As a stay at home mom am I right or wrong to send my son to daycare? Feeling guilty.

Lindsey - posted on 06/27/2011 ( 87 moms have responded )

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I am a stay at home mom, taking care of my beautiful 18 month old son.

Recently my husband and I agreed that he needed more social interaction with children his own age (we live in a rural area and there really aren't any children his own age for him to play with and his cousins are all much older). While I was taking him to swimming lessons and mommy and me classes, he still wasn't interacting with the children as much as I would have liked.

And so I have enrolled him in daycare one day a week (with the option of increasing it to possibly two).

Problem is, I am feeling incredibly guilty for sending him to daycare. I am a stay at home mom because I wanted to be the one to care for him and raise him, and now I feel horrible about sending him off for someone else to do those things. And to boot, a part of me is actually excited about having some time to myself, which makes the guilt even worse, and makes me feel like a horrible mother.

What is your opinion?



EDIT TO ADD:



Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. I found most responses to be very encouraging. While some people suggested that perhaps my son isn't old enough to benefit from daycare, or that he would benefit more from being with his mommy, I decided to keep him in daycare on a trial basis.



My little guy has been going to daycare for a couple of months now and he loves it. At first the guilt was so strong I seriously contemplated pulling him out. But once I saw how much fun he had, and how much the daycare workers cared for him I realized it really was a good idea. He never fussed when I dropped him off (not even on the first day) and only ever cried when I came to pick him up at the end of the day.



And I feel like I am a better, more patient, mom after having had some time for myself. Even if I spend his "daycare day" cleaning the house, running errands or doing yard work I feel rested and renewed by the time I pick my little guy up at the end of the day. He gets to play with other children and he gets a happier mommy at the end of the day.



In fact, my hubby and I just found out recently that we are expecting baby no. 2 in April 2012 and are thinking about sending him an additional 1/2 day during the week so that I can get some much needed rest. By the time our little one arrives, he'll probably be going 2 full days a week.

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Katie Elizabeth - posted on 12/26/2013

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Jennifer, how are you spending every free second with your child if you are taking advantage of god forbid..I just have to say it..ME TIME! by posting on this site? Shouldn't you be spending "quality" time with your child instead of bashing women who choose to send their child(children) to daycare?

And another thing self-care is not selfish..A mom is still a person other than a mother and has an identity just like everyone else. If you don't take care of yourself then how can you possibly take care of everyone else. Some need more "me time" than others such as those that are naturally "introverted"..Not everyone is extroverted and needs to be around others all day to be energized.

Linda - posted on 10/06/2011

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Lindsey, At 18 months old I wouldn't be so concerned with his social life. There are so many programs you both can go to. We had a mommy & me class once a week, there were swimming lessons like you did, library story time, walks, sitting on a blanket in the yard watching clouds and squirrels. This is an adventure for them, they are new to the world and learning everyday. You can join a MOPS group which is Mother's of PreSchoolers and do group things with them. When they get a little older maybe 3 1/2, 1 or 2 days a week for a couple of hours in a preschool program is fine. That's what I did with my daughter when I was halfway through my second pregnancy. I think what your doing is fine, but I think 18 months is a little too young for being concerned. You are his world right now and all that he wants or needs, besides daddy of course. God bless you, you sound like a wonderful "mommy".

Lisa - posted on 06/30/2011

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You should not be feeling guilty at all. My daughters pediatrician actually suggested me putting my daughter in daycare although I too am a stay-at-home-mom. Your son is reaching an age where he needs to start being socialized. You both need a break from each other and there is no reason to feel guilty about thinking about your child. I find it the only way to get anything around my house done and I know my child is being broken of being completely dependent on me always being around. My husband is deployed and it's the only way I can get any me time. You have NOTHING to be guilty about. You are thinking of your child and preparing him for school age.

Erica - posted on 06/29/2011

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I am planning on enrolling my son in daycare in order to get more interaction with children. If it is only 1 day a week then I wouldn't feel guilty, if you were putting him there 40 hours a week then that would be a different story. This is something that will be highly benefcial to your son!

Lindsey - posted on 11/16/2011

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Jennifer,

All I can say is "to each their own".

Actually, that is not all I can say... Yes I certainly am privileged to be able to be a stay-at-home mom, and believe me, I don't EVER take that for granted.

