definitely the first three for many reasons: daycare costs for one, bonding, i've stayed home with my ds and i see now that he is 4 that he could definitely handle being away from me,even the times he has been left with a sitter, he never cried etc. I worked at a daycare for many years and babies don't get all the attention they need, there are other babies and only so many teachers in each room. I also witnessed a lot of fighting and aggression starting very early, which i am lucky enough to say that my ds never got to experience, I am glad i didn't ever have to pick him up at 18 months old with bites marks on him, or him doing something aggressive toward another peer. I don't think he is socially inept for staying home at all, he goes to library time and plays with other boys afterwards, he plays with random kids at the park etc. Babies really don't need peer socialization. I do however remember being babysat, and put in daycare, and the in home daycare while i don't remember what happened, but my mom pulled me out of there quick because i was vomiting everyday, my mom thought one of the boys was picking on me, i really don't remember, i was probably 3, so she put me in a daycare center and it was better, but i was picked on there as well, but not quite as bad. Finally i was put in care of a neighbor and she was a great babysitter and then i started school. It was not fun at daycare, etc, but i know everyone has different experiences and not everyone can afford montessori or elite childcare, so that should also be kept in mind. While I did miss having my mom around in school age years, those earlier babysitter/daycare experiences had much more impact on me and were much more tramatic.