Daycare/Bottle Question — The Bump
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Daycare/Bottle Question

Katie will start daycare in a few weeks and I am starting to think about what I will need to pack for her.  I know the daycare will give me some guidelines, but I was curious about your experiences.


1. How many bottles did you pack per day and how many ounces of milk/formula per bottle? One friend said she has to pack 4 8-oz bottles...not sure how I am supposed to be able to pump 32 oz!!

2. How many outfits per day (for spit up/poop/pee issues)?

3. Any other recommendations?


Re: Daycare/Bottle Question

  • I don't even remember what I did when Ethan was in the infant room, but with Jack, I packed 3 - 6 oz bottles.  As for outfits, I always made sure I had a couple of changes of clothes for him.  The outfits were usually sleepers and onesies.  You'll also be providing diapers and wipes and any baby foods, too.  Good luck!  It'll be difficult the first couple of days, but you'll get into the swing of things quickly.
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  • 1.  Our daycare made us bring 4 bottles a day, but they could be 4 oz.  If he didn't use them that day, I just re-labeled them with the next days date and had them use those first the following day.  You will probably have to label them with first/last name (we had to label the bottle AND the lid) and date each day.  If you don't already have them, I highly reccomend either of these products: - bottle bands.  We had them in blue and green and I always told his teachers to use the blue ones first so that they were sure to save the freshest milk for the next day. - dishwasher proof labels (these things are awesome and really last forever!  Get a multi-pak w/ lots of sizes and you will be amazed all the things you use them for).

    If you use these, you will just have to put the date on a piece of masking tape everyday- much easier!

    2.  Again, check with your center.  Ours required at least 2 changes of clothes to be left in his cubby at all times.  Also, check about blankets.  Ours does not allow them at all.  So I always made sure to leave him warm enough clothes. 

    3.  Do everything you can the night before.  I prepared his bottles and labeled them and put them in the cooler pack in the fridge so all I had to do was grab it and go in the morning.  Also, unless he was soaked through, I just took him to daycare in his pj's for the first few months.  Then either I would change him before I dropped him off, or they would just do it for me if I was running late.  You'll figure out your own system- but it will take a few weeks to feel like you've really got it down. 








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  • kegkeg
    Long-Lasting Membership 2500 Comments

    1.  I sent 3 bottles per girl and the amount varied from 4oz up to 6oz, depending on how much they were drinking (went up with age).  I based it on how often they were eating at home before they started daycare...they ate every 3 hours so that's why I did 3 bottles.  At one point I increased the number but decreased the amount per bottle for one girl because she went through a period when she wasn't eating much and we were experiementing with different things.  However, we quickly went back to 3 per girl.

    2.  I wound have at least 2 spare outfits. We just leave spare clothes in their cubby so I don't have to bring stuff other than bottles (and now sippy cups) every day. 

    3.  If you can leave a spare diaper bag in their cubby, it makes things much easier.  Our bag had spare clothes, a blanket, spare pacis, extra bottles, and since DDs were mainly FF with some BM, we had some RTF formula bottles there too in case of emergencies.  If your DD is EBF, you may want to check to see if you can store some emergency BM in their freezer.  

    I definitely agree with doing everything you can the night before. It makes life much easier if you can just throw bottles in a bag and go.  Good luck!

    2004-Started TTC; Nov 2007-Lap with endo removed; Jan 2008-Ectopic (mtx); April 2008-IVF #1 (bfp, twin girls); March 2011-FET (cp); June 2012-IVF #2 (bfp, singleton, EDD 3-19-12)

    ***Twin fraternal girls born at 35w6d in 12/2008***

  • Hrm...when Wills started daycare at 7 weeks, I think we sent 4 or 5 4-oz bottles.  I also had a couple of RTF formula bottles stashed in his box for emergencies.  The moms at my daycare who BF usually send some bags of frozen milk that they keep in the freezer in case of emergency.

    I put three spare outfits per child in their box, along with spare burp cloths for William.

    According to the licensing requirements for the state of Georgia, they aren't really allowed to have blankets in their cribs and some places are super-strict on that, so you might want to invest in a sleep sack or two for her.

