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Pixi6s 12-05-2012 11:02 AM

What Age did you child start daycare?
So I am curious of opinions of children starting daycare and experiences you had (how happy your child was going). I know every child is different but I am curious.

Some background on what I experience.

We decided before DS was born that we wanted to have a nanny for about the first year, then start looking into daycare. This made sense because DS third & fourth month I was working part-time and only out of the house 1-2 days a week (so have him home to nurse), then months five - twelve I was working at home 1 day. We also thought it was a good idea for a child to be mobile and have some communication skill before put in the daycare environment.

DS was born we got a nanny we loved and by month 5 she was working 4 days and my MIL worked one day. My MIL said she couldn't help any more when DS turned 1 year. So the plan was to start looking into daycares anyway so we started (nanny wasn't interested in 5 days a week either).

At 1 year DS started daycare 1.5 days a week, at home with nanny 3.5 days. That lasted until 18 months old. Every day but maybe 1 or 2 was crying horrible when leaving, generally they would say he had a good day though :(We do practice attachment parenting as well)

We were moving and things were changing so 19-22 months old he was back home with nanny/family.

At 23 months, I started working 3 days a week. With reduce hours/pay and less hours available than the nanny needed, daycare made the most sense.

We started daycare 3 days a week at 23 months. He was there about 6 weeks, crying at drop off, generally they said he had a good day after we left. (but one day they asked if we had a visitor because of a phrase he was saying, I said no. When they told me the phrase I knew he was actually asking to go home all day :(

We liked that daycare okay, but we heard of a "green" eco-conscious daycare near by that was less than a year old. We checked it out and loved it. I like to explain it as home daycare feel not in someone's home. There 2 multi-age classrooms (3m-36m & 3y-6y) and a couple teachers in each room. We switched DS at 2 years 2 weeks old to the new daycare.

Didn't cry once. We visited twice the week before he started (same as with the previous daycare). He has now been there 11 months and only handful of fussy days always because he didn't sleep well or ended up getting sick. (I should also preface that DS's last week in the previous daycare he was less fussy at drop off for the first time...)

So we LOVE our new daycare. But we also loved the individual care that DS got with the nanny his first 20 months of life.

We are planning the next child and occasionally talk about care plans for the next one. We are pretty much in agreement for the first 6 months or so we should keep the child home with a nanny but then we differ.

While I admit, if I had to send an infant to a daycare I would be able to send them to this one without freaking out. The director intends to never have more than 3 or so children under 6 months at a time. To date I think the most they have had is 2, but the center is also less than 2 years old and it's never been completely full. It's a loving environment with individual attention. Even when there are 10 or so kids in the room you wouldn't know it, kids are calm, the teachers are friendly and calm -- it's a great set up with a great group of people.

But after what we put DS through I always thought that, depending on the child and how clingy (DS is a mama's boy) we'd wait longer, 18m - 2y. It's hard for me to know for sure if DS just likes his daycare or if he was just ready for the experience after turning 2.

I have read and do feel that 1 is not a good age daycare. It's said that developmentally is usually always a clingy time for a child and was bad timing on our part.

With that in mind, maybe 6-9m would be a better time... help get them adjusted before they hit 1 year.... I think at the end of it we can just see how it goes, but I am planner and while I can accept change I like to think that my plan has a good chance of occurring.

So I am curious how old your child was when they started daycare, center or home. After maybe the initial shock how did it go, was it a good age to start?

escapethevillage 12-05-2012 11:09 AM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
My happiest kids, start here as an infant. I get them usually around three months. They are the mascot for a while, and love it here. I've never had a baby not come right to me when they see me. They usually throw themselves to me every morning.

They get to be the center of the world for a year, then they become one of the "big kids".

Shimpie 12-05-2012 11:21 AM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
I totally agree; start daycare before 12 months or after 18 months. The 1 year mark is just rough with separation anxiety.

DD was nannied by my sister from 6 months to 20 months. Her son is ony 3 months younger than DD, so they had the best time together. That worked perfectly for DD, because she refused to take a bottle. I had to to come nurse her at lunch time. At 20 months, DD started going to a Montessori. "School" in the morning and afternoon daycare. We knew it was a good place after about 2 weeks. DD cried for ~5-10 minutes in the first week and then she warmed up fast. Now I can't get her to leave at pick-up time.

jbug_4 12-05-2012 11:32 AM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
DD went to daycare at around 19 months and was pulled out at 24 months. She was not happy at all, but she was very clingy due to some medical stuff and did not adjust well. She was like that as an infant as well so I really don't think her age would have mattered that young. Her adjustment issues were only part of the reason we pulled her- we were going to be moving, she ended up having her first allergic reaction at daycare, then after the reaction her provider refused to keep her epi-pen and we couldn't find anywhere willing to take the epi that had space so we pulled her. She went to pre-k last year at 4 (6 hours a week) and loved it. She is loving full day kindy this year. She was not ready to go into care until last year- luckily we have that luxury.

