29 answers

Inhome Childcare Vs. Daycare

Hi! I have a 5mth old and I need advice on getting his caregiver to follow the schedule I set for him! She seems to feed him more than he needs to keep him docile I suspect. He seems happy there but I wonder if it would be better to simply move on to a formal childcare center.I have tried discussing this w/her and yet she somehow manages to smooth over the issue and imply he is being fed as I requested. I feel foolish asking this question but should I just remove him from in home care to a place where I my requests will be followed?I don't want to but I need my child to have a consistent schedule to help w/his evening meal and bedtime transition....any insight for a new Mommy would be appreciated...

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So I am comfortable w/the woman who keeps my son after realizing that she isn't hurting him.Its just new Mommy freak out!Unfortunately just as I come to this realization I have to move my son after all to a facility where I can save more money.Nothing wrong with the place I just want my son to be well cared for and loved and nurtured.My question is does this sensation ever go away...feeling like you are overwrought and the only person who can care for your child.JUst wondering!

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Unfortunately, that feeling never goes away. My son is now in first grade and I am still feeling that way. You are his mommy...and you are always going to know what's best for him, better than anyone else. Good luck. :o)

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First let me begin be saying I know exactly where you are coming from. However, I strongly recommend you DON't put your child in day care! I got a job (after two years of being a stay at home mom) at a day care, and my son became enrolled there as well. I had problems with the teachers in his class from day one!! They didn't help me with the endless efforts of potty training at all, and to my horror his rear was never wiped after he went "doo-doo" in their class. The next day, I again went in and explained that my son needed to be told to sit on the potty, and that his rear needed to be wiped because he has not mastered that task, yet. They assured me that they had wiped his tush, although I knew better because I had examined his rear the night before! Then, twice he was sent home (two days in a row) with soiled clothes because he had wet them. I know that things like that happen, but when I asked my son if he had gone potty at all that day he said "no". So, I again had to ask them to make an effort to put him on the potty. Well, by my second week employed there, I returned home that night to find my son had pooped in his diaper. (He had not pooped in his diaper for over six months.) When I asked him why he didn't tell his teacher, he innocently said, "I scared!" He had such a bad diaper rash, which he did not have in over a year, that I had to get him prescription cream after a few days of rawness and bleeding. He had sat in that poop for so long that it was caked on his butt, and I literally had to scrape it off with a wipe. Needless to say, my son and I no longer attend that day care and I refuse to ever put him back into a child care center. I'm not saying that all daycares are bad, because I'm sure there are good ones out there...but my experience was not one I wish to explore further!! I am currently looking for children to watch in my house, as a means of socialization for my son. I love children and I was horrified at the way that this facility allowed those individuals to remain in contact with children!! Let me know if you ever need a care giver for your son!!

2 moms found this helpful

I have two children and work at in-home daycare. My children attend there for free. I worked two summers at another daycare and until my second son was born, I was a substitute teacher. Both the in-home daycares are very good. The first one I worked at only took children age 2 and up, but we only fed the children at meal times and we did a daily story and project. We also played outside when the weather wasn't terrible. At both places there are two "teachers". At the in-home daycare that I work at now- the parents have all told us that we are doing a great job. (We have only been open 5 months.) We try to do exactly what the parents want us to do. Each parent gets a daily sheet telling how their child ate, slept, and what activities we did. With infants every meal- time and amount is recorded- as well as when they slept. That way if my "boss" fed the baby last, I know how long it has been since they last ate and can figure out when they need to eat again. That way we don't get infants' feeding times mixed up. We can have four children under the age of two in our in home daycare, plus up to 12 total. I also know what it is like on the other side. My oldest son was in in-home daycare for a year. The first place sometimes only gave him one bottle in 7 hours, and they complained that he screamed all the time. Other days he got three bottles in seven hours. He was only there eight days. The next in-home daycare provider was good, but after two months she decided that she didn't want to do in-home daycare any more. So then my son went to a woman who used to babysit me ( a family friend), she watched my son and her grandson. My son loved it there. It was very nice to be able to leave him and not have him crying, but then she had to get a better paying job, because her husband wasn't working as many hours- he could no longer get overtime. Then my son went to a great in-home daycare. She was a grandmother and took the time to rock my son to sleep. One day she had him and another baby sleeping on her chest, while her partner watched the other children. The only reason he left there was because I had my second son and we could not afford to send them both to daycare. So I stayed home for a year until my brother's girlfriend and I started our own in-home daycare. There are good in-home daycares out there. Where I live there are NO DAYCARE CENTERS. I live in a rural farming town. I also agree with the others who said that your son maybe hitting a growth sprut. I breastfed my boys, so I had no idea how many ounces they drank. I always sent extra formula in case they drank all the breastmilk. (My youngest stayed with his grandparents from time to time, when I needed childcare.)

