What to Pack for Daycare + Free Daycare Bag Checklist!

Here’s a guide on what to pack for daycare for your little one – plus a free checklist so you never forget.

Sponsored by Kiddylicious.

My two kids have been going to daycare (and now school for one of them) for a while now and even now I’m surprised at how much stuff goes into their bags.

A day away from home means that your child needs more than just the few essentials that you might carry in the changing bag.

This list includes everything you’ll need to pack in your kids’ daycare bags plus a few toddler lunch ideas for daycare too.

Kiddylicious Fruit Wiggles - Love from Mim

Daycare Bag Packing List

1. Lunch

If your child is eating their lunch while they’re at daycare, you’ll need to pack a daycare lunch box for them.

Lunch for toddlers might include sandwiches, wraps, pasta, fruit and vegetables – as well as other homemade meals and treats.

Here are a few examples of what we send in:

Toddler Lunch Box Idea - Love from Mim

Toddler Lunch Box Idea - Love from Mim

Do let me know if you would like me to share more daycare lunch ideas and toddler food ideas generally.

2. Snacks

We like to pop healthy snacks in our kids’ lunch boxes for lunchtime and also when they get hungry throughout the day.

These might include chopped fruit or veggies, rice cakes, puffs and other toddler snacks.

My son loves Strawberry Fruit Wiggles from the Kiddylicious range of toddler snacks. They’re packed with fruit and have no added preservatives, sugar or salt. Plus, they’re free from nuts, seeds, milk and gluten.

Kiddylicious Fruit Wiggles - Love from Mim

He also loves bananas and apples! My daughter, who is now at school, eats melon, apple at cucumber at Crunch n’ Sip time.

If you’re looking for more toddler food ideas, pop to the Kiddylicious website and check out their range of tasty snacks and meals.

The range was devised by Sally Preston, an ex-Food Scientist, who developed a great tasting range that make great daycare food ideas for little ones!

They’re packaged in convenient portion-sized bags so will stay fresh all day.

3. Drinks and Bottles

If you’re sending in expressed milk or formula, ensure the bottles are labelled well.

Spare bottles are essential for babies and toddlers who drink water so that the daycare providers can refill them throughout the day.

4. Nappies and Wipes

If your little one is in nappies or nappy pants, and your daycare doesn’t provide them, you’ll need to send in a sufficient amount.

Huggies Nappy Pants

You can either send these in daily or send a bulk amount in for them to store for your child.

Most centres I know provide wipes but again, best to check if you need to send any in.

5. Spare Clothes

And not just one set!

Make sure to pack a couple of full outfits including socks and undies. If your toddler is toilet training, it’s worth popping in spare shoes too.

6. Coat

In the cooler months, make sure your child has a coat to pop on if they’re going to be playing outside.

7. Label everything!

Whether it’s clothing, lunch boxes and even your baby daycare bag, grab some stick or iron on labels for kids and get labelling.

Bright Star Kids Personalised Name Labels - Love from Mim

It’s essential to have your kids name labels on all your items to prevent them from getting lost – as they will.

There is also so much duplication of the same products between families, so having name labels for daycare makes your life a lot easier.

Related: we like the labels from Bright Star Kids

8. Dummies and Comforters

If your baby or toddler has a dummy, pop a couple of those (labelled!) in their bag so they won’t go without.

If your baby needs a special comforter to sleep with, it might be a good idea to send one in with them. Just make sure to let the staff know – they’ll appreciate the help!

9. Bibs

For weaning babies, a few spare bibs are essential.

10. Bedding

At naptime, your centre may provide bedding, or they might need you to bring in sheets or blankets.

11. Medication

If you are sending in any kind of medication, even special skin care for your child, you need to inform the daycare staff.

Let them know what you’re sending, if it’s allowed in their policy and if you need their help in administering it throughout the day.

Kiddylicious Snacks - Love from Mim

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking your baby to daycare for the first time or if you’ve been doing it a while, you’re bound to sometimes forget things.

Most daycare centres are great at having spare things to help, so don’t worry, especially if it’s your child’s first day at childcare.

When you collect your child from day care, it’s also a great idea to have a drink and snack ready for their journey home. After a big day of learning and playing, they might have worked up an appetite!

To stay a little more organised, print off my handy daycare checklist from my Resource Library so you can double check you have everything you need before you leave the house!

Try to pack as much as you can the night before, to save time rushing around in the morning.

What are your essential things to take to daycare?

Read next:

Find out more about the Kiddylicious range here – it’s available to buy in Coles, Big W and selected IGA stores.

Kiddylicious Snacks - Love from Mim


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I hope you’ve found my daycare checklist on what to pack for daycare helpful!


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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.