When to consider outside care for your child.

Melissa - posted on 09/24/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I am staying home with my first child who is 16 month old daughter and she is very energetic. I have noticed that she seems to always be looking for greater challenges and my husband says he thinks she's bored at home. When I get out of the house with her to do errands, she gives me a hard time trying to get her to stay put in the buggy, pulling at whatever is in reach, standing up, ect. When I take her to church she really enjoys the structured setting and getting to see other children. I had to take her with me to an optomitrist visit for myself and there was one older boy she was desparate to play with and seemed sad when he left (she followed him to the door and waved bye to him!)

She loves running around our acre sized back yard, chasing our cats, and inside she shadows me in whatever I do, never leaving the same room I am in. I try to encorporate her in everything. When I cook eggs for breakfast, she helps me crack them and whisk them. Doing laundry, she gets to help me throw the clothes in the washer and helps take them out of the dryer. I think she is completely adorable and precious and I don't want to even think about leaving her at a daycare, but I think it is something that may benefit her. I think she is craving being around other children and would enjoy more structure in her day.

One experience that I compare this to is when I was determined to breastfeed one year. But at 11 months, she started turning me away and preferring the bottle. She never looked back very shortly refused to be breastfed. It was over and I had to deal with it. So now, about daycare, I am wondering if she's ready for it, even if I am not.

What are your thoughts on this?

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13 Comments

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Nicole - posted on 09/28/2010

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I think every mum needs time to them selves. My LO started daycare 1 day a week at approx 4 mths, I was suffering from PND and i would send him off with dad in the morning and dad would bring him home in the afternoon. What a god send!
At the time I had no friends or family that lived close enough for me to visit so he had no interaction with other children. He learnt so many things like sharing and how to interact with other kids his age.
When i decided to go back to work when he was 1 yr, it made it so much easier to leave him for more days as he was already used to the daycare. He now goes 5 days a week and he is one well mannered little boy.
I just recently found out he is also a good negotiator - if he sees a toy he wants and another child has it he runs around finds a toy they normally like and offers it to them in exchange for the toy they have! It was so cute to watch.
Give it a go even if just for one day a week it makes the separation anxiety for kinder alot easier.
Good Luck!

Sharlene - posted on 09/27/2010

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I think if you can afford it a bit of childcare can be great for you both! My eldest became extremely difficult to handle when she was around 18 months, so she started going to an occasional childcare centre just for a couple of hours a week to give me a break. The following year we upped it to one day a week, then a few months later to two days a week when we had our second baby. Our second child goes to the same centre occasionally and he loves it.

Carisa - posted on 09/27/2010

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Instead of daycare, how about signing her up for classes (swim, tumbling) If you try that and still feel it is not enough, daycare will still be there.

Jodi - posted on 09/27/2010

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This is so timely because I just took my 17 month old daughter to daycare for the 1st time this morning! I knew it was going to be good for her because she's an only child & needs to play with other kids, but it was SO hard leaving her. The daycare is run by a woman & her daughter (who's my age), & it's in their home, so I feel very comfortable with the setting. It's also a small group of kids, so that helps too. A friend of mine had her daughter with them from the time she was 6 months old up until she was 3, so I trusted them because of my friend too.

It's not an easy thing to do, but I have no doubt my daughter is going to love it! She didn't want to stop playing long enough to hug or kiss me goodbye, so I know she was fine with it. She's also not talking much, so I'm hoping she becomes more verbal since the other kids are talking.

Ultimately you have to be ok with your decision because it's going to affect you the most. I would definitely recommend you take your daughter to check any place out & see how she does before you take the leap to leave her there. If she's not comfortable, she'll let you know. I took my daughter to our place in mid-Aug, & she had a great time. We were there almost 2 hours because she didn't want to leave!

It's a good thing for you too--it'll enable you to get a few more things done & have some quiet time. Good luck to you in whatever you choose!

Lisa - posted on 09/27/2010

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Where you live will help with your options. Talk to the other parents at church and see if they are in a playgroup or want to start one. When my first was little, we went to mommy and me and when my second was born we've done playgroups, tumbling for tots, library hour, sunday school, etc. My first also went to daycare twice a week and absolutely loved it.

We live in a small, rural farming community so there are not a lot of options for toddlers. I looked at a nearby college community and there was a lot more. Another resource for finding things may be your county's health department. Our county runs a playgroup and gave me more information about other things going on in the county. Heck, kids will find someone to play with in the McDonald's playland!

Kids are curious about other kids so it's not that your daughter doesn't want to be around you, it's that she's curious about these other little people her size.

Kayla - posted on 09/26/2010

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I think you should try putting her in for like one day to see how she takes.. then if it doesnt work out try mommy and me groups nd such! :)

Tiffany - posted on 09/26/2010

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there are other options than daycare but some people like me cant afford things like that so i take my son to daycare oncea week to get interaction with other kids or during the summer i take him to the library for story time you could set up play dates at the park and let her run around to burn off some energy

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I agree with the others, there are TONS of toddler programs in my area--story times, book clubs, music classes, museum tours, mommy groups, craft days, and even a special cooking class at two of our grocery stores! We also have a science center that does special classes for toddlers.

Emma - posted on 09/25/2010

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I have always taken my 3 year old to Mum's and Tot's groups and baby swimming etc, but I'm having BIG problems leaving her at nursery, she cries the whole time I'm not there and it breaks my heart, I am wondering if it would have been better for her if I had left her for a few hours a week at daycare, then maybe she wouldn't be so anxious when I leave her now?

Candy - posted on 09/25/2010

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I agree with Joan. If you dont want her to go to daycare look around. My kids never went to daycare and did great in kindergarten. I would take them to parks and new one everyday to be around more kids. After school was the best time. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job at teaching her at home. You are a good mom.

Meilan - posted on 09/25/2010

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I'm a SAHM and my 14 month old daugher goes to day care one day a week. She loooooves it! And I wouldn't dare taking that away from her. My girl too is very energetic and really does get bored with me (and we do play dates, and groups and stuff).
Over the summer day care was closed for two weeks. Well, all of us really saw she needed it, she needed the challenge. She was very happy to be going back.

I would def recommend trying day care if you think she'll take to it (even if you're not ready). It worked wonders for my girl, so maybe it will for yours too.

Good luck!

Lady Heather - posted on 09/24/2010

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It's amazing when you start going to one parent/baby thing how many more things you find out about. I joined a local Moms group on facebook and from there I found out about tons of resources that I never knew were there. We have all sorts of library programs for newborns to school age, play groups that meet all over the place (at schools and health units and rec centres - awesome toys!), there's parent and child gymnastics classes for 18 months plus (so not so long from now for you!), swimming, and even our small museum has an awesome kids section that always has a huge gathering. I get invites to other events all the time and I even found a book club for me! Check Facebook. Look into local rec programs. If I can do all this living in the lame place I live in, I'm sure most anyone can find stuff.

I mean if you really want to work, then go for it. But if you are just looking for structure and socialization, there are so many ways to get it. I don't think I would deliberately do a child-away-from-me situation unless a) I wanted or needed to work or b) my kid was preschool age.

Joan - posted on 09/24/2010

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there are other choices besides daycare for company. there are mommy and me groups, gymboree, playgroups, story hour at the library or local bookstores, etc, look in your local newspaper for events in you area. go to local parks ,,,

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