I feel like I shot myself in the foot here. DS is 9 months and will be starting daycare (2 full 9 hour days and 1 6 hour part day) in 3 weeks. I have a list of worries, of course. I was wondering if any of you ladies have done a transition like this and if you had to change routines at home to make daycare easier or if things just worked out so that your little one had a different day in the daycare setting. Here's my list:
1) DS primarily a stomach sleeper, and at daycare he will be put on his back. If he is awake at all (even 10%) he will scream when I put him down this way. We are in the days of hating restricted mobility and being on the back in general. He also naps in a darkened room with white noise, and at daycare there will be white noise, but it is light and there will be background noise of other babies and adults.
2) DS nurses very frequently for a baby his age, usually every 2 hours and sometimes 1.5. Occasionally we can get to 3 hours, but that's rare. He doesn't take a bottle very well and is not proficient with any type of cup. He will accept being fed sips of liquid, but wants to do it himself very quickly (which ends in liquid on the floor . . . hopefully not precious breast milk). He does like eating, and has made it through occasional semi-nursing strike days on food mixed with BM and water.
3) DS is showing signs of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety is a very emotional and expressive baby. I'm worried his intensity will be too much to handle, even with a good baby:teacher ratio.
I really want to finish my graduate degree, and I have to start now or I will need to reapply to my school. I want to make this work, even though right now it seems impossible.
Does anyone have any words of encouragement or advice? As the time is drawing near, I am feeling more and more worried.
I'm sure you've already thought about this, but have you considered a babysitter/nanny? You'll be able to better control how you want things done and they'll be better attachment with one caregiver vs. numerous caregivers. I found that in some instances a babysitter was actually cheaper than the daycare, especially for part time.
In the end, whatever you decide will be fine. It's really just a short amount of time in their lives. Good luck.
Married to one of the last good guys left Jim
Mom to AJ 4/07 and Genevieve 5/09
And then: I'm really, really tired of making angels.
But wait, could it really be true?
The whole story at: www.xerxella.blogspot.com
Thanks for the response, Xerxella. It's actually good to hear from someone who had kind of a rough time. The daycare we have chosen is pretty much the best show in town, committed to AP (one primary caregiver per baby) and cheaper per hour, actually, than all the nannies I know of. Really, aside from all the worries I have, this place is probably going to be great for him. I guess after reading your reply, what is really a loose end is wondering if and when he will adjust and feel comfortable there, especially considering the separation/stranger anxiety.
Married to overworked DH since 2003, happily mama to DD (01/09) and DS (4/12)
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
I think the transition to daycare is hard no matter when you do it. One of mine started care at 6 months, the other at 6 weeks. Most of the time it was a part-time situation with an in-home DCP. After a very few weeks they got used to the fact that the routine was different at daycare than at home, even when day care was every other day, which I think might be harder in some ways that full time. They nursed to sleep at home, but not at daycare. They slept in the same room or same bed with me at home but in a crib at daycare. They got held all the time at home but not at daycare. Some of it seems to be positive peer pressure, "Oh look, all the other babies are calm and sleepy, I guess that's what I should be too."
Some things that did seem to help:
* I tried to match the routine of the day to that of daycare, so similar meal and nap times.
* Started nursing at nap-times sitting up rather than lying down, more closely matching and "sit and rock" posture.
* I made absolutely sure that DCP wasn't a CIO fan and that she had a way of dealing with fussy babies as they transitioned.
* Plan on more concentrated transition time when you bring your child home. I think I had to nurse right as I walked in the door for a year! It didn't matter whether she was hungry, she just needed that intense connection time. My DH took over dinners for that time since I couldn't do both and baby needs came first. Calm, concentrated connection time was essential.
* Know going in that there will be hard transition times sometimes. It was weird -- drop off would go well for months and then we would have 2 weeks of he** with crying, clinging, you name it. No reason that I could ever come up with, just sort of random. Always calmed back down but hard in the middle.