spot when they come out the dryer — which means the likelihood of them making it back to daycare is high.
All those used, wet burp cloths need to come home at some point, so a wet bag is a must. We tried several before falling in love with these. They’re larger than most bags and are great at keeping the dampness INSIDE the bag, not on the seats or floor mats of the car. They’ve got a smaller zippered front pocket that our daycare places our son’s used bottles in each day. So at the end of the day, we can take home just one bag of the dirty laundry and bottles. When we get home, we stop at the kitchen sink to empty out the bottles and then the rest of the contents and the bag itself go to the laundry room. We have enough bags to get through the week, so I usually send all of them on Monday.
Big Tote Bag
Now getting all these burp cloths and wet bags (and clothes and bottles and the other million baby things) to daycare is a feat in itself. I use a giant tote bag like this one to get all the items from home to daycare in one fell swoop. We have a bench in our foyer that I keep the bag on and as we fold burp cloths, clothes, etc., they go directly into the daycare bag. I have a second bag like this that I keep in my trunk in case I ever need a big bag. It’s great because it collapses and takes up virtually no room.
With all the things coming and going from daycare, things are bound to slip through the cracks. But having items labeled with your child’s name increases the odds of them being returned. I’ve used stick-on labels from Mabel’s Labels for all three of my kids and they’ve held up well through countless dishwasher cycles. But my favorite of their products has been this mini clothing stamp. We’ve labeled our kids’ clothing, burp cloths, and even the wet bags with this and they still look freshly stamped literally dozens of washes later. I HIGHLY recommend it.