When getting your little one ready for daycare, you want to make sure they have all the comforts of home. You’ll want to try to keep them on the same routine while they are away from you, including what they eat. And while there are plenty of things to pack for daycare, preparing bottles can be a bit time consuming. We’re sure your mornings are crazy as is, so the thought of getting the bottles ready is probably daunting. We have compiled some tips to make preparing bottles for daycare a breeze.
Find Out Your Daycare’s Policies
The first thing you’re going to want to do is check with your daycare and their system. See if they have any restrictions about how they want you to prepare the bottles for daycare. Some daycares want you to bring everything mixed and ready to go in a bottle already, while others may say it’s okay to just bring in the formula or milk and empty bottles. Others might even be okay with mixing the formula and milk for you. Each situation will require you to prepare bottles for daycare a little differently.
Also check to see how your daycare will be storing the bottles. Will they have a refrigerator and freezer? Or will you have to pack the bottles in a freezer bag with an ice pack to keep them cold?
If you are still breastfeeding, check with your daycare about sending it in with your little one. Do they prefer it frozen or thawed? This will make it easier to prepare and store the bottles ahead of time.
Prepare the Night Before
If your mornings were hectic before your baby arrived, they might get even crazier now that you’ve added another person to get ready. To save some time, prepare the bottles for daycare at night. Make it part of your evening routine, perhaps after you put the baby down.
If you are breastfeeding, pump the night before and get it into bottles. If you’re using formula, pre-measure it out in the bottles so the daycare can add milk or water to them the next day. And if you need to prepare water and milk too, measure those out as well.
Once the bottles are actually prepared, put them in the fridge so you can easily grab them in the morning. Bonus points if your bag or cooler fits in the fridge too, so you can just pull it out and go!
Buy Enough Bottles for a Few Days
Since preparing bottles for daycare is time-consuming, you might want to buy more bottles to last you a few days. This way, you’re not constantly bringing home the bottles, cleaning and sterilizing them and refilling them all in the same night. You should also check with your daycare about their procedures on letting you keep frozen milk in their freezer for a few days. If this is an option, then you can just bring in the bottles each day.
Just as when you pack other items for daycare, you’ll want to label the bottles and milk or formula. Either a label maker or tape will suffice with your child’s name on it. You may also want to think about adding another label with the times your baby will eat. This makes it easier for the daycare to remember when your baby needs to eat.
Check in With Your Daycare
Once you’ve established a good routine with preparing bottles for daycare, it’s a good idea to check in with them. Ask if you’ve been providing enough formula or milk. See if your baby is eating either more or less than what you prepare, and then adjust accordingly.The key with preparing bottles for daycare is to allow yourself a set time to get them ready and don’t leave anything for the last minute. Communication with your daycare is also important. And once you have a set routine down each day, getting your baby ready for daycare will be a piece of cake.