20 Daycare Hacks You Need to Know

March 22, 2021

Sending your child to daycare can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning. New people, new routine, new everything can make both the parent and child nervous. We rounded up the best daycare hacks to help make the new transition a breeze. From getting out of the house in the morning on time to ensuring your child naps properly we’ve come up with a list of  20 tips and tricks that will help you and your child crush it when it comes to going to daycare.

Daycare Hack #1: Ship the diapers and the wipes

Does your daycare require you to provide diapers and wipes for your child? Ship them directly to the daycare so that you don’t have to worry about bringing them with you at drop-off. Even better you can auto-ship with Amazon so you don’t have to worry about remembering every month.

Daycare Hack #2: Buy all the lovies

Bringing a favorite comfort item like a lovie can help lessen the fears of a new place for your child. But make sure you buy multiple back-ups. Items at daycare can get lost, dirty or destroyed. With a precious item like a lovie you want to make sure you always have one on hand so pick an item and then 5-6 extras. That may seem like a lot but if you plan to have your child in daycare for several years you might go through them faster than you think.

Daycare Hack #3: Keeping extras also holds true for everything else

Extras aren’t just for lovies. Keep extra masks and even a change of clothes in the car. And keep extras at daycare as well. Messes, blowouts, food spills can all happen and they can also all happen on the same day so having extra clothing items can be a lifesaver.

Daycare Hack #4: Mark your calendar

For working parents it’s key to mark pick-up and drop-off on your calendar. This way you can avoid scheduling meetings that overlap with those critical times. It’s also helpful if you are sharing pick-up and drop-off with others. You want to make sure everyone is one the same page of who is responsible for each day. Lastly add important dates like school holidays, special events, and birthdays on the calendar as soon as you find out. Many daycares have an annual calendar of days they are closed so parents can plan ahead. Immediately add these to your calendar and the family calendar so you can find back-up care as needed.

Daycare Hack #5: Prep the night before

Keep as much as you can ready the night before so you are not frantic in the morning trying to get everything together. This includes lunch and snacks (if your daycare doesn’t provide them), diaper bag, outerwear and anything else you need to bring with you.

Daycare Hack #6: Choose a daycare with meals

Choosing a daycare that provides all meals takes a large responsibility off your shoulders. You don’t have to worry about packing elaborate bento boxes or ensuring that whatever you pack meets the guidelines of the daycare like nut-free.

Daycare Hack #7: Use a post-it

Keep a post-it by the door with a list of things you need to bring with you in the morning. That way you can do a mental check before you leave the house and make sure you’re not forgetting anything.

Daycare Hack #8: Outfit prep is also helpful

Keep a drawer filled with school outfits. Keep the outfits folded together so in the morning you only have to pull out an outfit and not search for separates. For an even smoother morning choose an outfit the night before and have it laid it out so its easy to find in the morning.

Daycare Hack #9: Know their friends

Learn the names of some of their friends at daycare or favorite caregivers. Remind them how excited that person will be to see them as a way to encourage your child to leave the house quickly.

Daycare Hack #10: Double up on sheets

If your daycare requires you to provide sheets and a blanket buy two sets. If you don’t have a chance to do laundry over the weekend you’ll have a fresh set ready to go on Monday morning.

Daycare Hack #11: Label everything

EVERYTHING. We mean it. Coats, shoes, backpacks, bottles, lunchboxes . . . everything. Mabel’s Labels are great for this because you can stick them on clothes and other items.

Daycare Hack #12: Stop the hanger

Keep a snack ready at pick-up. After a full day kids are often very hungry and may need something to tide them over to dinnertime. A kid that isn’t hungry will be less cranky and that will mean a more peaceful evening.

Daycare Hack #13: Leave sunscreen as the last step

Apply sunscreen while your child is in the carseat at drop-off. This usually works way better than trying to wrangle your child when you’re trying to leave the house. Also keep a sunscreen stick at daycare so they can reapply during the day.

Daycare Hack #14: Say goodbye with a smile

Most children are anxious when they have to say goodbye to their parents. Try not to draw it out. Smile, tell them to have a great day and that you will be there to pick them up at the end of the day. If they see how confident you are that they are going to have a great day they’ll feel that way too.

Daycare Hack #15: Save a tune for the car

Choose a favorite song to play on the car ride to and from daycare. Only play it during those times so that it remains special. A simple tradition can make the transition from home to daycare and back a little more pleasant.

Daycare Hack #16: Don’t just call it daycare

Replace daycare with school so that your child will be less scared of school when they do get older. They’ll associate school with the warmth and fun of daycare. It can also help younger siblings feel as important as their older siblings who may be going to school already.

Daycare Hack #17: Pack the car, then the kid

Load the car with everything you are taking first. That includes the diaper bag, lunch, coffee, your work bag. Then get your baby up and ready to go. This way you are not trying to carry a million things while you’re also carrying your baby.

Daycare Hack #18: Use a secret handshake

Come up with a special way to say goodbye like a special handshake or a funny wave and only use it at drop-off. Your kid will be excited to say goodbye instead of anxious.

Daycare Hack #19: Find another use for those holiday outfits

Bought a special onesie for St. Patrick’s Day or Christmas? Your baby wears it once and then the holiday has passed. Those items are perfect as back-up clothes to leave at daycare. After a long day at work wouldn’t the best surprise be picking up your little one dressed up in an elf outfit in July?

Daycare Hack #20: Say cheese

Bring a family photo with you on the first day. Sometimes a daycare will hang it on a wall or near the crib so your child can always see you even when you’re not there.

Daycare Cost Calculator

What is the average cost of daycare near me?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.