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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe I am just a first time mommy unnessarily worried? My child never sits still for more than 5min, he runs around the house, open drawers, climbs chairs and shelves, ends up in unexptected places. He laughs, interacts, plays peekaboh, dragon and more. This is at home or at the playground or ...

At daycare? I have come to watch him to see how is doing a couple times now and everytime he was just quiet: sitting on the floor, sitting in a car- for 45min, pretty much doing nothing, not interacting, no talking, no smiles, no running around.

It makes me worried, he doesn't really seem unhappy, but this is not the child I know. Is this just normal and to be expected? Is something I need to worry about? How could I help him or should I just leave it be?
 

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My daughter was like that, too, from about 15-18 months, then she became more herself. I think she was just overwhelmed. I felt really bad but she never seemed unhappy, never indicated that she didn't want to go to daycare (other than normal separation crying). It was just weird.
That's probably not helpful. I guess just see if it stops in a few weeks?
 

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I don't use daycare, so big pinch of salt!

I can't say if it's "normal" or not (not sure what that means in this context anyway). But i can tell you that if my kid was showing such a dramatic behaviour shift i would be looking at other childcare options - maybe a home care situation would suit him better?

It's so hard for tiny kids to be able to express what they are feeling/thinking, but i couldn't think that this wasn't notable in some way. If he were himself but a little more reserved, maybe, but a complete personality transplant and i'd be worried too
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by belltree View Post
Maybe I am just a first time mommy unnessarily worried? My child never sits still for more than 5min, he runs around the house, open drawers, climbs chairs and shelves, ends up in unexptected places. He laughs, interacts, plays peekaboh, dragon and more. This is at home or at the playground or ...

At daycare? I have come to watch him to see how is doing a couple times now and everytime he was just quiet: sitting on the floor, sitting in a car- for 45min, pretty much doing nothing, not interacting, no talking, no smiles, no running around.

It makes me worried, he doesn't really seem unhappy, but this is not the child I know. Is this just normal and to be expected? Is something I need to worry about? How could I help him or should I just leave it be?

Hmm. That is interesting. I think DD does something similar when she gets overwhelmed. We have always described it as her 'shutting down'.

When we are on the playground and there are a lot of kids, or if she gets pushed around, she just sits down and plays with the woodchips, expressionless.

I know that a daycare setting would overwhelm DD. She would do exactly as your DS, and she, too, is a ball of fire at home.

How long has he been in daycare now? any recent changes? What is his temperament like? Is he a sensitive guy? How old is he?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
We started daycare at 8months, he started walking early and couldn't work fulltime and take care of him at the same time any longer. It took him 2-3 weeks to warm up and he seemed alright, then 5 older kids went into the next age group. Those were the kids he used to play with (or along side them), they used to play peekaboh, touch each other, take each others toys - the usual toddler stuff. They cut the next group by age and not by milestones.

Now, he is the only walking (and talking) child at 10.5months. There are 4 other children in his group, one tiny infant, and 3 non-crawlers and non-talkers. I feel a bit, that now he's a bit alone, but maybe I am just projecting my feelings for him. I hadn't considered, that this group might be too large. During outside time, there are many more children, as the older groups are outside as well, which would him allow to see his friends again, but even then, he just sits by himself.

There are hardly any inhome daycares in this area, when I checked on the state listings. We had interviewed all 3 in town, one wouldnt take another toddler/infant, and one had prominent TVs, which they would use only occasionally and the third would do 30sec timeouts with infants.

Anyhow. I am just worried about him. He comes home and his lovecup is pretty depleted, meaning he needs cuddling and boops for about 2-3hrs straight.

He's only in daycare the minimum amount of time (3x6hrs). I really try to balance working full time on my phd and being a mom, but can't do it without additional help. A nanny for the same time would cost us quite a bit more money.

Sorry for being so whiny about the situation.

I forgot: he can get overwhelmed with many people, weddings for instance or some strangers.
 

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Honestly, and I mean to say this gently, he sounds sad and lonely. It's actually heart wrenching to read your posts.

Can your PhD wait? He's still very young.
 

