Baby starting daycare? You need to label everything. All the things. Babies are terrible at keeping track of their things, and when the teacher dangles your favorite onesie in the air and asks, “whose is this?” your baby is unlikely to respond. So, label everything. Clothes, shoes, hats, socks, blankets, sheets! Bottles, bottle caps, lunch box, food containers, food container lids!
Stickers work well for hard surfaces like bottles, bottle camps, lunch boxes, food container, and food container lids. (Don’t think you don’t need to label the caps and lids – if you ever want to
see them again, you do.) You can either get custom-printed stickers from places like Mabel’s Labels or Name Bubbles, or you can print your own with laminated label tape. Our daycare requires first and last name on all food, so my first attempt at stickers was a bit of a fail, since it only had our last name.
In our case, we needed very specific instructions on my son’s water bottle, so after trying so many different grease markers, permanent markers, lab markers, even some nail polish, I bought a Brother label maker and a variety pack of colorful laminated tape. It’s stood up well to the incredible abuse my son puts his water bottle through. Make sure the label maker you pick has laminated tape available, because not all do, and you really want laminated tape if you’re going to be washing it.
Even though the sticker companies claim that their stickers work on clothes, I found an awful lot of them lining the clothes dryer. Plus, every day I’d come to daycare and find all the socks from the whole class lined up along the board. The teachers had no idea whose was whose. Socks turned into basically disposable commodities. There was no way I was going to put a sticker on every sock. I could barely manage to put a sticker on every major item of clothing (and had to suffer a lost hoodie on its first day of wear because of it).
I looked around on Amazon and found this stamp set, which has worked superbly for quickly labeling all the clothes, sheets, socks, mittens, etc, that go to daycare and need to come back. It comes with tiny letters, tiny tweezers, and a self-inking stamp array that takes up to 3 lines of text. Stamping is super quick and so far the ink has stood up to many many washes. I’m incredibly happy with this purchase!