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Daycare orientation - too short?


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#1 Moo point

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:59 AM

I have enrolled DS into long daycare (one day per week to start with) in one month's time, he will be 7.5 months old. Having spoken to the centre at length about our concerns (he is fully breastfed, never taken a bottle and rarely will drink EBM from a cup, and only just starting on solids) and they were very reassuring that they would take the time to settle him/us in, help get him to drink EBM etc.

However when booking him in for orientation they informed me that it is only for an hour on a day before he starts. Does this sound normal? Or too short? I had the impression that I could take him for an hour or two while we were there, then maybe leave him for a few hours without us to see how he coped, ie gradually introduce him. It's going to be a rude shock to him to go from spending an hour there with strangers to leaving him for 8-9 hours sad.gif Unfortunately the centre is not near my work so I can't just pop in if he's struggling, plus I'm only working one day per week and don't want to cut my days short if he's unsettled.

We are currently looking at moving so I will potentially be looking for a new centre anyway, and am wondering if perhaps this centre is as good as I first thought. I am also going to look for something close to work. My mum or MIL are both happy to watch DS one day per week, am wondering if I should do this to start with and leave daycare until he's older? Part of me doesn't want to go back to work at all, especially until he's figured out how to feed without me around.

Sorry this is all over the place, mixed emotions and first mum paranoia setting in too. Would appreciate your thoughts/experiences.

#2 Kay1

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

Personally I would go the mum/MIL route. At that age I'd MUCH rather leave my child with a relative than in daycare. Especially since you are likely to have to move him when you move house anyway.

Having said that I think an hour's orientation is fairly standard but I have had daycares tell me I can pop in with my child as often as I like prior to them starting.

#3 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE (ange_75 @ 07/01/2013, 08:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have enrolled DS into long daycare (one day per week to start with) in one month's time, he will be 7.5 months old. Having spoken to the centre at length about our concerns (he is fully breastfed, never taken a bottle and rarely will drink EBM from a cup, and only just starting on solids) and they were very reassuring that they would take the time to settle him/us in, help get him to drink EBM etc.

However when booking him in for orientation they informed me that it is only for an hour on a day before he starts. Does this sound normal? Or too short? I had the impression that I could take him for an hour or two while we were there, then maybe leave him for a few hours without us to see how he coped, ie gradually introduce him. It's going to be a rude shock to him to go from spending an hour there with strangers to leaving him for 8-9 hours sad.gif Unfortunately the centre is not near my work so I can't just pop in if he's struggling, plus I'm only working one day per week and don't want to cut my days short if he's unsettled.

We are currently looking at moving so I will potentially be looking for a new centre anyway, and am wondering if perhaps this centre is as good as I first thought. I am also going to look for something close to work. My mum or MIL are both happy to watch DS one day per week, am wondering if I should do this to start with and leave daycare until he's older? Part of me doesn't want to go back to work at all, especially until he's figured out how to feed without me around.

Sorry this is all over the place, mixed emotions and first mum paranoia setting in too. Would appreciate your thoughts/experiences.



They wil have a 'standard' orientation for all children including older ones.
No childcare centre in their right mind would 'force' you to abide by that for younger babies. They will work with you to make it painless for both of you.
But don't forget, this is the first time you have done it, but the 1000th time they have done it. An experienced childcare worker will have no issues making sure your baby will be well fed, well played and well rested. With all due respect, they usually do a 'better job' than grandparents. Don't stress!



#4 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

Our orientation was a bit longer then that, but we also switched day cares after a few weeks when a spot in our preferred option came up, and had to do it all again (after I had already started work, so it was a bit annoying!)

A number of my friends kids started at the same age as your child, as we did as well, and they didn't take bottles, not v good with cups etc and they all survived really well.

As a PP mentioned your child won't be the first they've had to deal with, with those issues.

I love our daycare, and think the socialisation aspect is great for DS, but understand it's not for everyone. I was so frightened when we started, but it's great now.



#5 Bluenomi

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

We put DD into fulltime childcare at 6 months. Before I went back to work I put her in for a few short days, just 2 or 3 hours to get both of us used to it. That gave her a chance to get to know the carers and since she was so new to the centre and so young she was mostly looked after by the room leader. She has so much experience and bonded with DD so well so quickly that it really made things easier for all of us.  

She was a fussy pot. Refused bottles,cups, anything with milk in it that wasn't a boob as well as refusing soilds. Daycare worked on it and with all their advice and experience did get her to drink something in the end. They have much more patience and skill than I'd credit any grandparent with when it comes to small kids in care.

#6 axiomae

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:30 AM

I'm going back to work full time at 12 months but I have DD booked in part time from 11 months so that the whole month is effectively orientation. My daycare has on open door policy - you can stay as long as you like and pop in whenever you please. I plan on staying a full day with DD a couple of times, then gradually phasing it out over a week - go out for coffee, for a morning, a bit longer each time etc. Granted, this is more for my benefit than hers - the ladies there are wonderful and Im sure she'll fit right in. Could you do something similar perhaps?

#7 MissingInAction

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:34 AM

If you're going to be changing centres soon anyway, I would hold off on enrolling in daycare because your DS will most likely just be settling in and then you're going to change it up on him... no way... i'd be sending him to your ma or MIL until you know you can enrol him in one for the long term, saves shuffling him around and unsettling him.

#8 lozoodle

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

If you have another option on offer, which it sounds like you do, I'd opt for that for now. Daycare is fine of course (both my girls attend) but the illness is shocking and your child will cope better when they are a little older. Plus the socialisation etc isn't really going to be much for a baby compared to a 2 year old in terms of what they get out of it.

As for orientation, though, that sounds fairly standard to me.