    I pack the diaper bags the night before, along with Elizabeth's lunch and William's bottles.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • 1.  I packed as many bottles as she would need during that time frame + 1 extra in case something happened to one of the bottles (if it got spilled, etc..).  I also recommend Mabels Labels for the bottles.  I wasn't required to bring a certain oz. bottle - only what Caroline normally had. 

    2. At Caroline's daycare they had cubbies for each baby so I just kept 2-3 outfits there at all times.  I didn't leave anything that was too great - lots of Target and Carters outfits for daycare!

    My only other recommendation would to leave as much as you can there instead of trying to pack a full diaper bag every morning.  Of course you have to bring fresh bottles everyday, but  I would take a big pack of diapers every week or so instead of bringing diapers everyday and leave extra clothes there. 

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  • Some other things that are helpful to bring are:

    Diaper Cream and have them apply it after each changing.

    Sunscreen (when she is 6 months+)


    We also used the Inchbug labels, but painters tape is great too.  I bought purple tape and put a little piece on top of all the bottle caps. It stays on even in the dishwasher.

    Aerin had bad acid reflux so I always kept at least 3-4 outfits at the daycare for her.  Like the PP said, it's a good idea to stash an emergency RTM formula and bottle in her drawer/cubby.

    Also, check to see if you need to bring in wipes.  As for diapers, I went to the Wal-mart diapers when Aerin started daycare..they have to change them every 2 hours anyways so you don't really have to work about leaks and it will save you a ton of $$. Use the namebrands at home.

  • 1. At 12wks when he started, I took 3 - 7oz bottles. We'd been giving him at least one bottle a day and I knew he ate every 3 hours so that's what I went by. Now I take 2 - 8oz bottles for him plus baby food

    2. I always make sure he has 2 outfits at school at all times. Between spit up and diapers he sometimes uses both. :)


    BFP 12/23/07, M/C 1/25/08 Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • Oh and ask your place about leaving diaper bags. We're not suppose to leave diaper bags b/c they had problems with parents leaving things in them that the school could get in trouble for like medicines etc. We have a clear plastic tub in his cubby that has his change of clothes, extra socks, and I put his hat/coat in it every morning.

    And I love my mabel lables. They have stayed on the bottles this whole time. I do blue painters tape for the date.

    BFP 12/23/07, M/C 1/25/08 Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • I used to take 4 - 4 oz bottle. Daycare provided feedback when it was time to increase the ounces. I'll start with planning on having bottles for every 3 hours or whatever is her feeding pattern. Good luck! It gets better as you develop your system. 
  • I 2nd the inchbug labels.  I love them! I have also seen other babies bottles labeled with pictures of the baby.  Which I really like because there is more than one Lily in the daycare we have been using.

    I also bring an entire package of diapers at a time so that I don't have to haul diapers back and forth.  Same thing for wipes.



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  • image slwprincess:

    If he didn't use them that day, I just re-labeled them with the next days date and had them use those first the following day.  You will probably have to label them with first/last name (we had to label the bottle AND the lid) and date each day.

    ditto this.

    I did 4 oz bottles at first then eventually went to 5 oz per bottle but never more than that.   I want to say we did 4 bottles a day, but it will just depend on how long your baby is there and frequency of feedings.

    I ordered these and they were a great timesaver for dating bottles every day...


  • 1.  When Brady first started daycare (at 12 weeks) I was sending 3 bottles per day each with about 5oz in them.  Sometimes I would send 4 bottles if I thought there was a chance I'd be late picking him up.  It's good to send extra at first if you can just until you really get to know her pattern.  I gave them pretty specific instructions at first that he should not be fed more frequently than every 2.5 hours and he shouldn't go more than 4 hours between feeding.

    2. I keep at least 2 outfits at in Brady's cubby for him because they will change his clothes if he has a diaper leak or gets spitup on them.  For a while it seemed like he came home every day in different clothes but it's gotten a lot better.

    3. Agree with everyone else that mabels labels are great, as are the inchbug bands.  We have to label the bottles and tops with his first and last name and since I send breastmilk I also have to label the bottles and tops with "breastmillk" labels.  I don't have to put dates but when I have bottles that I want them to use first I'll use blue painters tape.

    Good luck!  I know I was really anxious before Brady started daycare but it all worked out and was a lot easier than I expected.  It will be like second nature before you know it!

    Mommy to Abigail Elizabeth (11/4/11) and Brady Jasper (7/2/09)
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