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Babies in Child Care

by Early Math Counts


Dropping off a 6 week old baby at child care is harrowing, even for the most pragmatic of parents.  It may be a bit easier at 12 weeks, and again at 18 weeks, but no matter when it happens putting a baby in outside-of-the-home-or-family child care is hard.

How do you ease this transition for parents of babies?  Many mothers are still experiencing postpartum hormones which could make them weepy, excitable, exhausted, anxious, and fearful.  It is a biological imperative that the new mother will do anything to protect her newborn- and I mean anything.  It is the way nature has designed it throughout the animal kingdom.  Anything that can be perceived as threatening will be treated as such by the new parents.

So, we need to be NON-THREATENING.  Taking a newborn infant into our care must be treated with the utmost respect.  This is a huge leap of faith for parents.  They have to believe that you will love that baby, care for that baby, nurture that baby, love that baby as much as they do.  If they do not believe that, they will not be able to be productive at work anyway.  The baby will sense their anxiety and it will not work out well for anyone involved.

Child care should reflect home-life as much as feasibly possible.  For babies, this means being held, sung to, read to, kissed, snuggled, and cooed at. It also means consistency of routine.  Next week, let’s look at the consistency of a routine and how that related to the earliest mathematical experiences.


3 Replies to “Babies in Child Care”

  1. I had the worse experience with childcare for my 8 week baby . From day one my baby cried a lot and they made sure I knew this, It was a big concern to me.
    They wanted everything so structure that holding, snuggling and cooing were not part of their care. I took my baby out of that childcare immediately. today that childcare center is no longer in operation.

  2. I had the privilege of being able to stay at home with my daughter for least 6 months while I collected unemployment. When I did go back to work either my husband, mother or mother-in-law kept my daughter while I worked. Therefore, I knew she was in good hands. I would hate to think that I would have had to make that kind of decision regarding her care. Am glad that I did not have to entrust my 6 week old daughter to a childcare center at such a young age. It would have been a scary feeling not knowing if she was being taken care of properly and getting all of her needs meet in a loving and caring manner. So, I can truly understand a mom who might feel uncomfortable leaving their child with someone at such a young age.

    1. I agree that leaving a baby at 6 weeks must be a completely harrowing experience for most moms. I have seen some amazing infant rooms where babies are held and loved all day long, and those rooms have reassured me that quality infant care is out there.
      I suppose that many people who are entrusting their infants to a child care situation are doing it because they have to. When parents have to work and family is not available to help, then quality child care is the next best thing.

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