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no advice here, sorry. But I'm really happy that you started this thread. I'm about to send my 1yo to daycare - who's totally a bouncy guy at home, but around people, even at the grocery store, he just is stoic. No sounds, no smiles. He is very very observant... it's not just overwhelmed, it's taking it all in. I've wondered how he'll be in a daycare environment. I only have one friend with a babe and they've had numerous interactions, and there, he's more watching the other guy, than babbling, trying to walk, etc. It's like, all his normal interactions stop.

Interested to read others' posts.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by belltree View Post
We started daycare at 8months, he started walking early and couldn't work fulltime and take care of him at the same time any longer. It took him 2-3 weeks to warm up and he seemed alright, then 5 older kids went into the next age group. Those were the kids he used to play with (or along side them), they used to play peekaboh, touch each other, take each others toys - the usual toddler stuff. They cut the next group by age and not by milestones.

Now, he is the only walking (and talking) child at 10.5months. There are 4 other children in his group, one tiny infant, and 3 non-crawlers and non-talkers. I feel a bit, that now he's a bit alone, but maybe I am just projecting my feelings for him. I hadn't considered, that this group might be too large. During outside time, there are many more children, as the older groups are outside as well, which would him allow to see his friends again, but even then, he just sits by himself.

There are hardly any inhome daycares in this area, when I checked on the state listings. We had interviewed all 3 in town, one wouldnt take another toddler/infant, and one had prominent TVs, which they would use only occasionally and the third would do 30sec timeouts with infants.

Anyhow. I am just worried about him. He comes home and his lovecup is pretty depleted, meaning he needs cuddling and boops for about 2-3hrs straight.

He's only in daycare the minimum amount of time (3x6hrs). I really try to balance working full time on my phd and being a mom, but can't do it without additional help. A nanny for the same time would cost us quite a bit more money.

Sorry for being so whiny about the situation.

I forgot: he can get overwhelmed with many people, weddings for instance or some strangers.
You're not being whiny, you're worried about your kid and searching for help - that's why we're all here.

How is your PhD funded? A PP mentioned pausing but i know that sometimes funding can be withdrawn if you take too long. Do you have friends or family who could swap childcare with you? So you take their kid sometimes and they take yours other times? Or can you work on your PhD in evenings when your DP can care for your son? I have a friend finishing her PhD with a baby, i know how hard it can be, it's not just the physical space, it's the headspace you need to really get your teeth into it.

I think if i were you i'd leave him where he is while i searched for an alternative, but i would definitely try to change things for him, as he does sound a bit sad. I appreciate that you're using it for the minimum possible time you can in order to get some work done, but 6 hours in a place where you feel lonely and a bit "lost" is such a long time for a wee one. I also think, from your tone, that you yourself suspect this isn't normal for YOUR son.

My DD (this is one of the reasons i don't use childcare) was like this when she was smaller. Even when i was there, once a week i used to meet friends at one of those soft-play adventure places, with the ball pool and the slides and soft climbing and so on and it was WEEKS before she warmed up enough to the atmosphere to be able to play, before that she sat literally hiding in the sling on my lap (with it pulled over her head). The noise, colour, other kids, strange adults, it was all too much. BUT i just let her sit as long as she needed with me, offered her the opportunity to play but never pushed it and at 4 she is much much better. Even by the time she was 3 she would run straight in to such places and get right into playing. So even if you need to think of an alternative for now, they grow up fast and things change.
 

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DD has a ROUGH transition to daycare. We've always had some pretty severe separation anxiety and for a long time I had to be prepared to leave work and head back to the daycare because they could stop her from crying.


However, once she did get settled in, she was very happy there. She made personal connections with the caregivers and had tons of friends. She didn't talk much there still (while at home she's a chatterbox) but it was also in a new language for her so it wasn't that surprising. She's a wild child at home and was the same at the daycare and they always commented how much she was getting into everything and exploring.

I say all this because it does sound worrying that his behavior is so different at home. I'm also a Ph.D mom, although I'm pretty much done, and DD was only in daycare for 2 months. The rest of the time we had a babysitter. We couldn't afford as many hours with the babysitter as a daycare but I just worked more at night and sometimes DH would watch DD and I'd work more then. You could also look into a nanny share.

Quote:
We started daycare at 8months, he started walking early and couldn't work fulltime and take care of him at the same time any longer. It took him 2-3 weeks to warm up and he seemed alright, then 5 older kids went into the next age group. Those were the kids he used to play with (or along side them), they used to play peekaboh, touch each other, take each others toys - the usual toddler stuff. They cut the next group by age and not by milestones.

