Infant Care and the First Day Of School: The Top Questions Answered

15 April 2022
 Categories: , Blog

What do you need to know about the first day of infant care? You're new to daycare—and aren't sure what to expect. Take a look at the top questions parents have about babies, child care, and the first day prep steps.

What Does the Center Provide and What Should You Bring?

The answer to this question depends on the infant care program. Some programs may provide extra diapers, wipes, or feeding items. But many ask parents to bring enough of these items to keep their baby dry, well fed, and happy throughout the week. Ask the center's director what you should bring for your infant's first day of care. Along with diapers, wipes, and bottles, you may also need or want to bring rash cream, pacifiers, bibs, swaddling cloths, and one or two extra outfits.

Even though it's likely that you will need to pack a bag filled with diapering and feeding items for your baby's first day of care, you won't need to load up their crib, pack and play, swing, stroller, or other larger items. Most centers are well-stocked with this type of baby gear. 

What Happens at Drop-Off on the First Day of Care?

Again, the answer to this question also depends on the center. If parents are required to bring care and feeding items, the center's staff will take these items from you upon arrival. Make sure to label everything with your baby's first and last name. You may also need to provide the infant room teacher with written care instructions—especially if your baby has sensitive skin or dietary/feeding needs. 

You may want to ease the home-to-school transition with a pre-first day tour and meet and greet with the teacher. While your baby may not remember their first meeting with the new caregiver, you will. This can make the separation step easier for everyone involved. 

The morning drop-off is also a time to ask questions. Write down a list of concerns you may have. Even though you can usually remember two or three questions, the first day can overwhelm parents. A list makes it less likely that you will forget anything that you feel is important to know. 

What Happens After Drop-Off on the First Day of Care?

The teacher can review your baby's schedule before you leave for the day. The specifics vary by infant care program. But typical activities or parts of a baby's schedule at daycare include feeding times (as needed for younger infants or at set times for older babies/toddlers), nap or rest times, story time, outdoor play/outdoor stroller walks, tummy time, sensory activities, or indoor motor activities.