1 mom found this helpful

T. hard call there .....If he seems happy there well i would write a set schedule for her send the food for each meal and no more and ask her to please do what you asking her to do ...I put my dd in daycare at the age of three and they took very good care of her and stuck to my routine pretty much and daycare cost alot of money i dunno what your situation is with your inhome care sitter ...but also u got to look at daycare kids get sick too more often its a fact if you can take time off work and be home with your baby when sick that is what u will be lookin at too ...but as the child gets older then u would want him/her to interact with other kids too ...its hard but if she dont want to follow your schedule did u explain to her that he needs to stick to your schedule so its easier on you at home and nightime ...its ignorant if she dont and if hes fed the same way everyday well then she shouldnt just give him food to make him happy and quiet babys yell and scream for other reasons not cause there hungry maybe he does need some more atteniton but i know the infants and my daycare its not one on one there at times it can be but other times theres way too many babies to be that way ....i would just start sending enough food and a snack for the baby as long he is there and ask her nicely if she could please keep it at that at 5 months i would leave the baby in home care .....I think if i had to put my baby in daycare then i would of lost my job lol even at the age of 3 i was having to take off work cause she was always catching something ....but thats the way it goes ....good luck on what u decide any ??? please feel free to email me ...D.

Unfortunately, that feeling never goes away. My son is now in first grade and I am still feeling that way. You are his mommy...and you are always going to know what's best for him, better than anyone else. Good luck. :o)

Hi T.-

We had our daughter (she was 6 months old then) with an in-home sitter when I first went back to work. Although she was good with my girl- it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to work out- for various reasons- nothing MAJOR, but I just wasn't so happy. It seemed that my daughter wasn't getting as much interaction and LOVE that I wanted her to have - among other things, not feeding on my schedule, not napping properly, etc. I was kind of feeling like she loved our money a little more than she loved my kid- so I pulled her out and put her in a local daycare center. I LOVE the daycare! My daughter blossomed! They take such great care of her there, she learns so much, she has friends there and it's fun. Plus, they LOVE her as much as I think she should be loved. I just can't say enough about how much I love her daycare center! In fact, my mom was toying with retiring and watching my daughter, but I told her to forget it because I wasn't taking her out of daycare (I probably would let grandma watch her, but you get the point!). In fact, now that my emotions have settled down- I really am relieved to have my daughter at a school where they have a schedule, are monitored by the state, and are certified in many different areas. Another mom I know has done extensive research on daycare centers and here are 2 resources she's uncovered about how to find a good daycare. We're in PA too, so this will work for you.

This site was very helpful http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/Child/ChildCare/

I'm not sure if this is the number but you can try 800-222-2108 and ask them if someone can help with pre-school information on citations or complaints

Good luck! Don't feel too guilty about leaving her- the reason we go to work is to provide them with great lives-well into their futures too. I think it's great if people can stay home with their kids, but for me, I need to work right now to keep us in our beautiful home in this great neighborhood, I want to take her on some great trips, send her to college, help pay for her wedding and help her buy a house and then spoil my grandkids. Working now will help me do all that for her. You're doing the same stuff. Don't feel guilty!!!!!!!!!! Take care and keep us posted. C.

I too am a first time mom and understand your feelings about childcare, scheduling and the guilty feelings for working. My daughter is now a little over 2 and here are my feelings. I was unable to stay at home with my daughter so I put her in daycare thinking and hoping that my schedule will be followed to the tee and all my concerns will be treated as I wanted especially since I had worked in a daycare and therefore have been on both sides of the table, so to speak. Overall, I have to say, that daycare has been a wonderful place for my daughter. She is ALWAYS happy to go and always happy when I pick her up. The kids keep her busy and stimulated in more ways then I could ever at home or with a private caregiver. My daughter is so happy there she sometimes refuses to leave! Although my issues with daycare have not always been about food. I did have my "problems" (2 teachers have confessed that they were told that I was a "difficult" mom because I monitor EVERYTHING). For me, when my daughter was 5mnths old I had specific requests about the pacifer, her "binky", the way her bottles (breast milk) were heated, etc. The binky battle was that I had only wanted her to have it during naps, well several times I came in to find in in her mouth. So, when she was 7months old, against the daycare's wishes, I took it away. Having never been really additiced to it and they primarly used it to keep her docile. It took her 3 days and she was over it.

