What Clothes Should My Child Wear to Daycare?

In this article, you'll find the answer you need to the question: What clothes should my child wear to daycare? Keep reading!
What Clothes Should My Child Wear to Daycare?
Samanta Ruiz

Written and verified by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

When you have to take your child to daycare or nursery school, one of the most common questions you can ask yourself is what clothes to put on them and what to pack in their backpack. Don’t worry! In the following article, we’ll tell you what clothes your child should wear to daycare and what they should bring so that you have everything ready for the big day.

Keys to choosing the clothes your child will wear to daycare

When choosing the ideal garments to attend daycare or preschool, it’s important to take into account several factors: They should be adequate, balanced, and functional. Let’s look at each of these in detail.

1. Prioritize comfort over aesthetics

For the little ones, it’s very important to move freely, and this will allow them to better enjoy the day. So, choose shirts and pants that are loose-fitting, light, and that facilitate diaper changing. If you use onesies, make sure the garments are easy to open and close.

If your little one is between 1 and 3 years old, they need comfortable and elastic clothing in order to be able to run, jump, climb, and play freely. And if they’re already potty trained, make sure the pants they wear to daycare are practical enough that they can take them down and pull them up on their own when they go to the bathroom.

According to what’s published in the Practical Guide for Parents of the Spanish Association of Paediatrics:

“Sphincter control often coincides with daycare time, so it’s important that children learn to go to the bathroom on their own simultaneously at home and in daycare.”

Therefore, the most recommended garments to wear to daycare are pants with Velcro fastening or with elastic at the waist and breathable shirts that are slightly baggy.

Babies playing with toys at daycare.
Simple, light, and loose-fitting clothing allows little ones to move freely and enjoy their toys to the fullest.

2. Always opt for quality clothing

In daycare, children perspire a lot, and if their skin remains wet all day, it can become irritated and hurt. And what’s worse, they may get cold, predisposing them to catch the flu.

For these reasons, it’s essential for the clothes that your little ones wear are of good quality and, as much as possible, they should be made with natural, organic fabrics. These are breathable, hypoallergenic, and harmless to children’s delicate skin.

3. Choose washable and resistant clothes

It’s almost certain that every day they return from the nursery, you’ll have to wash all their clothes. Therefore, it’s best to look for fabrics that are resistant to washing and quick drying.

At the same time, strong fabrics fulfill the additional function of protecting the skin of the elbows and knees against falls and friction.

4. Put a spare change of clothes in their bag

When you buy your child’s bag or backpack, choose a spacious model, as it’s essential that they bring a change of clothes every day. This will prevent them from remaining wet or dirty all day, in case of any mishap.

5. Look for good shoes

The most convenient models of shoes or sneakers for children are those that don’t have laces or those that come with adjustable velcro. This prevents trips and falls.

In addition, you should also opt for those made with breathable fabrics and avoid those made of plastic or that are completely closed. This prevents the development of diseases related to increased moisture in the foot, such as fungal infections, blisters, or dermatitis.

A useful tip is for your child to wear the shoes for the first time a few days before going to daycare so that they can be molded to their feet and the material softens a bit.

6. Select the right clothes for your child to wear to daycare according to the time of year

Although the outfits your child wears to daycare are basic, depending on the season of the year in which you find yourself, you’ll need to choose cooler or warmer fabrics. This will also have an impact on the models you choose, as in times of low temperatures, it will be more appropriate to opt for t-shirts and long pants, while in hot months, short sleeves and shorts will be better.

During the colder months of the year, children should also wear socks, a long-sleeved sweater or sweatshirt, and a hat, scarf, and gloves.

7. Avoid decorations and accessories

Avoid the use of belts, hair ornaments, or any accessory that isn’t strictly necessary.

8. Keep only the essential clothes in their backpack

The main rule when putting an extra change of clothes in their bag is not to overdo it! The child will only be in the nursery for a few hours, so the following clothes will suffice:

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 sweater, sweatshirt, or sweatshirt
  • 2 onesies and 2 bibs (in the case of  babies)
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 2 pairs of underpants
  • If your child still uses diapers, then send enough diapers to get them through the time they’re at daycare
Girls going to school with their backpacks.
Children’s backpacks should be large enough to fit a change of clothes, but you shouldn’t overload them with unnecessary items.

9. Mark all the clothes with your child’s name

It’s a good idea to mark all your child’s clothes and belongings to go to the daycare, both the ones that they’re wearing as well as those that go in their bag. Keep in mind that other children may have the same or a similar model as your child and this can lead to confusion. There are several methods for this:

  • Mark with permanent markers.
  • Stamp with stamps and textile ink.
  • Apply pre-printed iron-on labels.
  • Embroider the names by hand or by machine.
  • Sew colored ribbons with the name written on them.

Will I be told what clothes my child should wear to daycare?

This question is asked by all new parents and the reality is that this depends on each institution. In general, the daycare of preschool will only indicate what you have to send in the backpack, and the rest of the clothes you have to choose yourself.

The best advice we can give you is to remember that, at daycare, your child will want to be just as comfortable as if they were at home. In other words, they’ll need to feel comfortable and free to play.

The only difference is that, at daycare, they’ll be under the care of a teacher who cares for several children at once, and therefore, the most practical thing is that you opt for clothes that are easy to put on and take off. This will make their job easier and allow them to be attentive to the needs of all infants at once, including your little one.

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The contents of You Are Mom is for educational and informational purposes only. At no time do they replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. If in doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.