Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Memories of Summer

Or More Daycare Angst

So I'm all screwed up about Swee'pea's sleep again, thanks to the comments of a daycare provider we met with last night. She told us that any daycare provider would make Swee'pea cry it out because there's no alternative, and it would be kinder for us to do it to him before he starts daycare. She also said that the longer maternity leave is harder on babies than the six-month leave was and he'll be upset and miss me. I really did not need to hear that. Or to hear her questions about how we relate to Swee'pea suggesting that we're spoiling him. It's funny because when we left, we both agreed that she wasn't a total write-off. She has a nice smile, I liked the way she interacted with Swee'pea, her setup wasn't bad. But I woke up at 4:30 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I think because I was scared about what she said. I really thought that me going to work would be harder on me than it would be on Swee'pea. I thought as long as we were good about managing the transition, he would take it all in stride. And I thought his daycare provider would figure out something that would work for his naps and he would go along with it because he wouldn't have the same expectations he has for how his dad and I deal with him. Now I am not so sure.

All that said, Swee'pea is, at this very moment, sleeping in his crib for the first time since early August. It's been maybe 10 minutes? So that's something.

Ha! Well he slept for about a total of 10 minutes in the crib. Then he woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep.

I mustn't spend the last few weeks of my mat leave fretting about sleep issues. I did enough of that in the summer. I think maybe I have written off last night's daycare.

11 comments:

theflyingmum said...

I took 8 months of maternity leave, but didn't have to secure a day-care provider until my son was 1 because my folks were available to watch him when I worked. When he finally did go to a day care, it was in-home with only two other kids around his age. This is all inconsequential, though, because the ONLY thing that matters is how YOU are feeling about day care. I was so pumped for my son to go because there are no kids where we live for him to play with, and I told him he'd have friends his own size there. He then picked up on my good vibes, and daycare wasn't really a problem thereafter. ALSO - daycare providers are MAGIC when it comes to nap-time. Here at home it was an affair with stoies, and music and the singing of lullabies. At day care, a mat was put down , kids laid down and fell asleep. end of story. To this day, I don't know how they do it. Good luck and try not to stress. Sounds like your losing enough sllep as it is!

theflyingmum said...

Also - don't ignore that nagging voice in the back of your head that wakes you up at 4 am. We had a day care provider for 2 WHOLE MONTHS! Again, in-home - her place was immaculate and she even would have taught my son a little Spanish - we were thrilled with her! But the whole experience was horrible for my son. And we found out later that she was being investigated by the In-Home Day Care Providers monitoring system. Never judge a book by its cover.

Beck said...

Okay, she was full of crap. Seriously.
It's not "easier" for babies to be seperated at 6 months! I think an ideal age is about 1 1/2 - they're outgoing, like hanging out with other toddlers and can really "get" that mom will be back. Older babies can sometimes have a little bit of trouble, but it really depends on YOUR baby.

She sounds like she was already being pretty critical of you - and really, one of the things that you need in a childcare provider is that they respect YOU.

I think in any group daycare situation, you're going to have issues with how your baby's naps are handled, because there is only so much attention to go around. My advice - for whatever it's worth - is to look for some squishy super maternal woman who just wants to fill up some time now that her youngest kid is in school and who will be DELIGHTED to rock Swee'pea to sleep. Those women are out there, really - I know several. Good luck...

Aliki2006 said...

I'm so sorry you're going through all this angst...but as one comment suggested, I do think it's tru that babies react differently at dayvare. My nephew was breastfed until he was almost twp and rocked to sleep, but at daycare he curled up on his mat and slept. The woman didn't let him cry it out, but she rubbed his back, gave the babies books to look at, etc. and there wasn't much else to do BUT sleep.

Listen to the nagging voice, though. I've heard of plenty of providers who do not do CIO and if it feels wrong for you, then perhaps it might be.

bubandpie said...

I'm with Beck - there's no way that it's somehow easier for babies to adjust at 6 months of age. The Pie would have been a mess without me at that age!

When I put the Bub in care at 9 months of age, I was terrified about his naps: I had NEVER been able to get him to sleep anywhere besides his own crib. But it was never a problem - he went right to sleep that first day at naptime without a murmur. I think they tend to be worn out after all that social interaction.

I certainly wouldn't suggest that you change your own parenting practices in order to prepare for daycare - babies are quite able to pick up on the fact that different people offer different routines: even if you end up going with a home care provider who doesn't have the resources to rock him to sleep, he'll probably accept that much more readily from her than from you.

bubandpie said...

Also - it is important to like your day care provider - it makes a huge difference if you feel personally very comfortable with her, and if she seems genuinely affectionate toward your child.

Her Bad Mother said...

What everyone else has said - you really need to go with your naggy voice. There'll be no peace of mind unless you do, and as mothers, that's really the only kind of peace we ever get, and then just barely, so hang on to it at all costs.

ewe are here said...

I agree with everyone else: listen to your own instincts. I think the daycare provider you spoke with wasn't being entirely fair or accurate in her assessment of babies in general. Every little one is different. You know yours and you probably have a good instinct for what will and won't work for Swee'pea.

We just started our 19 month old in part time daycare this month. I looked at several programs and went with the one that felt right to me. Happily, it seems to be going well.

Good luck in your quest!

cinnamon gurl said...

Thanks, everyone. This is what I had been thinking; that he would be tired, see other kids napping and not have the expectations of his daycare provider that he has of his mum and dad. Last night's meeting did help us realize how important it is that we have a daycare provider who shares at least some of our values and understands where we're coming from.

cinnamon gurl said...

And that woman should have encouraged the more upbeat perspective of daycare that theflyingmum did. I think she just sees Swee'pea as one of THOSE children who's totally coddled and not socialized. Ok. Written off. I will move on now.

Em said...

I've had all three of my children in daycare and they've never been left to cry it out... there are definitely daycare providers who will take a more gentle approach - esp. with babies. I hope you find the right person soon!