However, the idea that by sending my son to daycare one day a week I am giving up my responsibility as a parent and that I am giving away my power to shape him and teach him is, in my opinion, ridiculous. Aside from the 7 or so hours a week he spends in daycare, I spend every waking minute with my son, teaching him, shaping him, and being the best role model that I can possibly be. Do you honestly think that somehow all of that time spent learning together and having fun together, can somehow be diminished by a few hours in daycare? If I didn't feel that he were having fun, if I didn't think he was benefiting from the experience, he wouldn't be there. My son is smart, kind, gentle and funny, I couldn't be more proud of him.

As for the idea that my wanting a bit of "me" time is nothing more than a case of "self centred entitlement" and an "insult to women...", perhaps you shouldn't judge someone's situation without having the entire story. My husband works 2 provinces away, and can be gone for weeks, sometimes months at a time. My nearest family is, again, 2 provinces away. My husbands family, while closer, all work full-time and have families of their own. The friends I have close by all work full-time as well. That leaves me with NO support system. I can't drop in for a visit with my mother, I can't call my sister and ask her to babysit for an hour or two while I get my hair done. For about nine or ten months of the year, that 7 hours a week is, literally, the ONLY break I get. To judge me and state (I am paraphrasing of course) that I have some overinflated sense of entitlement is nothing more than a personal attack against me.

I posted this question on COM so that I could get some honest feedback, and you'll notice that not once have I come back on someone who disagrees with my choice to send my son to daycare (after all I asked for their opinion). However when I am being personally attacked for my choice, I feel absolutely justified in responding and calling that person out.

Are you entitled to your opinion? Absolutely. But you are not entitled to bash me, or anyone else for that matter.

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Ami - posted on 11/30/2011

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It's a tough job being a mom and having to make these decisions everyday that will impact our children.I think because you are a great mom that the guilt is just normal.Alot of people have opinions on daycare and listening to advice is good,but it's up to you to find what works best for your situation.Keep up the good work!!!

Ami - posted on 11/30/2011

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It's a tough job being a mom and having to make these decisions everyday that will impact our children.I think because you are a great mom that the guilt is just normal.Alot of people have opinions on daycare and listening to advice is good,but it's up to you to find what works best for your situation.Keep up the good work!!!

Barb - posted on 11/26/2011

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My son is almost 19 months and he's been in daycare for about 5-6 months and I'm also a SAHM, he has changed so much and its a good change. He's talking more then before and interacting with kids. We have a 7 year old daughter too, and he plays better with her too now. It's a great idea.

Medic - posted on 11/20/2011

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Lindsey- DO NOT feel bad. I am technically a SAHM but I am also a student and I go to school two full days a week but I also have clinicals and whatnot. My youngest 21 months has been going to daycare for about 9 months now and is currently going full time. Why? Because she loves it, her best friend is there, the schedule is amazing for her, my oldest, 5, is in school all day, and she has started eating better and talking better. She goes to an in home daycare a few streets away and my son goes on school breaks with her because his best friend is the carers son. Most days I have things to do: ie; study and do homework and housework and some days if my husband is lucky enough to be off we just spend time together. I couldn't give two shits less what other people think of how WE decide to raise OUR children. Last time I checked none of us have to rationalize any of our parenting choices to anyone else, as long as at the end of the day you can look your children in the eye and know they are happy and you are doing the best for them.

Jill - posted on 11/17/2011

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your comment that you added was exactly what i was going to say! kudos to you for being able to send your son to daycare even though you stay home. not many families can afford to send their child to daycare when one parent stays home. if your son wasnt getting enough social interaction during play dates with you, then you made a good decision. dont feel guilty! a happy mommy is a happy family and a happy home. good for you and enjoy your time to yourself. i dont get much of it so i'm actually a bit jealous! :)

Rebeca - posted on 11/17/2011

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I think its a good thing for your son to go to day care, not only do they need social interaction with children there age but they also need to start getting used to being away from u, children who never have a second care giver tend to develop seperation anxiety disorder at a later age when they have to go to school, becuase they have never experienced a seperation from there parents, but it's probably best if he only goes a couple to a few times a week for short periods of time anything longer and it can be to hard emotionaly.

Shayna - posted on 11/16/2011

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A little late maybe but I'd still like to comment. I think that many, many little ones benefit from being in day care. My little one sure has. I put her in daycare while I was looking for work (I quit my last job while I was on mat leave) so I could ease her into being there full time. It was really hard for me but it was the best thing I ever did for her. She was 13 months when she started and now, at 18 months, is absolutely thriving at daycare. I am working full time now but even before I started working it was a good thing for me too to have that time to do the things that I wanted and needed to do.

