Should I Send my Child or Baby to Daycare?

Updated on April 29, 2016
WryLilt profile image

Susannah Birch is a certified birth doula, journalist, and owner of Trimester Talk, a leading pregnancy website.

Should ? Could I?

A baby is one part of life you'll find comes with a lot of decisions. From where baby should be born to when they should eat, all the way up till when and where they should start school, decisions must be made.

Choosing to send your child to daycare and return to work is another big decision. For some mothers it's a painful experiment in hopes of helping an only child get some more social interaction. Other mothers rush back to work for a few days a week just so they can have some sanity in an otherwise nappy and bottle filled life.

Whatever your reason for returning to work or sending your baby to daycare, you need to remember that it's yours alone and only you know the circumstances. If you want your child to stay home - that's great. But if you want to return to work, that's great too!

Of course, each baby and situation is different - so in the end - it's your decison.

Habits & Routines

You need to think firstly, about whether your baby has any special needs. If your baby was preterm or had any problems after birth, you may need to take these into consideration when choosing when and where to leave them.

Another important issue is feeding - if you breastfeed you'll need to be prepared to express and have a carer willing and able to correctly feed expressed milk to your baby.

You'll also need to consider the differences between your home and a carer's. If your baby is used to being picked up, going to sleep a certain way or being picked up the second they make a whimper, they may have a hard time adjusting.

What Age Is Best

Like most things with babies - it can vary widely depending on the child's development, home surroundings and their personality in general.

Most carers and daycare centres will take a child from 6 week onwards but most people agree that this is too early. Babies often become clingy around the age of 6-8 months so, if you wish to avoid a scene, it might be wise to get them used to being away from their parents before 6 months. 

Adjusting

Most babies can take a little while to adjust to daycare. Of course this can vary depending on how many days and hours they spend there. Don't be surprised if it takes your child 6 weeks or more to get fully comfortable with their surroundings and develop a routine at daycare.

Why keeping your child home too long can be bad for them

Studies have shown that a baby is often better adjusted when their parent works part time. The reason for this is that being away from your child full time can lead to feelings of loss and rejection - baby still needs its mum.

However, keeping your child home for too long can lead to big problems if you need to go somewhere or leave them somewhere new. The first few years are the most crucial, when children are learning about their surroundings - and they can't do this to the full extent if they are always with one person, in one place.

What to look for in a carer

  • Someone friendly who doesn't scare your child (or you!) more than most strangers.
  • Someone who realizes children are different - and doesn't ignore most of what you tell them about your child because they think they are experienced.
  • Someone willing to fit in with you and your child's routine.
  • Check the cost - this can vary widely. Some places will charge you per hour while others will charge you per day (since they cannot book in another child in that block of time.)
  • Make sure that they have strict policies on things such as how many children with one carer, who can pick your child up and cleanliness.

Checklist before returning to work

  • Make sure you have all the items your child will need for daycare - most centres will give you a list. Make sure all items have your child's name on them.
  • Spend some time with your child at daycare. Most carers and centres will allow this - if they don't it might be a better idea to try somewhere else.
  • Send baby to daycare on days when you are able to pick them up if you need to - this way you can both get used to the idea.

Types of care

  • Daycare centres - a special centre with separate areas for different age groups.
  • Home care - a carer looks after several children in their own home.
  • In home care - someone who comes to your home.
  • Friends & Family - a great choice if you have plenty of extended family.

When did you/do you plan to return to work?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Provi 

        7 months ago

        Hi my son is 2 years old and I start sending him to day care but he cry a lot it almost a 4th day but still he is crying ... not able to understand shell I keep him home or continue with day care

      • profile image

        Allison 

        5 years ago

        I started my son in daycare at 6 weeks, I might have liked to stay-at-home a bit longer for bonding... but I had no choice! I am a doctor and was given 6 weeks for my maternity league. Although, He is only in daycare 3 days per week, and my mother and mother-in-law take care of him the other 2 days. But, I do feel that my son will benefit from his experiences at daycare. He is now 1.5 years old, and has moved in to the toddler room at his daycare, he loves daycare "school" and I love the fact he is learning how to be a productive member of a classroom community!

