Would you use child care at the gym IF. . . - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1) There was a sign posted that as of June 14th they had an out break of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease

2) They use only one certified child care provider for every 4 babies in a designated "baby only area" but still in the general child care room

3) EBF DD hasn't even had a cold yet at 5 1/2 months and has been the model of perfect health

DH signed us up for a fabulous gym only a mile from home thinking it would be good for me to have some time to myself. He travels for work ALL THE TIME so I have DD with me 24/7. No biggie, I love being with her. We go for walks almost daily but the heat index is dangerously high so our outdoor time has been very limited. It would be SOOOOO nice to have a little time to work out. HOWEVER, my instincts say I'm not ready to put her in "child care" of any sort just yet and risk her health or compromise her immune system. I guess I'm wondering if I'm over thinking this and should use the "free" child care so I can take care of me for 60 minutes a day especially during those really long weeks when daddy is away. The HFM Disease thing though. . .this stuff is common at any child care facility, isn't it?

TIA mamas.
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#2 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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I would not. If you go to story time and stuff like that, you are likely exposed to a lot of things already. But I would not want to bother introducing more sickness. Not because I'm afraid of it, simply because it's just no fun.

But then, I've never used the gym daycare. It just doesn't appeal to me.

And yes, HFM does occur at daycare facilities. OUr preschool has it once or twice a year.
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#3 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I think I'd want to ask questions about how they handled the HFM situation. Even though it is somewhat common I still want to know how they handled it, like sanitation wise. Did they clean and disenfect the area? do they routinely clean the area, and I dont just mean vacuuming (yep I actually had our gym tell me that, no sanitizing toys (she said this while I watched a kid mouth a toy) Also what to they mean outbreak? over what period of time. For instance 1 or even 2 kids dosent an outbreak make imo but several children over a course of time leads me to believe they arnt doing enough to keep the area clean and seperated (if its over a wide age range).
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#4 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Honestly, we got HFM without any childcare situation - from another child who's never been in childcare. He gave it to his mom, who gave it to me, and I gave it to my little. If you're in contact with other people at all, you're risking disease. Period. You can't live in a bubble. And really, that was 2 weeks ago - there will always have been something going through at some point in the recent past. I just don't believe in living scared.

If your LO is BF, chances are good that if she gets sick it will be mild. And she will get sick at some point. It can't be helped.

As for the 4:1 ratio, that's standard in childcare settings for babies under 18 mos.

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#5 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 08:09 PM
 
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I might wait a couple of weeks or something, but I'm hardly an epidemiologist. Does the gym have a pool offering Mommy-and-Me swim classes? That could be nice. I liked doing that with DS (he was 16 months but could have gone from birth) because he was so much lighter to carry in the water. It wasn't a hard-driving workout for me but it did give me some exercise. I've heard of Mommy-and-Me yoga classes too. You might also be able to wear the baby on your back while walking on the track, if that's allowed. I'm just trying to think of ways you can use the gym until you feel better about the child care.
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#6 of 29 Old 06-26-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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As for the 4:1 ratio, that's standard in childcare settings for babies under 18 mos.
I would check it out and see how you like the feel of it before making a decision. Maybe go without your LO and ask some questions and see what the atmosphere is like. Guess I'm another vote for not living scared as far as the HFM aspect.
For the record, I have used childcare of some sort for both of mine. Full time daycare for work for ds and gym childcare for dd, and they hardly ever get sick.
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#7 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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Childhood illnesses like HFM are just an occupational hazard of being a child. HFM sucks, but it happens in places that young children congregate. Colds aren't a huge deal to me: one of my kids got every germ within a mile of her, the other is almost never sick. Agree with the poster who says you can't put them in a bubble forever.

1:4 sounds fine to me. At the gym daycare I go to, at least 1/2 the babies in the baby room are usually asleep in their carseat or stroller... parents bring them in at naptime on purpose. The others are rolling around the floor, either playing with toys or being played with. If they're grumpy being held or pushed in a stroller. This is in a special under 1 area so there aren't any older kids tripping over them. I don't know exactly what their baby:caretaker ratio is, but I'd guess it's between 1:4 and 1:6 and I love it because I feel the babies get so much attention.

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#8 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Part of it would depend on the set up of the gym. My current gym doesn't have childcare at all but at previous gym's I've been to they have. At one the childcare was upstairs while the gym was downstairs - I don't think I would have been comfortable with that. But at my last gym the childcare was right off the main gym area with a windowed door - I could see ds anytime I wanted to.

