How to Prepare Baby for Daycare: Top Tips from Parents and Experts

Baby playing in a daycare

If You’ve decided to start sending your baby to daycare and want to make sure the transition to the childcare center goes smoothly, then take a look at these tips from parents and childcare providers about how to prepare your breastfed for daycare, including advice on getting your child used to his caregiver and what to pack in your baby’s go bag before leaving the house. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to keep your child happy and healthy during his first few weeks in the daycare centers.

How to Find a suitable Child care center for your baby?

When it comes to preparing your baby for daycare, there are many factors that you’ll want to consider.

Working hours

Is the daycare open when you need them? Do they close at a reasonable time so that you can do your work? Additional Services – What kind of services does the daycare provide?


Where is the daycare located in relation to where you live or where your baby needs to be picked up?

Age group

Does the age group seem appropriate for your child’s needs? The more research that you do, the better off you will be.


Choose a quality daycare center or preschool that offers quality care and education.


Ask if they have a child care orientation class or tour scheduled so that you can better understand what it’s like before actually having your baby there.

Things to check before selecting the Child care provider

When choosing a daycare provider, some parents check the facility’s financial considerations, staff training, turnover, on-site activity, and cleanliness.

Your child must have a primary caregiver who knows how to interact with them in a way that will help them develop social skills. They should also be able to engage in interactive play.

A good caregiver should also be enthusiastic about learning more about your baby’s needs. They should be well educated in handling situations, such as when they are upset or need attention. The ideal daycare environment is one where children can explore through hands-on activities while having opportunities to have age-appropriate interactions with other children and adults.

The facility should be clean, with organized play areas, safe toys, and a healthy snack option. The staff should be dressed appropriately in clean clothing, which should also be regularly cleaned.

The children must be provided with such an environment so they don’t feel much different from their home environment. This greatly reduces their adjustment period.

Things to tell the daycare provider before the first day

It can be nerve-wracking to bring your child to daycare for the first time. Here are some tips to make the experience as smooth as possible.

-Write things down to the caregiver about your child (include allergies, likes and dislikes, time of naptime, sleep habits, etc.)

-Clearly label things

-Provide your contact information with the daycare provider so that if there is an emergency, they have everything they need to reach you. If you want, give them a list of people who might also be able to provide additional support in an emergency.

-Get your child’s routine written down so that you and the daycare are on the same page about naptime, bedtime, etc. Sometimes, they may need more information about your child than you’ve already given to ensure they meet their needs.

Things you should do to Prepare your baby for the change in caregivers’

Get Yourself Prepared – One of the most important things before starting a new daycare is to prepare yourself and not fall into separation anxiety. Babies can sense when you’re stressed, so try not to worry too much about this transition to daycare.

If your baby is breastfed, you should also start getting the baby to take a bottle with a consistent feeding schedule since that may be needed at daycare if the mom is away. Feeding your baby in their crib at home will help them get used to sleeping there instead of in your arms.

One of the best ways to prepare your child for daycare is by establishing a routine that they are used to. This will help them feel more comfortable and adjust to the new environment when the change in caregivers occurs.

The earlier, the better- Young children adapt better when they are introduced to new situations gradually, so starting daycare before the age of one is preferable.

Encourage Independence- As infants become toddlers, they need more independence as they try new skills. Letting them do tasks independently will make your little ones feel capable and prepare them for a daycare where independence is encouraged.

Tips for toddlers include setting up regular nap time schedules so kids know what to expect during the day. Having set routines for eating meals at home or daycare is also beneficial because it allows kids to control what they want to eat without feeling like they’re being told what to do all the time. Setting up routines can give babies who get emotional over changes some security, knowing that there are some constants in life. This could help them adapt to new routines comfortably.

Items you should bring with your baby on the first day of daycare

When starting your baby at daycare, you should bring everything they need. This includes

  • extra clothes
  • diapers
  • diaper creams
  • nap supplies
  • baby wipes
  • feeding supplies
  • burp rags
  • toys

It is also a good idea to have a favorite toy or comfort item they can look forward to seeing each day. Most parents prefer to send them with their blanket or stuffed animal, as most babies prefer stuffed toys because they are soft and comforting. If your baby takes a bottle well, ensure plenty of formula and bottles are on hand because this will be the most common way of feeding them. There are other ways to feed a child, such as storing breast milk and food in jars. You might want to talk to the daycare providers about what food they recommend or if any special preparation is required for certain foods.

To keep your baby entertained during naptime or when he’s having a bad day, it’s always a good idea to have some fun toys around. You can never go wrong with blocks or cars, but some babies might prefer things like musical instruments instead. You don’t want anything too loud as that could wake other children, so something like a xylophone would be better than drums.

What Should you do if your child suffers from separation anxiety?

This is common in children between six months and three years. Children may have difficulty adjusting to new caregivers if they are clingy and suffer from such anxiety.

As a parent, you should not feel guilty about leaving your child for a short period; instead, try helping them overcome their anxiety so they can transition to daycare comfortably.

Practice short separations to prepare them for longer ones

Try leaving your child for a short period with someone trusted to see how it goes. This could help them get used to the idea of what it’s like to be on their own and could encourage independence in your child. You can gradually step this up to a bit longer periods.

Get your child a comfort toy

If your child doesn’t have a favorite toy or a blanket, get them one. As it could help manage their feelings of separation. Most babies find stuffed toys soft and comforting and can find comfort if they feel separated.

Try keeping goodbyes quick and positive

Goodbyes can be hard for both parents and the child; try to remain calm and positive, and don’t get stressed as your child can sense stress, which could, in turn, affect them. Try to introduce them to some goodbye ritual like waving or a special hug so they can stay assured that you will return. This new routine could greatly help you in drop-offs.


What is the ideal age for babies to start daycare?

Most childcare centers accept babies aged six weeks or older. However, the ideal age for babies to start childcare is 12 months. Many experts believe separation anxiety peaks at nine months old; however, at the end of the day, it depends on your child.

Is starting daycare traumatic?

The best case scenario is that you have already prepared your child for a change in caregivers, and he can get used to the new environment without any problems.

Why do babies sleep better at daycare?

Daycare can help with your child’s napping habits. They can learn how to put themselves to sleep because caregivers at daycare won’t rock or nurse them to sleep. Mostly, sleep sacks are used to help babies calm and promote sleep.

How long do babies take to adjust to Child care?

Depending on your child’s temperament, it can take from one week to four weeks for your child to adjust to daycare.

What do babies do at daycare centers?

Babies at daycare typically engage in activities that promote physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development. They can participate in storytime, learn baby songs, sing and rhyme, and rock and cuddle with caregivers and peers. With the right preparation and support in childcare, you can feel confident about your baby’s stay at daycare.

What is the best time to Take a Baby to Daycare?

You might wonder about the best age to start taking your baby to daycare. Some experts say that babies as young as six weeks old can adjust well to daycare with the right support. One study found that children who attended daycare at a young age were more prepared for school than those who didn’t attend until later on. Furthermore, parents noted benefits such as improved speech skills, increased vocabulary, better motor development, and increased independence in their children.

How long is nap time in daycare?

In most states, full-day childcare settings must let the kids nap for about one to two hours.