How early is too early for daycare? — The Bump
Pre-School

How early is too early for daycare?

The daycare we put my son in has a minimum age of 6 weeks. I am currently in college and my daughter is due September 16th. I can't decide if I want to put her into there that early or if I want to take a semester off.

How young were your kids when you put them in daycare?

What do you think I should do?

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Re: How early is too early for daycare?

  • I too had help, I went back to work when he was 2 weeks old, but that was mainly because my mother looked after him and did rather a lot for, had that not been there I would have probably not worked. My second I went back to work when he was 3 months, although that felt rather young I was still able to enjoy the first few weeks that i missed with my 1st. The swinging factor for you would be are you going to bottle feed or breast feed? Bottle feeding - return as and when, breast feeding - your'e going to have wean prior to going back. Good luck and let us know what you decide, and best of luck for your little one xx
  • DD1 I returned to work at 6 wks -she was colicky and I welcomed someone else taking care of her

    DD2 I returned to work at 5 wks - someone watched her 1 wk before she began daycare

    I felt like I bonded with both children. I was still tired for the first six months. In addition, to other PP's advice think about exhaustion. If you choose to continue school maybe take an easier course load or reduce the amt of hrs. the first semester back.

    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
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  • I went back to work after my maternity leave when DD was 3.5 months old.  It worked out well for us and DD bonded w/ her caregivers and with us.  If I lived in an ideal world, I would have loved to stay home FT until she was 6 months old, but I'm sure we all would have been fine if I'd gone back sooner.  DD started STTN around 4 months - waking up to feed her before that was tough but doable - and she was on formula so DH woke up with her too.  If you do go back when your LO is still waking up to eat overnight, think about how you can share that with your DH - either by pumping BM or supplementing w/ formula.

     

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  • DD- I went back to work at 6 weeks and DD stay with my mom for a week and then went to daycare so at 8 weeks

    DS- Went to daycare at 6 weeks

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  • My sister only had 6 weeks of leave and that is when her DD started.  With my first, I had a full 12 weeks of leave and with DD#2, I had 10 weeks since I had to use 2 weeks at the start.  My girls started at 12 weeks and 10 weeks.  Most of the infants are around this age when they start but I have seen younger ones there.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • If your company has more than 50 employees you're entitled to 12 weeks per FMLA (unpaid though).  Either way, my DS started daycare at 4 months and has been as sick as can be since!  I went back to work at 12 weeks but my hubby was laid off and watched our kids for 1 month before being called back.  I EBF and I pump 4 times a day at work.  Our daycare will take kids as early as 6 weeks (and there's a little boy there now who started at 6 weeks - he's now 1 year), but the only pitfall I've found is illness.  My DD was as healthy as could be until she started at 11 months and then she had all kinds of stuff (pneumonia, bronchitis, hand foot and mouth, etc...), and now my DS is about 4.5 months and has a double ear infection and a cold he's had for the entire 3 weeks he's been there.  Once you get passed the constant sickness it's really been great for them socially :)
  • 6 weeks is the average age most daycare start taking children.  There are a couple of reason for this 1. Most new mom's get 6 weeks for Maternity leave. 2. Babies under 6 weeks need alot of 1 on 1 care. 

    I have seen some daycare's that take babies as early as 2-3 weeks, but personally I think that as long as you have maternity leave you should keep the baby home.

    Personally I took an extended leave cause I work in a DC and I wanted to spend as much time off with my LO before going back and having to watch all the other children.  I feel as long as you feel comfortable with the DC that you child is going to they can start as soon as the DC allows. 

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  • imageSnooks:
    If your company has more than 50 employees you're entitled to 12 weeks per FMLA (unpaid though).  Either way, my DS started daycare at 4 months and has been as sick as can be since!  I went back to work at 12 weeks but my hubby was laid off and watched our kids for 1 month before being called back.  I EBF and I pump 4 times a day at work.  Our daycare will take kids as early as 6 weeks (and there's a little boy there now who started at 6 weeks - he's now 1 year), but the only pitfall I've found is illness.  My DD was as healthy as could be until she started at 11 months and then she had all kinds of stuff (pneumonia, bronchitis, hand foot and mouth, etc...), and now my DS is about 4.5 months and has a double ear infection and a cold he's had for the entire 3 weeks he's been there.  Once you get passed the constant sickness it's really been great for them socially :)

    It does not matter if your child is in DC or not they can get germs from anywhere, the store, church or your other family members that bring it home.  And ear infections are not contagious. 

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