I'm glad to hear that it has worked out for you too!

[deleted account]

Lindsey it really upsets me to see how judgemental all these people are on this website. Seriously there are a bunch of bored mothers takig out their daily frustrations on everyone here. Sending a child to daycare is not the end of the world and you are not harming your son in any way. They all need to get a life seriously. We are human beings and there is nothing wrong with wanting a break. I am unsubscribing from this website because every time I get an email and read the responses people have put on your comment I cringe and don't want to read their rude comments. There are plenty of other websites where you won't have to deal with this crap.

Jennifer - posted on 11/14/2011

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When did we as a majority decide that its up to a daycare to turn our children into well socialized individuals. I stay home to care for my kids.. Why on earth would i want somebody else teaching them to be social. Socializing is a natural thing. Daycare?preschool or not, all humans are social to some extent. If you think putting your kids in daycare is going to give them a better shot at being the popular kid at school, i guess more power to you. Each child is an individual, and just because you overly socialize them in the begining years does nnot guarentee that you have the next captin of the football team on your hands... it just doesnt work like that. The first two years of your childs life will dictate for the rest of their life how they learn... I dont know about you, but im not going to leave that up to a stranger. Socializing is for school aged children, and being social is the last thing you should be worrying about with a young child. There are so many more important thing to be focused on in the first two years... i dont feel any child should be in daycare that doesnt have to be. My 4 year old can Read, write, and have an informed conversation with a grown up.. Preschool or daycare sure didnt teach her. Proof is in the pudding.. i have had the pleasure of meeting many children who go to preschool and daycare, as well as ones who dont, and hands down, the one's whos own mothers are shaping their little minds are a great degree more advanced in all areas... including social.... I cant take my daughter anywhere without someone saying how amazed they are at how confident, self assured, well spoken, and smart she is. If your a stay at home mom, you should be treating it like a full time job with unpaid overtime. Most women arent fortunate enough to stay home with their kids, and if you are... the last thing you should be thinking about is how to get some "me" time. What an insult to the women who bust their butts and still spend every free second they have with their kids... seems like nothing but a case of self centered entitlement. Sorry...

Heather - posted on 11/14/2011

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You need to do what you feel is right. Interaction with other children their age is great, but there are many things you can do to provide that outside of daycare. Play dates, museums, childrens play places etc. my son was in daycare for a year while I was in school. Days I was sick or even days I had off and needed to go shopping or to the doctor, I took my son with me. I always felt guilty leaving my son in the care of someone else when I was capeable of it. It doesnt make you a bad mom, but I feel there are better alternatives. But ehhh... What do I know, im only 23. :)

Jennifer - posted on 11/14/2011

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As a former child care teacher of 1 and 2 year olds, I have to disagree that they don't interact with each other. While that is true for some young toddlers, it is definitely not the "norm". This is when they start learning social skills, and by 2, they will have their first "best friends" in their class. As a mom of an 18 mo old myself, I've been lucky enough to not HAVE to put her in daycare, but now that she's showing signs of being socially ready to interact with other kids, we will be putting her in the beginning of the year.

Sarah - posted on 11/14/2011

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Bethany, you may want to consider taking him to day care as well, my child had eating issues but once he saw other children eating, he began to like it more. He also began walking and talking more after taking him to day care. Granted, we did not have a choice in whether or not to take him to day care, b/c my husband and I both work full time, but we feel (and are extremely happy with) our son's day care has effected him in many positive ways.

Heather - posted on 11/09/2011

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My son is an only child as well so he rarely gets social interaction with kids his age. I had him in daycare as a SAHM so he could get socialized. I ended up pulling him since they put him in the infant room, which defeated the purpose of paying their obnoxious fees. He was a year and a half but apparently was constantly removed from the toddler room. That is NOT the slot I paid for.

[deleted account]

I went through the same thing a little myself. When my kids were a year old I renrolled them in a mothers day program. First the guilt but mainly the gut feeling that they weren't ready made me pull them out and try again after a year. Your little guys sound like he is happy and you are able to be a better mommy. Good for you.

Loni - posted on 11/01/2011

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I think its a good idea i also have a son around the same age and i am a stay at home mom. Sometimes its good for them to be around other children and they may learn things from them. Good or bad its an experience so it can only help. Plus the break for mam and daddy is always good.

