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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm hoping I can learn from everyone's experience here. In January I will be starting a part-time internship and ds (14 months) will be in daycare from 7:30 am to 3:30pm two days a week. I'm not sure how to best prepare him for this. As of right now he is cared for by others (his grandmother and aunt) for 3 hours at a time three days a week. He does fine during this time and has never had any separation issues. At the same time, they have both been in his life since he was born. How do I prepare him for 7 hours away from me, under the care of people he doesn't know? It is a good daycare program run by the university, so I am comfortable with the placement. I wish he still co-slept so we would have that time at night to make up for the separation, but he has preferred to be in his crib since about 11 months.

My questions are:
What can I do to make sure he stays secure and bonded to us even though he is away from us for 7 hours?

Should I wean him from daytime feedings (he often 'forgets' them as is, so they are not consistent), or just continue to feed on demand during the days he is not in daycare?

How can I prepare him for this? Should I start with a half day? For how long? I only have one week to 'practice' as the daycare opens only one week before I have to start my internship.

Thanks for your thoughts!

- Karrie
 

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What can I do to make sure he stays secure and bonded to us even though he is away from us for 7 hours?
Keep BF-ing and cosleeping. Plan easy dinners
Work out a good plan for splitting the chores and be there for your DS when he needs you in the evening, especially while transitioning. Be ready to balance needy baby and chores...learn a back carry and how to nurse in a carrier if you don't already. Also foster a strong attachment to his caregivers - show him that these are people that you like and give him time to warm up to them. My DD's first week she wouldn't let go of our DCP since she knew that was the person mama had picked to take care of her. We started her at 11mo.

Also be secure
Your DS knows perfectly well that you are the MAMA and daycare is in no way a replacement.


Should I wean him from daytime feedings (he often 'forgets' them as is, so they are not consistent), or just continue to feed on demand during the days he is not in daycare?

Just continue to feed on demand. I think babies and kids totally get that daycare is a different place where things work differently but when they come home the expect things as they have always been.

How can I prepare him for this? Should I start with a half day? For how long? I only have one week to 'practice' as the daycare opens only one week before I have to start my internship.
We started with one hour with me there with her, then an hour without me, then 1/2 day without me. She was happy to go the first full day but once she realized I was leaving her all day it was WAAAAAHHHH. I think you have to expect some degree of crying on dropoff and pickup for awhile, but as long as your DS is having fun during the day and shows improvement you can be confident that he is transitioning OK. With my DD it took 2 weeks - 1 month to adjust to me working f/t and I think you have to be prepared for that.
 

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Spend as much time as you can at the daycare with your child.
At first play with him close, then let him explore, play with toys or peers, then try to let him bond with whoever that will be caring for him.

Keep breastfeeding! He will need that with lots of kids around. You may expect some colds at first. I hope your baby doesn't get anything, but I'm just giving you that it's common phenomenon.

If he has been cared by other people than you previously, I think he will adapt quite quickly, maybe week or two. But every baby is different. And it also depends on the child's particular stage.

And don't forget, he is YOUR baby. He won't forget who you are just because he's away from you for seven hours a day. You can try to co sleep again, if that's what you want, but he could want to stay there forever...well, not forever...if you don't have problem with that, then definitely try.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all of your feedback. nina_yyc, I like the idea of making a point to show him that I like and trust the caregivers. I hadn't thought about the transition in those terms before, but it makes sense. Up until now he has only been cared for by family and friends. I think I will take moonyoungi's suggestion and spend a fair amount of time playing with him at the daycare and then slowly try to get him to bond with the main caretakers there. He's a fairly easy-going kiddo who tend to like people, so I'm hopeful everything will go well. I appreciate the heads-up that he will probably be upset for a while. I need to prepare myself for that. I will definately make sure we let the evening chores go undone for the first week or so and put in more cuddle time. Luckily it is only two days a week, monday and wednesday, so I can spend the days after daycare giving him a little more attention.

I am a little worried about the colds as my partner has Lupus (an autoimmune disorder), but we really have no choice. Hopefully the breastfeeding will help a little.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Karrie42 View Post
I am a little worried about the colds as my partner has Lupus (an autoimmune disorder), but we really have no choice. Hopefully the breastfeeding will help a little.
I take immunosuppressants for an autoimmune disorder and DS has been in daycare for over a year now, and I've been fine with the colds. It has slowed me down a little, so I accomplish a little less at work/ school and around the house than I'd like, but it's really OK.
 

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My dd just started at a home daycare two weeks ago and she is 12mths. Its been a harder transition for her than dd#1 b/c she doesn't really like other people the way #1 did. She doesn't make strange nearly as much as a few months ago though. We started off visiting together several times. Then I left her about 4-6 times for 2 hrs. I should have moved up to half days but I couldn't stand it. She cries when I leave & pick up. The first few days were really bad I'll admit there was a lot of crying. The sitter wears her in a mei tei at least the first days. She was definitely going through a bonding process with the sitter. Once she would get down from arms, she didn't want her out of sight. It has improved every day though. I feed on demand when we are together and we still co-sleep. I try to not do much in the way of chores when the girls are awake. I either make something in the crock pot or something that takes 15 min otherwise the kids are beside themselves by the time we eat. I also don't get home until 5:30 though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello all,

Just thought I'd post an update on the daycare situation. His first day was on monday. I asked to be scheduled for only one client that day so I could spent much of the time at the daycare with him. It went really well!

We are lucky to have a university daycare setting, with 8 kids to 3 adults. He will be going on monday and fridays, 8:00 - 3:00. Today I stayed with him until 9:30am, and then came back at 12:30 to spend the rest of the time with him. As soon as we got there he started exploring. There was a huge bin with all types of balls and he and one other kiddo spent a good half hour throwing the balls around. At around 8:30 he walked up to the main teacher and did his sign for 'eat.' She was quite surprised! After she gathered up all the kids at the table for snack, the meal wasn't quite ready yet so she led the kids in a few songs. Gabe was a little confused at first and kept looking at the teacher quizzedly, occasionally giving his 'eat' sign. I tried to help him understand it was coming soon! After eating he went right back to the balls, and then eventually explored the puzzles and the trucks. He hardly noticed when I said goodbye. I came back at around 12:30, expecting him to run up to me. Nope! At first he didn't even see me, so I hung back and watched him play for a while. Then I went up to him and he gave me a happy 'oh, there you are' look, pointed at his toys and went back to playing. The teacher said he stopped playing around 10:00 and looked a little tired. She picked him up and rocked him a little and he went right to sleep! So far, so good...we go back on friday. I'll repeat much of the same pattern on friday, then we'll start with him going full day by himself the following week.
 
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