When I was pregnant, the thought of putting my unborn son into day care didn’t seem like a bad idea. I thought, it will be good socialization for him especially since he will most likely be an only child. But once Luke was born and I saw how much personal attention and care he required, I began to get nervous about putting him in day care at only 3 months of age.
I lucked out and was able to have a nanny for 3 months, and putting off day care for three more months seemed a bit more appropriate. Dora, my Spanish-speaking nanny from Columbia was exceptional, and willing to work within my budget. She was visiting the States for three months so it worked out wonderful for both of us. Luke loved Dora. She was attentive and loving towards Luke. Every time Dora walked in the door in the morning, Luke would be all smiles so I knew he was in good hands.
Of course there are positives and negatives to both nannies and day care. The personalized attention your baby gets with a nanny will no doubt give you peace of mind. And your baby will most likely get in a solid routine with a nanny. But studies have found that being around other babies is not only great stimulation for your baby, but they learn to develop healthy coping skills and be better prepared for school.
When Dora left, I didn’t think Luke was ready to go straight from full time nanny to full time day care, but being a single mom, I had to be realistic about what I could afford. I came up with a compromise. Twice a week Luke would be with his new nanny, Kiara, and 3 days a week he would be in his new day care, All My Children, located at 112 Ridge street, (picking a day care is a whole other story), I felt this was a good way to gradually introduce day care and see if Luke would be okay with it.
Luke did transition well into day care and I am surprised at how much he likes it. He loves being around other babies. He is in his third month and never cries when I drop him off or pick him up. Most day cares will give you a progress report when you pick up your baby on how they did that day. But I always talk to the staff so that I can get as much information as possible.
Being a Producer, I am extremely organized, probably to a fault and day cares in general tend to be a bit disorganized when it comes to logistics and administration, or at least this has been my experience with All My Children. But most important, you want to feel good about the actual caregivers looking after your little one, and in this aspect, All My Children is great.
Kiara, as well is a great nanny. She was a baby nurse for many years, and so has great advice for me. One great piece of advice she gave me when I was introducing Luke to food was to not mix everything together, as I had been, to see what he really likes and what he may or may not develop an allergy to.
I do find that Luke’s overall schedule is not as great when he is at day care as to be expected, but writing out instructions helped with this. It’s still not perfect but it will never be and learning to let go is a big part of motherhood.
Here are some Pro’s and Con’s I have found with both:
Pros to Day Care – Luke loves the stimulation, developing sharing and coping skills, music class once a week, formula and food is included (if you use theirs), and it’s extremely cost-efficient.
Cons to Day Care – no one-on-one personalization, his schedule is sometimes off, no immediate attention, plan on your child getting sick often – but this can also be a pro as it will help build your child’s immune system up.
Pros to Nanny – one-on-one personalization, nanny comes right to your door, better assessment of behavior, he cries, she picks him up right away.
Cons to Nanny – more costly – you will need to give your nanny paid vacation and holiday, and no other baby stimulation – this is a big one as the more babies are around other babies, they learn to share and problem solve.
The combination of nanny and day care works for me and it’s a little less expensive than a full time nanny, but whatever you decide to do, you should of course do extensive research on both and of course meet your nanny and visit each day care.