My daughter, is as I mentioned, over 2 and my daycare issues still have not changed much. I do not always like everything that they do. Currently, the issues are with giving cookies and such as a snack instead of fruit or something healthy, but overall, I always have to look at how happy, healthy and safe she is. During this past month, my mother has been living with me and she has been watching my daughter. At first I thought that this was the answer to my prayers. My own mom, the women who raised me, helping me raise my daughter. Well mom isn't as she was and even though she has made amazing headway with potty training, there are minuses to this situation. My daughter is drinking more milk then I would like and I have no idea what she is eating. She does not have the child interaction as she does with her daycare friends, she is not running and playing outside as she would at daycare, because my mom can't keep up with her.

Basically, what I am saying to you, is that no matter where or with whom your child is cared for. It will never be perfect. You will always have concerns and issues. If you feel that the daycare route is how you want to proceed, please keep in mind that your child will be sick more often. (During this month it has been the first time my daughter's nose has not been runny since she joined daycare. And having worked in the daycare environment, you can be super clean and still the kids will pass the colds around.) The ratio's may not always been in state guidelines. (Another one of my battles) And the "teacher" personality may not be as you would like. Believe me I still have/had a laundry list of issues with daycare because I believe that I can do it better... but in the end, there is no perfect situations, only perfect ideas.

Best of luck to you.

There is a good book called "Boundries". Advice is nothing, I support you to follow your motherly instincts it's what you can trust. Now, evening meals- does that mean solids, and if so then maybe you can just rethink the "meal plan". Babies can be randomly introduced to solids (that includes liquified) but don't feed them a meal of it until he's at least a year. It's not neccesary and even disagreable with the function and ability of thier body systems. This might be a health issue more than a personal issue and the babysitter might be on the right track by feeding him when he needs it rather than making the baby follow the plans. How is it that you know she's lying without proof and when she says she's following your plan? This is a big deal! You know if someone is lying about one thing then they are about another. But why would you think she is? That's a question you need to re-ask yourself what are her motives? Is it apathy? Does she not trust you? Does she not respect you? Is this a gut feeling? Then again, how do you know it's the feedings? Maybe he feels something about you're being out, even at five months that makes him anxious and is messing with night bed time. Don't feel guilty if you have to work just do something about it,(like be extra affectionate when you get home and before you leave.) Ok here is a great book: "Protecting The Gift". After reading that book I was obliged to take him out of the pre-school. (It's about how much we should believe in instinct.) Most people don't in this type of culture.

You are totally normal, and you will never change and shouldn't. Having said that.. you should try to see where your caregiver is coming from. I don't know if it is different in homecare, but I work ina daycare setting, and I have to say children act differently when they are home and when they are in the care of another person. I have had parents tell me their child will eat every 4 hours...meanwhile 2 hours after a bottle the baby will be screaming it's head off. After trying every other possible route, you make him/her a bottle and they suck it down and are content. And now the parent is angry that the child was fed too soon. I don't know exactly whats going on there i only know from experience, but would you rather have a baby crying from hunger or fed a little sooner. I know it's tough when they are on a schedule, but sometimes you just have to be a little more "laxed" about it. As long as your child is not being hurt in any way. Hope this helped..and Good Luck!

Having worked in a daycare setting before- and being a mom- I can see both sides here!
Sometimes it's difficult to insist on an exact schedule with a caregiver. Maybe your son is going through some changes in growth and needs more food during the day than he did before. Expecting a caregiver to just do exactly what you say- even though you are not there- is not completely reasonable.
Talk to your son's caregiver. Perhaps she's giving him more because he is crying after the amount you requested and she thinks he's still hungry.
After discussing this with her if you are still unsure maybe a change is not such a bad idea.
A caregiver should always be open to discussions with you- no matter what her feelings on the matter. She may have some insights on the matter that you had not considered- and she may not realize how important the schedule is to you.
I think communication is the key here!
Good luck,

YES! I moved my son from a daycare that I did not feel comfortable with. Two daycares combined, this is what happened: let him sleep past his nap time (a big no-no!), left my sons face dirty and made excuses, made off-mark comments to the daycare children that were not child appropriate, and also, she made a comment when I brought my son, stating, "My last parent whipped out the last child from my daycare so fast; I wonder what her problem was." Hahaha! What the heck! Why would a daycare provider tell me that other parents were yanking their children out of her daycare? Go with your parenting instinct. I did, and now my son is in a wonderful home daycare where the provider has a strict friendly routine with her daycare children.