DS at 2 is probably ready for care but we don't need it. Up until 2 months ago he was still throwing massive fits if left with Grandma for babysitting, but did stop after a few minutes. These days he is much better about it and today he stayed with the receptionist at the doctor's office while I had an appointment. He was fine the whole time. We will probably put him into preschool earlier the dd since he is more ?? not sure what to call it. We've been looking into drop off care for him so I can do more with dd's school since he seems so much more comfortable than dd ever was.

Nerissa 12-05-2012 01:03 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
DS1 started with a friend wathcing him for the first year. She was a SAHM to her son who was 4. He was 6 weeks old.

When he was 18 months we had to switch (She went back to work) and he did pretty well. DS2 started as this same daycare at 7 weeks.

After 18 months she up and decided to quit. We had 5 weeks (between DH and I's winter vacations) to find new daycare

DS1 was 3.5yrs and DS2 was 1.5yrs. They did pretty well. It was an adjustment since they went from a very small (just the boys and one other little boy) to a much bigger home daycare.

We still use the same one. DS1 only goes on early out days since he is in Kindergarden and I get off work in time. DD started when she was 8 weeks.

They love going and infact DS1 was very sad that he doesn't get to go every day anymore.

mibarra 12-05-2012 01:07 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
DD1 starting going to my SIL at 9 months, daycare itself at 1 year, no issues. DD2 started daycare at 6 months. She doesn't transition easily and takes awhile to warm up, but once she adjusts she does fine. Baby #3 will start between 5-6 months as well.

CASMama711 12-05-2012 01:39 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
DD1 went to a home day care that she started at 3 mo old. She never cried when I dropped her off. ever. She stayed there full-time until she started part-time preschool at age 3 and then continued at that day care part-time until she started full-time pre-K at age 4.

DD2 & DS have had care in our home with 2 different nannies. At 5 mo old our first nanny started and they were never upset when I left. Then we moved and they started with a new nanny at 9 mo old. DD2 was in a stranger anxiety phase and she cried when I left for the first couple of weeks, but from then on both babies have been happy with the nanny. At this point, I'm not planning to put them in day care or preschool until at least age 2.

badmisterkitty 12-05-2012 02:03 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
12 weeks, 10 weeks, and 6 weeks, respectively.

Can't really offer any advice other than perhaps inconsistency being part of the problem?? I don't know. I know my kids do better when we do the same thing every single day. A three day weekend or anything else that tilts the schedule is usually messy.

Pixi6s 12-05-2012 02:23 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?

Originally Posted by mibarra (Post 16008961)
DD1 starting going to my SIL at 9 months, daycare itself at 1 year, no issues. DD2 started daycare at 6 months. She doesn't transition easily and takes awhile to warm up, but once she adjusts she does fine. Baby #3 will start between 5-6 months as well.

mibarra, Do you remember about how long it took her to adjust?

Thanks everyone for your input! Honestly just writing it all out was very helpful for me. 6-9 month time frame seems more realistic now that when I husband suggested it. Not sure who we can get for a nanny when we just want 4-6 months but we can cross that bridge later. :)

I actually approach it in the sense of cloth diapers. "I have to know when we are planning on starting daycare to plan which diapers to buy !" :)

I do LOVE our daycare I wish everyone had this "third" style of daycare to choose from besides just standard center and home. We really feel like we are lucky to have the best of both worlds. :)

It's nice that he is not being moved up to another classroom every 6-12 months, or starting in one room in the morning, moving to the main classroom, then moved again when they consolidate kids in the afternoon - ug. It's nice that he has older kids to learn from and younger kids to teach around him all the time. But we also like that there are always at least 2 adults there, that they are in a space that is meant for groups of children, and honestly that the other kids there aren't their teachers parents, because I don't know what kind of favoritism would occur.

When we were looking at daycares the first time we did look at home daycares. The one we liked the person the best, she was very organized but her home was small and packed with stuff. Then no food was allowed in because on child had allergies and her other child (about my sons age) had delays. At the time she only had one part time child.

Another home daycare we looked at we loved the space, it was house huge and very open. It was a great space for a daycare. But it was not organized, i believe it would truly be a daycare where kids just run around all day, not much with any kind of planned learning activities. She had like 4 or 5 kids, one with special needs ALL of them we a few years older than my son and they ALL seemed fast moving and crazy. It sounded like she didn't even really know if/when the kids she watch was going to get dropped off on any particular day, they just show up. I felt like he would pick up bad habits there.

So yeah Green Sprouts!

luvsviola 12-05-2012 02:56 PM

Re: What Age did you child start daycare?
I got 12 weeks off with my first, 4 days off with my foster placement (he was 26 days old at the time), and 10 weeks off with my third.

Daycare for us is grandma who comes at our house. :) The kids all did fine.

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