Lindsay Gill: What I wish I knew about daycare

Monday, March 17, 2014

What I wish I knew about daycare

What do I wish I knew about daycare?

If you're new here, you can catch up on Luke's first day of daycare, and his transition to the older class here.  As I finish yet another day that started with goodbye tears, I write this post to myself back in August 2013 to prepare myself for Luke's time at day care...


1.  Luke will get so many colds!  Like a new one every day.  For a while, we went to the Pediatrician every Thursday.  This depends on the size of the daycare, and the ages of the kids with your little one.  Luke goes to a "large center" with all kids his age.  Luckily, they are starting to slow down the "mouthing."  Supposedly this is building his immune system and making him less likely to catch everything down the road.  That doesn't make it any easier to deal with stuffy noses and coughs during the night.

2.  Luke will learn new behaviors.  Sometimes he comes home with a new cry that I've never heard before.  They really do learn from each other!  Both good and bad.

3.  Luke will have tough goodbyes...still.  I thought maybe this would get easier but it hasn't.  This started at 10 months of age to the day.  Apparently this is normal but our goodbye looks sadder than the other kids.  The teachers promise that as soon as I'm out of sight, he calms down and has a great day.

4.  Don't try to save money.  By this, I mean that I tried to buy just enough diapers, wipes, formula etc as needed, which caused much more anxiety for me than just buying more than enough and duplicates of everything.  I was late to work when I forgot his extra bottle or he lost his pacifier in our travels.  I wish I had just splurged and had more than enough of everything.

5.  It's a learning time for you, too.  I tell myself, anyway, that every time I can drop him off, I'm preparing myself for his first day of preschool, first day of Kindergarten...first day of college.

6.  There are so many different daycare types.  There are homes, centers, and big centers!  You really have to look around to figure out what works best for you.  Some of them are booked months in advance so save yourself stress and try to plan as ahead of time as you can.



7.  You will get many reactions.  I have to listen to a few patients a day sharing their negative opinion on our choice to send Luke to day care.  I don't take it personally, I think they mostly want to make conversation.  When family voices their opinion, you have to be strong in your decisions.  This won't be the first or last thing you disagree on.

8.  You might not get to see Luke very much on daycare days.  He goes to sleep so early that if I have an early morning drop off, and then get out of late work, I will be lucky to get to rock Luke to sleep for a few minutes.  Sometimes, especially when he was younger, I felt like we had to re-acclimate on our Thursday together because we had been apart for so long.  This is a sad feeling but helps us appreciate our time together more.

9.  You will think about him all day.  We get photo updates throughout the day which really helps, and they welcome worried phone calls, too.  But you can't help but worry about his health, safety, and happiness when he is away from you.

10.  He's learning so much, so quickly.  Luke gets to do art projects.  He gets to go outside.  He meets children of different ethnicity and backgrounds, and is exposed to different teachers and foods.  He is learning to be independent and I can't even put into words how proud of him I am.


Originally I had been trying to get him busy with something and then sneak out when I drop him but a friend said that causes them anxiety.  I was heartbroken and now make sure he sees me leaving which doesn't seem any better.  I hate to think I'm causing him anxiety.  What are your thoughts on this?

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