The thing with a daycare center, especially when they are infants is that they are very good about keeping them on a schedule, but it is their schedule, not yours. And with a daycare, as opposed to a sitter (unless it is a very thorough one),is that they give you daily sheets everyday. You pack the food and they write down what they are giving and you know what you get back, so they really can't lie.
Both my kids were in daycares for a year then they went to a sitter. There are pros and cons with both but if there is any doubt in your mind, visit several daycares and find one that is good and that you are comfortable with. Then put him there. Also, this is YOUR baby, don't feel foolish about questioning her!

I'd move him. I'm a new mommy too but I can tell you if I am trusting someone with the most important person in my life - my baby - and I am paying them good money to do it and they are continuing to go against my wishes, it would make me wonder what else they are not doing as I request. Or what are they doing that I would not approve of? Call me paranoid but your baby is too important to trust with someone who is clearly not giving two $#@$ what you say. Move him. Mine is starting daycare in 2 weeks and they want me spelling out exactly what I want done and at what time, etc. My problem is I have no schedule to give them and they told me that they will make sure he sticks to some schedule - whether it is his own or the daycare's schedule. If they do anything, I am sure they are great at creating routine and structure. Again, this is all new to me also but I would definitly not trust someone who will clearly not listen to me.

Since you have talked to her about your concerns and she doesn't seem to listen, get her out. Find another daycare.
Lots of daycares are also putting a link on line so you can watch her anytime time you want. I LOVE this option.
Good Luck!

Hi, I am actually a daycare owner so maybe I can help you!! I own a small group daycare no more than 12 kids at a time and I have 2 infants in care. One little boy is on a scedule that his mom insist we keep and we have to listen to her - thats her child for goodness sake!! If she says feed him 6 ounces every three hours, we do it. If she says feed him only a half a jar of food per feeding.....we do it! Sometimes he will eat a little more and if mom is not happy with it we do not do it again until she tells us we can. Hope this helps, this is your child and you have the right to want your child to eat as little or as much as you want - as long as he is getting enough food and he is not starving.

If you feel strongly that your day care provider is not following your wishes, I would interview other In-Home day care providers, and make sure they have an infant routine. I myself am an in-home day care provider and have heard way too many bad things about centers. Since your son is so young, I feel a home day care with low numbers would be your best option. In a center there are just way too many kids bringing in lots of sicknesses, not good for an infant. I know you will definately find a great provider. I must stress to find a situation where there is a curriculum offered for older children, and an infant routine. He will be sure to thrive.

My 8 Month Old daughter is in a daycare center and they aren't any better. This is her 3rd center and they are all the same. We checked everywhere close to home and do our best to continually let the 'teachers' know her schedule. I wish you the best of luck!!


Trish I went through a similar problem with my daughter(1st born) My in laws were watching her 2 days a week & she would not eat for them . In the 8 hours she was there she would drink possibly 2 ounces of milk. I was totally stressed out about the "starving" of my daughter. After sitting down & thinking clearly about the situation I realized that there was no better place for her to be than with her loving grandparents. We worked out a few changes together & she ate better but she never followed the schedule we had at home, mostly because my daughter wouldn't. She knew it wasn't mommy taking care of her & she acted differently.
If you feel your child is being taken care of & is happy than you are probably better off leaving things the way they are. He is eating when he wants. He probably will not follow the same schedule with other care givers that he does with mommy cause they are not mommy. Besides babies change their "schedules" so often -you just get used to one & then they change it.
Furthermore your son will not receive care upon your schedule in a day care. They have to share their attention with other children. He will also be exposed to so many germs & bad actions from other children. Those are worries you want to avoid.
Good luck in whatever you choose. Just weigh all the pros & cons to each setting first.

Sit down, I'm blunt. I'm going to ask you questions that you really should answer.

You say she "seems" to feed him more than he needs. What makes you say that? (give us the facts, ma'am, just the facts)

He seems happy there, so what's the problem?

You say you "tried" to discuss this...well, did you or didn't you? :::grin::: You really have to speak up and not beat around the bush with people in general but most importantly care providers.

She "somehow" manages to smooth over the issue? What does that mean exactly, does that mean she answered your question to your satisfaction? What did you ask her, exactly? You say she "implied" she feeds him according to schedule? When you asked her if she did X, Y and Z, she either said she did or did not. /shrug

Don't feel foolish, but do work on communication skills. This should have been a quick and easy 1 minute conversation.

Your requests will or won't be followed no matter where you decide to take your son, the form of the care makes little difference, however, keep in mind that center-based care is a bit more inflexible, in general.

If this is the only issue you have with a care provider, you're doing pretty well. Remember, only Mom is Mom.

Good luck.

