Infant First Time in Daycare

Updated on August 13, 2008
T.F. asks from Junction City, KS
12 answers

I'm a mother of a 4 yr old and a 7 month old. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 4 yrs and I'm having a hard time letting my 7 month go. What can I do to help cope with this?

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answers from St. Louis on

I need to find daycare for my 5 month old son. I haven't yet because I worry about him doing well with other people. It may also be me not wanting to let go and trust others with him. I am
a stay at home mom, but need at least one day a week to have a day to myself. I have thought a possible alternative would be to
swap a day with another mom whom I know I could trust and who knows how to care for an infant. So, finding a friend/or other mother to watch him/her may be a way to ease into situation for you.

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answers from Kansas City on

As the other mom's said. You will have a much easier time when you truly feel confident and comfortable with the daycare provider. If you are able to have an open inviting feeling from her it will be better.

If you are ever having an uneasy feeling, talk to the provider. A great provider will respond and willing to address any concerns.

Can you start out taking the kids part-time? A couple of days then adjust from there?



answers from Wichita on

The first key is to be comfortable with your daycare provider. It will make you feel a lot better if you know that your child is being well taken care of. A good provider won't mind you calling in during the day to check and see how things are going. Just keep in mind nap times and lunch times so you aren't disrupting the baby. Before you know it you will adjust. Barb K. a child care provider



answers from Topeka on

I am a daycare provider and can honestly say this is going to be harder on you than the child. First, make sure that the provider you have chosen is someone you feel completely confident in. You can call anytime and check on your baby. I would be more worried about the 4 year old... they have trouble when they have always had mommy...



answers from Kansas City on

Here's the deal - you aren't letting your baby go. You will know who is right to watch your baby. Choose someone you can trust. Then, know that your baby will love you just as much while you are at work as he/she did when you stayed home. Also remember that there is a HUGE difference between quantity time and quality time spent with your children. So, to cope with this, set time apart to just play with your children, to hold your baby, sing songs, play games, and etc. do something special with your children and remember that there are many fine adults out there who went to daycare while their parents provided for the family - i am one of them and my mother is my best friend. As for right now while you adjust to this change in your life, I would say to call and check on your baby each day. Ask about his/her morning and how the day is going. you will feel better. I always did when I had to leave both of my babies with a caregiver. I spent the first few days in tears, but after that I learned to enjoy my babies when I got home instead of being exhausted in the evenings because I had spent the whole day cooking, cleaning, and chasing them around. It was actually very nice after I adjusted. good luck and remember that you are not doing any disservice to your children.


answers from Kansas City on

Do you absolutely have to? You could offer childcare to others. Good providers are always needed and will always have all the kids they need.

Other than that, if you really need to work you just need to set your mind to it and be grateful for the job. Make sure you really like the provider you have chosen. In a few weeks the provider will be more like a friend or relative then just a provider. If they aren't, then you might not have the right person. You should feel very good about your caregiver.




answers from St. Louis on

I had to return to work when my son was six weeks old. We were able to find a great child care provider for him, but it was so hard on me!
Some things that might help: See what the child care provider will give you at the end of the day detailing what happened (Johnny played with these toys, ate this much at this time, had this many wet/dirty diapers at these times, etc). Ask if you can call during the day to check on the kids. See if you can stop by on your lunch break to nurse or play with your kids (it might make it harder for the kids to say good-bye to you a few times, though... be careful). Keep pictures of your kids on your desk/in your office in a place that is not too prominent. If you see them all the time, it will just make it harder.
Good luck! The first few weeks are the hardest, but it does get better!



answers from St. Louis on

Actually, if your child is the youngest one there, he/she will get the most attention from the provider and the other children. Everybody loves babies! It's okay for you to share your's with others!



answers from Kansas City on

I am 51 years old, with a 16 month old in daycare. Believe it or not, back in 1957, I was in daycare and remained there until I started kindergarten. I have no scars from it! I always viewed it that mommy & daddy went to their jobs and I went to mine. The important thing was that I had their total attention when I came home at night. I tell you this so you don't think it's a bad thing to have your child in daycare. I didn't hesitate for a minute to find a daycare for my baby when we adopted her, because I knew that that was the best thing for both her and me. There is no way that I can expose her to all of the kinds of things she is experiencing at daycare. Let your baby go, and find some new experiences just for you!



answers from Columbia on

From working in child care for many years, I know this can be a difficult time for parents. It is often harder on the parents than the kids. Not sure if the baby has started child care yet or not, but if not, spend some time with your baby at the day care together. Get to know the teachers and other babies/parents in the room. Learn how the care givers respond to infants and how they interact. This should give you some more peace of mind before you start. If your baby has already started going, spend some time there when you pick up.

