As this picture demonstrates, having a tiny human and attempting to get out the door with said tiny human each morning can be an interesting exercise. For any working parent time management is a constant struggle, especially in the beginning when mornings feel particularly unpredictable. One of the best things we did was get into an evening routine to prep for daycare because the last thing we wanted to do in the morning is give up any precious minutes of sleep! Plus, prepping at night takes the pressure off of the morning routine. This was especially important when baby Dan V was little-little, the more time we had with him in the morning the better.
Our routine wouldn’t be complete without the products we used on the reg. Below is a breakdown of the gear you’ll need to make your mornings run smoothly…
Bottles stressed me out. There’s entirely too many choices claiming to be superior – it’s all so overwhelming! Before Dan V was born I was obsessed with getting different types of bottles, fearful that he’d reject each and every one of them and go on a hunger strike. Little did I know that my V was motivated by food in general and didn’t so much care which bottle/nipple combination it came from. I ended up spending a ton of time returning all of the different types I purchased.
Whatever bottles you settle on you’ll want to be sure you have enough for daycare and some to spare. That way you can get a nice rotation going without having to wash/dry/reuse the same bottles over and over. If you at least have a two-day supply you can get in a nice flow between washing/drying overnight and those you’re prepping for the next day.
LV – Since the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution items were the ones I actually opened and washed I felt committed to using them not only with my pump but to feed Dan V. Quite honestly I think V would have eaten from anything I gave him. These just happened to be first so we went with it. I’m glad we did, we had a constant flow of ready to fill bottles. No need to wash, dry and fill the same ones we used for that day.
LEAVE – In theory this Calma® nipple from Medela sounds awesome, in practice it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen and have NO IDEA how this could be an elite design exclusively for breastmilk feeding.
Letting my freak flag fly on this one. I’m obsessed with organization and loved using Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels to name and date bottles and food for V. Print off some clear labels with your little one’s name and the date to save time labeling multiple bottles by hand. It’s a small thing but can have a big impact.
Honestly most accommodating cooler bag we use on a daily basis is one we received for free as a promotional item. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to work. Something like this is great – it holds bottles and baby food perfectly and can be prepped and kept in the refrigerator the night before.
Bringing it All Together
You’ll need an easy way to transport your baby’s things to and from daycare. We use a reusable shopping bag featuring Goofy that we received as wrapping for a shower gift. It’s the perfect catch-all for V’s needs. We can throw his bed sheet and blanket in there along with a change of clothes* and cooler bag.
* Don’t forget to have both an extra sheet/blanket and an additional set of clothing on hand at daycare, in the beginning especially. Our little guy was a came home a few times in daycare clothing – let’s just say they’re not the most fashion forward.
You’re going to be washing and drying a ton of bottles. We loved The First Years Spinning Drying Rack because it holds a lot and takes up very little space. We also loved the Playtex SmartBrush Baby Bottle Brush. It’s no scratch and the nipple brush screws into the handle ensuring that you always have easy access.
There’s no hard or fast rule on what products will work for you and your routine, but those listed above really made our lives easier. They don’t have to be fancy, they just have to work!