First of all, I want to start off by saying I am not opposed to the idea of sending a child to daycare. My son went to a very reputable facility from weeks 12 to 21 of his life. I was a working mom and really didn’t have a choice (family lived too far away and staying home wasn’t an option). During those nine weeks, my little guy had a constant cold in addition to contracting a skin rash, pink eye and two ear infections. My pediatrician’s office felt like my second home! Thank goodness I breast fed him, I couldn’t imagine how sick he may have been without receiving my antibodies!
As previously mentioned, my son had a continuous cold that he just couldn’t shake. I remember driving to daycare and every single time he’d sneeze, I’d have to pull over and wipe his nose (otherwise, he was a gooey mess when we arrived). Over time, I became a pro at wiping while driving! I specifically asked the care takers to please wipe his nose if they heard him sneeze because of the snot log that would shoot out. On two occasions when I picked him up, there was dried crust all over his face so I knew he had laid in it. I was beyond furious of course, but always received excuse after excuse.
Don’t get me wrong, the care takers were wonderful people that I grew very close to. I cannot even imagine taking care of 7 or 8 infants at one time (shoot me now). I’m sure it would be tough to pinpoint which infant sneezed and run to the rescue with a kleenex, especially since there was a pretty strict schedule to follow.
The pink eye epidemic is what set me over the edge. I remember dropping my son off one morning and hearing the care takers converse with a dad about his daughter’s eyes. They were mentioning mucus and that he may need to take her to the doctor. Why not send her home right then and there if you think it’s a possibility? Instead, she stayed and infected several of the babies, including my son.
I spoke with the daycare director to inquire about cleanliness. I wanted to know how frequently toys were wiped down after a sick baby chewed on them, hands were washed, etc. I was told the care providers did their best to wipe down toys when a sick child played with them, but it was impossible every single time. Also, I was informed that a baby would have his or her hands wiped at each diaper change, which I knew was not true since I frequently witnessed diaper changes and did not see this happening.
The bottom line is, no one can take care of your baby the way that you can. I am also very aware that a baby cannot live in a bubble either. There are pro’s and con’s for sending children to daycare (building up their immune system, socialization, trained staff providing care, etc.). For those who have family members that help with your children, you are very blessed!
My son was 21 weeks old when I was laid-off. He went back to daycare only on two occasions when I had interviews (and literally, only for a maximum of 2 hours each time), and wouldn’t you know he got an ear infection? It killed me to see him sick again and this was one of the main reasons my husband and I decided I was going to be a stay at home mom (SAHM). He is now almost 13 months old and hasn’t been sick since being pulled out of daycare!
What type of childcare do you use? Do you have experience with daycare? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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