As for hfm, I agree with pp to ask how they dealt with it. Anytime you have areas with lots of children there are going to be outbreaks of different things.

With the 1:4 ratio - if you figure out when the quieter times are you can be more likely to have a lower ratio if that is what you like.

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#9 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 12:37 AM
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i'd totally do it. man, i'd love to have a gym membership with a daycare....sigh.

hand/foot/mouth is totally common in daycares, it can be very mild, and yeah, an "outbreak" can be only one child. we had an "outbreak" in my 2 year-old class and only one kid got it. even with all the toy mouthing.

and the 1:4 ratio is the standard. 1:6 once they turn 2, i think.

IMO, germs are a good thing. i SAH with dd and since she's not in daycare i actually "worry" about her getting enough germs. and by "worry" i just mean i let her gum on pretty much any public surface she wants. i had a baby cousin who was raised in a bubble and was the sickest 5 year old in kindergarden.

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#10 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies, mamas. I guess being a first time mama I don't know enough about HFM. I looked on line when I got home, and it sounded HORRIBLE, but I also didn't realize it was that common. The lady in charge of the child care told me to come in any time and hang out with DD to see how they run things, that I was welcome to stay as long as I wanted. She said they sanitize toys every night, but that there isn't a time when someone (a child or a worker) doesn't have a minor cough.

I don't want DD to live in a bubble. I'm just new to this, and without vaccinating my DH thinks this puts her more at risk.

We are going to go over to the gym tonight to play in the pool, so I'll have the opportunity to ask more questions. But really, it kinda sounds like from your responses that HFM is just a cold virus. Am I over thinking?

TIA
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#11 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Sure.

Enjoy!
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#12 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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I would do it....

Since you are a SAHM, could you ask when their least busy times of day are, and go then? If there were less kids in there, maybe you would feel more comfortable.
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#13 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 04:33 PM
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Yes, I'd go. An hour isn't going to hurt & you'll feel great after a workout
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#14 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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i would not. no way.

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#15 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 09:16 PM
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i would not. no way.
how come?
just curious.

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#16 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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I agree that HFM sounds horrible, but it is an occupational hazard of being a kid. And it's not a vaccine preventable illness - you could vax your baby to the gills and make no difference.

The gym daycare you've described sounds great, and I would not hesitate to use it myself. If my partner was out of town as much as it sounds like yours is, I might not even work out - baby in nice gym childcare, and mama gets an uninterrupted shower.
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#17 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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I think I would probably, just so the baby gets used to someone other than you. My ds at seven still has terrible separation anxiety and I can't leave him with anyone without a struggle, so I wish I'd put him into some sort of daycare situation regularly from the beginning, even just for an hour or two here and there.

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#18 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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The gym daycare you've described sounds great, and I would not hesitate to use it myself. If my partner was out of town as much as it sounds like yours is, I might not even work out - baby in nice gym childcare, and mama gets an uninterrupted shower.


(I may have perhaps done this. Quite a bit this summer. I busted my knee and can't work out, and the Y has such lovely air conditioning. And my kids like to play with all the toys and the other kids, and I like to sit in the lobby and read. And I'm paying my membership fee, darn it, and can't work out even if I want to... so I may as well get some babysitting in return for my money! And did I mention the air conditioning?)

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#19 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 10:38 PM
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(I may have perhaps done this. Quite a bit this summer. I busted my knee and can't work out, and the Y has such lovely air conditioning. And my kids like to play with all the toys and the other kids, and I like to sit in the lobby and read. And I'm paying my membership fee, darn it, and can't work out even if I want to... so I may as well get some babysitting in return for my money! And did I mention the air conditioning?)

ha ha!
you know....i hate working out but it may be worth joining a gym for the air conditioning....

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#20 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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I'd probably give it a try. Get the free two week membership first.

I'd be much less likely if it were mid to late fall, because illnesses are more common. But, since it's summer, I'd check it out. You don't have to sign up if you don't feel comfortable dropping her off. That's why those free trials are so nice.

I wouldn't join a gym unless they allowed month to month, and the option to freeze your account if you'd like to take a few months off.
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#21 of 29 Old 06-27-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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ha ha!
you know....i hate working out but it may be worth joining a gym for the air conditioning....
LOL, it was such a revelation when I had the thought "ugh, I can't believe I can't work out... I need that time to myself when I drop them off and run on the treadmill and just zone out. Wait. I can still drop them off!"

