When taking your kids to daycare, there are a lot of things that you have to prepare and consider, particularly when it comes to your child's belongings. Besides the usual extra clothes, diapers, and wipes, one thing that every parent has to pay particular attention to is the baby bottles.
While packing the other daycare essentials is pretty easy and straightforward, preparing and packing your baby bottles requires a lot more care. So what, exactly, are the steps that you need to take to make sure your bottles are prepped and ready for daycare?
1. Clean & Sterilize the Bottles
Though this is usually a given when it comes to baby bottles, it often still needs repeating. The first step to bottle feeding is to make sure that your bottles are cleaned and sterilized.
Sterilizing your bottles is much more important when your infant is only a few months old. This is because infants are much more susceptible to illnesses due to their weaker immune system. In such cases, the CDC recommends sterilizing your bottles at least once daily.
For older kids, you need not sterilize them that often. Just always make sure that the bottles are cleaned after every use.
2. Put Baby Bottle Labels
Labeling is important, especially when you're bringing your kids to daycare. After all, you don't want your kid's milk or bottles getting mixed up with others. Finding and choosing unique baby bottle labels can help the daycare easily distinguish your kid's bottles and belongings from the rest. And if you're looking for custom labels to put on all your kid's stuff, Sticky Monkey Labels has some cute and creative designs and labels that are such to last long and survive multiple washes.
Additionally, if you want to place those labels somewhere that can easily be seen, sometimes there’s no better location than on the baby bottle rims. Sticky Monkey Labels has write-on labels available that perfectly fit the rims of bottles Como Tomo, Avent, and Tommee Tippee bottles. By putting labels on the rims, you also lessen the chances of the rims and covers getting lost as well.
3. Pack them in a Bag
A common question parents have is whether you should feed fresh or frozen milk at a daycare. Generally, it doesn't matter much which you decide to go with. Simply choose what's best for you and your family.
When it comes to breastmilk, though, you can store them in a cooler bag together with an ice pack to help keep it fresh until feeding. Make sure, as well, to place visible baby bottle labels on these. After all, the last thing you want to happen is for another baby to be the one to drink your breast milk.
Final Tips Before Heading Off to Daycare
Once you've prepped, labeled, and properly stored your baby bottles for daycare, you can also leave some instructions for the daycare to follow. In particular, they might need some special instructions on how to handle, store, and reheat breast milk.
It's also important to note that frozen milk is only good for 24 hours after defrosting, and fresh milk shouldn't be kept for more than 24 hours in the refrigerator.
When deciding how many bottles you should pack for a day, make an estimate between how much they usually consume in a given day, and how long they'll be staying at the daycare. For most babies, around 20-40oz per day is sufficient, but again it depends on each individual. When in doubt, it never hurts to pack one extra bottle in case you run into an emergency or find yourself running late to pick up your kid.