Now, he is the only walking (and talking) child at 10.5months. There are 4 other children in his group, one tiny infant, and 3 non-crawlers and non-talkers. I feel a bit, that now he's a bit alone, but maybe I am just projecting my feelings for him. I hadn't considered, that this group might be too large. During outside time, there are many more children, as the older groups are outside as well, which would him allow to see his friends again, but even then, he just sits by himself.
I think you really hit the nail on the head here. It would be VERY stressful for a kid to be only around kids that are just not at their same spot developmentally. I'm actually not a fan at all of environments that do age segregation. I think it can be extremely stressful to children (especially young children who are really all over the place with abilities). DD's daycare went from 0-12 and had all the kids mixed together. It worked very well with her and I actually saw her social behaviors mature quite a bit in that time. It sounds like you have very limited daycare options there... but do any of them combine ages? Do you think you could ask your current daycare if he could be moved up to the next age group? Mention that he has friends there and is already walking. It might even be easier on whoever is in the baby room to watch just non-walkers too.

It definitely sounds like he needs some sort of change and I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this! I would NOT recommend stopping your Ph.D, though. At least if you are planning to continue on in academia. Although, if it's absolutely the last resort, you do have to do what's best for your family.... But academia is tough and any breaks... well, people tend to believe that you are not taking your area seriously (I'm definitely NOT saying that's the case but I've heard first hand what some of the professors have said about a mother who took a year off after a pregnancy, it was not pretty...). However, they have been very understanding with me, who worked from home and odd hours (although definitely not a full 40 hour week for a long time). It probably took me a full 2 years longer to finish but they at least saw me working the whole time and there attitudes were very different compared to what the other girl experienced. I'm not saying it's right but that's just my personal experience.

I know how hard it is to find good childcare on a Ph.D salary, good luck, I hope you're able to figure something out!!!
 

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We don't use daycare but I can only imagine how that would feel to see such a dramatic shift in him.

Have you talked to the daycare about your concerns? See if there is anything they could do to help him cheer up a bit? Could they make an exception & move him into the next age group so he'll have some friends? (Especially if you tell them the only other option would be you finding a new day care provider)....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After having tossed and turned all night last night I am glad to read your answers. I do think I need to find another daycare option and if this would mean paying more right now for a while, but the current situation is not good for him nor myself (I am just worried about my little guy).

My ideal place would be small, with lots of outside playtime, maybe even like the German wood-kindergardens, no age separation. I find this a rather strange concept, to not allow kids of different ages to interact, with 1-2 loving and caring caretakers, that look at the child. But those are dreams, that just don't seem to exist around here.

I cannot put my PhD on hold, due to visa regulations, plus I am hoping to be done in 6 months time. Plus I have been making very good progress even with a babe around the house, thanks to the oddest working hours and a very supportive husband.

We've talked to the 2 care takers in his group. Both of which just said that he seems normal and fine and some kids just are like that and they usually just leave them alone and after some time, they come around. And I did observe during outside play at least one more child like that.

Both caretakers have been working there for a long time, and they are nice and friendly, they do take care of the kids, but I rarely see them hugging and cuddling with the kids. There is one woman in the front office, that my son loves, she takes him and interacts with him, they have a little monkey game, but she is not an official infant care taker, but works the front desk.

Maybe I am expecting too much? The two care takers are even saying, that our son is so adorable, because even though is walking, he still likes to be held once in a while... I am over 30 and still need to be hugged. I never imagined, that care takers would think hugging to be a strange concept for children.

I am glad to have found a place to bounce my thoughts. And I will put a lot of effort into finding him a new happier place, even if it means a bit more driving or spending a bit more money.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by belltree View Post
Maybe I am expecting too much? The two care takers are even saying, that our son is so adorable, because even though is walking, he still likes to be held once in a while... I am over 30 and still need to be hugged. I never imagined, that care takers would think hugging to be a strange concept for children.
I really don't think you are. Ok, she was actually at a German kindergarten that was multi-age with a bunch of wooden toys
but I DID see caregivers hugging DD all the time. She formed a very strong bond with two in particular and when I left they would pick her up and hold her and comfort her (we could see through the windows when we were leaving). Many times we would come in and she'd be cuddled up with them reading a book.

Are there any home daycares locally?
 
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