My Y has really comfy couches in the lobby, and a little cafe. I never knew that Ys could be this nice. And I love their childcare. They have an under 1 room, and a room for 1-2 year olds, and a room for 3-6 year olds. I told DH that I have no idea why we're paying for preschool: they have staff leading arts and crafts projects and read stories to the kids and there are tons and tons of toys. And always lots of other kids to play with. And the room is HUGE, too: the younger kid rooms are sort of normal sized rooms, but the 3-6yo room is a giant atrium that's gotta be bigger than my whole house. They have a big Little Tykes climbing structure in the middle and lots of little areas set up for specialized play. The women who work in the childcare center are really nice and learn all the kids names after you drop them off a few times. And you basically have to get a DNA sample to get your kid back, so I'm comfortable with the safety aspect of it all too.

So, OP, I am fully in support of gym childcare, if done right. I'm sure lots of places don't do a terribly great job. I did tour one gym where they didn't have separate rooms by age, so all the babies were just strapped into their carseats the whole time in a corner. The whole room was complete chaos, with the older kids running around. Which is what older kids do, and what the 3-6 year old room at my Y is like... but it means that the babies couldn't be let out to lie on the floor or roll around or crawl. That was not acceptable to me. But a really good gym daycare can be a really nice break for both you and your child.

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#22 of 29 Old 06-29-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Yes. I use childcare at the Y for my 4month old and 2 yr old. They both have a great time and the ladies who work there are great. For me working out is very important and has been a great help with my PPD.
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#23 of 29 Old 06-30-2010, 01:16 AM
 
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I would, provided DD wouldn't freak out if I left her there. That would be my only caveat. HFM SUCKS big time, but it's not the end of the world and coxsackievirus doesn't hang out on surfaces for months at a time, so it will all be gone soon, unless another kid brings it back. It's common, and almost everyone will catch it sooner or later. Not everyone gets the lesions, but almost everyone catches it.

Even if DD did freak out, I'd probably just try to introduce it slowly. You know, 5 minutes today, 10 minutes in a few days, etc.
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#24 of 29 Old 06-30-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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i just started at a ymca with my kids in the day care. they do great and have lots of fun. but 8mo dd2 wasnt having any of it till i started leaving a bottle for her. for some reason having a pumped bottle with her made her feel better. and when she would start to cry they would give it to her and she would be fine. she doesnt even drink it. she just chews on it. .


and i get at least 1.5 hours to do yoga and take a big girl shower.

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#25 of 29 Old 06-30-2010, 09:40 AM
 
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I'm not opposed to gym daycares, in general...

But having just gotten through a round of HFM/Coxsackie virus with all of my children and then pregnant me, I would never knowingly walk into a situation in which that was a greater risk than usual.

It was miserable and I ended up in the ER.

On the other hand, I feel a solidarity with the mom who drops off her children at the gym and then enjoys an hour of cool, quiet reading!

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#26 of 29 Old 06-30-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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dd2 (9 months) goes to our gym's child watch program at least 1-2 times a week. sometimes she is the only lo there, sometimes there are alot. It is a life-saver for me to get my workout done and relax.

oh... and FTR, we use cloth diapers and we don't vax. Not had any problems with them.

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#27 of 29 Old 06-30-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Sure why not? As far as her getting sick, my son was the only BF baby in his daycare (one other got BM from a bottle - his mom was an EP'er) and he NEVER once missed daycare for being sick. Not once. Granted, he's only been there 2x/week since he started, but the other babies always had some form of a cold or another, and one baby in particular was sick all the time. DS never got anything major. A few very minor colds, and that was it.
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#28 of 29 Old 07-01-2010, 10:15 AM
 
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The illness by itself would not bother me, in fact I would be glad that they were informing folks. And the ratio wouldn't bother me as that is a normal ratio. I would want to drop in on the daycare a couple times and make sure I felt comfortable with it and with the people working there. If you didn't feel comfortable with them, I wouldn't use it.

So, I do think you are over thinking the illness aspect of it especially since the outbreak was awhile ago. Maybe wait a few weeks if you are worried about it still. Obviously, your baby is being exposed to germs all the time from the two of you going out and from your DH. The ratio is a very personal thing and varies depending on your baby's personality. For a very high needs baby, 1:4 simply may not work, for a more laid back baby, it is totally fine. Either way, you have to figure out your personal comfort level with that and it will change as your baby gets older too.

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#29 of 29 Old 07-01-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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The hfm thing would not keep me away from the gym. Both my kids got it last summer and they were not at the gym daycare, camp or preschool. It just landed at our house! Sounds good to me I would go hang there and get a feel for it.

Jenese Mama to Elliot 8/05 and Millie Jane 7/07 and Cecilia Kate 1/11
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