      • profile image

        davyfetons 

        5 years ago

        hi trevor if your still in need of them i think this is the site and details , they have a wealth of knowledge ,just say mr davy fetons

        give you there number

      • profile image

        mj23 

        6 years ago

        I really do agree that babies should be put in daycare to get used to socialising with their peers. I was kept at home until the age of 5 when I was sent to my first daycare. It was a severe shock to my system. I was a quiet introverted child until my late teens and very socially awkward. My baby is due in 2 months and I will make sure that she is well prepared for the world before she goes to formal schooling.

      • WryLilt profile imageAUTHOR

        Susannah Birch 

        6 years ago from Toowoomba, Australia

        Kim you obviously didn't read the article very well... it's pointed out that working full time is not the best option, but a day or two of daycare each week can be beneficial to the child.

      • profile image

        kim 

        6 years ago

        what's the point in bring a child into this world when your all to busy working!! this really boils my blood.your selfish in having the child to start with and then even more selfish in living the child for some one else to look after.

      • CatrionaS profile image

        CatrionaS 

        8 years ago from England

        I'm very lucky in that my dad offered to look after my first son when I was ready to go back to work. I still put him in nursery, but only for 2 half day sessions so he had some social interaction with children his own age. My friend has no choice but to put her son into nursery full time, 11 hours a day, 5 days a week, and it's killing her. She's currently looking into getting a nanny as she feels so guilty about leaving him in there for so long. I'm currently on maternity leave with my 2nd child so have this all to look forward to again! I'd love to be able to stay at home but it's not really an option unfortunately!

      • WryLilt profile imageAUTHOR

        Susannah Birch 

        8 years ago from Toowoomba, Australia

        Abby, I'd say that before 6 months of age would be a good choice. They don't have to go every day - in fact one day a week is fine. However getting them used to day care before the "scared of strangers" stage means it'll be a lot easier than trying to put them into unfamiliar care at a later age.

      • profile image

        Abby 

        8 years ago

        what is the best period of time to leave your newborn

      • Amy29 profile image

        Amy29 

        8 years ago from South Carolina

        No help here in South Carolina.. its work or stay home!

      • G. M. Cruz profile image

        G. M. Cruz 

        8 years ago from USA

        I have been at home for the past 3 years and it has been great. I had to give up some things but it is worth it to spend all day with my son.

      • profile image

        sunnygb 

        8 years ago

        In the Czech Republic, you get some money when your baby is born and then you get up to three years of paid maternity leave (about $400 a month). No wonder all my friends are having more kids and I'm glad we can afford one in Texas.

      • saket71 profile image

        saket71 

        8 years ago from Delhi, India

        Hi, thanks for the nice hub, am pondering on when to put my about to be two year old daughter in the playschool/day care. While I know, this has to happen, it worries me to no end that this step out of house that she makes will be first of many that she will make, each taking her farther from home. But then as Khalil Gibran said, children are arrows which have to leave the bow, and ships will sail, sooner or later, for their own good.

      • LarasMama profile image

        LarasMama 

        8 years ago from a secret location, Australia

        You're very lucky then! In Australia we get $5000 'baby bonus' and a small fortnightly amount after that, but not enough to live on. Most workplaces allow up to a year leave for each child. I'm back at work but only two days a week - I have a 6 month old. I'd rather be home!

      • Princessa profile image

        Wendy Iturrizaga 

        8 years ago from France

        The cost is a very important factor. In France mothers have lots of incentives to stay at home after they have a baby. A friend of mine had 3 years paid (with all extras like Xmas and mother's day bonuses) maternity leave for her 4th child. I think that the more children you have the more extended maternity leave you can have. I think it is very good, because mothers are not forced to leave their babies if they don't want to.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)