Making the decision to place your baby in daycare is never an easy one. There are a lot of factors to consider before making a decision. Some parents, don’t have any other option as they need to get back to work and can’t bring their baby with them or leave them with a family member.
Other parents might be in need of a break and free time to get things done during the day. Although it’s a nice thought to have someone care for your baby while you focus on other necessary tasks, leaving your baby with someone is something you take seriously. You won’t leave your baby with anyone.
You need to know that your baby is safe, happy, and well-cared for when you’re not around. Can a daycare program provide you with the childcare services you need? In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about daycare enrollment for infants and if it’s the right choice for you.
Continue reading to learn more!
What Age Can Babies Attend Daycare?
At what age can you decide to start your baby in daycare? Six weeks is the youngest that daycares will accept infants. This is also the average amount of time given for maternity leave.
Once maternity leave has ended, you’ll then have the option to enroll your baby in daycare. Do keep in mind, however, that not all daycares accept infants at six weeks. Some daycares won’t accept babies until they’re six months or a year old.
Make sure to research daycares in your area and know what the youngest age they’ll accept is. This will help you plan better.
Is Daycare Safe For My Infant?
Many parents struggle with enrolling their babies in daycare because of safety concerns. Parents leave their babies in the hands of unfamiliar people for several hours during the day. It’s essential they feel safe and confident in doing so.
Immunization shots are a great starting point. The daycare you choose should ask for proof of the baby’s immunization records before allowing them to start. Then, make sure the daycare follows all state regulations.
If regulations are followed, then you’ll have peace of mind knowing your baby is in an environment made with their safety in mind. For example, all cleaning supplies must be kept at a certain height and out of reach, cabinets and doors must have child safety locks, certain rules must be followed such as no propping bottles, and so on.
How Can Daycare Help With Developmental Skills?
A great benefit of daycare is that your baby will develop different skills while there. Being around other babies of the same age will also help with developmental skills. Throughout the day, there should be a flexible lesson plan that the caregivers follow.
Music time, storytime, block play, outside time, and free play are all important stepping stones for your baby’s development. Daycares such as the Montessori School for Infants provide enrichment programs for all children. When choosing a daycare, ask to get a copy of the curriculum so you can see what skills the daycare is helping your baby develop.
How Long Will It Take For My Baby to Adjust?
All babies will adjust to being in daycare at their own pace. If you start your baby at a young age, then they’ll have an easier time adjusting. Babies who are six months old and older when first enrolling in daycare might have a more difficult time on their first days or weeks.
However, as your baby becomes more familiar with the caregivers and the environment, they’ll have an easier time at drop-offs in the morning. How often your baby goes to daycare and how many hours they spend there a day might also have an effect on their adjustment time.
Will Daycare Help With Routines and Habits?
Although infants create their own schedules, a daycare will have a flexible schedule for the caregivers to follow. Over time, you’ll begin to see your baby adjusting to the schedule at daycare. If there’s a certain time the babies eat breakfast, have lunch, and nap, then your baby will most likely naturally fall into the same schedule.
Ask the daycare to provide you with this schedule so you can follow it at home as well. This will make things much easier for parents on the weekends or when keeping their babies home. Routines and habits are healthy for babies because they’ll know what to expect each and every day.
Do Infants Have Social Interaction at Daycare?
Although your baby might not be talking yet, your baby will have social interaction at daycare. The caregivers will interact with your baby, but so will the other babies in the room. Once babies reach six months or around that age, they begin to crawl and get around.
This is the age when babies can play together in a closed-off play area either inside or outside. Here, they learn how to share, play nicely, and interact with other children their age.
How Do I Find a Great Daycare For My Baby?
There are several steps you should take to ensure you find a great daycare for your baby. For starters, you can look up online parents reviews to see what other parents are saying. You can also look into a daycare’s level of experience, check their license, accreditation, and insurance as well.
It’s also always recommended to schedule a tour of the facility before you make a final decision.
Are You Ready to Place Your Baby in Daycare?
Do you believe you and your baby are ready for daycare? Now that you have more information about daycare enrollment for infants, it’s time to make the decision if you’d like to place your baby in daycare. Remember to do your research and wait until you feel comfortable before enrolling.
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