It’s actually happening! Your little one is starting nursery or preschool and you’re super excited – as well as a little bit nervous. Being prepared can help ease your nerves. Knowing what to pack for nursery can make you feel more prepared. Here’s your nursery packing checklist so you feel less frazzled!
Packing it all up in a backpack
Your child will have a peg at nursery where you can hang a backpack with all their kit and caboodle that you’ve carefully packed for their busy day. Choose one that’s small enough for them to carry but big enough to house everything they need for their day at preschool.
Messy munchkins – packing spare clothes
When your child starts nursery they will be having lots of fun – and a lot of that will be messy play! Whether it’s squishing playdough, making mud pies in the nursery garden or splodging paint. Remember too your child might spill food down their clothes at snack or meal times too. They could even have so much fun playing that they have a little accident or two. So one of the main things you should pack is a spare set of clothes to change into if they need to. Another key item is a pinny or an apron for messy play (unless the nursery provides!)
Indoor (and outdoor) shoes
Your child might need indoor shoes to change into when they go into nursery. They might also need outdoor shoes or wellies for outside play or nursery trips.
Packing for snacks and mealtimes
Your child will need lots of snacks and meals to give them fuel to play. If you’re breastfeeding send in bottles of expressed milk. If you’re bottle feeding then pack your little one’s formula. You might need to send in spare bottles and teats. If your toddler is a little older – your nursery might ask you to send daily snacks. Or they might provide them. It’s always best to check.
Nursery is thirsty work
Unless your child’s nursery supplies bottles, sip cups or cups for drink times you will need to pack a drinking vessel for your child each day. Your little one will need to stay hydrated for all that busy play. Top tip – make the bottle or cup you choose spill-proof!
Nappies and knickers!
If your baby or toddler is still in nappies then you’ll probably need to pack a supply of nappies, wipes, nappy cream and nappy sacks. If they’re potty trained they might still have accidents so packing spare pants is essential.
Dressing for the weather
We all know that in the UK there can be four seasons in one day! Depending on the season make sure your child has clothes and supplies for every weather. A warm coat, hat and gloves in the winter. Layers, sunscreen and a sunhat for sunnier days.
Your child may well have a nap at nursery and you will want to make sure you pack everything they need to snooze happily. That could include a blanket, sheet or comforter. Check with your child’s nursery for what they will need for their naps.
Your little one might want to take a special toy or blanket to nursery to soother them at nap times or when they are feeling a little wobbly. Your nursery might have a policy around comforters so check first. If they ask your child to leave comforters at the door but you feel your child still needs one often they will have a nursery toy that can help your child feel safe and that can be an alternative.
If you’re child has a very favourite toy then they will be distraught if it gets lost on its way to and from nursery. So either buy a back up identical toy to keep in a safe place as a replacement. Or choose a special toy for nursery that won’t be the end of the world if it goes missing.
If your baby or toddler is teething then you might want to send in any teething toys, gels or powders into nursery.
Don’t forget medicines
If your child takes any daily medicines or needs emergency medicinal supplies makes sure that they you take them into your nursery. The nursery staff will need you to full out forms and will store any medical supplies safely. If your child has any medical condition always talk to the staff and make sure they are fully aware of their condition and any medication they need.
What to pack for nursery – Contact details
Make sure your child’s nursery have your up to date contact details as well as emergency contacts. It’s very easy to forget to update these if you update or change your mobile phone and number. So make a note to always make sure your nursery has the very latest contact details should you need to be contacted.
One thing to make sure you do is to label everything your child takes to nursery. You can buy iron-in or stick-on name labels to make the job quick and easy. We also love Stamptastic name stamps, which mean you can label everything in super quick time.
Starting nursery – troubleshooting for parents!
Starting nursery or preschool is a big step. It might be the first time you and your child have been separated. And you might feel anxious about it.
If your child finds it hard to settle then talk to and be guided by the nursery staff. They’ve settled so many little ones (and their parents) and will have so many ideas and strategies in place to help your child settle in.
If your child is very clingy we also have this blog full of top tips to help before the first day of nursery.