Too Young for Daycare

Updated on July 01, 2009
D.C. asks from Houston, TX
9 answers

Hi all,

I've been struggling with the question whether my almost 3 month old is too young for daycare. He's been attending for 2 weeks, and it just breaks my heart to leave him there. I think because I know that no matter how good they are, he just isn't getting the personal one-on-one care he needs at this age. What do you guys think? Am I overreacting? Should I pull him out and find him a babysitter or nanny for the time being? Do you have any suggestions? What did you all do? Nannies are just so expensive, but if it's best I can find a way or an arrangement that might work.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all your great input and advice! My cousin who is a nurse and is pregnant happens to be available to watch him until she gives birth. She is his aunt and godmother and just adores him. So for now, he'll be staying home with her, and then when she gives birth I'll revisit these options again but in the meantime, he's on the waitlist to return to his daycare for the toddler program.

Featured Answers



answers from Corpus Christi on

Instead of putting him in an institutionalized day care, why not have him in one that is run out of some ones home. I have my daughter in one and I think it's great.

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answers from Austin on

I studied and worked in a day care a long time ago. The caregivers all really love children and do become attached to the children they care for. Usually each care giver in a infant room is in charge of 3 infants. They have been trained to interact and care for these infants and they do not have to take care of a household like we as moms tend to do while at home. They are not running errands and taking phone calls or on the computer. They also know how to interact with the infants in educational and physical ways, that not all parents have had the opportunity to study.

That being said... I had to go back to work when our daughter was 6 wks old. And I had to go to away to market for 2 weeks! It was very difficult and felt very unnatural. My husband had never held any child ever before our daughter was born, but now he was going to totally be in charge of her care. I had made sure that I had really checked out the day care and the staff. I visited many times.

Our daughter always seemed to do fine, while my husband and I were a complete mess.. Same for elementary school, Summer camps, middle school, High school and College.. do not even go there. I thought my husband would have a nervous breakdown.

Our daughter was walking at 6 months (yes, really) and talking in very clear sentences on her first birthday. The day care encouraged her to advance as far as she wanted. We felt like her daycare really prepared her for school. And we even made great friends with the staff and the other parents. It can be a great support system for all of you.
If you feel there is a problem with the care of your child, follow your mommy heart and brain. It is the best thing we have , because it lets us know when we sense something in not correct. I know it is hard. Do what is best for your family.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I don't think he is too young, but an alternative may be a home daycare. There are pros and cons with both traditional daycares and home daycares.

The state mandates that 1 caregiver to 4 children under 18 mos, so more than 4 there has to be at least 2 teachers. I used to work in daycare in the infant room and we always had 2 teachers even if we have less than 4. So check the teacher/child ratio that may help put your mind at ease. In traditional daycares they have to be licensed and all teachers must be CPR/First aid certified included infant CPR/Choking which is different than adult CPR. Daycares teacher also must have so many hours of continuing education every quarter.

My son was in a home daycare until he was 18 months old. We went through 4 or 5 different care givers for various reasons. It's really hard to find a doos home daycare that you can trust, that is licensed etc. We finally ended up using the wife of my husbands coworker. That worked out great! So it is probably best to go through someone you know.

I also cut my hours down when my son was a baby so that I could spend more time with him in the mornings. We all have to do what is best for our families. These days it is really hard to afford to stay home or work part time. So you should be confident in the fact that you are helping to take care of your family and build a better future for your son!

It's always hard at first to leave our babies at daycare, but I'm sure they are taking really good care of him!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Hi D.
I remember this all too well,( and he's now 6 yrs.old ) I had to return to work when our son was 3 months old and we put him in a daycare. It broke my heart . I remember sitting at my desk at work just thinking about what was going ALL DAY LONG at daycare. I wasn't fortunate enough to work only part time , it was 10 hours a day of leaving him in there. My heart broken, tears in my eyes driving off to work everyday.
His care-taker was great though, and I eventually was able to see driving to work because I was able to stop crying when I dropped him off. :))
Having your child in a good daycare--you'll be perfectly fine.
I was never comfortable with leaving him in a in-home setting, can't put my finger on it , just never felt that route was for us.
Good luck with whatever you decide. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi D.-

I agree with Laurie. If you have found a daycare that you feel comfortable with and you feel that they are taking good care of your child then it's fine. As far as one-on-one I'm a stay at home mom with 3 kids ages 7, 5 and 19 months. Believe me my youngest was not receiving one-on-one attention much when my time is divided by the 3 of them. At a daycare the teachers are monitored by the other teachers and the owners (or at least should be) and they really have nothing else to do besides watch and play with the kids. If you go with a babysitter or nanny, they could watch TV, talk on their cell phone, read a book, etc. You never know with that situation what might be going on.

When my first child was born, a mom in our neighborhood watched him from the time he was 6 weeks old until I started staying at home when he was 2 years old. She was at home with her 2 children and my son. She was going about her business of being a stay at home mom and watched him at the same time. That means that she was doing laundry, vacuuming, etc while watching him. I was well aware of this and was aware of what he would be doing while she was doing her errands (usually he was napping). I guess my point is a babysitter or nanny is not necessarily going to give more attention to your child and there may actually be less structure and supervision since the babysitter or nanny would be on their own.

Good luck,



answers from San Antonio on

From my expirence- I have a BS in child development and have interend in several daycare's I have my 5 mo son with a private in home sitter. He is one of two children that she watches, he gets tons of one on one care. She is fantastic. This IMO is the closest to being at home with me. If this type of situation is not available to you here are somethings that you should look at when choosing a daycare. Look at what the state minimun requirements are in regard to staff/child ratio, training and education requirements for staff- are they degreed teachers, CDA certified or just "18 and breathing", check out their inspection history for violations, complaints with the BBB, is their license up to date. Another place to look is the National Association for the Education of Young Children- this is an entity that accredits daycares. NAEYC centers must meet much higher standards than the state minumum. Also don't be afraid to interview all staff who will be caring for your child. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the type of people are watching your little one. If you can try and make surprise visits at odd times during the day- this way you can see what is happening when you are not expected to show up like at your normal pick up time. Check to see if the center has a web site that parents can access to be able to see what is going on. I know that I am probably over whelming you with info but when it comes to who is watching your child one can never be to careful. Hope this helps.



answers from Killeen on

He is much to young indeed, your gut feeling is right. You are his mom, he needs you. The best thing would be for you to stay home with him, but if that is not an option, I would recommend a home daycare -- NOT a daycare denter. I home care provider has a much lower child/provider ratio, so your child gets more 1 on 1 care. Your child is much less likely to get sick in a home setting with fewer kids there. You can find an good home daycare at Please please please do not continue to leave your kid at a daycare center, they have way to many kids to take care of, stick with your gut.



answers from Houston on

I don't think he's too young for daycare...although I don't like it any more than you do, my son has been in daycare since I returned to work when he was 6wks old. I don't like it so I'm looking for in-home care now. My parents did in-home care with a stay at home mom and she was like a second mother to me so that may be more beneficial for both his development and your piece of mind.



answers from Houston on

Your child is too young, indeed. If you can stay home and wait till he is school age or grown, that is best. He is your responsibility, you are his mommy!
There is too much out there for them to see, 'catch', or be hurt by--it is NOT worth it. Your feelings of sadness in leaving him are very true--it is because it is too early and you should stay with him. He is a BABY! Is there some way that you could work when the baby's daddy is home and he could be with him? That would be best.
He needs to be with parents. Parents are gifted with children so THEY can raise them, not others.

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