Daycare Centers and Multiple Instances of Rsv/bronchiolitis - Need Advice

Updated on February 19, 2012
L.L. asks from Arlington Heights, IL
12 answers

Hi Ladies - Looking for some advice or insight for those of you that have used daycare centers for your kid(s). I'm currently going thru a situation with my youngest (I have a daugher and son). Both my kids started daycare when they were about 4.5 months old. However, my youngest got RSV/Bronchiolitis in January at about 7 months old. Was home sick for a full week. We thought that would be the end of it. However, now about 4 weeks later, he is ill once again with Bronchiolitis and has been home all week again. In speaking to his pediatrician, once they are infected, there is a higher chance of them contracting it again. As a working mom, this is very difficult. I feel awful that my son is going thru this and at the same token, I'm struggling with juggling my career. My husband and I tag team responsibilities, however, fear this may become more of a chronic thing vs a "once in a blue moon" thing. I'm not looking to be judged by my decisions, however, looking to see what other moms that have dealt with this managed to overcome the situation. I fear that if I leave him in daycare, he might continue to get ill and starting to consider perhaps going the "nanny" route. Yet, I love the structured environment, socialization, activities, regulations, etc that a formal center provides once the kids are mobile. I don't really want to hear about how other options are better, however, if you have gone thru something similar, would love to hear your story and learn what worked for you. I'm just torn at the moment watching my little guy struggle...

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. I haven't make any changes as of yet but have started putting together the needed information to begin the interview process for a nanny. The decision we have made is if he get's sick again in the near term, we pull out both kids (not financially realistic to keep one in) for a few months to allow my little guy to get older/stronger.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

He is building his immune system, this is very normal. I would ask the director to have an in-service on hand washing and how to minimize the possibility of passing on germs.

Most kids who go to child care are quite healthy by the time they hit kindergarten and do not miss near as many days as the kids who have not been in child care. They end up missing lots and lots of day out sick.

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answers from Seattle on

My DD was sick and at home at least a day or two every other week, sometimes every week for the first 9 months in daycare. It sucked, but there was nothing we could have done about it. My DH and I alternately stayed home with her to distribute our days off between our jobs/school.
At that age they simply pick up a lot of germs and when they are with a bunch of other kids there is more exposure.
For us it stopped abruptly at 1.5 years and that was that. My doctor always said that he sees this a lot and it is simply their immune system maturing.
In order to be immune to something to have to have gotten it first! That is simply the nature of immunity.

If you can't afford to stay home when he is sick, getting a nanny might help, especially if your nanny is willing to care for him even when he is ill.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Both my middle daughter and now my son (1 year) got RSV in a daycare center. I think it comes with the territory. I did hear that once you have it, you're more likely to have lung issues including asthma but my daughter (now almost 4) hasn't had any issues since the RSV or any lasting affects. It's a pain while you're going through it though. The only thing that may help is to be in a center with less kids if you can. I recently had to move my son to a center with 9 babies vs. one with only 4 and he got more sick. His doctor said if you can keep it under 8 babies, it's usually better. Just another thing we have to struggle with being working moms. Come spring/summer, he'll be a lot better and probably won't really be sick until next Winter. Winter plus any daycare situation is full of sickness. I looked into the nanny situation and talked to several people about it and there are pros and cons of both. The centers are so much more reliable and you don't have to deal with a nanny being sick, car breaking down, etc. There are a lot of hidden costs with a nanny too as you have to pay for their social security tax, unemployment tax, workman's comp, etc. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We had a nanny for our first until she was 2.5, then she went to daycare. It seems a great balance for her and us. They don't need nearly as much structure and socialization when they're little. So, if you're worried about the RSV, I'd seriously consider a nanny for a while. And, fwiw, our nanny was awesome! She's the one who got our dd onto an eating/napping schedule, helped get her off the bottle and onto milk, knew how to introduce solids, and helped to potty train her. For first time parents, this was a godsend! Oh, and we did a nanny share with another family, so our DD had a little friend the whole time. Doubly awesome!