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Thanks, R. Gagnon

Whatever you do, don't feel foolish-he is your child, and you are paying for childcare! I've been through five different childcare facilities in my son's little life (he starts kindergarten next week), and the one thing I have learned is to go with your instincts. If you don't feel that the care is appropriate, then move him. Formal childcare centers can be great or terrible, so I would suggest that you interview both the facility director and the direct caregivers carefully. Good luck!

T. - My oldest son was in a daycare center. He was constantly sick and I suspect not fed enough! As soon as we got home each evening he was in the pantry eating whatever he could reach! He couldn't wait until I had dinner ready. I moved him to a small inhome childcare provider which I feel was drastically better. 'Granny' was absolutely wonderful! I didn't always agree with some of her methods, but what it boiled down to was she was good to my son. She made sure he was fed, clean and loved. We have been over 3000 miles away from her for over 2 years now but she is still a part of our lives. Not just my sons but mine as well. While not everyone can find a 'Granny', it's extremely important that you are comfortable with the care your child is receiving. I would advise against the larger center environments, as your child may not receive as much love and attention as a smaller inhome daycare.
Lastly, are you military?? If so, you can get a list of military providers from the CDC. They are subject to AF regs and inspections as well as the regular state stuff. If you're not military, disregard all that!
Good luck!

Wow, T., you sound just like me! I had the same problem with my daycare provider, who felt she knew my child better than I did and did whatever she thought. So, I went to another daycare! I found that having an "older" in-home provider was worse because she thought she knew best and was used to the old ways. I love my new daycare provider who is a few years younger than I am (36) and has kids of her own at her center. She communicates openly with me, and I with her. Don't let your current provider to sway you and stick with your instincts!

I have been on both ends of this story. I was in your shoes when my son was about 5 months old and the SAME THING happened to me. And now I run a home daycare in Wilkes Barre. Let me tell you, you should just find another day care, be it a different home daycare or a Child Care Center, the person you have now obviously doesn't respect your wishes and that's wrong. You know what is best for your child. And I know from experience how hard it is to keep a routine at night/on weekends if it's not being kept up during the day.

Hi T.,

I have an 8 month old daughter, and she goes to a day care center. They are very good about following my instructions. Whether you find another in home location, or go to a day care, the priority is your child. If you are uncomfortable with a place, no matter how highly reccomended, you should leave!

Good luck to you!

also a guilty working first time Mom (35 years old)

I wouldn't move him based on that alone. You will run into problems no matter where you go & you have to pick your battles. If your child is being properly cared for other than that I wouldn't stress! Why do you think he is being overfed?? Could possibly he being going through a growth spurt and really need the extra calories? I would really let her know how you feel and tell her you would like your set schedule to be respected, don't let her walk over you.
Be assertive, you are his Mother & you know waht is best!!

Good luck, and hey if you gotta work don't feel guilty- your doing what is best for your family!!

T. -

My son, now 5, as been in in-home daycare since he was 8 weeks old! I wouldn't change that for anything! I checked out day care "centers" before I decided on the in-home daycare, and I was much happier with the in-home care. I would recommend sending his food daily, that way you know what he is getting... maybe send a little extra in case he has a growth spurt and eats much more than usual - which trust me will happen and can sometimes be for a couple weeks at a time.

I feel that the attention and loving care that children receive in in-home daycare is much more "pure" and worth while than the attention they receive in a "center". Having recently moved from PA (where my son was in an in-home daycare for 4 years), I would recommend in-home care to anyone! My son still likes to go and "visit" with his old daycare provider! He also still asks if he can go back there for daycare - to which I unfortunately have to tell "no, we live too far away for that". Fortunately - on the third attempt - I found an in-home provider that he loves in MD where we now live.

My recommendation is just to be assertive with your care giver and tell her that you really need her to stick with your "routine" and "schedule". Just remember that she is caring for your child and trying to provide him with the loving care that she thinks you would want him to have! I'm sure she's not "over feeding" him to hurt him, but rather try to to satisfy him and make him happy!

Good luck!

hi tis ..yes u should move him if she can not follow the rules that u give her to give to your son then should not be there

I just read your post and I don't think you ever stop feeling guilty about working. I have a 5 month hold son who has been in a home daycare for almost 3 months. Every time I start to stop feeling guily it starts all over again. I could have possibly stayed home but we would be broke so I am working so we can give our son a nice lifestyle. Not many of us can afford to stay home with our babies. Good luck and hopefully things will work out for you!!

Ahh... first time mom guilt. I'm going through the same. I fired my au pair because of this. (She insisted they need to have 3 hour naps 3 times a day!)

Yup, you're new at this, and it's hard ot balance it all. Trust your instincts and get someone new or find another alternative. We got another au pair and our girls are thriving!

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