Daycare center vs. home daycare vs. having family take care of the wee one.
I've been thinking about this a lot... listening quietly when I hear other Moms talk very passionately about this subject. But my mind still isn't made up.
Right now, Anna's with her Nanny while I'm not at home. My hours are kind of all over the place, and I'm fortunate enough to have someone who can work with me and my effed-up schedule. But that's not the only benefit, in my opinion.
Here's how I see things.
Having family watch the baby - pros:
- Your wee one gets to be with someone who loves them an INSANE amount. (If you could see my parents or my husband's parents with our buttertart, you would think that life did not begin until Anna came into the world).
- Your baby will have someone's undivided attention. Think about how much a grandparent loves to hold, snuggle, pinch the cheeks of, give gum to, and overall shower their grandkid with love and attention. That can't be a bad thing.
- Less stress. While I'm away from Anna, I can focus on what I'm doing. I'm not constantly worrying if she's standing in the middle of a room crying while nobody pays attention to her. And I'm not worried about rushing home so I don't have to pay $8000 for each nano-second I'm late picking her up.
- Familiar environment. Yesterday was my first day away from Anna for an extended period of time. Her reaction? She slept really well, had a great big lunch, played and didn't cry once. Being in a home that she's visited before, with her doting grandparents and lots of toys helps.
- The price is right.
Home daycare - pros:
- Baby/toddler interaction. Your baby will be with other babies and, most likely, toddlers in varying ages as well. Which means, they'll probably learn new things faster. Mind you, this could also mean that your baby's first word could be that cool new swear word the big kids learned at school last week. (Mommy, what does @^&#*!! mean?)
- Semi-familiar environment. 1-year olds still seem so wee to me. So, transitioning from being in their warm, cozy, lovely home to a daycare center seems kind of sudden. With a home daycare, at least they've got that cozy home setting still. (Even if it doesn't smell like home.)
- Cheaper than daycare centers. Let's face it, daycare is ridiculously expensive. Just another indication that our country is a bit screwed up when it comes to how we take care of our young ones. Home daycare isn't cheap - but at least it's a bit more affordable.
Daycare center - pros:
- Lots of learning. Your baby will interact with other kids. They'll learn letters and numbers and shapes and colours. They'll even learn that fun tidy-up song. (Brainwashing our kids into thinking cleaning is fun = awesome).
- Schedules, schedules, schedules. As the Baby Whisperer likes to beat into our brains, schedules are good things for babies. They thrive with a schedule. Schedule, schedule, schedule (okay... now I'm just having fun saying it. Like this: shed-u-el.)
Maybe it's because I've been up since 3am (damn you insomnia!) but that's about all I can list off for pros of a daycare center. Actually, maybe my mind is more made up than I thought. (The pros dwindle as my list goes on, I see...)
NOT to say that if you take your baby to a home daycare of a daycare center that there's anything wrong with it, whatsoever. There are pros and cons to everything. I'm just trying to wrap my head around a subject that I know a lot of Moms struggle with.
After a year of bonding and developing and learning about your baby - the next step seems so hard. Who should be in charge of the continued health and development of your little one? Are they learning enough? Are they getting enough interaction and stimulation? Are they loved and cared for enough?
Man. This having children thing is certainly not for the faint-of-heart.