I am seriously freaking out at the thought of daycare already. I'm supposed to return to work full-time at 12 weeks. I can't imagine leaving my baby with anyone!!! If I think too hard about it makes me almost cry. I carry our benefits so I have to go back :-( I'm racking my brain to figure out other options like having my hubby stay home... Anyone else have this issue?
yep. right there with ya. i have some creative arrangements for the time being... my mom keeps both my kids 2x/week, dh gets off at 3 (he rearranged his work schedule so now he's working 7-3 instead of 9-5) so he keeps the kids 2 evenings a week while i work 4-7, during the mornings on MWF dd goes to summer camp, and I take ds to the office with me. do you have any flexibility at work, like working from home 1 or 2 days a week? does dh have any flexibility at work so that you two could kind of share childcare responsibilites? or could you take part in a nanny share nearby? for me it was all about finding the right arrangements. ds is registered at a daycare (moms day out) that begins in september, and by then he'll be 5 months. it's never easy. i hope you find a place you like.
here's some thoughts if you end up having to use a daycare center:
for the infant room, i like to see separate spaces for sleep/play, that way baby can sleep when he/she is ready, not when caregiver says so
look for an infant/caregiver ratio that is above the state minimum (ours has 3 adults to 5 infants with a "floater" available for any baby that's having a bad day).
ask how often they sanitize the toys
do they allow blankies/lovies to stay on site, or are they sent home every day (think lice outbreak) sent home is better, it's less likely to be unknowingly cross contaminated
do they provide food (for when LO is older) or are you allowed to send your own. many facilities here will NOT let you provide your own food without a doctors note for allergy purposes (so telling them that you don't find their popsicles acceptable, you'll send your own homemade fresh fruit version, doesn't fly..ugh)
we managed to find a place that works for us, but it is only 20 hrs/week and follows the public school schedule, so i'm out of luck for summers and holidays, but i plan around them now...
Jessimaca, I went through that with DD1. It sucks. It sucks waaay worse for us than it does for them. DD1 was in a NAEYC (I think that's the acronym?) accredited center, and it showed. You'll know when you go check them out. The only thing that bugged me was that they put my pumped breastmilk in biohazard bags...but I was very sure that they wouldn't give DD formula or other breastmilk on accident.
Not that this will make you feel better, but for me, being home with DD1 from 2 years old until now has been more valuable than being there from 13 weeks to 2 years. There is so much more I can do with her, teach her, share with her now. I hope you can find an arrangement that works for you.