Thursday, August 23, 2012

The daycare post

The other night I was talking with Brittany on twitter about daycare and she asked me if I had done a post about my feelings about Hunters daycare and I haven't so I decided now would be a good time.

Hunter has now been in daycare for 6 months, ever since he was 6 weeks old. It wasn't my preference to send my 6 week old to daycare but unfortunately that's all the time I had for maternity leave. Since I work for a very small company it's difficult to have any of us to be out for an extended period of time. And due to finances staying home with him just wasn't/isn't an option right now.

At first I hated it, not because there was anything wrong with the daycare, I just hated leaving my squishy little newborn with someone else. The first day I cried all the way to work. Each day it got progressively easier but even now I still have days when it's incredibly hard to leave and I spend the day counting the minutes until I get home to see him. It's tough but I'm glad he's there.

Both Kristian and I really do love his daycare and all of his teachers. I typically drop off in the mornings and Kristian will pick up so we both get ample opportunities to see the facilities and talk to the teachers and see how he's doing. Since Kristian doesn't have a set schedule he doesn't always pick him up at the exact same time everyday which I like. I like the fact that he will just pop in and get to see what's really going on. Usually Hunter is playing or being held (though not as much now since he just wants to explore everything). Sometimes he's still napping or getting his bottle. Kristian has never once been concerned about how Hunter is being treated when he's picked him up.

When I drop him off in the mornings both his teacher and the teacher in the adjoining toddler room will fight over who gets to hold him first or who can make him smile the biggest. They all seem to really love him there and I love that. Hunter also loves daycare and his teachers. When I carry his carseat inside every morning as soon as I sit it down he's anxiously trying to get out of it because he's excited. Everytime someone says hello to him he smiles. And as soon as he's down on the ground he's crawling around getting into all the toys.

Everyday we get his little report noting what he did, when he slept, ate and pooped. I've used this sheet to help me figure out a good nap and eating schedule on the weekends because I want to keep things consistent.

He's done a few art projects which include finger painting and playing with non dairy cool whip and chocolate. He has a ridiculous amount of toys to choose from, other babies to interact with and plenty of baby proofed areas to explore.

Another benefit of having him in daycare is that I've learned a lot from his teachers as well. When he was having skin issues his teacher would recommend different lotions to try, when he had a bad diaper rash she recommended a different butt cream. They've offered tips and tricks to help him sleep and other activities to do with him at home. As a first time mother I really like having that extra set of eyes so to speak since I basically am flying by the seat of my pants here.

Now, this isn't to say that he wouldn't thrive just as well if he were home with me everyday or to knock stay at home mothers. But after seeing how much he's benefitting from being there I think even if I had the ability to stay home with him I would want to send him at least a couple days a week so that he could still get all the benefits of socializing with other children and adults. Not to mention the much needed break that I would need from time to time.

So despite the fact that I desperately wish I could spend more time with Hunter during the day, if I can't be with him all day long I'm very happy with where he is and who is taking care of them. I know that those women adore Hunter and take great care of him and he's happy and that's what is most important to me.


Kristen at First Name Smith said...

isnt it a great feeling when you're finally at a place where you know its best fro them to be there! Love that.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I feel the same way about Jamie's daycare. The ladies there love him like he's their own!

Jenn said...

I love being a stay-at-home Mommy but I can totally understand the need to have some time to yourself and some time for your little one to socialize with other babies. I try to make it a point to have a play-date with a mommy with a baby my son's age once a week.

It's good that you can trust the environment that he's in. I think that's the biggest issue with people leaving their children at Daycares.

Stephanie said...

I would love to be able to return to work after I have Connor. However, financially, it's best if I stay home with him a little. After finding what we thought was the "perfect" daycare (James was the tough one on this), we did the math and I would be bringing home next to nothing. So we started to save and I am hoping that by the time he is 6 months old, he will be able to go to a daycare at least part time. I will miss him but I really want him to have the change to make friends and experience things that I won't be able to offer him at home.

princess apr said...

I would be an awful stay at home mom. We picked up Laura early so we could do an open house at school last night, and I couldn't handle her bouncing off the walls. I do wish I had more time with her, but I don't think I could do it everyday.

6 weeks went quickly. Ideally, I would have liked a little longer. However, I did also go home to nurse so that was a nice break. Also, I was blessed (?) with a kid with no separate anxiety who loves family and strangers with the same zest. Sometimes, I think day care would be better than family watching her, but I think of the family time she's getting and the cost savings and keep repeating that it's best for her until my mother-in-law doesn't annoy me so much. *g*