Gear up for childcare success
Parental leave goes fast! Register now for the gear your caregivers need when you return to work. It truly takes a village to raise a baby, especially when parents go back to work. But that village needs to be prepared if they’ll be taking care of your baby outside of your home. With a little planning, the childcare transition can be smooth for everyone (baby included).
daycare done right
Your diaper bag will be your child’s basecamp, and should include everything they’ll need for the entire day. Some daycares offer shared basics (diapers, wipes, toys), but others require parents to restock diapering essentials weekly or monthly. Find out what’s provided and what you need to send along with your baby and set a reminder in your phone so you’re not scrambling before work.
You’ll definitely want back-up clothes for your baby—for little people they really do make big messes. Add an extra layette set to your baby registry that includes all the extra hats, socks, and bodysuits your baby could need.
Label everything: bottles, blankets, clothing, pacifiers, and anything else you send. Look for labels that are dishwasher and washing machine safe so they stand up to constant cleaning.
nanny share success
If your nanny will be exclusive to your family, they’ll just use all of your baby gear. But if you're joining another family, your home will be a homebase for more than your child. Stock up on multiples when it comes to feeding, diapering, and playtime. Then if your co-family forgets to pack anything, your nanny has plenty for everyone.
A stroller that can hold two kids (or more) will be a necessity for getting out of the house for some fresh air. Register for a stroller that can accommodate an extra seat or ask your co-family to pitch in on a double stroller.
Not all babies are on the same schedule (that would be too easy). Make sure your sitter has a sound machine so your baby can nap peacefully when the other baby is awake.
Two babies should never share the same crib, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. A travel crib is a safe second sleep space, and is easy to store when not in use.
going to grandma’s house
A mini-crib on casters is a practical pick for that spare bedroom at your parents or in-laws’ house. It can be easily moved from room to room (without being lifted), and folded up and slid under a bed when not in use.
A space-saving, booster-style high chair is easier for older family members to clean and store. It’s also more cost effective for a piece of furniture that may not get daily use.
It’s a good idea to get “grandparent versions” (aka smaller and storage-friendly) of some of the frequently-used gear, but consider buying an exact replica of anything your baby is especially attached to, like a toy, lovey, or swaddle.
Wash your baby’s crib sheets at home with your usual laundry detergent. The smell will bring your baby comfort and make nap time easier for everyone.
prepare the pinch hitter
Sometimes you need just an hour or two of unexpected coverage or some time to yourself (yes, that’s a thing). Say yes to friends or family who offer to help by dropping off your baby for a little one-on-one, or invite them over and head into another room.
Set sitters up for success by gathering all of the essentials in a diaper caddy: wipes, creams, medicines, extra pacifiers. Include a changing pad so they can make any space into a diapering station.
Pack your travel bouncer and let your sitter know your baby’s favorite speed or setting. If your baby doesn’t feel comfortable with their new friend, the familiarity of their favorite spot should help ease the transition.
If you’re sneaking away for a nap or an important phone call, write or type out any specific feeding or medication instructions so your sitter won’t need to disturb you.