Every baby is different. Transitioning for your baby might be easier or worse than my experience. I hope to shed some perspective and light on this topic for those mama’s who might be going through this or are thinking about going back to work.
Transitioning Day 1
We were both up really late last night and although my husband gently woke me up this morning, we hit the snooze and slept in just a little bit more. Transitioning days at baby D’s daycare are 930 – 1130am for three days. We arrived for day 1 around 10:05 ish. During the visit I hadn’t seen any cool toys or books laying around so I was a bit hesitant on choosing the place but as soon as we entered the infant room, we could see lots and lots of cute stuff. As usual, baby D was a little shy at first. Scoping out the room and looking at his new playmates. I had fun talking to the caregivers and also sat there and observed baby D to see whether he was enjoying himself, scared or did he have an idea of what was to come on day 4. He played shy for a bit but every time someone acknowledged him or when other babies would come to talk, touch or play with him he’d turn to me and smile. After 30 minutes he was slowly and cautiously walking towards other babies and different toys. He would then come walking back and give me a big hug (maybe in case I was feeling scared) and quietly babble stuff to me. He’s so loving. Come 11 am I noticed they started to have their lunch so we left early and planned that tomorrow we’d come for 9 am – 11 am. So I think even though it was just an hour, I feel like he’ll enjoy his time there. He loves other babies and he’ll love making new friends. *fingers crossed*
TIPS: I held him at first and then every few minutes tried to move away and let him explore. Also, when I was playing and talking to the other babies I think it made him feel more comfortable with them and curious.
Transitioning Day 2
Today baby D warmed up to the new environment in 5 minutes! Which is pretty awesome considering he was woken up from his nap. He walked around the room and played with the other babies and all was great! Everything was great until I found a staple on the ground and that really concerned me. Considering how baby D is going through a stage where he puts everything in his mouth, this was scary. I gave the staple to one of the caregivers in the room. I scanned the room to see where it came from and noticed that they use staples to put up “group work” on a board right above where the babies play. I thought about this when I went home and I really don’t like “complaining” because I’m afraid it comes off rude or bitchy. I asked my mommy friends what they would do and they had a good point when they said bring it up as a suggestion rather than a complaint. So, tomorrow I’m definitely letting them know.
Transitioning Day 3
Baby D and I woke up late today so we only went for 30 minutes. Plus tomorrow is his birthday and I have some last minute things to do. It took him just a few minutes to warm up to everyone again and once he was cool with everyone he was playing, walking, talking.. doing his thing. I think he’s going to be okay! On my way out I let the manager of the daycare know about the staple board. I suggested maybe they could use tape to put things up instead and how baby D puts everything in his mouth so I was just concerned about him getting a hold of a stray staple. She was very appreciative of my suggestion and told me she was glad I told her. Phewf. His full day of daycare without me starts after the weekend and I don’t think I’m ready to part with him for that long but it must be done. I’m really nervous.
Full Day One
I was feeling brave as I left him at daycare. He looked like he was having fun too. I went downtown to see my mom and I logged on to the live streaming video of him and first think I see is him crying. My heart broke in a million pieces. Bittersweet having this extra service to be able to watch him whenever I want. It was a busy day for me so I didn’t get many chances to watch him. There was a snow storm so I was running late to pick him up, so D (husband) picked him up. When he brought him home baby D just ignored me. He was definitely upset with me and kept giving D hugs and lots of attention. I tried to redeem myself with games of peekaboo and cookies. Finally he forgave me and I got those hugs I longed for all day.
Full Day Two
I’m depressed. I ran some errands at wal-mart and some other stores and saw so many babies and I started missing him really badly. His smell, his cute smiles and everything about him. I just keep thinking this isn’t right. I can’t do this. I just want to break down and cry but I’m holding back. Because I know if I do, I’m going to be even more miserable for the rest of the day. Logging in to watch him on the live stream and he’s being rocked. I can tell he’s sad. Probably thinking he can’t believe I did it again. I don’t think I can do the full day, so I’m going to pick him up in a few hours from now. In total I think after I pick him up he would be there for five hours. That’s enough for today, because I really need his hugs right now.
Full Day Three
He was so good today! I watched him explore the room, eat lots of food and give hugs to the caregivers. I think he’s starting to build trust with the environment and the caregivers.
Day One (back from the weekend)
It’s like starting all over again. He cried so much when I left him and he’s been crying since. It’s now lunch time and I’m watching him on the live stream and he’s eating a little bit but crying. But there’s hope. After lunch he took his nap, hopefully a good long one to recuperate from all the crying.
The best thing to do before you decide if daycare is the right approach so you can go back to work is list out other options and the pros and cons of each one. That’s what I did and I found daycare would be best for baby D. Some of my pros were his early interactions with other babies, having a fixed schedule and the location being very close to home. Also, if you’re starting your baby in daycare a little bit before you go back to work (highly recommend) you can have some time to adjust, get yourself together and get all those things you’ve wanted to do around the house, done. If your daycare doesn’t offer live streaming maybe you can suggest it to them for an opportunity to make more money and just keep yourself busy and ask lots of questions when you go to pick your child up. I saw some moms even stay by the door so they can peek and know what’s going on. Whatever you have to do to get comfortable with everything.
What do you find the most challenging about this change? Let me know below!