S/O What age to start MDO? — The Bump
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S/O What age to start MDO?

I've been thinking about when to start T in MDO.  I stay home with him and my mom lives 2 miles away and watches him any time I need.  I don't really need the babysitting aspect of MDO.  We go to playdates, the library, Kindermusick, and Baby Boot Camp, so he gets quite a bit of interaction with other babies right now.  I think at some point he will definetely benefit from going to MDO and it is something we plan to do.

What age do you think he would really gain something from going to MDO?  I want to be able to justify the cost b/c I have all of the free babysitting that I need.

Re: S/O What age to start MDO?

  • Honestly, I think at any age it can be something a baby or toddler would enjoy.  Older DD started at 12 months, but younger DD was only 4 months old.  I started them in church-based MDO that I thought was wonderful.  A good MDO setting will always be stimulating and enjoyable for most children.  However, between 12 to 18 months of age is when separation anxiety really sets in so it might take your child longer to adjust to your leaving him. Just keep that in mind.  I felt strongly that learning to separate from me and being comfortable being left in a group setting without Mommy around was one big benefit of MDO for both the girls as they grew older.  It was a confidence builder for all of us.

    As a SAHM, I appreciated the structure that the girls' MDO program gave to our week.  It was nice having one or two days a week when I knew I had a four-hour block of time to run errands without them or go to the salon/dentist/doctor or get things done around the house.  Sounds like you have on-call babysitting though!


  • I found that most MDOs wouldn't take them until they are 1. They ranged from 12, 18, 24 months to start. I found one place in Pearland that takes them as young as 3 months so I drive 25 minutes to get her there. She started in November at about 8 months. We do Gymboree and MDO as regular things so it was another way to get her interaction with other babies and get used to mommy leaving and coming back.

    And I get so much done in those 5 hours! I can run all my errands so the time I do have with her is all fun time rather than dr. appts, errands, etc. 

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  • I'm with K & P in that I think kids of any age can benefit from it.  Marion started at 18 months and it was perfect timing for us.  On the other hand, Eliza is starting next week at six months old.  I just need that time alone, 1) to be a better mom and 2) actually get things done.  I feel a twinge of guilt for leaving Eliza at such a young age but I know that guilt will go away with my first pedicure - HA!
  • Honestly I don't think it's something that you need to do for the child's sake. It's really for mom's sanity.

    Our school takes them at 6wks I think (because they do fulltime daycare as well as MDO). DD started at 9mo. I did it because I am working p/t. I do not think DD got anything out of it until at least 18mo, maybe even 2yo. But if I did not work at all... well, I might have sent them at the same ages just to give me a break, but probably not as often as I have done. I see nothing wrong with never doing MDO. There's always preschool and pre-k.

    - Jena
  • I put Emmy in MDO when she was about 2.5 years old because it just gave her the social aspect that she doesn't get from home.  And it was a lot cheaper than enrolling her in Little Gym, Gymobree Play and Learn, Gymboree Music all at once.  I liked the age that she started because she was about to communicate with the teachers and it was a good age where she actually started playing with other kids.  This is her second year and she already has her little clique of friends. 

    We'll be starting Ally NEXT NEXT year when she's a little over 2.5 yo too.   

    Lisa. mommy to Emmy and Ally image
  • Thanks ladies for the input!  I was thinking around 18 months would be good.  T will be 15 months in September, so we may start this school year.  I have some research to do!
  • I waited until 18 mos for T and about 2 months in I wished I had brought him sooner. He really, really enjoyed it. I put Mathis in at 12 mos and he's been sohappy ever since.

    THere are a lot of great reasons to send kids to MDO. There is such thing as *positive* peer pressure and they are also often willing to try new things when mom isn't around- especially in the eating category!

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