How to Pack Daycare Bag Perfectly

Daycare bag packing

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Packing a daycare bag for your child is essential for making their daycare experience comfortable and making things easier for the caregiver. But getting it done every day and leaving on time in the morning is a real task. As a new mom, you don’t know what to pack in the daycare bag, and doing it right every time is overwhelming. I get you I was in the same place. So in this post, I am sharing with you all the things that you need to 

  • Pack in the daycare bag for baby
  • Pack daycare bag for toddler
  • Organize Daycare bag
  • Tips to pack daycare bags routinely with a checklist

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My daycare bag packing

When I had to return back to work after my maternity leave there were many things to do to be prepared but one thing that really overwhelmed me was making sure the daycare bag was well-equipped. Mostly because I had never done it before, I didn’t want my baby to suffer coz I missed packing some things and to make things more difficult, unlike vacation bag packing which needs to be done for a long time every day.

I would keep making notes of things that should be packed and after some time I had a complete system to take care of the daycare bag situation. I am proud to say that its been 3 years now I am packing daycare bags and there have been no incidents.

So in this post, I am breaking down simply What to pack in a daycare bag so that your life as a working mom is made easy.

P.S. If you are a new mom returning back to work you must read 12 tips to get back to work after maternity leave.

Let’s get started.

perfectly packed daycare bag

Why do you need a daycare bag packed rightly?

Packing the daycare bag rightly is not only helpful but crucial for an easy transition from home to daycare for your child and to make their experience at daycare better. Here are a few good reasons

Keep your child comfortable:

When you have packed the daycare bag with all the essentials your baby needs they will not experience discomfort. Including a few stuff they like to play with will reduce homesickness. They will be less likely to cry for any discomfort as all they need of their liking is available.

Make caregiver life easy:

Taking care of a child gets easier for the caregiver when all the essentials are nicely packed and easily accessible. They can focus on your child better rather than struggling to find things. After years of experience with daycare caregivers, I have realized they need to be happy to keep your child happy.

Ease Mom’s guilt:

A good way to ease the guilt of leaving your kid at daycare and going to work is by ensuring they have everything they need for the day available for them. Nothing can replace the comfort of mom but you can try to make things easier for the baby by making all things available to them as per their liking. We moms surely know how picky kids can be, and how satisfied they are when things are as they like.

What to Consider Before Packing?

Before starting to pack your child’s daycare bag there are a few things that you should consider for making it effective.

Bag schedule: 

Discuss with the daycare provider the schedule they prefer for weekly bags, if they do not allow weekly bags you need to make only daily bags. You can find if routine items like diapers can be kept with them in bulk and they can intimate you once they are exhausted. 

Daycare policies

Find daycare provider policies and any specific items that must be provided.

Discuss If they provide meals or if you need to provide all the meals. In case they provide the meals, find the meal plan and inform them about your child’s needs and allergies if any.

Are there any restrictions for the food you can provide like some may not allow nuts and related products. Also, discuss if they are comfortable handling breast milk and if there are specific needs to fulfill if you provide breast milk for your child.

Find the medication policy, do they allow the medicines to weekly bag or daily bag, or have no medication policy? Any formalities and paperwork that need to be done.

Your child’s need

You should keep in mind your child’s habits and specific needs. Their age and any transitions they are making such as transitioning to solid food, potty training, etc.

Take into consideration your kid’s liking, the kind of blanket your baby prefers for a nap if they need a pacifier. Their favorite toys. You have to inform the daycare of your child-specific preference if any.

What to pack in a daycare bag

Let’s see the essentials that you must include in the daycare bag. I have divided them into segments to make them easier for you to refer.

I recommend 3 daycare bags, that is what I had followed for my kid and this helps is keeping things simple.

Weekly daycare bag

The weekly bag is dropped off at the daycare every Monday and picked up every Friday. This contains everyday repetitive things that they need.

The following items must be packed in the weekly bag.

  • The stock of Diapers- How many diapers to pack? my child would use a max of 3 diapers a day during the time spent at daycare so I would pack 3X 5 days=15 diapers.
  • 1 pack of 100 wet wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • 2 bedsheets 
  • 1 blanket
  • 1 pillow
  • 1 diaper Changing Mat
  • 6 sets of clothes for changing- 1 for each day and an extra for the safer side, I also use to keep 1 in the daily bag

Daily Daycare bag

The following items can be included in the daily daycare bag, a few are just added as extra for backup. The daycare where my kid was going was 12km away from home so there were rare times that we had the need to change diapers on the way. So, I started to add a few extra to the daily bag.

