Wednesday, 11 January 2012

I Dream of Daycare

The countdown has begun - I go back to work in less than one month after a year of maternity leave. Gulp.

Naturally I'm a bit nervous about it but I'm also fully ready to start working again. I miss the office, my work, my colleagues ... and my heels! I'm ready to ditch the yoga pants and bad hair. I'm ready to go to the bathroom without an audience. I will miss my life as a stay at home mom, and especially spending my days with my son. He continues to amaze me every day as he grows and changes. But it's okay. I will hopefully do it again in a few years!

What I'm especially happy about is that I don't have to worry about sending my son to daycare...yet. I'm extremely fortunate to have an amazing mother who has graciously agreed to babysit her grandson for a few months until we land a coveted spot in a $7-a-day daycare. So I know that my son will not only be in good hands, but he'll be spending his days with one of his favorite people in the world. Win-win!

That being said, I'm estimating he will likely start going to daycare in September. He'll be around 18 - 19 months old. Which gives us a few months to prepare and make sure he's ready for a successful transition.

I've been concerned about how he'll nap at daycare but after talking to a few people, I've decided to ditch that concern. It will work itself out in time. I no longer want to worry about it.

But now I'm wondering what else we can do to prepare him for daycare. Mastering self-feeding? Learning to play well with other children? I realize he's still young but I'd like for him to start off on the right foot. Or am I the one who will need to prepare myself for this change?

Any tips for me from parents who are daycare veterans out there? I'd also love to hear from people who have worked in daycares.

What do you think? How should we prepare for daycare?


  1. Christina, I often wondered about the same things when my husband and I were getting ready to bring our daughter to daycare, and she started at 11 months. The things that she learns every day at daycare constantly amazes us. Another benefit is the skills that she's learning: proper social behaviours, eating with utensils, drinking from a "real" glass, sleeping with distractions. The one downside has been the constant sickness. It has been 6 months of chronic colds, stomach bugs and ear infections. I often wonder when she will be able to attend multiple 5-day weeks in a row. I've been told that it can take as long as a year, but the sickness does subside, and then you're laughing when it comes time to start school because your kid has already been exposed to everything.

    1. Thanks Carolyn - I've heard all the horror stories about daycare sickness... I guess it's a rite of passage for today's toddler! Great advice to bank those sick days. I guess the benefits of daycare outweigh the constant illnesses, especially in the long term. Hope your little one gets through this period quickly!

  2. My daughter started daycare at 18 months and we continue to be amazed by how much she learns everyday.
    I also had a bad napper (to the point where I made my husband take a week off of work to avoid car induced naps). But she sleeps like an angel at daycare. They follow their peers' example-so don't be too worried about it, instead enjoy your time together.

  3. Thanks for the feedback! It's reassuring to hear from a fellow mother of a "nap-challenged" child ;-) I'm so glad to hear that she changed at daycare. I'm hopeful that we'll experience the same.

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