When sending your baby to daycare for the first time, it can be daunting to know what to pack. Daycare providers often provide a list of what to pack, but they’re usually short on details. So, here is our list of what to pack for daycare – a little more informative. There are many things to think about, especially if you have a child with medical needs, sensitivities, or who’s just quite emotional; all these aspects affect your packing list. So, while this list is the essentials, you know what’s best for your child as a parent. First things first, purchase your adorable daycare labels!

 A change of clothes

Your daycare may suggest you pack a change of clothes. We suggest packing two. Remember the changing weather, so while you may provide a spare onesie- great for a hot day, you’ll also need long sleeves. So, we suggest packing two spares, one for warmer weather and one for cooler—this way. Then, you know you’re always covered.  

Pack many more if your child is in the middle of potty training. 5 or 6 pairs of extra underwear and the same number of socks (because they always get wet too!) 

Bottles or drinking cups

Daycare will typically provide a detailed list of their bottle protocol. Usually, a sealed bottle which is appropriately labeled to avoid dangerous mix-ups. Here is a great informative list of how to prepare and label bottles for daycare

Formula or breastmilk

You will need to provide them to the daycare, and each daycare has its own rules on how to provide them. The key is making sure everything is properly labeled. Here is more information on how to label your bottles for daycare. Ask whether these items should come back home for cleaning daily, weekly or monthly.

Diapers, wipes, and cream

Check and see what your daycare will provide and what you’re responsible for providing. Then, if you have a preferred product, pack it. Especially when it comes to wipes and creams for babies with allergies- it’s really important to provide the products best for your baby’s skin and making sure they’re all labeled correctly is imperative. 


If a medication is prescribed by your baby’s doctor and will need to be administered while they are at daycare, you must talk this through with your daycare provider. They will have strict rules for this and often only administer medicine that a doctor has prescribed. 

If your child has a medical condition or allergy, ensure that your child has a medical plan with daycare before your first day.  


If applicable. It’s an excellent idea to put it on a strap and add a label to avoid getting lost, picked up, or mixed up with another baby.

Sunscreen/sun hat

Daycare will usually require you to apply sun cream in the morning, but it’s also important to provide it so they can reapply during the day and before heading outside. Make sure to label these too, especially important if your baby has sensitive skin, as you don’t want a rashy mix-up!

Coat & outdoor clothing; a back-and-forth item

Pretty self-explanatory. But if it’s a nice day and your baby isn’t wearing it on their way to daycare- it may be easy to forget. Once you assume, they don’t need it becomes more likely to rain. So while this may be an item you don’t pack and leave at daycare- you’ll still need to bring it and label it. 

Boots or outdoor shoes – a back-and-forth item

With wet weather, you must remember your indoor/outdoor shoes. Your daycare may require a change of shoes to ensure you’re not making the floor wet for all the babies crawling on it! Make sure your spare shoes are labeled. Depending on whether you want to purchase multiple shoes, this can be a back-and-forth item. 

Comfort items  

Ask about naptime and what’s provided, blankets, etc. You may want to pack additional lovies, blankets, or special comfort items. It can make naptime feel a little more like home. leave these items at daycare, and have duplicates, it’s too risky to forget a special item one day and have a sad baby at naptime. 

A Family Photo  

Some daycares request a family photo; it’s a nice little addition so baby or toddler to look at when they want to. 

You know your baby’s needs best, and you’ll be the best person to know what else they may need. Keep a daily list near the door helps on busy mornings (before you’ve had a coffee) to make sure none of the back-and-forth items have been missed. We also recommend leaving a pack of labels at the door. That way, if you have a new item or something that isn’t yet labeled- you can label it quickly and easily on your way out the door.

Here is the best selection of Daycare Labels. They’re your first defense against germs and ensure that all the stuff comes home again!

For daycare center’s looking for ways to keep germs out, check out our Fundraising Program where parents can purchase labels, and 20% commission goes back into the daycare center!


Mabel's Labels is the leading provider of personalized labels for the stuff kids tend to lose.

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