Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daycare Advice?

Phew... what a day.  Today's a big tax deadline, so it's been nuts around the office lately.  I am SO ready for this weekend!  We're taking off tomorrow to visit daycares.  Some close to my work and some close to the house.  But after sitting in traffic for over an hour last night trying to get home from work, I think I've about decided one near the office makes the most sense!  Granted, our house and my work are only 15-20 minutes apart.  Basically two exits down the interstate.  But in metro-Atlanta, you never know when a 15-minute commute will suddenly be a 90-minute commute.  Nine times out of ten, it's a breeze (I am lucky in that regard) - but you just never know.
Y'all gave me lots of good tips on what to ask pediatricians... so what about daycare questions?  Any must-ask things that should be on our list?  Don't go thinking, "Oh she'll know to ask that - that's so obvious."  We haven't had our expert parenting classes yet!  So nothing is too obvious for me.  Any advice on what to look for is certainly appreciated.  I haven't been in a daycare since *I* was enrolled in one.
We're also getting started on our registry this weekend!  Big fun... and big time overwhelming!  We're planning to do BRU and Buy Buy Baby but I'm not sure we'll get to hit both this weekend.  BRU may do us in.  Right now I'm trying to narrow down our baby gear choices - strollers and car seats particularly.  I'm consulting my Baby Bargains book and Consumer Reports to come up with the best candidates, so I can at least narrow things down before we go to the stores this weekend.  Should be fun!
Our bedding arrived yesterday, so I will get pics of that sweet goodness up soon!  It is gorgeous, and kudos to Carousel - my custom order arrived in less than a week!  I also have some fun birthday plans coming up here in a few weeks!  I'll tell y'all about that soon.  I have a few more fires to put out this afternoon.... gotta run!


alison said...

Daycare is totally a gut-level thing. You'll *know* if it feels right after your initial meeting. That said, there's of course things you'll want to know. How many other babies are in the room? How many teachers? How many helpers (in my experience, these are college girls typically, who are studying Early Childhood Development)? What do they do if your baby is crying? What do they do for infant exercises? What kind of "stuff" do you need to provide (we provide diapers but she provides formula (if we need it))? Are they cool with breastmilk if you're nursing? What do they do if your baby is ill (B's daycare center calls us and we pick him up ASAP with a fever; J is in in-home care and she will call us but usually care for him herself if he has a low fever)?

Overall - does the place feel calm? Are the babies content? Are the teachers stressed out? Do they act like they like babies? How far is it from your pediatrician (usually not a worry, but if they're sick, you don't want to drive them an hour from daycare to the doc)?

J's daycare is so very calm, there's no TVs, the babies are happy and learning and growing. We visited one center that had the kids cordoned off into different areas with these half walls and doors and it was SO LOUD. Like I don't know how the kids would ever sleep! I'm all for normal daytime noise while my kids sleep, but this was like a concert hall.

You will be fine, don't stress! :)

MTL said...

I feel your anxiety! My husband and I are deep in the throws of picking out a daycare (having just decided that is what we'll be doing) and it's overwhelming especially because I am super picky!

We registered at BRU and PBK and had the best experience at BRU-everyone there was so knowledgable and they had "experts" in the big areas (strollers, car seats, nursing, and furniture). Good luck!!!

AEOT said...

What's the ratio of staff to infants and what's the ratio in the next class up? At what age do they move to the next room (ours is 16 months and I LOVE that he has been with the same teacher for this long- she's fabulous- and consistency is key for infants)? Most centers have a 24 hour fever free policy- what is the temp at which they will call (100? 100.5)? What is the normal day like for the infants? I didn't want Spencer on a very strict schedule and they're very much baby led at our center (now he naps very consistently, but as a 4 month old he was all over the board). I agree with the above poster, more than likely, you'll just know when you love a place.

Also, I have to give a big plug to our baby jogger stroller. The fold is SO easy, it's great for everywhere (the mall, trails, snow, grass, etc), and it lays completely flat so I didn't have to worry about getting a car seat attachement (I did use a cuddly head thing for the first two months when he laid flat). We're still totally enamoured with it! Ours is the City Elite in all black. Also, check out as they have GREAT sales on Britax car seats (and other great car seats) as well as strollers.