DH and I went to a sustainable ag conference this weekend. In order for both of us to attend workshops at the conference, we signed DD, 15.5 mos, up for daycare at the conference. Daycare was really supposed to be for 18 mos+, but we asked if she could give it a try, and they said yes.
From birth to 12 mos, I was a SAHM. Since 12 months- current (and forseeable future), DH is a SAHD. We've had both of our moms babysit on occasion at both their places and ours. But we have not left her with anyone outside of family.
Needless to say, DD was horrified that we left her at the conference daycare. For some reason, she is significantly louder than other kids, I've noticed... at any rate, she pretty much lasted 2 minutes, then went on a crying/screaming rampage, and was upsetting the other kids as well as monopolizing the staff's time. So they had to call us to console her. This happened a few times, and eventually they said it just wasn't working, so I ended up caring for her the rest of the day and the next.
She's been great in playgroups and will play very well with other kids when we are in the next room, etc. But our experience at the conference left us feeling that we'd let DD down by not preparing her for this type of situation. There was another little girl, 15 mos, and she was fine there. I later found out she did 1/2 day daycare twice a week. Another mom I was talking to said it took her son about 1 week to get used to daycare. I chuckled and told her "too bad this conference is only 2 days!"
What are your thoughts on the necessity of a 15 mo. old to be able to cope on her own with care that is outside of family? We were thinking about joining our local Y, but in order to get what we are looking for out of it, DD would have to be okay with being in Y childcare for an hour or two. Any ideas on how to ease into this?
-Me(35), DH(37), DD1(10/21/08), DD2(4/30/11)