It’s not just older children who are venturing into pastures new this September. Lots of tiniesÂ will be heading off into the big wide world of nursery. Here’s our round-up of ideas to help them along the way.
Smaller children are oftenÂ apprehensive about being left initially, so it’s a good idea to pack a familiar toy or comforter (see our 10 Best for ideas) to make them feel at home. Kitty takes a favourite bunny in every week as she only goes for two days, but, if they are full time, it might be worth investing in a duplicate lovey to live there.
A few family photos or even a photobook or mini album will also help settle fractious little ones. We regularly send in photos from home and the nursery staff talk about them with the children. Try Blurb for cute Instagram books.
Many nurseries provide hot meals, but you may need to send a packed lunch and water cup. There are a couple of new products that do the job well. Yumbox, Â£24.95, is a bento box for little ones, divided into sections for dairy, veggies, fruit, protein and grains and there’s even space for a dip or sauce. Kitty and Alfie love filling theirs with tasty treats for days out too. I’m a fan of Haberman’s Anywayup cups and I’m loving the latest incarnation with its dino designs. It is just about the only cup I’ve found that genuinely doesn’t leak (ever)Â and is a reasonable Â£2.95.
The average nursery day usually includes messy, sand or water play or even body painting. So, in addition to the inevitable accidents, a bag of spare clothes is essential. You might find that a bag or drawer to store them in is provided, but if you do need to take one then Mibo’s kit bags, Â£11.50 each, fit the bill brilliantly. I’m loving the new cat and dog designs. Label everything speedily with the genius Stamptastic.
Kitty goes to an outdoor nursery and they really do make use of ‘the meadow’ in all weathers, so rainwear is a must. Try Raindrops, Kozi-Kidz and Muddy Puddles for all-in-ones, waterproof jackets and trousers and wellies. Similarly, a sunhat and suncream are handy to have in the bag in case of unexpected heatwaves.
Nap time can be tricky in a new environment, so anything you can do to smooth it over is a good idea. The comforter should help, but you might want to take in a littleÂ pillow (I like Qatch’s animal travel pillows/toys) and blanket (giant muslins are ideal – try Aden & Anais or WeeGoAmigo) that your child is used to.
I think that’s it. If you have any other brilliant suggestions, do tell.