Should toddler go to daycare for mommy free interaction?

Jennifer - posted on 12/19/2011 ( 37 moms have responded )

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I have recently been told that my 15 month old daughter is behind socially because I am always around. I try to get her into playgroups and activities but aparently because I am always present I am hindering her development. It was suggested to me that I take her to a daycare for atleas a couple hours a day. Has anyone else ever heard of this?

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Sally - posted on 12/26/2011

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She's 15 months for goodness sake! She's SUPPOSED to be attached to her mom! Even if she were interested in other kids her age she'd be far more likely to play next to them while ignoring them or steal their toys than to interact with them in any meaningful way.
It's part of the amazing screwed-up-ness of our culture that people honestly believe small children will learn more about how to interact with the real world by being isolated with people of their age and socioeconomic status than by actually spending time in the real world with a trusted adult to guide their behavior. As long as you're not keeping her locked in you house, the longer you can keep her away from day care (and preschool) the better social skills she is likely to develop.

Kelly - posted on 01/28/2012

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As for germs? They don't build their immune systems automatically. Every cold they get actually BOOSTS their immune system. Parent's stress too much about things now. When I was a kid I clombed trees, played in the mud, got splinters. Now they have plastic playgrounds because the woodens ones were giving splinters. I never got a splinter from a playground.

Liza - posted on 01/05/2012

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I agree with all the other mommies about 15 months old being too young to worry about social development. I don't know how any 15 month old child could possible be social when they believe they are the sun and everything revolves around them!! :D
However, I do send my youngest to daycare twice a week, but not for her benefit - but for mine! Personally, I am not able to manage my errands, keep the house clutter from swallowing me, and still be this happy, awesome mommy everyone things a SAHM should be. Those couple of hours away are my saving grace and allows me to be a better person when I am with my kids.

User - posted on 12/21/2011

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In the first 3 years of life children do not 'play' with others, but alongside them. All your daughter needs until then it's your full attention and care. All daycare will provide to her is stress and a niche for new viruses and bacteria. Sorry, this is my honest opinion.

Jodi - posted on 12/20/2011

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I have to question how a 15 month old can be *behind socially*......because every baby develops so differently. Your daughter sounds perfectly normal. Who is this "expert"?

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37 Comments

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Annaleigh - posted on 05/02/2012

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I have heard it, old wives tales...all of it. Plus, finding daycare for partime is REALLY hard. I think people who say that are jealous you get to stay home (and not pay for daycare) so they have to plant their seeds of doubt.

Stifler's - posted on 04/29/2012

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Yes but I disagree. She's 15 months! There is nothing wrong with staying home with your kids and not putting them in daycare. playgroups are good for socialisation. and the park.

Tara - posted on 04/26/2012

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I waited until my daughter was 1 before putting her in daycare which was a necessity since my husband and I work but I also knew that she was going to be an only child for a while and since there are no other small children in my family to play with I wanted her to learn to interact with other kids with out me being there since I cant be with her 24 hours a day. But at 15 months I wouldnt worrk too much about it. If you want to put her in daycare for a few hours a week to give her a little space that's one thing but you know what's best for her. Dont let others tell you what's normal

Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2012

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My almost three year old is at head Start fantastic program they provide transportation for everything like meetings and appts for him. he is only there for three hours four days a week perfect...

Kelly - posted on 01/28/2012

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I've had my son in daycare originally one day a week since he was 6mth old. I started with lust a morning, and gradually built it up. He's now 2 and in 3 days a week. You're daughter wouldn't need to go to daycare daily, a couple of hours a week would be good too. They learn independence and all sorts of things at daycare that they DON'T learn with you, simply because they expect you to solve aall their dramas. If you can take your daughter to a playground and just watch her, not play with her necessarily, it's much the same thing. LET her argue with other kids and fight and get hurt and all that.