  • Sterilized milk bottle
  • Bib
  • Pacifier ( if your child use)
  • Napkins
  • 2 diapers
  • 1 Diaper Changing Mat
  • Common medicines 
  • Wet wipes
  • Burp cloth
  • Comfort items
  • Seasonal clothes like a warm jacket for colder days and sunscreen and a sun hat for summers
  • Sanitiser

Meal bag

The meal bag would change with age, I have discussed it in detail further in the post. But these are the basic things: 

  • Boiled water in a thermos to make the formula
  • Drinking water
  • Formula milk powder
  • Meal
  • Snacks
  • Eating mat
  • Cutlery 
  • Tissue napkins
tips to organize daycare bag

How to organize the daycare bag

To make daycare bag packing easier and make things easily accessible for the caregiver you should organize the daycare bag. Here are a few tips to help you organize the daycare bag and diaper bag. Invest in a good quality bag that is convenient for you to carry and sufficient enough for your needs. I used this bag as a weekly bag, for the daily bag I just used the backpack provided by the daycare as a gift. For meals, I used one of my office lunch bags, check here.

Use Transparent packing bags

Use separate bags for each item to keep them all together and segregated from other things

  • Keep diapers in one bag
  • Keep clothes for change in 1 bag
  • Keep Diaper wipes, diaper cream, and diaper change mat in 1 bag
  • Keep all medicines in 1 bag
  • Bedsheets, blanket, pillow in 1 bag

This makes you less likely to miss things and easier for the caregiver to find related items together.

You can check out the small packing bag that I used, Over 3 years I have used a few you can check out the one that I like here and here.

Label all the items

Most daycares will require you to label all the items with your child’s name. And by everything I mean everything ( I didn’t realize there were so many to label). Make sure to use safe, quality labels and markers.

Additionally, you should also label the individual packs with what each contains to help the caregiver find them and keep you consistent with packing in the same packing bags. For packing bags, I would just write with a marker pen and sticker. 

But for all the individual items, like dresses, bottles, containers, clothes, and bedsheets make sure to use good quality labels so that you don’t have to spend time again. And believe me, it takes time and there will be a mix with other kids’ clothes, there were times I used to be surprised this is not my eating mat and things go missing. So after many tries I was happy with the label here they are waterproof 

Food packing

Use high-quality, BPA-free food grade containers for packing all the food.

Use Air tight container for the formula and include the measuring scoop provided by the formula for the right measurement. 

Pro Tip: Cut the measurement from the formula box and stick it on the formula container for easy reference.

Pack cutlery like spoons and forks neatly in a cutlery pouch to keep them hygienic. It is very crucial as it will go into a kid’s mouth. I pack the one here for my kid as I was using it for my work too.

For packing and handling breast milk, you can read this article for details

Empty bags

Always keep empty bags in your daily and weekly bags to bring back used clothes and tiffins if spilled and dirty to save time cleaning the meal bags and avoid smelling bags.

Build a packing routine

To pack your kid’s daycare bag perfectly makes packing a part of your routine, do not leave it for the morning as at the rush hour of morning you have many things to take care and either you will miss packing something in the bag or get late. Use your weekend and evening after work for weekly and daily packing. You can read my post 10 Things for working mom weekend routine and Working Mom evening routine to build a routine that is most suitable for you. Make sure to use a packing checklist.

Infant daycare bag (Daycare bag for 1-year-old)

The weekly and daily daycare bag requirements mentioned above are applicable to infants too but as infants, they need a few things specifically that as they grow up they need less. 

Infant daycare bags majorly have diapers, wipes, and burp cloths.

If you decide to give breast milk you should provide a separate cooler bag with icepacks for breast milk. 

Depending on the age of the child and their transition to solid foods you should pack the meals accordingly for infants reusable puree pouches are best. You can check this reusable puree pouch that is easy to fill and use too.

Pin this infant daycare checklist for the future.

infant daycare bag checklist

Toddler daycare bag (Daycare bag for 2-4 years old)

As the kids grow their daycare bag needs are also going to change. 

You need not provide a lot of diapers. If they are potty training make sure to add a few extra inner pants as there may be accidents as they are learning.

You may also need to add things like toys, crayons, and books to their bag to keep them happy and occupied.

For toddlers the food needs are very different, toddlers do not need milk but you will need to pack more snacks for them.

Pin this toddler daycare checklist for the future.

toddler daycare bag checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

It will depend on your child’s age and habits, if your child needs a change of clothes 2 times a day and will be at daycare for a week from monday to Friday you must pack 10 outfits a minimum, as a precaution you can pack 11 to 12 outfits. If your child is potty training you must pack around 15 inners for a week

Pack the baby food in a separate food bag, use good quality BPA-free, safe food containers, and pack small food portions in individual small boxes as per the child’s need. For kids weaning and transitioning to solid food pack the purees in a squeeze bag it makes it easier for them to consume and will be spill-proof. Keep safe, cutleries separate along with napkins and tissues.


As a parent, it’s important to make sure you have everything your child might need when they go to daycare. Make a checklist of all things that you need to pack in a daycare bag to ensure it is well-equipped with all the essentials based on your child’s needs. When packing your child’s daycare bag, include the essentials like diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes. Things to make them comfortable like their favorite stuffed toy and things to keep them occupied like books, and toys as per their age. Make sure to label everything with your child’s name and ensure that the bag is easy to carry. By packing an organized daycare bag wisely, you can make your child’s daycare experience comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.

Make sure to save the checklist in the image for easy reference.

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