3rd Trimester

Daycare Question

I work with my husband and we were planning on having the baby on daycare two days a week and then me staying home for the rest of the week. We visited a great place today and my husband suggested we could do 4 half days instead of the two full days.

I don't know how I feel about it and if the 4 half days will cut our routine too much. What are you guys doing for daycare? Does any know what is better for a baby? I feel like two days a week will help us to keep a routine, but this is the first time I am doing this so I have any idea. Any ideas will be appreciated

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Re: Daycare Question

  • I think 2 full days in the daycare would be better for the baby.  It seems like it would be easier for you and the baby to stick to a routine this way.  Good luck and I wish I could stay home part-time like you!
  • My daughter is in daycare and, in our experience, kids are pretty flexible.  Whatever will work best for you and your husband will work the baby.  Usually the beginning is a bit tough as they are getting used to a new routine but, once the routine sets in, that is what they know and they will adjust to that schedule.  One thing that I will say is that you will spend more time dropping off an picking up if you do four 1/2 days then if you do two full and that can be kind of a bummer as those things do take time each day.  I think you really have to decide which scenario works best for you and go with that.

     

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  • My daughter is in daycare and, in our experience, kids are pretty flexible.  Whatever will work best for you and your husband will work for the baby.  Usually the beginning is a bit tough as they are getting used to a new routine but, once the routine sets in, that is what they know and they will adjust to that schedule.  One thing that I will say is that you will spend more time dropping off an picking up if you do four 1/2 days then if you do two full and that can be kind of a bummer as those things do take time each day.  I think you really have to decide which scenario works best for you and go with that.

     

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  • Dropping off and picking up takes time because you chat with the teacher and even just getting in and out of the building.  Plus, you would be loading your LO in the car twice as often.  I think I would feel like I just dropped the LO off then had to turn around and pick them up again.   It would depend on the way the daycare does their schedules, but once they are one or so, half days mean they are always getting picked up pretty much right at lunch or nap time.  Infants are usually on individual schedules, so that might be easier to work around though.
  • I would say it depends on how long your commute is and how you want to spend your 'off' time. My round trip commute is 2 hours, so I couldn't do half days since my DCP counts half days as 4 hours or less. That being said, DD1 is in daycare for around 9.5 hours a day (always has been), and that is a REALLY long day for little kids. I'm thinking of trying to go PT when DD2 is here, but it will have to be 2 full days because of the commute. You may also want to look into moms groups in your area if you plan to join one, and find when most of them tend to meet (morning vs afternoon). Also consider weather-related impacts and how that might be affected by a PT schedule: here it's better to do summer outdoor activities in the am and fall activities in the afternoon. Lastly, consider if it will have any impact on your gas costs. GL with your decision!
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  • Thanks to all of you. My commute is only 10 minutes and I purposely look for daycare centers that were on my way to work. However, our winters here can be pretty bad and I feel that driving with a baby in the snow will be very stressful. I guess I just need to talk to DH and see if we can compromise.

    CakeBatter: I did the two hour commute for 2 years when we just got married and it was too much for me. I hope you can go PT.

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  • cZacZa member

    My son goes part time to daycare. Most centers are cheaper for full days than half days. Full day for my son is 40 and half day is 32. I would go with the 2 full days. Kids are flexible and it may also interrupt nap time if you are picking up during nap time.

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  • As an infant teacher I have some mixed feelings about both of these schedules so here is my take:

    2 days a week- This is typically TTH at most centers which means there are 4 straight days spent at home with mom/dad getting 1:1 attention which is great.  But that also means that come Tuesday morning at drop off it will be hard, really hard for some kids.  This schedule works great for a child who has no separation or stranger anxiety, but for a child with some of either of these, this can make for a lot of anxiety about going to childcare. 

    4 half days- The consistency of being at childcare more days a week will help the child adjust quicker and allow the child and caregivers to bond quicker thus making the experience more enjoyable for the child.  The only downside to this schedule as PP mentioned is that it can interrupt the routine of the child.  If half day pick up/drop off time is at 12:30pm, that is typically in the middle of lunch/going down for naps.  If you are picking up at the half way point, it might not be that big of a deal but there are some parents who stay home in the AMs and work in the PMs and this can be hard on the child and the class.  If everyone is going down for naps and a child comes in having had a nap in the AM with mom this can be really annoying for the teachers in the program.  I would ask what the plan is for children coming in at the half day mark and see if that works for you.  I have seen centers where said child would be expected to lay on a mat for the hour long nap time (not what I would want to pay for).

    Sorry that is so long, but I just wanted to share of a teacher's side of the coin.  Good luck with your decision.

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  • IMO I would go with two full days.  Doing 4 half days means you have to get up and get yourself and baby ready all of those days by a certain time.  It means no morning classes/play dates with baby.  In other words, none of the "slow morning" benefits to staying home part time :)
    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • After talking to several parents who use part-time DC, we decided that it would be better to send ours more often than we'd originally planned.  We saw that the kids who went more often were consistently better adjusted and enjoyed DC more than those who went fewer times a week.  Plus, our DC isn't just glorified babysitting - they have curricula for each age group and teach sign language and do potty training, so we wanted to maximize the time that baby is in that structured "educational" environment. 
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