What are some tips and shortcuts for packing baby's bottles for day care? Transitioning to a Bottle

iStock.com/Birzio

baby bottles
iStock.com/Birzio

You're looking for ways to make your morning routine less chaotic, and so you want to cut down on the time it takes you to prep and pack your baby's bottles for the day. Here, experts and moms share some winning tips and shortcuts that will thankfully make the process less cumbersome.

Don't Leave Anything for the Last Minute

"The best thing is to get your system down and do as much as you can the night before so it's ready to go in the morning. Don't leave anything for the last minute. Self-laminating labels for the bottles you pack daily are a lifesaver. You'll want to send in enough labeled bottles for the day, plus one extra in case of emergency. If you use powdered formula, put a measured amount in each labeled bottle so that day care providers can just add the right amount of water at feeding time. If...

"The best thing is to get your system down and do as much as you can the night before so it's ready to go in the morning. Don't leave anything for the last minute. Self-laminating labels for the bottles you pack daily are a lifesaver. You'll want to send in enough labeled bottles for the day, plus one extra in case of emergency. If you use powdered formula, put a measured amount in each labeled bottle so that day care providers can just add the right amount of water at feeding time. If you're sending in breast milk, ask the day care provider if they prefer frozen or thawed. Send breast milk in the preferred form in a cooler with clearly marked milk bags or labeled bottles for the day. Monitor how much your baby is consuming based on the reports you get from day care, then make changes to the number of bottles you're sending in, if necessary, so that nothing goes to waste." -- Sandra Gordon, founder of BabyProductsMom.com

Buy Enough Bottles for Two Days

"Buy enough bottles for two days. That way, each evening, you can clean and dry one set while you pack the other set for the next day. Prepare all of the bottles at the same time, and package them in the cooler. Remember to pack a little extra in case of those growth spurts! Store the cooler in the refrigerator, so it's easy to grab and go in the morning." -- Maria Lombardi, MD, pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network,...

"Buy enough bottles for two days. That way, each evening, you can clean and dry one set while you pack the other set for the next day. Prepare all of the bottles at the same time, and package them in the cooler. Remember to pack a little extra in case of those growth spurts! Store the cooler in the refrigerator, so it's easy to grab and go in the morning." -- Maria Lombardi, MD, pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Valhalla, New York

Have an Evening Routine

"After you put baby down for the evening, clean out your bag for day care from the day and make bottles. This way, the bag is ready for you to pull the bottles out of the fridge in the morning and hit the door. If you are preparing bottles with formula, look for a formula pitcher, so you can make several bottles' worth at one time." -- Julie McCaffrey, chief baby planner and owner at BabyNav Baby Planners

Pre-Measure & Pre-Assemble

"I like to pre-measure breast milk or formula, and make sure bottles are assembled, ready to go. With formula, you can add the water already to the bottle. Make sure everything is labeled, and give the attendants somewhere to put dirty bottles, like a bag in the diaper bag or something." 

Consider 'Drop-In' Bottles

"Bottles with drop-in disposable liners are an awesome option, as there's far less to wash!"

Work Together With the Day Care

"I talked to my son's day care to figure out what system worked best for them, but also kept things easy for me. They allowed me to store breast milk in their freezer, so I'd bring enough bags of milk to last him a week -- or more -- so I didn't have to worry about that most mornings. I just brought clean bottles. When leaving the house, I'd always quickly count the pump and bottle parts, so I knew I had everything I needed -- for me and for him. Also, I always had breast pump wipes, which are a lifesaver if you need to clean any parts or bottles quickly or without water."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.