Preparing to drop off your baby at the local daycare for the first time can be intimidating, and there are a lot of things to consider.
Labeling your baby bottles might be the last thing on your mind when you’re thinking about being separated from your little one, but it’s very important!
Think about it, you want to make sure your baby eats the right things, and you don’t want any germs to spread around in the daycare.
The daycare providers have a lot of kids to sort through, so making sure your baby’s bottles are labeled correctly is a must.
So, how do you do it? Here are some tips that will hopefully keep mix-ups to a minimum.
Learn About Your Daycare’s Bottle Requirements
Some daycares will have different requirements for bottles. One daycare might want the mother’s name written on it, while others will be okay with just the baby’s name on the bottle.
Before you get everything ready, find out what your daycare’s specific rules and procedures are. Labeling is especially important if you’re breastfeeding since breastmilk is essentially liquid gold and is made specifically for your baby.
Your daycare may also have particular guidelines for breastmilk, So make sure you know everything ahead of time, it’s good to stay in the know.
Write Your Baby’s Name and Date Prepared on the Bottle
Different daycares will have different requirements, but most daycares will want you to at least date your bottles and write your child’s name on them.
If you put the date prepared on the bottle, the daycare providers will know that it’s fresh and safe for your baby to drink. You’ll also want to write your little one’s name on the label to make sure no one else gets their milk.
Preferably, you should write their full name, especially if your baby has a common name. You never know, your child might share a name with more than one kid in their class!
Label the Bottles in the Order Prepared
If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you might label your bottles “Bottle 1,” “Bottle 2,” “Bottle 3,” and so on to make sure that your little one drinks the older milk first. That way, there will be less reason to throw away breastmilk, which is a huge plus if you don’t want to be wasteful.
If you’re a fan of the evidence-based benefits of breastfeeding, you might want to give this a try. You can also place date and time prepared on the label to help prevent confusion.
For example, you may write April 10th at 8:00 am, or shorthand it further to 4/10; 8AM.
Make Labels Unique and Easy to See
The last thing you want is for the daycare workers to mix up your child’s bottle with another because they looked about the same. That’s why your bottle labels should be as unique and recognizable as your little one.
Feel free to use bright colors, cute stickers, or anything else that will stay on the bottle. There are also many companies such as Mabel’s Labels that can help you do this even if you’re not the crafty type.
Either way, have fun decorating! Your child might also want to help you out.
Try Label Makers or Pre-made Labels
As mentioned before, there are a lot of companies that will make your labels for you. All you have to do is write whatever info you need to on it.
However, you can also make your bottle labels using your very own label maker! Just print what you need to on the label, and the work is done. This makes the process of labeling your little one’s bottles much less of a hassle.
There are a lot of different types of label makers available, some more expensive than others, but feel free to buy whatever works best for you and your baby.
Try Out Masking Tape or Painter’s Tape
Do you know those thick strips of tape that usually come in blue? The ones you see at the hardware store? They’re pretty good for labeling baby bottles, and they come in a lot more colors than blue.
If you’ve got masking tape around the house and want to use it for something, try sticking it on a baby bottle and writing what you need to. It’s not always the prettiest choice, but it works!
Use Permanent Marker
If you’re not using reusable bottle labels, you’ll want to use a permanent marker. Think about it; you don’t want everything you write on the label to melt off!
A permanent marker is much less likely to rub off after a short amount of time. A lot of moms recommend sharpies, but use what you feel most comfortable with.
Dry Erase Baby Bottle Labels
Are you a thrifty, eco-friendly mom looking for something reusable? Dry erase bottle labels might be your solution!
A lot of different companies make these, and they come in many adorable styles that your kids will be sure to love. You can write on them, erase it after each use, and then write on them again!
All in all, these are an ideal option for a mom who is both eco-friendly and stylish.
Select Waterproof Labels
Condensation on the outside of the bottle can make using tape and labels difficult at times. That’s why you should make sure that whatever label you use is waterproof – it’ll save you and the daycare workers a lot of hassle.
Also, try to make sure whatever marker you use won’t wash off easily, since the information is the most important part. Overall, you’ll want something durable that can stay on the bottle even if it gets wet.
Dishwasher Safe Labels
Are you worried that you’ll accidentally put a piece of tape in the dishwasher and make a mess? You might want to try something more durable.
Plus, if it’s safe in the dishwasher, then you know the label you choose will be durable enough to survive a day at daycare!
Mabel’s Labels is one example of a company that makes dishwasher safe labels, so take a look if you’re interested.
Select Labels Large Enough for Names and Dates
You want a label that’s easy to see, as well as one that’s large enough so that you can write whatever you need on it.
However, you don’t want it to be too big – your daycare providers will need to see the ounce markings on your baby’s bottle.
Basically, you want something that’s not too small, but also not too big. Try different sizes to see what fits best on your bottles.
Label the Bottle Caps to Match the Bottle
This seems odd, but bottle caps are known to disappear at the worst of times. Without a lid, your baby’s bottle might spill, and we don’t want any of that precious food wasted!
You also don’t want the daycare workers to mix up the cap with another in case of germs. If your daycare workers find the cap somewhere, it’s a good idea to place a small label of some sort on it.
Just something with your baby’s name will probably suffice, or at least something that matches the label on the bottle.
Make Sure Your Daycare Is In the Know!
If you have any special instructions that you want to give your daycare providers, definitely tell them sooner rather than later! Most daycare providers are on top of their game. They will typically do their best to cater to the needs of their patrons.
I would suggest giving them any special instructions in the form of a written note so that they can read it over anytime. After all, you don’t want them to forget anything important!
You’re the parent in this situation, so you have the right to make sure your baby is being taken care of by your standards.
Should your daycare choose to ignore your requests, it might be time to find a new one that better suits you and your little one.
Before you get everything ready, find out your daycare’s specific rules and procedures. Most daycares will want at least the date and your child’s name on them.
Tips for Label Making
- Buy customizable labels or invest in a label maker
- Unique labels help prevent mix-ups
- Masking or painters tape work if you’re in a hurry
- Look for waterproof or dishwasher safe labels
- Labels need to fit names and dates
- Keep daycare informed of specific instructions
Starting daycare can be an intimidating experience for both you and your child. There can also be a crazy amount of labeling involved to make sure your child’s belongings don’t get lost.
However, the chances are that you’ll make it through okay as long as you prepare.
Scope out the best daycares near you that fit your price range, and find out what their policies are ahead of time. Check out this link for some great questions to ask your prospective day care. You’ll be glad you did.
You also want to find one that benefits both you and your child, so do some serious research on your options.