Nancy - posted on 01/27/2012

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I think 15 months is too young. In my experience, when I noticed that my child (close to 2 yrs old) wasn't speaking very much, I asked his pediatrician to refer me to a speech therapist. He was premie, so I just wanted to make sure that his development was normal. She referred me to one and my son saw her for about 5 months. She then told me that he was fine, it was just the fact that we are most of the times by ourselves and I understood everything he wanted...so he didn't feel the need to speak. Around that time, I enrolled him at a school program (twice a week) for a few hrs a day. That gave him the space to play with kids, learn, interact with others, have fun, and of course...give me some 'time off' to do errands, rest, clean the house, go out by myself, or just rest. I found it very helpful for both of us, to give us some space, and to get out of the house. Even when in my experience has been a great decision for both of us, I think 15 months old is too little to leave him at a daycare (unless you are a working mom of course) or to even suggest that he/she is 'socially behind'. My son is 3 now and he has been doing great at that program, he is learning to share now, he knows numbers, all the alphabet, etc. And he really enjoys learning and playing with other kids...so I am glad I did it. I would say just wait at least until your child is 2. But that is just my opinion. Wishing you all the best =)

Elisha - posted on 01/22/2012

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Im a stay at home mum and my 15 month old goes to daycare 2 days a week. and he loves it ! Its all they need and he is a extremely social baby and plays with other kids really well. So i would recommend it :)

Jessica - posted on 01/18/2012

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It's totally our descision of course. It's not up to anyone else. If she's happy being with you then that's fine because daycare is expensive. You should do what you feel is right.

Jessica - posted on 01/18/2012

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I recently put my 2 year old in daycare because the only interaction he was getting was from me and his infant brother. So he goes 1 day a week and I think it's helped, he's around kids his own age and having a blast. Good luck! :)

Ariel - posted on 01/05/2012

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When your baby is cute and cuddly what is there else to do....I say show your baby as much love as you'd like!

[deleted account]

i had the same fears of germs and viruses in daycares but my doctor at the time said she needed to be exposed to things now because shes going to be getting sick the first few weeks of preschool or kindergarten.
I hated daycare when i had to work. she was ill the first week and i had to miss three out of the five first days of my new job. luckily i had an understanding boss to a degree. i mean she was three months old and getting sick all the time. pink eye, strep, cough/cold, fevers. i hated it. but wiht this small mothers day out program, they dont treat them like a daycare and shes only been sick once in three months. and we got a flu shot right away. at this age they only play by themselves anyways its not much interaction just the companyof other kids and teachers to give yourself and your little one independence away from eachother. i googled alot of sights when i questioned the time needed to spend away form eachother so there isnt a big anxiety the first day of gramar school.

Michelle - posted on 12/27/2011

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Sorry not true. You don't have to put your kid in day care in order for them to develop socially. She does play groups and activities. She's fine. I'm amazed at how many women believe that. Daycare is for children who's parents need it (work etc). It's childcare not school. Your kid may learn social skills there out of necessity but that's not the only way or even the best way depending on your kid.

[deleted account]

my daughter goes to a mommys day out program at a church twice a week from 8-12. its great to play with other kids and do crafts but it also helps for me to go grocery shopping, mop and clean the house and also to work on my degree online.

[deleted account]

Who told you this? Someone who runs an expensive daycare?

It's ridiculous and shows just how far in the wrong direction our culture has gone.

Kay - posted on 12/27/2011

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Daycare centers are germ factories. Why expose your child to this if it is not necessary?

[deleted account]

My girls were w/ me almost constantly until they started preschool at 3 and did just fine w/out me. Granted, they still had each other (twins), but they did fine. For socializing w/ other kids... we started going to play groups when they were a year and a half.

My son was w/ me almost constantly until he started preschool at 3.5. We almost never attended a play group, but he did spend a LOT of time w/ his cousins (one 11 months older and one 9.5 months younger). It took him a few weeks to adjust to being somewhere w/out mom, but he just started in August and does GREAT now. He's grown so much in just a few months.

