Starting nursery is often an exciting time for your little one. For parents, it can be a little more stressful. Naturally, you want to make sure they’re prepared for every eventuality when you drop them off, but that can make it tricky to know what to pack in their nursery bag.
Luckily, we’re here to help you send them off with everything they need to have a fantastic experience with the ultimate nursery backpack checklist.
1. Spare & outdoor clothing
Days at nursery often get messy! Play activities can see your little one enjoying pots of paint, pens, glue and glitter, which will inevitably end up splattered down their front. The same goes for their delicious lunch and mud from the garden.
A spare pair of clothes is a must-have, so your mini mess maker can quickly return to having fun after any spill. When packing each morning, check you’ve included a replacement for each part of their outfit, from T-shirts to socks.
It’s also essential to pack extra pieces for outdoor play, especially once the seasons change, including a cosy hat, scarf, wellies and a waterproof jacket. Now they can enjoy outdoor fun, come rain or shine!
Your child’s nursery will need to be made aware of any illnesses or allergies they have in advance of their first day. If they take prescription medication or need an EpiPen or inhaler close by, pack enough for the day and let their carer know exactly where they can find them. That way, if your little one needs their medication, it can be administered safely and quickly.
Plus, it’s always a good idea to include instructions on when and how their carer should give the medication.
3. Snacks & drinks
Now, onto your little munchkin’s favourite part of the packing list!
What you pack in terms of food and drink will depend on their age and what the nursery provides. Your list could include a refillable beaker of water, bottles of expressed or formula milk, prepared snacks and a packed lunch.
Don’t forget, your little learner will need to stay hydrated for all that busy play. We recommend that you make your bottle or cup of choice spill-proof!
Children need to eat a balanced diet, so if you’re planning to pre-prepare all their food for the day, include a piece of fruit or two as a healthy and tasty snack they’ll love.
If you are picking them up in the afternoon, perhaps pack an extra snack for them to enjoy after nursery, especially if it’s a walk or bus ride back home. A banana or packet of their favourite crisps should tide them over until dinnertime.
4. Toys, comforters and teethers
If your little one’s favourite thing isn’t playtime or mealtime, it’s most likely naptime! Most nurseries have set times that the children can lie down for a quick snooze, but not all of them are great at falling asleep on schedule. This can be especially true if they’re not used to sleeping away from home.
While nursery workers are experts at getting over-excited children settled, sending your little one off to nursery with their favourite sleep aids is crucial for getting the most out of their naps.
All little ones have a favourite comfort object, whether that’s a bunny or a blanket, so remember to pack it, especially if they’re struggling to fit in. We suggest, if you can, buying a second version of their favourite object, so they don’t get too upset if they lose it.
If they can’t sleep without a cuddly toy in their arms, pack a familiar plush or a super-soft comforter to help them drift off. For teething tots, a chewy and easy-to-grip teether is a must for soothing their gums.
5. Nappies, creams and wipes
Last but not least, leave space for all those extra bits your child will need to keep them clean and comfortable throughout the day. Their carer may need to grab a fresh nappy, nappy cream or wipes at a moment’s notice, so make sure they’re readily accessible.
Even if your little one is potty trained, keeping a spare pair of underwear in their bag is always a good idea. They’re still learning, after all, and accidents may happen.
Picking the best backpack for your child
Whew, that’s a lot to pack every day! That’s why it’s important to have a spacious, durable, and cute bag to send your little one off to nursery with.
At My 1st Years, we know a good nursery backpack is hard to find. That’s why we offer a massive collection of wonderful backpacks that children and parents LOVE.
Your cheeky child can explore a huge range of colours and patterns to find the perfect characterful bag that fits their unique personality, from roarsome dinosaur designs to unicorn-themed backpacks. Our experts designed each bag to be super comfortable to carry, with padded and adjustable shoulder straps, and incredibly useful, with spacious compartments, pockets, and outer pouches for their water bottle.
Plus, you can add their name to these delightful designs with our personalisation service, making their nursery backpack instantly recognisable! Little learners will love to have their name on their front of their brilliant new backpack, to let everyone know who it belongs to.
Don’t forget to label everything that they take to nursery! Either use a sharpie or buy some stick-on or iron-on labels to ensure that their bits and bobs don’t get lost!