Taranah - posted on 10/25/2011

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I don't blame you; but would that be a waste of money for you and hubby unless money is not an option. If money is not an option and you all just want him to interact; I think maybe 1/2 day in daycare would be ok. Daycares really don't take care of your child like you would!

[deleted account]

Hi Lindsey...I struggled with this decision too. My son is very active and it was taking on toll on me being with him everyday 24 hrs a day. My husband and I decided that he needed to interact with other kids and individuals too at 15 months. I started taking him two full days a week. The second week I started noticing he was restless and I saw how happy he was when I picked him up from daycare. I also got a breather to do things around the house. I do have to say that we decided to put him full time and then I vary the pickup time everday. He is doing great! I have to admit there are days when I miss him and want to spend the day with him so I just don't take him that day. But he is doing much better now that he is going full time because he is used to the routine. He wants to participate in all activities at daycare (art, singing, etc). When he was only going 2 days a week he did not want to do these activities. I figured it was because there was such a big gap from one week to the other and he would forget...

Sharlene - posted on 10/19/2011

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Guys dont feel gulty because your sending your child to long day care it good for the child and yourself to have a break from each other as well the child and mom.Cheers

Sharlene - posted on 10/19/2011

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I think its up to the mother and father choice ,if mum feels she needs a break I dont see why not,Plus its good social skills and knowledge for the child .all the best

Camille - posted on 10/19/2011

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I'm so glad you got over the guilt! i wish we could afford to send my 3 to daycare lol...i'm a SAHM too, and i would give my right arm to have even 3 hrs a day to myself...good for you keeping him in there :o)

Shaki - posted on 10/15/2011

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hi 5 for you!!! congratulations on the new baby!! and for sending your child to day care and enjoying it!! anything to be a better parent right!! i applaud you

Reneca - posted on 10/13/2011

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Dont feel guilty at all!! Its good for your son to have interaction with other kids, and while he's at daycare, your getting that "me time" that all mothers need & your getting things done.

Debbie - posted on 10/11/2011

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I think starting in preschool early makes it easier to transition them to kindergarten. It helps prevent some separation anxiety problems. I have taught Headstart and found that children entering into the school world who have NOT been separated from mom through childcare, preschool, or even a babysitter/family/friend on a daily basis away from mom had a harder time adjusting to going to school. A child who is exposed to other environments will be able to adapt and cope better.... many times those with out of home opportunities cried less which is easier on mommy and the teachers! Keep your child in preschool. It is mentally good for him and he can get started on early developmental task that would be required of him in kindergarten... trust me there is alot for them to learn before hand so make it a bit easier on you and let someone else help you with that!

Rebecca - posted on 10/09/2011

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Hi Lindsey, I'm really glad its worked out for you. This is something I am considering for exactly the same reasons as you, I could have written your post. I just have a question if you don't mind? How did you find it only putting him in for a day at that age? My concern is that every week my son will have to start again and this may upset him as he may have forgotten. Your experience will be of great help, I'm thinking of 1 day a week or two half days, I'm undecided between the two.

Ronda - posted on 10/09/2011

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Good for you. Children do interact as toddlers. I have an in home childcare and my infants ever interact with each other. It is the greatest blessing in my life to be able to care for the children.

Megan - posted on 10/08/2011

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Lindsey - Another thing that daycare will help with is now that you son has been exposed to other kids he won't be as jealous of the new baby. I'm sure they have babies where he goes like they do where my son does, he often stays awake or wakes up early during nap time to play with the older babies. This gives him a little more independence and teaches him that he doesn't need attention from you 24-7 to know that you are there for him and you care about him. I mean heck he's with a handful of other kids with a teacher or two who can't give him individual attention the whole time but he does fine with it. Enjoy the time by yourself, I do, I love the over lap while my oldest is in preschool and his brother is in daycare and that's only for 2 hours but it's the quietest 2 hours in my house...lol And with a new baby coming he needs something just for him and you'll need time for just you and the baby. In the few weeks after my youngest was born that my oldest wasn't in preschool he drove us nuts because he wanted mommy all the time but mommy was trying to take care of a sick and tiny baby and daddy worked 3rd shift. And when my oldest wanted attention he would smack his brother. My boys are just under three years apart and the newest baby will be just over two years younger than my current youngest. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't doing a great job with your kid because you chose to basically give him an early start at preschool because that's all daycare is, and if he's happy then there's nothing to be worried about.