I'm a very big fan of preschool at 3 or 4, but not in favor of a kid being away from mom (and/or dad... depending on the situation) for much time before 3.

Day care, IMO, is great for the parents that need to work, but otherwise.... I'm not a fan at all.

Amy - posted on 12/26/2011

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That's silly at 15 months. Kids aren't 'social' at that age, developmentally they play side by side and don't really play together until age 3ish. At 15 months they are barely talking. Why not try a playgroup or mothers group? She can interact with other children and you can interact with other adults. Daycare is fine if you need to but don't let anyone tell you that you have to.

Johnny - posted on 12/21/2011

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Personally I think 15 months is a little early to worry about socializing with other children. It's a good time to be learning from and bonding with mom. My daughter started daycare at 3 and is thriving there, she's very social, especially compared to me. But I do not think she needed it before this age. I did take her to all sorts of mommy and me classes, like art, swimming, dance, and even karate, which were lots of fun and allowed her to be around other kids her age. But as for on her own, I don't think it was necessary at all. When she was 2 1/2 she started an 1 1/2 hour cooking class for 2-3 year olds which was her first "on my own" thing. Something like that might be a good idea when she is a bit older, but I'd say now she should be just fine with you.



Even the need to go to daycare depends on the kid. It is the right thing for my daughter, but when I was a kid, I found it stressful and upsetting. I wasn't ready to be away from mom and it caused me a lot of social anxiety being forced to go (even though my mom was at home). My husband was at home with his mom until grade one, and it didn't harm his development one iota. He is much more outgoing than I am. So I would suggest that you know your daughter best and what will be right for her.

Jennifer - posted on 12/21/2011

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Thank you ladies for all your support!!! I am glad to see I am not the only one who sees nothing wrong with her being with me all the time. I didnt think anything was wrong because my daughter is very independent and loves to play. She does t care if I'm there or not. SN: The person who told me this was actually a professional who was doing my LO development eval to make sure she is on track for her age.

Shermona - posted on 12/21/2011

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I am a mother of two insanely intelligent children. Currently they are 12 & 13. Both were my little shadows at the age your daughter is now. Everywhere I went and every thing I did, they were always with me. There were no play groups just me and my kids. I used every experience as an opportunity to learn and share. My oldest is a social butterfly, while my son prefers to have a few friends and read. They are well developed socially even though they spent every waking hour with me. They have always been well mannered, I would like to believe because of my setting a good example. This was because I was there. Do what is right by you. You are a good mother because she comes first. To hell with anything else

Jamie - posted on 12/21/2011

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My 12 month old is with me all the time too... isn't that how it's supposed to be? If you're taking her to playgroups and activities, I'd say that's definitely enough especially at this age! I used to work at a daycare and the things going on in the toddler room weren't that great.



I wish I knew more babies for my LO to play with but I don't... I try to have play dates with the other little girl we know but it doesn't happen often so I worry about the social stuff too.



Daycare is expensive- even a couple of hours a day.



Just look for moms groups if you're not in one already. This has all just been my opinion.

Bethany - posted on 12/21/2011

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that's rubbish, the more available you are to her now, the more confident she will be later in life. answer to know-it-alls: hand them a piece of paper and a pen and say "Really? can you write that down for me so I don't forget to mention it at her next checkup? Thanks!" (always have pen and paper, if not for nosey people, then for toddlers to spend some time on in waiting rooms)

Heather - posted on 12/20/2011

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It sounds like you are getting some unsolicited parenting advice. I always smile and say "thank you, I will def bring this up with our pediatrician." I always say I will consult my physician because people feel more comfortable knowing that I listened to them and took them serious enough to seek professional help for my children. Plus, it will end the conversation quickly and won't turn into someone trying to bully me around by putting me down for my parenting skills.

