to be or not to be

Gretchen - posted on 10/09/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am having the hardest time deciding whether or not to put my baby in daycare. The thought of leaving him with a complete stranger is so heart wrenching for me. I want to help my family financially...but I really dont want to leave my baby. Hes 4 months old. I have no family or friends who can babysit for me. The person that i always thought i would have when i had a baby was my mom, but she passed away when i was 7 months pregnant. My husband works an extremely unpredictable work schedule. Somedays he gets home at 11am, some days 11pm. Daycares are so expensive and I dont want to leave him with someone he and I dont know.

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When my son was born, I intended to carry on with my professional life just as I always had (boy was I in for a surprise!!), I knew before he was born that I would need childcare. My schedule was often unpredictable and included some evenings, travel, and even weekend work, and like you, I was not about to leave him with a stranger.
We decided a live in nanny or Au Pair would be the best fit for us. It gave us a much greater degree of flexibility, and it allowed us to see first hand, and on a regular basis, how she interacted with J and with our family as a whole, which allowed us to build a greater degree of trust. That said, we did continue to monitor her behavior with J through our security surveillance system. (She was aware of the cameras and the fact that video was saved).

If you want to go back to work, I would recommend hiring your nanny or Au Pair about 3 months before you plan to actually start work again, that way you can spend time with her and get to know her before you have to leave your baby with her.

We ended up going with a Nanny rather than an Au Pair because we wanted a more long term relationship. Our nanny has been a part of our family for the past 9 years, and though she no longer lives with us (I decided to become a full time sahm when J was 4) she still joins our family for gatherings, babysits for us regularly, and even offers to take J to special events or just out to lunch so that she can continue to enjoy his company now.

Melissa - posted on 10/09/2013

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I had the same dilemma when I was pregnant, at 20 weeks we found out our son was going to be a boy and that he also had Down syndrome. My husband and i both thought it would be best for me to stay home and be there for all of his appointments and therapies. I lost my mother 5 years ago and understand the void it leaves in your life to not have her there or hear her advice. My only advice for you is follow your heart, she'll speak to you through there. I worked in a daycare and my husbands family all live in the suburbs so I didn't have sitters either...as your baby gets older you may want to put them in daycare then but I would cherish your time with them. I do and my son is 2 1/2, finances were tight but I was able to find a job from home that allowed me to work around his schedule! I wish you the best of luck during this time and feel free to message me if you want to talk!

~Melissa

Gretchen - posted on 10/09/2013

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I think my main thing is that he is still so little and fragile. I am going to do a tour at a daycare tmrw so im hoping it goes well!

Queen Of My - posted on 10/09/2013

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I am a stay at home mom now, but went back to work after my first and I strongly feel a good daycare is not only okay but actually beneficial for children. They learn that they can be independent, and learn to socialize. They get use to a school type of environment. They get use to an adult other than mom or dad setting rules and they get to make friends that they will most likely go to school with.
Even when I started staying home - I had my oldest continue at daycare very casually because he did so well there. You will notice a huge difference in your child once he starts going. It will take about 2 weeks (or less) for him to het really comfortable there and then you won't have any tears.
I also like a daycare more than a home because they are more monitored and you know they have strict policies and procedures in place.
If you have to go back to work, don't feel guilty about daycare - do your research, find a good one, and watch him excel.
Ps: my daycare greatly helped in potty training - he was fully trained at 20 months all thanks to them!

Michelle - posted on 10/09/2013

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I have had all 3 of my children in daycare and I think it has been the best for them. My oldest was 7 months, my 2nd was 6 months and my youngest was 18 months. They have thrived and also have made the easy transition to school when the time came. They went to a local daycare so went to school with kids they went to daycare with.
I have never had any family around to watch my children and I left my ex husband when my 2nd was 1yo. I had to work full time to pay the bills so they had to go to daycare.
You need to make the decision: Do you want to be able to contribute to the family income or stay at home and get by week to week? If you can earn a decent wage that isn't completely taken by daycare then it would be best to work.

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