Megan - posted on 10/05/2011

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I'm a stay at home mom too and I'm pregnant with my 3rd child. There is nothing wrong with sending him to daycare, it's giving you a break which you need to do adult things pregnant or not. Plus like everyone says he's getting a chance to be around kids his own age and be in a somewhat learning environment that is different from what he gets at home. Believe it or not when the baby comes daycare will be a godsend because his routine won't change that much, he's still going to be going to play even with a new baby at home. If you hadn't put him in he'd get more jealous of the baby because he wouldn't be the center of attention all the time. We were so thankful when my oldest started preschool because it got him out of the house after his brother was born, and now we are thankful for preschool and daycare since we have another baby coming soon. Our oldest will keep his routine and won't have a problem adjusting to a new baby since he's done it before and hopefully his brother will do well since he'll spend the same time in daycare he did before playing and having fun with his baby friends..lol As long as you are using a good safe daycare there's no harm in your son going.

Kim - posted on 10/05/2011

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I did the same thing and everyone benefits :) Nobody said that we have to be with our kids 24/7 to be great parents. We have to take care of ourselves too. Enjoy your time & make sure you do something for yourself once in a while even if it's just sitting & reading a book :)

Ashleigh - posted on 10/03/2011

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in all honesty your child needs that extra stimulation. But having your son go to daycare isnt just about him, you should take that time and have a coffee with a friend or just enjoy watching a movie...

Casey-ann - posted on 10/03/2011

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Hi I have my 20month little girl in daycare 2days a week she started off 1 day from when she was 8months old. I felt like you guilty cause I am also a stay at home mother but I found it gave me time to do my own things and catch up on things I couldn't do while she was at home. But I dont have any family around and there are no little ones in our area so I felt this would help her interact with other kids her own age. I'm so happy I did take her to daycare cause she is such a good talker and interact with the other kids no problem at all. Now we are thinking of having another baby, it will give me one on one time with the new baby. Dont feel guilty if your little one is happy going then its all good.

Janet - posted on 10/03/2011

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all mums need me time - parenting is not about looking after the kids 24/7 - it's about looking after urself so that ur kids r happier

Vicki - posted on 10/03/2011

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don't feel guilty all children are different and if this is working for you and your son then go for it. i'm a stay at home mom with 3 kids (13, 10 & 23months) and i'm looking at putting my youngest into daycare for a couple of hours a day to get him ready for when he goes to nursery, i did the same with my 10yr old and she loved it.

Gemma - posted on 10/02/2011

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Good on you I think they need interaction with children of there own age from a young age it teaches them several skills you can't teach them as well such as sharing. Good luck with baby number 2. x

Amanda - posted on 09/28/2011

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I don't see anything wrong with one day a week. I would probably feel guilty too though so I see where you are coming from. It is good for them to get use to the social interaction with other children.

Julia - posted on 09/28/2011

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i am a stay at home mom. i never sent my son to daycare and now he is in preschool. he does not interact much with his peers. i started an at home daycare and have an 18 mo daughter. she is actually quite social with the other three..who are all around 18 mo as well. i think her transition to preschool will be much easier since she is around kids her own age already. i wish i would have sent my son to daycare or started my own when he was younger. i think you are a great mother for wanting more for your child than just adult interaction with you, someone your child is completely comfortable with. dont feel guilty for needing some time for yourself. you are human!

Akron - posted on 09/27/2011

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No don't feel bad. He needs to be around other kids where he be ready for school! Plus you also need some time to yourself! you can't always haven him right there with u! It hurts when u get ready to leave and they just cry for u but as soon as u pull out the drive way he will be over it and playing with other kids...He will love it!

Kathleen - posted on 09/26/2011

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As a mother of four, 20, 16, 3 and 1; yes, two surprise menopause babies....NO ONE should judge you for what you decide to do with YOUR child. Let me tell you, I am a stay at home this time around and I am looking into preschool for the 3 year old. You do what is best for YOU, YOUR SON and YOUR Family and don't worry about anyone else's opinions! Mine included, lol! :) God bless you!!!

Heather - posted on 09/26/2011

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I am currently a stay at home mom due to being laid off. My 18 month old son and 3 year old daughter are both in preschool and I will do everything in my power to keep them there. The social skills they've been picking up there have been amazing and you can really notice how well they interact with others when not at the daycare as well.