Jenna - posted on 12/20/2011

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My kids have always been with me until they start school and, like Bonnie said, did perfectly fine, and even advanced. I think it's how you mother. If you spend lots of time interacting but also letting them do things on their own, they develop security and independence. If you read with them and communicate with them and give them some alone time and let them do things, they will be plenty ready for school when the time comes. Once that time comes, let me tell you it comes quickly, they will be in school for a LONG time and with other kids a LOT. Embrace these very short five years while they are with you because you can't get them back.

Bonnie - posted on 12/20/2011

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That's ridiculous. You are her mother. You are suppose to be around her. My older son is in senior kindergarten this year (he is 5) and he was with me constantly until he started school. He was never behind in anything, actually advanced.

Sarah - posted on 12/20/2011

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First who told you that? If its anybody besides your babies doctor ignore them. Mommy and me classes are just fine. Make friends with other mommys and then arrange a playdate where sometimes you can leave her there for an hour or so. Switch off with other moms to give them some time off too. This should help both of you to learn some separation. But I am always with my boys 3 years and 19 months and they are just fine. Be sure to not hover over them and let them play independantly several times during the day.

Add some educational play with her. Counting, colors and alphabet too.

Lindsey - posted on 12/20/2011

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I agree with the other posts on here that you are in NO way hindering your daughters development. Every child develops differently and generally speaking 15 month olds aren't social creatures anyhow. They mostly prefer to play by themselves and explore the world on their own (and of course with their mommy).

But, I have to say that I still think daycare is a great idea!

I'm a SAHM and my little guy (who will be two on January 4) started daycare at around 18 months. I did it because there are no kids his age in our neighborhood and I wanted him to get used to being around other kids his age (and other adults) and get used to not having mommy around 24/7 (my hubby works out of province and so my son and I were together literally all of the time). And to be perfectly honest, I needed a break too.

Anyhow I found a great daycare, and he absolutely loves it there. The staff are wonderful and I feel completely comfortable leaving him in their care. They love him and seem genuinely excited when I bring him in.

So I say, if you are comfortable with the idea, then go for it. Just trust your instincts (and do a little research) when it comes to choosing a daycare. Start out small (a couple of hours once a week). And if a couple hours one day a week is all you are comfortable with, stick with that. And enjoy your "time off".

Just do what you feel is best for you and your daughter. If you like the idea, go for it. If you aren't comfortable, then don't.

And to Kay who said that daycare's are "germ factories", I have to ask what is wrong with a few germs? Kids have to be exposed to virus's, etc so that they can build up an immunity. A few colds now could prevent more serious problems in the future.

Sally - posted on 12/20/2011

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NO. NO. NO. That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. You are not hindering her development at all. You are supporting it. You are giving her confidence. Security. She will grow up knowing that you are there for her. And even if she is clingy now, that doesn't mean she will always be. I firmly believe that the first three years are the most important. And the more you are with her during those years, the better. :) Anyone who tells you to put your child in daycare when you don't have to is crazy. Keep that baby close, she have time away from you soon enough.

Tinker1987 - posted on 12/19/2011

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Daycare NO,there are over populated and under staffed so your kid gets ignored half of the time,i would go to a mother/toddler play group you get to socialise with other moms while your toddler gets to run around and get used to kids.

Kay - posted on 12/19/2011

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Big mistake. Day care centers are big germ factories. If you send her to socialize within 2 or 3 days she will be sick with a cold or cough or whatever. It just isn't worth it. Playgroups are great. When I was in one with my kids, the moms always called when one of their children was sick and we postponed until the next week. Nobody want a sick kid if you can avoid it. Children benefit from a 2 hour preschool the most around 3 or 4. There are a lot of negative behaviors that can be learned at daycare, depending on the quality of the daycare..At 15 mo. It is better that she is under your tender loving care.

Liz - posted on 12/19/2011

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I don't think you could be hindering her development unless you are constantly hovering over her and not letting her play with the other kids on her own. OR if she is clingy to you and WON'T interact with the other children.

Christy - posted on 12/19/2011

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That's crap since she's only 15 months old! Sorry hate to say it but true.

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