#9 bonnybabe

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:42 AM

if you leave your child there, then you need to pay for the day, that is why orientation is only an hour.  So you can phase her in, but on your days where you pay.

#10 No girls here

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:48 AM

That's similar to what we had with my older 2.  I'm about to start my youngest, and am sending him for a month before I actually return to work to gradually ease him into it, but I am paying for the days.

Don't stress too much about how it's going to work, they are used to it.  DS2 refused to take a bottle from me or DH before I sent him (he was 5.5 months) and we had been trying for a month or so without any success but somehow they managed to get him to take it without any problems.  I had been stressing about it for nothing.

#11 nasty roses

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

That's normal.

As PPs have pointed out, it's up to you to phase him in as you feel comfortable, but at your expense.

For instance, I started my son a few weeks before I had to be at work. I started by dropping him in the first day for just two hours. Then the second day, a bit longer, and so on until he was there for a full day.

But I was still paying for all those days.

I found that it was best to not drag out the 'phase-in' period, because that can be a bit unsettling too.

And you might find you're better off enrolling him for two days a week. Generally speaking, kids who go to daycare just one day a week take a lot longer to settle in.

My first did two non-consecutive days a week. My second does two consecutive days. Personally, I've found the latter to be much better.

ETA: Since you're likely to be moving, I think it's a great idea having your mum look after him for the first few months, and then starting him at a daycare close to your work. By then he'll be a bit more used to having someone else look after him. My mum did this for my kids initially, my first from 9 months and the second from 6 months.

Edited by roses99, 07 January 2013 - 08:51 AM.


#12 Leee

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

We have our orientation today, which is an hour. But we will be doing more. My childcare is fine with doing more, standard for them. They are pretty laced with me as. My two older children have also gone there so I know a lot of the staff.

My DS is 1, BF, won't take a bottle either.i have tried giving milk at lunch time but he refuses so really for a week he just hasn't had milk at that time but BF for all other feeds. I am going to back to Uni with clinical so trying to wean, but not very successfully.

I think if you have someone that can care I would do that, especially if it is only for one day. If not, I am all for childcare and most settled in ok.

#13 Bluenomi

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

Does your centre offer casual rates? I know with ours I started DD on part days at a casual hourly rate for a few days before she started her fulltime position. Made it a bit cheaper.

#14 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (MiaMoo86 @ 07/01/2013, 09:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you're going to be changing centres soon anyway, I would hold off on enrolling in daycare because your DS will most likely just be settling in and then you're going to change it up on him... no way... i'd be sending him to your ma or MIL until you know you can enrol him in one for the long term, saves shuffling him around and unsettling him.



A few responses to this.
Firstly, I think it is extremely unfair on a grandparent to have to care for a baby who won't take a bottle and is not established on solids. Unless they are extremely experienced grandparents (lots of children, lots of grandchildren) they are unlikely to have the experience to deal with that situation, or have a lot of 'tricks' up their sleeve to manage a hungry child. Childcare workers are amazing at that sort of thing.
Secondly, the whole 'unsettling' thing is a furphy in this age group. A 7.5 month old will typically be pretty happy inside of a week. A ten month old will be more unsettled anyway due to increasing separation anxiety, so changing centres in a few months will be no more 'unsettling' then putting them in for the first time at ten or more months.
If it was a two year old, I would not put them in a centre for a month and then change them. At this age I honestly don't believe there will be much difference.

#15 Ally'smum

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

At that age if you had family who were happy to look after him I wouldn't even consider daycare at that age.

DD has just started but she is two and can fend for herself in a lot of ways, she was with family for the past year but now that she needs more stimulation and interaction with other children we are trying daycare. If it doesn't go well though we will go back to family and just increase playgroups and activities.


Also, from what I have heard they are harder to settle if they just do one day, I would imagine she would see grandparents more often?

#16 SeaPrincess

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:24 AM

I would try to start him earlier, before you go back to work.  DS1 started in daycare a little bit older than your DS and our only issue was that he wouldn't sleep there, but he didn't sleep well in the day at home either.  DD was also a bit older than your DS when she started, but she was BF and refused to take any sort of bottle or sippy of EBM or formula, although she was on solids by that stage.  I used to feed her just before dropping her off, and usually before we left when I picked the children up and she was fine.  I put a bottle in every time and she never drank it.

DD is starting a new daycare and until we are paying for her care, they won't take her without me being present, presumably for insurance reasons.  We are visiting twice this week for about an hour before she starts 3 days/wk next week.  She's a bit older now though.

#17 uniquelyme

Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I do FDC and have recently had a similar experience with a 4-5 month old. The mum would bring him in for a few hours for the first few days, and come feed him when she came for pickup. Then the days gradually increased with her coming in middle of the day to breastfeed...it worked well. This happened over roughly 2 months. He is 7 months now and a perfectly happy, settled baby!
Good luck!!

#18 Moo point

Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

Thank you so much everyone for your responses, you have given me a lot of food for thought and some reassurance!

Unfortunately our childcare centre doesn't offer an hourly rate, so I may consider paying for extra days before I start work so that they can be shorter days.

After today I'm not willing to leave DS with my MIL, as she's unable to parent DS the way DH and I would like (eg i wants to leave him to CIO in the cot when we've always helped him settle to sleep). My mum is an angel, however, and is planning on spending at least 1 day per week at our place and offered to look after him whether I was at work or not. Yesterday she was able to get him to drink 60 ml of breastmilk from the sippy cup, even with me in the house, and get him to sleep for his naps, so all is not lost original.gif

We are still considering moving so maybe having mum look after DS and looking into other childcare places near work or the new home is best, for when I go back more than one day per week. Part of me doesn't want to go back to work at all, but I need to keep my foot in the door, they have made a few people redundant and another person is going on maternity leave at the end of February sad.gif

Again, I really appreciate the responses.




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