Most child care facilities have a refrigerator where they store the bottles until they're needed throughout the day. Each facility has general guidelines as to what they require for labeling purposes. That said, it is still wise to find what works for you personally, while taking into account those requirements.
After visiting a few different child care facilities when we lived in Georgia, and checking out a few here now that we are in Arizona, each generally states that the bottle must be labeled with the child's name, day/date (each facility will have a different requirement here), and if this is a breast milk bottle- the exact day you brought the bottle.
How many bottles should I send? That really depends on your baby. I would send 4 4oz bottles, but knew she only took 3 a day. Typically the baby should drink 1oz on average for every hour you were separated.
How should I have the caps/lids/nipples? I would personally send one completely prepped, with a nipple, and this was typically her AM bottle. The other bottles I would have the solid ring top placed on them for ease of transport and to decrease the risk of leakage. When she was done with one bottle, they just unscrewed the top and screwed it onto the next bottle. This system worked for me best; because, this way I could be sure she was getting that first bottle in, since it was the one with the nipple and there was then no confusion as to what order I wanted bottles administered, especially when you're pumping a day before, for the next days' milk.
What do I do for daily labels? Personally, I would label Little Miss A's bottles with the day they were pumped as well (just simple Su, M, Tu, W, Th, F, Sa), and the full date that they were brought for daycare. I also would label the bottle with a number or "AM" for her first bottle of the day, which usually had her vitamins and probiotics added. The nursery school she was in when we lived in Ga did not require labels to be changed daily; however, there are some child care facilities that require you to take home every single bottle you brought and re-label it for the next day because of some regulations.
How about their names? You'll want to make sure you're labeling with first and last name. There's two reasons for this: 1. My daughter has a common name and I don't want her sharing her milk with any other kiddos (or them sharing theirs with her), and many state laws require first and last name must be labeled on every single bottle, food and clothing item brought for your child. For her name, I found these fantastic little orbit labels that were little rubber rings, designed with her name and little icons. I also purchased another brand/style from Amazon, but I really did not like the quality and they didn't stretch around the bottles well. The inchbug brand labels fit perfectly around 4oz, 9oz and the sippy cups from Avent. They also fit well around her pura kiki bottles.
Anyhow, there's tons of coupon codes online to order the custom orbit labels from inchbug, just give Dr Google a shout out and I'm sure you'll run across something!
1. Name: First and Last
2. Date that the bottle is being used: Depending on the school, you can choose date 9/16/12 or day of week "Sa"
3. On the ring, I would use a little 1/2" yard sale sticky to write in the day I pumped the milk for my own personal record. This way, I could keep track of how much she was taking in daily and if I was pumping extra, just enough or
4. AM if you are adding vitamins to her morning bottles and don't want them to get mixed up!
How do you label your child's bottles for daycare? Does your baby take more milk than the # of hours they are away from you? Leave me a comment and let me know! Thanks!