When you drop off in the mornings, I suggest holding your baby while you put things away etc so your baby can have a few minutes with you once you are there, then give hugs and kisses and say good buy. Never sneak out or leave without saying good bye. Make it into a routine and do the same thing every morning. This will provide consistency, predictability, and reassurance for your baby. The longer you linger and act hesitant, the more unsure your baby will be about staying there. If you act confident and cheerful, your baby will feel more secure. If you want to stay and play in the room, do it in the afternoon/evening when you pick up.

When babies/kids are in child care at a good center, it can be a wonderful experience. They are able to interact with others at a young age and learn valuable social skills. They do activities that they may not otherwise do at home. They learn confidence and self-help skills. The list goes on. Point is, please don't feel guilty for leaving your baby or let anyone make you feel guilty for not staying at home. This is your decision and as long as your baby has loving, caring teachers, everything will be fine. I do encourage you, though, to really get to know the care givers and spend some time there to get a feeling of how things are done. Don't be afraid to make requests on how you want things done for your baby.

Best wishes!



answers from Kansas City on

I've never stayed home with the exception of my 9 week maternity leave so I can't relate to the staying home for so long part as that would make it even harder. BUT the way I got through my first few weeks back was to break down my daughters day...she slept for like a total of 4 hours (her sitter had a bedroom for each baby that was always dark and cool so they all slept better at daycare than at home!)...bottles and diapers took up another 2 or so...throw in her beloved swing and that took up another hour or two throughout the day...the next thing I knew I was realizing that I really only missed out on like an hour of quality play time with her. I still missed the feedings, etc. but the time I had at work made me a much better mom when I got home. Now my daughter is two and a half and calls daycare "work" since the morning routine is that my husband and I go to work so she figured she goes to "work" to (if only work really was that fun!) and has a blast learning more stuff than I could honestly teach her and doing more stuff than I could. Finding a great daycare is the key!

Something I heard on the radio shortly after I had come back to work was about a mom that always appologized to her kids for "having to go to work" and would complain about how stressful her day was and how exhausted she was. One day her daughter told her that when she grew up she didn't want to "have to work", she wanted to be a mommy and play all day. The woman on the radio realized that she had been sending the wrong message to her daughter. Although she truely hoped that her daughter's dreams would come true, just in case she had to turn her daughters thoughts on "work" around. She started saying she "gets to go to work" and would find at least one thing in her day that was fun to tell her daughter. Kids think copying machines are the greatest invention ever so copying a 100 page report might not sound like a lot of fun to an adult but to a kid office supplies are some of the coolest toys! Within a month her daughter was talking about various careers she could do when she grew up that would be fun. If your 4 year old thinks you are having as much fun as she is, it might help her. You can still tell her you miss her, etc. so that she doesn't think she is being replaced, but finding the silver lining in your day might help her find it in hers too during the transitioning time.

Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

I provide home daycare...this is what a mom did today when she dropped her son off for the first time today. I met them last night and he (22 months) played and came to me. Today the mom dropped him off and she told him goodbye and he ran off to play. No big deal for him but mom didn't like it that he didn't cry and get upset that she was leaving. She stayed for 50 minutes and kept telling him to be a good boy and have fun and finally he got upset and cried and mom said she felt better he cried and then she left and I had to calm her son down. I've never had a mom stay that long and want their child to cry. Please just say goodbye and give the child hugs/kisses and tell them you'll be back as soon as you can and leave. Don't make it harder for the child as this mom did today for her satisfaction. He didn't cry very long but for 50 minutes he was having fun and had told his mom bye and was ok with her leaving.

It's hard to let them stay with someone while your working. I remember 20 yrs ago when I left my daughter. After 9 months of trying to find the right daycare, I decided to stay home with my children but to also take care of other children while their parents worked. I love my job very much and have watched many children grow up and have seen them graduate high school too.


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