Our second (currently 2yo) may start part-time preschool at 2.5yo, but we're still thinking about this. She has a nanny right now.



answers from Cleveland on

look at a in home day care OR go the nanny route until he is around 1.5-2 yrs when he has most of his shots.



answers from Chicago on

I'm a single mother of 3 yr. old twins with little or NO back-up. When my twins were 18 mos. old I had them in full-time daycare for 4 mos. and they were constantly getting sick, one, then the other and sometimes both! I didn't at the time, and I really wish I had had a neighbor or relative I could have left one or both with when they were sick, even an in-home situation that could be a drop-off? Of course, even if my kids weren't at the daycare I still have to pay like they were. Having to take time off to pick up my kids and take them home I believe contributed to my eventually losing my job. Sigh. J



answers from Phoenix on

At 7 months old, I don't think you need to be worried about structure & socialization, especially not with the potential risk of more/worse illness & your job possibly being jeopardized. I think a home daycare might be something to consider, either that or a nanny, maybe you can do a nanny share to save on costs. Once he's preschool age, you could find an actual preschool with before & after care.


answers from Norfolk on

My son had it and he had pneumonia when he was a year old.
He started day care in a center when he was 3 months old and was there till he started Montessori pre-school.
He was sick a lot at first, but by the time he was 2, he was over it and hardly got a cold twice a year after that.
When they are little, their breathing passages are so small it doesn't take much to clog up the works.
My son's 13 now and has no breathing problems - no asthma, no constantly being sick, no lung problems, no allergies.
It's tough getting through it, but they do grow out of it eventually.



answers from San Francisco on


Only you can decide what is right for your son. If you feel that daycare isn't the best fit for your little guy, you don't have to justify your beliefs to us. Try out a nanny or even a small in-home daycare-. Best wishes and I hope that your son is ok!!!




answers from Chicago on

you may want to consider a home daycare that does a full preschool program or does some sort of structured day

I had my daughter in a daycare where I worked until she was 10 months old. She got RSV 3 times. I think an allergy to pears (I nursed and drank pear juice a LOT) may have been a contributing factor, as well as going to the mall for pictures (each incident happened the day after a picture session at picture people - how often do they sanitize the infant stuff?). But I know that daycare was not good for her at the center.

The center I was at did not nap all the babies at the same time, they did not sanitize as often as they should have imo either, partly cause they didn't have a set nap time to do so. At other centers I worked at they had two set napping times in the infant room, every baby napped at that time, and all the toys and surfaces were sanitized at that time, plus at the end of the day. So, not all daycare centers are the same. Perhaps you need to investigate how infant rooms are run at other centers and switch centers.

After I started home daycare my daughter didn't get another lung infection at all even though she was around more kids daily. She also had older kids teaching her how to do things, and later younger kids for her to love and teach herself. I do a full preschool program at my daycare and my older daughter is now in 7th grade getting straight A's. She got a citizenship award in kindergarten, and was ahead of her class all along. So, home daycare may be an option as well.



answers from Chicago on

I have two kids who started out in day care where i taught and then when my second was still a baby i instead began my own home child care business. before having my own children, i nannied. there are pros and cons to every situation. nannies are expensive and you need to really trust the provider and a backup is helpful, but they provide very individualized care and the exposure to sickness is minimal. centers you also need to trust as some are far better than others, backup care is unnecessary as the center deals with having the backups, price is cheaper than a nanny, but the sickness level is high regardless of precautions taken just because there are so many kids in one building and airborne germs as well. sickness go around there that you barely hear about elsewhere. my younger son had rsv he caught there along with lasting effects from it for the next 5 years, my other son had chronic ear infections, bronchitis, croupe, rosiola, rotavirus. other things that went around were pink eye, hand foot mouth disease, etc. while they do need exposure to the world to build immunity, i don't buy the idea that they need to have all these sickness to build immunity considering the damage some of the sicknesses can do and being on antibiotics often is not a good thing. anyway, im a bit biased as that is what i do now and for the past 5 years, but a licensed home child care is my personal favorite option. still need to find somebody you trust who runs it how you prefer (babysitter vs like a preschool and everything in between), least expensive option, backup can be helpful but the providers often have their own substitute backups. sickness is minimal because the number of kids are pretty low and cleaning still constant. its just harder to find good home child cares with openings. best wishes in your decision making!!



answers from Chicago on

We had a very similar situation with our son - he started in daycare shortly after 4 months and a few months later he started contracting bronchiolitis over and over. At one point his oxygen level was so low he had to be hospitalized. It was at that point we started looking into other options and we decided to go with a licensed home daycare. There are 6-8 kids at the home (in addition to our two) and other than basic colds both of our kids have been pretty healthy. We have been with the same daycare a little over 3 years now and it is definitely a better situation for our son while he was building his immune system. Good luck!

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