Sarah - posted on 09/25/2011

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As far as learning to socialize with peers, daycare has its place & works wonders! As a preschool teacher I can tell you first hand that children who went to daycare do much better than those who soley stayed at home. Since you are able to stay at home, I recommend part time, because the benefits of you being with your child are HUGE. :)

Lynn - posted on 09/19/2011

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I am a stay at home grandma watching my 18mo old grandson 24/7 due to circumstances with his mom. I finally sent him to 2 days of daycare because, like you, I felt he needed social interaction with other little ones. I have not regretted it and know he enjoys going to "Ellen's".
And, I do not feel guilty about taking time to getting time for myself. I think it makes me a better grandma when he is home because I've gotten some "me" time.
Lynn

Sarah - posted on 09/18/2011

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You are right. Sending him to day care on occasion is a good idea. I work full time, and when I get a chance to take the day off, I will still send my little man to day care, because it is part of his routine. He gets a good structured day and we've grown to love where he attends. It is a Christian based day care, they do art projects daily, and he gets a lot of social interaction with other children his age. (Also, do not feel guilty, you need some time to yourself too). I do this as well.

Hope - posted on 09/16/2011

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I too am a sahm, of a wonderful little almost 16month old. I decided to join a ladies group at my church, which also my son would be in the daycare for the few hrs during the class. He is in daycare for 2-3 hrs one day a wk. I like the idea that he gets interaction with others his own age and I get a break and interact with ladies my age (hum..almost 33 :( . I love being a stay at home mom, but I do need a break. I think you should give yourself a break too. Ofcorse at 18 months, your little one might not be as social as what the "experts" say and its fine. (Every baby develops on his/her own time). My son is also not very social yet, but he has the opportunity one day a wk with kids now. If you are feeling guilty about being away from your son and placing him into daycare, then you could try just 1 day a wk instead of 2. Daycare gets very pricey and you would be paying someone else to watch your son, when you really would rather be the one spending time with him. Hope this helps you out some- good luck. Remember you're Mom, so you'll make the best decision for your son. :)

Sumaiyah - posted on 09/16/2011

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You are only enrolling him once a week for a short time. Working moms have no choice but to send our little ones to educare/ daycare everyday. Taking care of the lil one 24/7 is a career on its own. Even you need time to regroup. You are not a horrible mom, and you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what you think is best for your child. At this age its good for them to play with other kids, they really learn a lot from each other, it will also make his transition into school a little better for you. If he is crying - its the tears that make us feel guilty. Not to worry, if he is enjoying his outing at daycare, think of it as a playtime. Letting go of them at this age is always the most difficult for us.

Patricia - posted on 09/14/2011

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I think its good for him to be in a daycare i would like to enrolled my daughter in a daycare as well since she just love kids !!! And i feel guilty she is always home with me i mean i go outside with ehr and stuff but i dont think theres better than a daycare for them to havea social life !!

Jayne - posted on 09/14/2011

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It will be good for him to learn to socialize and interact with other kids. You are not going to be with him in school, so him learning independence now is good for the future.

Cassie - posted on 09/13/2011

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I believe you need to do what YOU think is right. I have been reading some of the comments and there are a lot of horror stories. If you are concerned about him interacting with other kids try toddler and me classes or put him in day part time. I am home with my son and I do believe parents play a major impact in thier childs life when they are at home but I also think that a good balance is important. Also, read your child. My son is a people person; he loves playing with other kids (he is 19 months). It is YOUR choice and don't feel guilty what ever decision you choose to make.

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If I could afford daycare once a week I think I would rather put that money aside and get a sitter every couple weeks so hubby and I could go out together.



I agree with Martine here and previous posters. I don't think an 18mo "needs" outside socialization in that way. There is plenty of time for that when he's older.



Now if you need me-time, that's another story and no need to feel guilty about it all! But instead of daycare, I would find a relative or trustworthy babysitter to come to my home once or twice a week.



A child development researcher (Biddulph) did a decades-long study and here are his recommendations:



Care options in order of preference



1 Engage a close relative or friend who you trust and who loves your child.



2. Employ a trustworthy family day carer you know personally.



3. Find a quality day-care centre with stable staff you can get to know and about whom you feel comfortable.



What's best by age

0-1: No child care at all. Keep baby with parent, relative (or trusted babysitter for short breaks).



1-2: One short day with a trusted carer. Ideally a one-on-one carer-to-child ratio; one-to-three at most.



2-3: Two short days a week with a trusted carer. Building up to short days in a quality centre but only if the child settles well.



3-4: Up to three short days or half days in quality care.



4-5: Up to four short days or half days in quality care.

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