No judgement - but at what age did you put your child into daycare? And when ideally would you have preferred to?

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I did at 12 weeks, 3 months. I would have preferred 6-8 months - but maternity leave was 3 months. Honestly though, my daughter thrived. She was given a routine and a group. She is so social and happy (she’s 6 years now).

likehelpful

Same here. It's a sad feeling to leave them being so little, but that was maternity leave back when mine were little as well! I'd have preferred to keep them until when they were 6, but we found a great daycare. They are 7 and 9 now and all went well. It wasn't as flexible back then 🤷

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First one @ 13 months after I stopped nursing, had bad PPD and took a break from work. Chose to not nurse the second one and put him in daycare @ 4 months to lead a more “normal” life, and delegated to dad / grand parents / additional nannys whenever I could. That ofcourse comes at a cost with an infant and a toddler in full-time daycare already. It was a tough decision and I am very glad to have made it even if it meant most of my salary went towards childcare - both kids are thriving, my career and relationship with spouse have never been better.

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I don’t have such strong opinions about this but my husband does. He believes very strongly that a child should have a parent stay home with them so he will be quitting his job and staying home with our new child until 2. I personally believe it’s great to have a parent stay home if they want to be there. If they don’t and they’ll resent it then it’s better for the child to go to daycare.

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Same situation with me. He’s a teacher as well.

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6 months, she’s now 1 1/2 and we’re on our 3rd daycare. But I think we’ve finally found our daycare home.

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Yikes on both counts!!

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6 months, though it was extremely hard for me back then to send my LO to daycare for 8-9 hours. Looking back, I’m very happy with my decision. He enjoys playing with his friends. He gets more exposure going there.

likesmart

Almost 6 months. It was perfect for her - too young for stranger danger/separation issues , but old enough to actually benefit from the social interaction and pre-educational activities. For me it was too early - I would’ve been a lot healthier as a new mom if I’d had a year to recover.

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6 months for both of mine. I was on leave the whole time. It worked well (babies adjusted easily; I went back to same clients at work). I probably would’ve liked to stay home longer, but if I had to go back to work, I still would’ve done daycare (over other options like a nanny).

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I felt it was an overall safer and more controllable and trusted environment. I liked that they have a proven track record across countless families. I liked there were policies and procedures, and good communication. Also the kids had so much fun - art projects, reading, songs, games, playground time, other kids to socialize with, healthy meals. We loved the experienced and loving caregivers (so, same as picking a nanny, you have to spend the time to pick the right daycare fit too).

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Mine went part time at 2, and full time at 3. I stayed home the first year and my mom kept him from age 1 to 2. No regrets, but I only had 1 Bc cobbling together child care in our small town was tough.

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Very generous of your mother! Mine is taking her for a few months which I’m very grateful for ❤️

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My first was 2, my second 1. I love daycare. I did a combo of family help + nanny before they went to daycare. I love them being out of the house 😂

likefunny

Waited til my first was almost 3.5 and potty trained. My second will be just over 2.5 and potty trained (if it kills me).

I have my mom for help, so no regrets. I’d probably do 2.5-3 and still use mom - cost and family bonding are the key reasons. But without mom, my kids would have been in from 6 months. And I also refused to consider any home based daycare.

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3 months with my first (12 week maternity leave) 2 months with my second (by choice I had 5 months) I just got a new job that wanted me to start right away. It was tough and sometimes it makes me feel so guilty but I really needed to up my salary. I went from 85-140

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First kid, 16 months. We had help from family until then. My second, 6 months. The transition at 6 months was a lot easier than it was for my 16 month old. So I'd say, 6-9 months is the best range because separation anxiety hasn't really kicked in yet.

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Yeah I hadn’t really thought about that until someone else shared that 6 months was pre-stranger-danger phase, which probably makes it much much harder as a parent. How do you drop your kid off when they’re scared 😟

Our daughter started daycare at 2 years old. It was around that age when she showed interest to be with other children her age. Daycare for infants had a 2-year waitlist in our area so we didn't have a choice.

likehelpful

We are in Sacramento.

15 months with my first, would have preferred somewhere in the 6-9 month range. Will likely be around 6 months for my second.

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My mom was taking care of my first full-time because we were uncomfortable putting him in daycare due to the pandemic (he was born March 2020). That meant we could never ask her for weekend or evening help therefore neither my husband nor I ever got any real downtime. Now that he’s in daycare she picks him up ~3x/week and takes him to the playground, and will also take him for a bit on the weekends so my husband and I have downtime.

He also absolutely surged developmentally in daycare and is an intensely social/outgoing kid, so I think he just needed more time with peers.

likehelpful

6 months, it worked well

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6 mos seems to be when most people feel comfortable with it - and that’s about how old my daughter will be. Having my mother help out between now (3 months old) and then, but I don’t want her to feel like she has to have the baby all week forever - it’s too much.

We did au pair starting at 9 months for first kid and 6 months for second kid. When we had to go back to work after leaves.
I liked going back to work after that time, and would not have been able to work while watching my kids

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My mom watched my girls until they were 18 months old, then they transitioned to full time day care.

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I took 12 weeks mat leave. Would have been much happier at 6 months.

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I had to start my youngest at 6 weeks. It broke my heart, but she is thriving still. It was hard to go back so soon, but I couldn’t afford to stay home any longer

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So messed up that maternity leave isn’t longer and it’s the only option for so many people!

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I had to unfortunately put my first in daycare at 8 weeks. Didn’t qualify for FMLA and I had to work. It was one the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I got through it. If I could do over I would feel more comfortable at 4 months.

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