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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi gang, I need some advice. My 11 month old DS starts daycare on Monday (I hate the sound of that!) and unfortunately we only have 2 days to acclimatize him before I am back to work FT. I need to figure out the best way to do that.

Here's the background:

I will leave for work at 5:30am, my hubby leaves for work at 1pm, so he will do the drop off and I will do the pick up. My DS has two days that he is at daycare before I go back to work. We need to figure out how to best "use" those 2 days to help my DS adjust.

My DS has visited the center 2x for 2-3 hours with me. The first day he was fine, but got a little upset when I left to do paperwork in the office for about 45 min, (fine while I was gone, FREAKED out when I returned, but calmed quickly). The second day I left for 1/2 hour and he was fine all round. He is generally fine with new places and new faces, we are out and about with other kids a lot, but I don't leave him more than to go to the bathroom.

He has not really been away from me for more than 3 hours since he was born, and then he was always with my DH. He has been with my mom 3x for 2 hours, once he was fine, the other time cried the whole time (we snuck out, bad lesson learned). When he was 7 months he was in a day care at a Resort for 4 hours / day (2hrs 2x/day) and LOVED it, and was with a babysitter for 2 nights and was GREAT. He's only ever slept with us and I am worried about how he'll handle naps at daycare. The teachers said they'd hold him if needed, but I didn't see a whole lot of it with the other kids while I was there and he always wakes up if I try to put him down.

We are AP, co-sleep, and have breastfed exclusively so he's going to have nursing and nap issues to deal with as well once in daycare. He's taken a sippy cup of cows milk almost every afternoon for the last 2 weeks, but he still nurses in the a.m. I consider him mostly day weaned as he's on table food, but when I go back to work he'll have to cut out his current 2-3 morning nursings "cold turkey". He can still nurse in the evening and at night. I'm going to leave a sippy cup with my hubby to replace the a.m. feeding and 2 for the daycare for a.m and p.m. feedings. They will also feed him breakfast, lunch and snacks.

He seems pretty attached and secure and will most likely do fine, but I am worried about them offering him milk often enough, and about him napping, and about him suddenly (after just 2 short days) being left at daycare for 9 hours.

He offically starts daycare PT on Monday and is there Mon and Wednesday of next week. He's then PT the following week, (I'm back at work) and then he's FT after that. We have two options on how to transition him - either start him with the same drop off time that he will have each day, but he'll start full days after only 2 short days OR drop him off for the afternoons only at first, but move his drop off time earlier by an hour each day so he'll start full days after 5-6 days (or when he seems ready). I'm not sure if this is making sense.

Let me try to explain it more. To make the transition easiest on my DS, do you recommend we:

1) Start him at the same drop off time each day (9am) so he gets used to the routine, then pick him up around noon the first day (or when he's fussing, I'll call every hour), then a little later the second day (2pm?), then he'll have to go until 4:30 by his 3rd day and from then on as I'll be back at work FT by his 3rd day, (but his drop off times will be consistent from the beginning); OR

2) Pick him up at the same time each day, (4:30pm) but drop him off in the afternoon, the earlier each day - this way he doesn't have to be there all day right away. i.e. My DS could drop him at 1:00 the first day, I'd pick him up at 4:30, then he'd get dropped off at 12:00 the second day and picked up at 4:30, the do 11:00 - 4:30 the 3rd day, 10:00 - 4:30 the 4th day etc. That way he is not there the whole day until after 5 days.

The advantage to option 1 is he gets in to the morning routine right away, and could join the class in their 9:30 walk (and nap in the stroller). The disadvantage is that he is there for the full day after only 2 days and will pretty much have to nap there after 2 days.

The advantage to option 2 is that his days start out shorter and gradually get longer, and my DH can drive around with him in the car while he naps before he drops him off, and DS won't have to nap at the day care until he's more familiar with it. The disadvantage is that his schedule will be different every day for the first 2 weeks, which may be harder.

Any advice out there? Any thoughts or BTDT would be appreciated. I want to do what's easiest on him - and I can't decide whether a consistent routine and drop off time is easier on him, or shorter days gradually leading to full days is easier.

HELP! My little baby is going in to the hands of strangers!!! (Though I LOVE his daycare...).
 

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It sounds like you are doing a great job getting yourself and you DS ready for this transition.

I would say you should keep his drop-off time the same. I work in the Infant/Toddler room at a day care and it is important for kids to have a consistent drop-off routine. We have had kids that come in at different times and they have had the hardest time adjusting.

It is really important for young children to have routines, especially when away from Mom and Dad and making transitions. This way he will learn that every morning my routine will be the same. This will give him a great sense of control and safety.

So, IMO #1 is your best option.
 

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Ditto. Same drop off time.

That way each day starts the same for him... more routine with just a little extra each day.

Don't worry too much about the nap... I find it utterly amazing that a child who always insists on sleeping in my arms could so easily fall asleep at dc.. but he always has. I watched the first week cause i was so paranoid bout what would happen...

the whole group mentality... everyone else is doing it.

Good luck and hang in there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey, thanks so much for responding you guys!! I really do appreciate it. My sister has 4 kids (raised AP) and she agrees that #1 is the best option. So I figure if 3 of you think so, we'll go with that (though any other opinions are welcome).

It is such a hard thing to do, leaving him for the first time like this!! But I know he'll be ok. I just have these awful visions of him there crying "mamama" and me not being there, (he's just learned to do this and does it when daddy tries to put him to nap) and it breaks my heart.

*sigh*, but they do survive, right??

Thanks for the advice.

- Kathy.
 

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ditto the same drop off time!!

talk about what's going on with him...in the car for instance. Use the same words all the time -- mommy's going to work and erin's going to hannah's house (dcp) was what we used and she now says it herself as we round the corner to daycare.

know that he's probably going to do better than you do. You'll be a wreck, he'll probably be fine (or else they'll call you).
 

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Im replying late - but let us know how it goes!

Just in general the routine is very important. We do pt daycare, too and the hardest part for me is getting up at the same time every morning - even the days dd is at home with me. Weekends, too! :LOL But it made a huge difference in terms of getting naps at the same time, etc.

It looks like you have really thought this through!


Welcome to the forum!
 

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Count me as another one who recommends starting with a consistant drop-off time so he learns what to expect and what the routine looks like from the beginning.

Overall, I have been truly amazed at how different my kids are at daycare and preschool from home, in terms of eating and sleeping. My son still naps like a champ at preschool but wouldn't nap for me for all the tea in China. My daughter doesn't do so well at daycare at the moment (in terms of nap) but certainly has in the past. There is some magic about "everyone else is doing it" and the routine that most daycare folks have down. Yes, the transition may be hard and I would certainly expect the first couple of weeks to be difficult, but after that I bet you will be amazed too.
 
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